We found Les Terrasses du Périgord after making a swift exit from the Limousin, where all the campsites we tried were closed. Although the season officially starts in May, the chillier and wetter climate of the Limousin means you take pot-luck about whether campsite owners feel it’s time to open.
Les Terrasses campsite is 2.5km from Sarlat-le-Canéda on the top of a hill. It overlooks fields and woods and each pitch is shaded with trees and feels nicely private. Arriving on May 24, we had the site more or less to ourselves. We chose pitch number 66, right on the edge of the site with an uninterrupted view of the valley.
The toilet and showers are clean; there are washing-up and washing facilities; a large games room; a large outdoor pool, plus a giant covered jacuzzi (there’s a fee to use the spa pool). Then there’s mini-golf, an outdoor fitness course, children’s play areas and a bar and small bistrot (closed out of season).
We usually look for more basic sites because better facilities attract more campers. At this time of year, though, that’s not a problem. We did wonder how the site would cope at full capacity (around 400 people), though.
A pitch for tent, camping car or caravan for two people was €14.90 a night, plus €3.80 for electricity (2014). The wifi is free and available at a fair distance from the office. Why do any campsites charge for wifi these days?
There’s lots to visit in the area – prehistoric cave paintings galore, bastides, river swimming and canoeing, museums, animal parks and lots of lovely gardens. It does get busy in main season, though.We’d recommend the Gouffre de Proumeyssac for its amazing history and vastness (not to mention the poor worker turning calcifying pots) and the lovely Jardins des Marqueyssac, which go on forever and mix manic topiary with woods and wildness.
And one to avoid – Les Erables (Les Terribles, in fact) in Millau, Massif Central
Despite a riverside setting, this is probably the noisiest campsite we’ve ever stayed on. First there’s the incessant road noise, which you’d probably put up with if you wanted to be within a 15-minute walk of town. Then, though, you have to add in the neighbouring campsite, which was hosting a car-revving rally, and the nightclub pounding that went on until 2am. Finally, we were woken up by a backfiring competition again at 8am.
Free wifi and flat, private pitches are great, but the facilities don’t make up for the noise. Plus, we’re starting to feel resentful about campsites that save a little money by not providing toilet seats and paper! Avoid it unless you just must be near the town.
AN UPDATE: The owners tell us they have a meeting with the council on Tuesday to prevent the nightclub disturbance in future. Fingers crossed for them.