This is a lovely, peaceful campsite with lots of trees. Most of the other campers seemed to be English, Dutch, or German. (I did hear one or two people speaking French but you could be forgiven for forgetting what country you were in!) The pools - the main attraction - are small but very clean and well looked-after by a very professional young lifeguard (he said he'd been doing it for 9 years, so not just a summer job). Great for children and beautifully landscaped. Not for serious swimming, but you don't really expect that. Fake grass around the pool so no ants! The staff everywhere on the campsite were polite and friendly. The mobile home was fine but the only negative thing was its location: right next to the campsite's road. We were with a 3-yr old so that is definitely not ideal, and there was nowhere to sit outside and have privacy, as the only place we could put the table and chairs was also next to the road. Other mobile homes had different arrangements, some have decks. We might go back if we could choose the location, otherwise not. It must be possible if you rent from a private owner, but we used Keycamp. I don't know if the other holiday companies let you choose your spot?
We were impressed with the restaurant, and the shop on the campsite has the best fresh bread and croissants, etc, every morning! The location near the village and beach of Racou is perfect for those who don't want the noisy and busy (thinking "tacky") "Blackpool-style" beach holiday that you would get if you stayed in Argeles itself. Next time we'll stay in Racou, it's charming and quiet, The beach's only drawback is the coarseness of the sand, it's like tiny pebbles, but then this is the Cote Vermeille.
As we went without a car, a plus point was the wee "train-bus" (le TAM) which takes you into Argeles: it's free in May! However, at that time of year it only runs four times a day, so you need to plan carefully. There is also the local bus, only 1 euro to go anywhere, even to Perpignan. (Be careful getting it from Collioure or - in the other direction - from Perpignan, as they do not all stop at Valmarie. Always ask!) As for getting there from the UK, as we're in Scotland we flew into Carcassonne (direct from Prestwick) but the only flight is on a Sunday and it is NOT easy to get public transport to Argeles if you miss the direct train. Be aware, also, that the buses do not run on public holidays, possibly not on Sundays either, I can't remember. There are taxis from Argeles train station to Valmarie (too far to walk) but there are not many of them, book ahead if you can. As there were five of us plus baggage we needed 2 cars and paid 20 euros total each way.
Our return flight was too early for us to get back to Carcassonne by public transport, so we left a day earlier than we would have liked, and spent the night in Carcassonne. It may well have worked out cheaper to hire a car but it would have needed to be a big one...
- Also Known As:
- Le Bois De Valmarie Hotel Argeles-Sur-Mer