Europe France Rhône-Alpes Ardèche
On a shady, wooded hillside overlooking the Ardèche River, Mille Étoiles is easily one of the most beautiful campsites in all of France. The forested land, sitting high above a canyon of sparkling, turquoise waters, is so fairy-tale-perfect, in fact, that weddings aplenty have taken place here.
Experienced campers who celebrate the great outdoors get the most out of a stay at Mille Étoiles. The surroundings are a treasure trove of footpaths and trails, while the wooded setting gives a slight wilderness feel, despite the fact that every little comfort is catered for – from lanterns at night to posh toiletries in the wash-rooms. Those seeking extra luxury, though, are just as welcome, nesting themselves in the growing glamping side of the campsite.
Mille Étoiles test-drove a few yurts in 2003, with no electricity or water, way before glamping in Francetook off, and cite nature as their star attraction. One look at these nomadic Mongolian yurts and fancy family bathrooms, though, suggests that there’s a lot more to the campsite than the enchanting surroundings.
Raised on pine platforms, the yurts (now 'electrified') are each scattered a decent distance apart, with sumptuous double beds inside draped with large mosquito nets. Each one is themed (for example boudoir, Edwardian safari, Indian, Thai) and furnished with chunky wooden chests or canvas wardrobes, ethnic pictures, and recycled bedside tables. Starched, comfortable hammocks swing outside, while, within, a practical kitchenette has a fridge, stove and coffee machine, where you can make your hammock-ready brew.
There are a further two safari lodges, divided inside into rooms, including a well equipped kitchen and dining area, and providing the most space for large families. ‘The Village’, meanwhile, is a tent-only camping field, that has been recently development to encourage more campers. Situated on the other side of the handcrafted pizzeria and café, the field is near a facilities block and all guests share the kids’ playground and campsite library. If wildlife is the only luxury you need, bag one of the camping pitches there or in the woods.
Its a 20-minute scramble down a steep decline from the campsite to the water and, once on the river bed, walkers can follow the river the length of the gorge. If all that splashing about doesn’t wear you out then counting the stars certainly will. With no electricity on site, they shine brighter than you'll ever have seen before after dark and sit like a sparkly blanket above the trees. They are the mille étoilesthat give the site its name and will get you well on your way to a good night’s sleep. 1, 2, 3…
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The campsite owner saysOn a shady, wooded hillside overlooking the Ardèche River, Mille Étoiles is easily one of the most beautiful campsites in all of France. The forested land, sitting high above a canyon of sparkling, turquoise waters, is so fairy-tale-perfect, and the luxury yurts are pure heaven, making for a truly enchanting experience!
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