Sabliere is well sign
posted and easy to find following the brochure directions.
The site is situated on
the southern hillside overlooking the river Ceze and has a steep
The site is split into
3 areas basically top middle and bottom. Due to the incline and tree
growth there are a lot of pitches that catch very little sun
particularly those at the bottom as the sun lowers over the top ridge at
1600hrs (Aug) 1530hrs (Sept) it is worth if possible searching out a
pitch and returning to reception to ask for a change if you do not like
the one allocated.
Half way down the site
is the pool complex and bar Eden. This area has the two pools a bar area
serving hot/cold/alcohol drinks and snacks. There are also facilities
for activities the site runs including pottery/photography/archery/ping
pong/etc and the library. There are film shows, in French, and
children’s activities. There are also 3 guided walks and it is possible
to book canoe/horse riding and other activities.
The pools are both very
good, one is heated and capable of being covered, the other is an open
infinity pool and both overlook the valley and opposite hillside.
We tried the restaurant
more than once first time the service was very poor. It was worse the
second time not only was the service bad but the food cold and poorly
presented. So no tip and no repeat custom. On both occasions it was not
confined to us there were a lot of complaints. Clothing was the norm in
the restaurant but not obligatory and nudity commonplace.
By comparison the
‘snack shack’ at Fauvette which served everything with chips
sausage/chicken/burger etc was polite efficient and for what you got
tasty good value meals. Wine/beer and hot drinks were available and
nudity the norm. We happily used Fauvettes when to lazy to cook or go
out for a meal but I would not recommend the restaurant.
Sabliere is well worth a visit provided you get the
right pitch. You can spend as much or as little time on site as you
wish, keep yourself entertained or just laze away in the sun with a beer
or wine and the odd dip in the pool.
J&K say feel free to drop by and chat about Domaine
de la Sabliere on Yahoo id josephgrun
Up date 2012 from Jackie and Steve
Sabliere or more properly domaine de la sabliere,
where ?, ok technically it's in languedoc down in the far
south not far from the mediterranean coast, geographically it's in a
side valley of the river rhone and part of the trip is a drive
alongside the rhone and past some of the renowned vineyards.
Sabliere itself is in a side valley, actually a limestone gorge and
fronts onto the smaller river seze, just to the north is the larger
ardeche in a much larger and deeper gorge.
So the first problem for us pasty brits is that it's a long old trek
from the far north west corner at roscoff...to be exact it's a tad
under 700 miles and that is a long haul, we have become pretty
experienced at driving in france and can usually do arna in a day
but this was definitely a 2 day trip.
The site itself is on a steep slope going from river level to the
valley rim at least 70-80 metres higher and with a river frontage of
around 700m , just downstream is another naturist site (la genese)
which i accidentally found by going for a wade/swim downstream one
day and luckily finding more naturists on the opposite bank. The
river at the end of summer was pretty low but still plenty deep
enough in sections for a decent swim, at the downstream end are some
limestone cliffs with a small underwater cave and with some nice
ledges for jumping off into deep water. There are 'beaches' but
mainly gravel/stones and some kind of shoes are a must.
Whats there ?? ok so the site has camping in three distinct
zones, one high up and 2 down by the river. We were initially
allocated a site at the top which just wouldn't have worked with our
set up and would have made for a steep walk down to the river so we
elected to take the list of pitches free and head down to the river
pitches at the western end of the site.
Down by the river the pitches are earth rather than made up (gravel)
and strongly shaded by mature trees, great for shade in hot sun but
gets dark and cool down there pretty fast. In fact we didn't do
very well for sun and weather at all, after a very hot days driving
and one hot day the weather went first stormy and then windy/cool
with rain showers, bit of a disappointment after watching the
temperature there stay in the 30s for the previous month !.
ok back to what's there...usual wash/shower facilities in the camp,
electricity if you need it, water from stand pipes and fridge
lockers at the shower block. Shop and restaurant about 10
minutes walk away in the next zone, did notice a small (tiny) gym
there as well. The shop seemed to be either not very well stocked
or maybe running it's stock down at end of season equally the snack
bar in our part of the camp closed pretty well as we arrived.
Higher up are a couple of swimming pools...quite small and to be
honest with my wild swimming hat on i much preferred the river
anyway. Right at the top of the site is the entrance, think there
was a wi-fi zone up there as well but never used it.
Sad to say that i didn't enjoy camping there..why ??, well when it
was dry the pitch where we were seemed very dusty and it was
difficult to keep the inside of the tent and our kit free of fine
river silt/dust and when it rained it stayed damp for a long time
due to the pitch being surrounded and overhung by trees.
The river itself is really nice and i quickly got into a daily
pattern of swim and wade down to the eastern end and the deeper
water section at the eastern end of the site. Sabliere did make a
good base for exploring an amazingly interesting corner of france,
as i have mentioned already the ardeche gorge is just to the north
and well worth a visit. As a keen canoeist i should really take a
decent boat down there some time and run the gorge !.
To the south is the gard and the famous roman pont du gard.
The local towns are pretty uninspiring..drove to ales one day,
definitely not worth the effort, medieval uzes is much nicer but
very much 'restaurant city'.
Instead of spending the whole 2 weeks there as planned we gave up
after a week mainly due to continuing cold and windy weather and
headed over the cevennes into the gorge of the tarn instead camping
briefly near the highly popular village of castelbuc--from there we
got into the idea of gradually heading cross country 'river by
river' jumping from the tarn to the lot...from the lot to the
Dordogne.. For our last camp we found a truly great little
campsite right on the banks of the Dordogne which although
definitely textile was for us a much better campsite than Sabliere.
Will we go back ???
Not sure...maybe....maybe not.