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Camping le Port de Limeuil, Dordogne
Camping Sites in France in general
Member Name: josarah
Camping Sites in France in general
Advantages: Good Facilities, Beautiful Setting
Disadvantages: Pebbly beach
Camping le Port de Limeuil is situated at the confluence of the Dordogne and Vézère rivers in the Dordogne region of France. The campsite sits on the borders of the Dordogne River, with a pebbly beach running the length of the site. The campsite has a number of facilities including a bar, shop and takeaway, a children's play area, pétanque playing area, bicycle hire, canoe hire and swimming pools.
Anyway, that's getting a bit ahead of myself; firstly I'm sure you want to know a bit more about the area and surroundings. Limeuil is situated near to the town of Le Bugue and is within striking distance of all the major sights along the Dordogne River (Beynac, Castlenaud, Sarlat, Domme etc). It is also only an hour east of Bergerac and its quality vineyards.
The campsite is over the river from the village of Limeuil, one of the most beautiful villages in the region. However while most of the villages in this region of France have this accolade, this one really is quite attractive and interesting. The village itself was a medieval fortress but became an important canal port for transporting things between the Dordogne and Vézère Rivers and their respective valleys. You can find all this stuff out by taking a leisurely stroll through the village and looking at various plaques that adorn houses along the lanes, giving little snippets of information about the villages' history.
The village of Limeuil also houses a number of craftsmen including a glassblower and blacksmith, in addition to a sculptor and potter a bit out of town.
So, there's plenty to do once you get there, but what should you expect from the site itself?
On arrival at the site you will be required to go to reception. If you have pre-booked (I would recommend that you do) you will need to have the confirmation with you. The reception is open from 8am -12:30 then from 1:30 to 8pm and has a couple of handily places waiting areas for you to pop your car. When you check in you will be given a selection of 'emplacement's' to choose from, depending on what you have specified. We go with a tent so often have a larger selection as we don't have any requirements such as electricity or large pitch. Once you have selected your pitch you will be taken to it by one of the owners on a golf cart or bike. I guess this makes sure that they know where you are going to be and gives them the opportunity to check the rest of the site out.
On the way to your pitch you will go past the Shop, Bar and Takeaway. The shop has the same opening hours as the reception although remains open over lunch. You will need to come to the shop every morning to buy your bread and croissants, which are delivered from a local bakery…yummy. The prices are reasonable too, not over inflated like you would expect at a small campsite shop. The shop also sells general groceries and drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic). It also has a small inflatable toy and jelly shoe section which is a must visit for all (more about this later)
Next to the Shop is the Bar area, an important place for some campers but not really that important for us. The bar sells ice creams, coffee, beer etc. It has a TV in it (although it may not always be on) and seems to be quite a friendly place. When camping we don't really spend time up at the bar as it's often nicer to sit back and relax with a glass or two (or 6) of wine and chat the evening away. The prices are fairly reasonable however and the bar is a really handy facility if it's an extremely hot evening and you just need a cold beer (or 2).
The bar has a takeaway attached to it which sells burgers and chips, pizzas and salads for those that want it. We tend to use the takeaway for emergency food (if it's raining for example and you can't keep the barbeque dry) or to satisfy the cravings for crêpes after tea. Running along the back of the bar is a games area which has foosball and air hockey. There is also a pool table in the bar. These areas do tend to attract the younger folk that are at the campsite and may not therefore be places you want to spend that much time. Across from the bar, shop and reception you will find a children's play area, with ropes and wooden structures and a slide, and also a pétanque area, which is large enough for a couple of games to take place at the same time. There are regular activities at the bar in the evening but I can't comment on these as I am not really an organised activity kind of gal.
