Campsite recommendations for Ventoux and French Alps

PhilipPirrip
PhilipPirrip Posts: 616
edited February 2018 in Tour & expedition
Hello, I'm planning a trip to Ventoux and the French Alps in June for a change of scenery, to do some big climbs and take in some wonderful views.

I'll be travelling solo in my camper with my bikes and would welcome any recommendations from people's experiences of campsites in either region, particularly around Bedoin and Bourg D'Oisans.

I've been looking at various campsites online in both regions but would welcome people's experiences of sites they've enjoyed on their cycling trips.

Thanks in anticipation.

Comments

  • mercia_man
    mercia_man Posts: 1,431
    I normally travel with my camper van to the Ventoux area twice a year and can recommend a couple of great sites.

    For the best scenic location of pretty well any campsite I have stayed at, try Camping Mont Serein. http://www.campingventoux.com/

    It's a flat circular spot on the northern face of Ventoux (reached from Malaucene) and a quick 6km road ride from there to the summit. You can do a circular ride taking in the summit, Bedoin and Malaucene. There are lovely walking, running and mountain biking trails through a wooded nature reserve direct from the site and you can go on through the shattered rocks to the top. The views of endless mountains to the north are spectacular. The best pitches next to the sheer drop to the north only have old fashioned two pin electric hook-up plugs so you will need an adapter or borrow one from the site office. There are modern hook-ups on the rest of the site. This site has a small restaurant but is isolated so stock up and best to avoid if the mistral is blowing. It's virtually empty when I have been in May and September.

    The other good and cheap site is the municipal camping at Beaumes-de-Venise which can get full with cyclists and retired folk when I've been there in May and September. The pitches are well shielded by hedges and it's a short walk into a lovely town with a great little supermarket in the main car park and lots of local wine tasting outlets. Good rides from the site up the Dentelles de Montmirail, Ventoux and the Gorges de la Nesque.https://m.campercontact.com/en/france/p ... code=54511

    Most people stay at one of the Bedoin sites for closest access to the hardest climb up Ventoux but my two favourites above are my preferred options. Neither is a luxury site but both have good basic facilities.
  • That's great Mercia Man. I'd been looking at sites to the south and west of Ventoux and the site at Beaumes-de-Venise looks and sounds ideal.

    I'd already had the Gorges de la Nesque on my itinerary as a must do and the Dentelles de Montmirail will now be added as well.

    Thanks again.
  • durhamwasp
    durhamwasp Posts: 1,247
    We've usually stayed at Camping La Garenne in Bedoin, which is good value, has a pool and 2 minutes walk into the town centre.
    The Municipal site is also excellent, with use of the municipal swimming pools, think you need to book a minimum of 5 nights.
    Have also stayed at the Aire next to the municipal site, cost me about €6 for 4 nights and each day we paid the €3 entrance fee to use the municipal pool facilities.

    Briancon is worth considering between Bedoin and Bourg, lovely campsite 10 minutes walk from the town centre, and you can do the Galibier and Izoard easily from there, as well as Montgenevre and Sestriere.

    There is a superb camping aire at the top of Alpe d'Huez, think it was €8 a night, again leisure centre facilities a few minutes walk away.

    Consider Le Grand Bornand too, beautiful campsite(l'escale) in the town centre, wonderful area and views, and the Col de la Colombiere, Aravis and Croix-Fry. There is an aire at the top of the Aravis, which ive promised myself i'll stay in next time. A couple of nice restaurants up there and beautiful views across to Mont Blanc.
    http://www.snookcycling.wordpress.com - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Tourmalet, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....
  • mercia_man
    mercia_man Posts: 1,431
    Just done a Google search on the Beaumes-de-Venise Roque Figuier municipal site to find this five star review with a pic of my Hyundai camper van on it! Hope the link works.

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?client= ... erState=lb

    EDIT: no it doesn't work on my iPad but there's plenty of info and pix about the site on the Google entry.
  • Thanks durhamwasp. Lots of really useful suggestions.

    I was thinking to base myself near Ventoux for 4-5 days to take in and take on various rides and hopefully catch a good day for Ventoux itself and then head over to the Alps to tour around for the rest of the fortnight so your variety of suggestions are gratefully welcome.
  • Mercia Man wrote:
    Just done a Google search on the Beaumes-de-Venise Roque Figuier municipal site to find this five star review with a pic of my Hyundai camper van on it! Hope the link works.

