Camping Les Dômes de Miage
There's not many campsites out there that can rival this one for views. Elevated 900m high in the Haute-Savoie region of the French south-east, Camping Les Dômes de Miage boasts unparalleled breathtaking vistas of the mighty Mont Blanc and surrounding Rhône-Alpes.
Managed and maintained by the charming multi-lingual hosts Stéphane and Sophie, this Alpine Eden is a veritable institution. Welcoming campers for more than 50 years (that's three generations), Camping Les Dômes de Miage doesn't go for the bells and whistles ("no noisy swimming pools, no static-caravans... no animation programs" – whatever they may be!) and why would it need to with a setting like this?
It's a site of happy contrasts – sprawling yet remote; wild yet well-managed. Kids can ride their bikes with abandon, unencumbered by the tents and caravans occupying the spacious, shady (if you prefer) pitches which align the site's wooded fringes. Facilities are first-rate, free and open 24/7 (with the shop and reception open till 8.30pm). For those wishing to really indulge, Les Dômes de Miage also boasts a lovingly-restored mazot (that's a Savoyard chalet to you and me). All old Italian marble floors and hand-crafted wooden furniture, a stay in this timber-clad former granary is the height of luxury.
Unlike many purpose-built ski resorts round these parts, Saint-Gervais-les-Bains has a uniquely authentic Savoyard heritage and charm. And then there's the view – the sublime mountain-scape that launched a thousand brush strokes and stanzas of Romantic verse. A campsite on the roof of Europe? We think that's a height worth scaling...
2 facilities blocks: free unlimited hot water showers open 24 hours a day; baby changing/family facilities; disabled facilities. Motorhome and camper van chemical waste disposal point. Laundrette with washing machines & dryers; 2 play areas (for children from 2–10 years old): basketball area, volleyball area, table tennis. TV room, library. Free internet access point & free Wi-Fi . Shop selling essentials (camping gas, European/International newspapers & magazines, etc). Free ice for coolboxes. Reception desk (open 08:30 – 20:30).
Tents, motorhomes, dogs (if vaccinated and kept on a lead) – yes.
It's all about the mountains here. Mont Blanc (literally) looms over everything. While a climbing expedition will be beyond most campers' means, you can hop on the Mont Blanc Tramway (0033 450 532 275) from Saint-Gervais-les-Bains-Le Fayet station, to savour the views from Nid d'Aigle (2380m elevation), in front of the Bionnassay glacier. For less exertive activities, Saint-Gervais-les-Bains boasts an ice rink (0033 450 935 002) and leisure centre down the road with heated pools (indoor, outdoor, paddling), tennis courts, crazy golf, beach volleyball. You can also hire mountain bikes from here. The market in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains hosts a market every Thursday from 8am – 1pm. Bask in the healing mountain waters at Les Thermes de Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc (0033 450 475 454), a thermal spa that's just the ticket for recharging those batteries. Some of the French Alps' most famous ski resorts are all within easy reach of Saint-Gervais, including Megève and Chamonix (site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924). Further afield, Lake Annecy makes for a wonderful day trip. This breathtaking body of water (France's third largest lake) is a popular spot for swimming and watersports. Why not extend your trip to Switzerland? Geneva is only 80km away – don't forget to bring your passport!
Food & Drink
The onsite shop sells bread, wine, snacks and other basics, plus there's a supermarket around 7km away for all your other needs. There's also the Hotel Restaurant les Dômes de Miage (0033 450 935 562) a stone's throw from the site entrance. Cosy timber-beamed bar/restaurant La Galeta (0033 450 931 611) has a proper spit barbecue (or brasérade) and a lovely terrace for al fresco libations. La Vieille Auberge (0033 450 470 476) and Lou Grangni (0033 450 477 639) boasts mountain views and traditional Savoyard specialties such as reblochonnade tartiflette, grilled meats, and, of course, cheese fondue.
Mid May – mid September.
Two people, plus tent (no EHU) & vehicle from €21.20-€26.60 (depending on season). Caravan with hook-up from €25.80-€31.20. Extra person €4-€6.20; child (under 10 years) €2.90-€4.80; Dogs €2. Credit cards accepted. Booking is most definitely advisable, particularly for July and August.
Motorway A40 exit 21, take the direction of Le Fayet, and then direction of Saint Gervais. At Saint Gervais village take the direction of Les Contamines on the D902. The campsite is located at 2 km on the left.
There's a bus stop at campsite entrance (regular service) + free St-Gervais shuttle during the high season.
Tramway du Mont-Blanc station is 2.5 km away; while the TGV railway station 5.5 km away.
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