Campsites in the Dordogne: a few of our favorites
If you want to camp in the Dordogne you have a choice of around two hundred campsites, often also of pretty good quality. With so much on offer, we wanted to go and see for ourselves a few of our favorites.
So we compiled a long list of campsites and went there to view them all. This has resulted in these favorites: campsites that we noticed for one reason or another. Admittedly, it is a bit of a mess: there are small and large, simple and very luxurious campsites among them. But what connects them is that we think we could spend a good holiday with a (fairly young) family at all these campsites.
You will find this beautifully situated campsite just south of the Dordogne river, high in the hills, in the middle of sleepy meadows. The owners are very friendly people. The places here are very spacious. A slightly sloping, broadly laid-out area with a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside almost everywhere. Cars are not allowed to stay on the rear part of the campsite, so after unpacking you park them elsewhere on the site. That gives a tidy and peaceful sight where your tent or caravan is. The campsite rents out a number of traditional mobile homes, but they are placed out of sight - so no row of white dangers that disrupt the view. There are two beautiful wooden chalets on the campsite. In clear weather, the sky here is strewn with stars at night, more than we will ever see in the Netherlands. That applies to the Dordogne in general, but certainly at this location high in the hills. The campsite is further characterized by a large open play area. The owner takes care of freshly baked bread in the morning. There is a small bar and you can get some simple food. All in all a beautiful, quiet and distinctly spacious campsite.
This is the westernmost of the campsites that we visited. If you've already visited the major sights of the Dordogne and you don't mind camping a little further away, have a look here. The landscape is a bit wider here, the roads twist less. But the tranquility here is lord and master. Camping Etang de Bazange is part of Sites et Paysages, an organization of relatively good small-scale campsites. Here you will find everything you need for a successful family holiday: natural water, a swimming pool, play equipment and lots of greenery around you. But the most striking is the way in which the campsite makes excellent use of the lake: there are three types of accommodation for rent that are all literally on the water. So you have the two large chalets on the shore, completely separate from the rest of the campsite. And there is the floating "chalet" that you reach via a surging pontoon bridge. And then there is the floating tent, where you can only come with a rowing boat. Everything in excellent condition. Another tip: at the top of the campsite there are places for tents, each with a small and covered wooden terrace with table and chairs. So if you like to sleep in your tent but prefer not to eat in the grass or at a wobbly folding table, then this might be ideal for you.
La Ferme De Villeneuve is well hidden in the hills, about 15 kilometers northwest of Sarlat, on a very small country road. When you arrive you can hardly see the campsite, but once past the main building it immediately becomes clear that the site is nicely laid out on a slope. At the very top is the swimming pool (partly an "infinity edge pool"), with a beautiful view of the Puymartin castle. Spread over the slope is a number of spacious, well-kept and sheltered places on terraces. Here and there are a few traditional rental caravans, but they do not disturb. Halfway up the slope you will find two charming little mini chalets. At the very bottom there are some beautiful and large rental tents, which are in the middle between a safari tent and a teepee. The parents of the owners have a farm a little further away, where you are welcome twice a week for a party with good food and drinks.
In the southwest, about an hour's drive from Sarlat, lies Las Patrasses. You will find here the things you can expect from a campsite like this: a swimming pool; sufficient play opportunities; a bar with a terrace; neat sanitary; and everything in good condition. The main building is a characteristic old farmhouse, with such a characteristic beautiful turret to the side (where two owls are the permanent residents). The very spacious layout is striking. Some of the places here are simply huge. And because the surrounding farmlands are also owned by the campsite, the campsite is not strictly defined on all sides. That gives a very broad impression. On the side of the swimming pool the large lawn blends smoothly into the surroundings and that looks particularly beautiful, spacious and inviting. If you camp on that side or rent one of the mobile homes, you also have the chance to see the deer coming from the surrounding forests in the evening. Furthermore, the campsite offers a number of rental tents of excellent quality, sturdy construction and equipped with the necessary luxury. Some of them are very large and even have one floor: you can sleep up to eight people in such a tent.
You can hardly call this a 'find', because this five-star campsite is set up so professionally that it will quickly catch the eye of many people. But he still belongs in our list because this is one of those campsites where just about everything [...]