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?client= ... erState=lb

    EDIT: no it doesn't work on my iPad but there's plenty of info and pix about the site on the Google entry.
    Thanks for that.

    The link works on my laptop and it reminded me that I have the full version of the CamperContact app on my phone.
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 18,790
    Worth stopping a day or two at one of the campsites near Die in the Drôme valley - about halfway bewteen Ventoux and Bourg d'Oisans. Nice drive up through Nyons etc.

    The municipal site at Die itself is very good. https://www.camping-die.com/en/

    I'll add my usual disclaimer - I'm hopelessly biased - I've ridden literally thousands of miles in the area (at a guess, 15,000 in 5 years), and still can't get enough. I've got a pile of routes on my blog http://unanglaisendiois.wordpress.com/ and would be happy to advise.

    A 'for instance' would be a ride over Vercors to Combe Laval ...

    img_20170827_115246693_hdrblog.jpg?w=748
  • Thanks Brian and thanks for the link to the blog and it's links to the RWGPS files.

    Great to have your knowledge and experience.
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 18,790
    Thanks Brian and thanks for the link to the blog and it's links to the RWGPS files.

    Great to have your knowledge and experience.
    BTW, if you pass by further east, Barcelonette would be a good place to stop for a night or two - col de la Bonette is a cracker from both sides (you'll find it on the blog), and there are some other good climbs there which I haven't done. It's a two-hour drive from Die.

    You'd just have to keep fingers crossed that the highest cols are open - sometimes they don't open till later in June, and this year there's lots of snow around.

    wp-1470086385978.jpg
  • mercia_man
    mercia_man Posts: 1,431
    I would echo Brian's suggestions. The Drome and Vercors area is great for cycling. I like the look of the municipal site he highlighted at Die. I have stayed at a quiet municipal site just down the road at Recoubeau Jansac which I liked. And I had free admission to a small municipal pool opposite.

    The Bonette and its neighboring 2,000 metre-plus cols, the Cayolle and Allos, is another good suggestion. The climb from the south up the Bonette must be one of the biggest in Europe. The southern Alps are lovely and have better weather than further north. Plenty of good campsites.

    Both the above areas are much quieter than around Bourg d'Oisans and don't have such busy roads.

    Durhamwasp's suggestion of the Aravis range of mountains is another good one. I have stayed - admittedly some years ago - at Camping Le Trejeux at Thones, a few miles east of Annecy. It's a cheap site, beautifully located in the mountains, close to a nice small town and well placed for riding the Croix Fry, Aravis, Colombiere and Glieres passes. For example, you can go straight off the site up the Croix Fry and Aravis and return via the Col de l'Epine and Col du Marais back to the site on a circular day ride. http://www.letrejeux.com/mobile/emplace ... hones.html
  • knedlicky
    knedlicky Posts: 3,097
    We've stayed at about 12 campsites between Annecy and Castellane (Verdon Gorge) and have been happy with nearly all of them (even if a couple can get quite crowded during the main season) and think you can hardly go wrong in June.
    Of those dozen, that at Briancon was the one I least liked (very stoney, very shaded) but it probably wasn't the one durhamwasp is recommending because it was down by the river, so with well over 10 mins walk to the town centre.
    I'd endorse briantrumpet's recommendation of the municipal camping at Die, and my own particular favourite is at La Chambre in the Maurienne valley, for its central location (at the foot of the Madeleine and more or less opposite the Glandon) as well as its ambiance and setting.
    Although a good place to be for the Bonette, Cayolle or Allos, the camping at Barcelonnette was also very stoney – relevant to us as we're in a tent not a campervan.
  • sheffsimon
    sheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    Thanks Brian and thanks for the link to the blog and it's links to the RWGPS files.

    Great to have your knowledge and experience.
    BTW, if you pass by further east, Barcelonette would be a good place to stop for a night or two - col de la Bonette is a cracker from both sides (you'll find it on the blog), and there are some other good climbs there which I haven't done. It's a two-hour drive from Die.

    You'd just have to keep fingers crossed that the highest cols are open - sometimes they don't open till later in June, and this year there's lots of snow around.

    wp-1470086385978.jpg

    ^^This. Barcelonette is a nice town to stay in.

    Col d'Allos/Champs/Cayolle is a challenging loop from Barcelonette, very few cars, but plenty of opportunities for food and drink stops.