Camping Le Verger

Europe France Poitou-Charentes Charente-Maritime

  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Laundry
  • Dogs welcome
  • Beaches nearby
A small campsite where nature flourishes and your hosts allow you to pick apples from the tree. No forbidden fruit here, but still a beautiful little Eden.

The climate, the history, the café culture, it’s no surprise camping is so popular in France. But it’s become so commonplace that all too many campsites lack that unique Cool Camping feel. Happily some still manage to buck this trend, and Camping le Verger is a great example – the perfect small-time site that everybody is searching for exuding the warm, friendly atmosphere of a business run on a wonderfully personal level.

“It’s less a campsite and more our garden”, the owners Catherine and Sylvain tell us, though to be more precise it is part garden, part orchard. Beneath the fruit trees, grassy spaces provide ample room for camping, with space for 60 people in total. Pitches are not designated in any specific way and on arrival you’re given a cute wooden sign to stick in the ground, claiming your numbered spot. After that simply kick back in the shade or, if you’ve picked the right time of year, pick fruit from the trees to eat.

Cycling seems to be the big thing round these parts. The neighbouring canal has an adjacent bike path that leads from here all the way into the quaint old port of La Rochelle (8 kms away), an easy and enjoyable ride that you can finish off nicely with a cold drink overlooking the Atlantic in one of La Rochelle’s many harbourside bars and cafés. You can also easily cycle to the nearby Ile de Ré – a quaint sandy island that has some of the best beaches in Western France and is itself criss-crossed by cycle paths. Plus cycling there means you avoid the €16 fee for the toll bridge. A savy little trick.

It’s these tips and more that mark Sylvain and Catherine out as well-practiced hosts. Their time living here means they know the area like the back of their sun-tanned hands, and the size of the site means they have time to afford you a personal service, chatting you through the local hotspots and dropping a phone call to the village restaurant if you want to make a reservation. It’s all part and parcel of allowing you to camp in their garden – in itself a wonderfully friendly gesture that perhaps sums the couple up.

Details

Facilities

8 showers, 8 toilets, disabled facilities, washing up sinks, chemical waste disposal. A local information area in the reception building surrounded by a free wifi zone, with picnic benches to sit. Access to a freezer for free ice-pack freezing. Bikes for hire (half day €9, full day €12, with further price reductions for multiple days). The camping field has ample trees, bushes and shade, along with picnic benches in a few spots. Fruit picking from the trees is allowed in the right season! No designated pitches. Electric hook-ups available.

Suitable For

Tents, caravans, campervans, motorhomes, families, couples, cyclists and pets (by arrangement) – yes. Large groups – no.

Nearby

7 kms west, the nearby town of La Rochelle and its world famous port is an excellent place to visit. Middle age towers, historic buildings, museums and, of course, a host of great eateries make up the main attractions. A cycle path, Velodyssée, leads from the campsite to the town; it takes half an hour and at least three quarters of an hour with children, but it is a rewarding route that begins 500 meters from camp and ends right at the port. Ile de Ré (20 minutes by car) has some of the best beaches in the region. The island is reached via a €16 toll bridge, or park by the toll booths on the mainland for free and walk/cycle across the 3km bridge. If your looking for the same magnificent island setting with a slightly quieter scene, then its worth the one hour drive to Ile d’Oléron, famous for its oysters.

Food & Drink

Onsite, there is a small shop, serving fresh bread and croissants in the morning (from the local bakery), wines, beers and tasty local products. A food truck arrives each night with different offering each day eg mussels, pancakes & crepes, creole food etc. La Rochelle is the obvious choice when eating out but it is also worth visiting the daily market in the town centre, particularly good on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Opening Times

Mid June–end of August.

Location

Contact Camping Le Verger, 27 Jean pierre Pigot, Bellecroix, 17139 Dompierre sur Mer, Charente-Maritime, France

Show Map

Getting There

If you are coming from RN11 / Nantes, Niort : Leave RN11 at "Dompierre sur Mer". The main street crosses the village right through. There is only one traffic light. At this traffic light turn on right to "Belle-Croix". On your way, you find a first roundabout: carry on, you pass under a bridge (with a traffic light), just after, you cross the canal, then you reach the village of "Belle-Croix" and a roundabout, turn right to La Rochelle. At the end of the village just before the sign "end of Belle-Croix" turn left.

If you are coming from La Rochelle: From the harbour or from the aquarium or from the tourist information office : take the direction of "Gare". In front of the railway station take direction "Niort" 150 meters farther, you see a bridge over the road. Immediatly before, on the right, before the light, direction "Périgny". Run alongside the canal, alaways straight on (you cross a lot of little roundabouts). Then, you reach a cross: take right to cross over the canal, then you cross the railway and turn left direction "Zone industrielle". Carry on about 4 kilometers. You reach a roundabout and take direction "Belle Croix": just after the sign of the village 'Belle Croix' is the campsite.

Line 39, Bus stop "Belle-Croix Fontoreux". Bus every 30 minutes (45 minutes to go to La Rochelle).

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