We cannot exactly pinpoint it. There is no clear indication of what makes this site stand out. And yet he was constantly on our list. Perhaps it is the outspoken friendliness of the campsite owners, Didier et Nathalie. Maybe it's the warm enthusiasm and pride with which the owner got us on his side. Or maybe it is the immaculately cared for that the campsite exudes; everything is kept so neat that you have to notice it. Anyway, this is on our list and will not be canceled for the time being. The campsite is quite far north, near Terrasson-Lavilledieu just above Montignac. Some will see that as a disadvantage, because many major attractions of the Dordogne are not around the corner. But for others it is an advantage: if you have already seen just about everything in the area and you just want a quiet, well-kept place somewhere in a calm corner, then La Salvinie may be very suitable for you.
If you have driven the short, fairly steep road up the hill, you will find Les Terrasses du Périgord at the very top. The campsite is beautifully laid out on the former vineyard of the father of the current owner. On the terraces for the grapes from back then are now the caravans and tents. The places are not huge but big enough. Most places (not all) are separated by hedges. Try to reserve a spot on the outer edge of the campsite, there you have a beautiful view over the valley. There are also two well-kept rental tents with verandas on that spot. At the bottom of the site, furthest from the reception, are some chalets. That place is well chosen: they do not determine the appearance of the campsite. In the evening you can visit the terrace of the bar which, together with the restaurant, is located in a beautiful old farmhouse. Playground is more than sufficient and is located right next to the swimming pool. All in all a well cared for, inviting campsite that is also nicely close to Sarlat-le-Canéda: by car you are there in three minutes and a moment later you are having coffee in the beautiful old center of the town.
Camping Moulin de David is a gem tucked away in a narrow valley near Monpazier, thirty kilometers south of the river. The campsite has had to adapt to the natural environment: it is a narrow, enormously elongated site with slopes rising on either side. In fact, the campsite follows the course of the Le Soulauret stream. That stream (it is protected: there are fish in it but they are too small to be allowed to fish) gives the campsite that little bit extra character in various places. The owner is a resolute, very friendly man, who clearly does everything to keep his campsite in the best possible condition. The campsite offers various safari tents for rent, some of which are quite robust and luxurious (with, for example, your own bathroom). You will also find two swimming pools, one of which is a beautiful natural swimming pool, which is fed by water from the stream (it is laid, purified and refilled every Saturday so you cannot swim for a while). You can buy the organic vegetables you have grown yourself in the camping shop during part of the season. Or you can enjoy a delicious meal in the beautiful, full-service restaurant (La Table du Moulin) on the campsite.
It is almost impossible to overlook this campsite: situated on the edge of the village of Beynac-et-Cazenac, perhaps one of the most beautiful places in the Dordogne. This means that the campsite is also located in one of the busiest areas of the area. But once past the gate there is little to be noticed: car traffic and day-trippers make way for peace and tidiness and the friendly owners make you feel at home immediately. You will find spacious, marked out places on a beautifully landscaped site. Everything is in perfect order, from the plumbing to the swimming pool, the cozy bar with terrace, to the tightly cut lawns. This is an excellent site in itself, with adequate shelter, yet with an open character and view of the surroundings. But the asset is without a doubt the location: next to the river; near the beautiful Beynac with a few good restaurants; central in the Dordogne (Lascaux at 40 minutes drive, Sarlat at less than 20 minutes); and with beautiful views of the famous medieval Chateau de Beynac .
This is the smallest 4-star campsite in the Dordogne. So if you would like a somewhat more luxurious campsite without too many neighbors, you can take a look here. Because despite the fact that you have a great swimming pool, shop and restaurant, the campsite has no more than 43 pitches, all spaciously laid out. In addition, you have some extra privacy because of the huge, more than man-sized hedges that separate the groups of places from each other. Add to that the owners are extremely friendly and hospitable, and we think you can spend an excellent holiday with young children here.
This campsite is not about the places, even if they are spacious and sheltered. Also not the bar, the restaurant or the swimming pool. The strong point of this campsite is, in our opinion, the beautiful location on the lake. Right next to the terrace the water starts, parents can watch their children from behind a drink. At the lake is a small artificial sandy beach that is attractive for small children to play. Quite new at this campsite are the chalets that you can rent. If you do not want to bring your own tent or caravan, look at this because they are very beautiful, not far from the water.
If you want to see more than just this list, you can view an overview of all the campsites in the Dordogne here.