******HOME SWEET HOME******
So, you drive past this hive activity and make your way to your pitch, what you should expect to find. Well there are around 100 pitches on this campsite (officially) which all have access to electricity. If you don't want or need access to electricity then you will more than likely end up in a pitch on the field nearest the river, or indeed right on the river bank. The picture below illustrates the campsite layout quite well. Most pitches have adequate shade during the day and sunlight either in morning or afternoon. They are flat pitches and can vary in size, in fact one of the pitches in absolutely huge (although next to the toilet block!). Some of the pitches have hedges between them for added separation but you'll find that not all do. Each pitch is near a water tap so you won't have that far to go when you need to fill the kettle. People are asked not to wash up at the taps however but use the sinks provided at the sanitation block.
Barbeques are accepted on this site and you can also take pets (although not to barbeque!). There are many trees available to string your washing line to as well although it should be hung discreetly. You should remember that you will need to park your car on your pitch as well as have your living areas, although I would imagine all pitches are large enough for this. The campsite does have some chalet type accommodation which is available to hire, and they also have some Eurocamp accommodation. The chalets are away from the main camping areas and the Eurocamp tents are just like normal tents but green and red, so aren't that obvious.
******WASTE DISPOSAL AND CLEANING FACILITIES******
You will surely by now be needing to freshen up and want to now about the sanitation blocks. There are 2 toilet/shower/washing blocks on the campsite and there is rarely a queue for any of the facilities. The toilets are kept clean and have a ready supply of loo roll so you don't need to take any with you, alerting other campers to the nature of your call! The shower pressure isn't great but again there are plenty of showers and if you go at some random time (mid morning or around tea time) you should find the showers empty. There are also wash hand basins separate from the showers, which is handy as at night you can just go and brush your teeth without having to wait for a free shower. Washing up sinks are available in the blocks with a ready supply of hot water (provide your own bubbles!) although I believe there are no plugs for the sinks, my advice would be to take your own washing up bowl.
******FANCY A DIP?******
So, you've freshened up and got your pitch sorted, now would be a good time to go for a swim. The swimming pool is near the bar and is actually 3 separate pools; 1 for babies which is about 6 inches deep, one for children (about 1m with a small slide) and 1 for adults (1.20m I think). The pools are obviously busy at peak times but you should be able to find a space to have a little cool down. Cooling down being the operative word here, the pools are not exactly the warmest in the world although in the heat of the summer you'll be fine once you get in. There are always plenty of kids running round the pool area with their parents lying in the sun alongside on the handily placed sunloungers. It can get a bit annoying in the busy periods but you can always go and have a dip in the river.
The river is the other end of the campsite to the pool area and you can access it from a number of areas on the front field. You will need some sort of water shoe to enjoy the river and this is where the jelly shoes section comes in at the shop. I wear my jellies every time I go into the river as some of the pebbles can be a bit sharp. The river is quite fast flowing and you will need to be careful that small children don't get carried away by the current. Most people seem to spend their time walking up the beach and floating back down on some sort of inflatable creature (alligators were very popular this year!). That said I actually prefer the river to the pool as it is more refreshing. Also if you didn't request electricity it is likely to be right on your doorstep!
The campsite runs canoe trips which are really enjoyable and cost around £10 per person. You are taken up river, dropped off with all the canoe stuff and left to make your way back to the campsite in your own time. A really enjoyable way to spend the morning or afternoon. These trips are not too strenuous and take about 2 ½ hours to complete.
The campsite is open between 1st May and 30th September and a basic pitch costs between 14 and 20 euros per night depending on the time of year you visit. If you want electricity and stuff there is a surcharge to pay.
When we went in July there were a lot of Dutch holiday makers although I imagine that more British families tend to go in the school summer holidays. There is a fete in the village for the week of 14th July which includes annoying fair noises (I think it was the bumper cars) so you may want to avoid that week.
A really lovely campsite that is quiet and restful most of the time, giving you the option of being active while at the same time allowing you to be totally inactive. Clean toilet blocks with plenty of showers available. A choice of water activities in the pool or down in the river. Check out www.leportdelimeuil.com
Although it is only a 3* campsite le Port de Limeuil gets a resounding 5* from me.
One last thing though, please don't all book up for next year until my reservation has been confirmed!!
Summary: A really lovely campsite that is quiet and restful most of the time, clean and pretty