Sunset on domaine Villemarin, looking out to the vineyards

It is easy enough to miss the little entrance road from the D51. Just a small sign and a road leading off into the vineyards spanning the countryside. Nothing to see except a cluster of trees in the distance signalling the presence of a house. The reception and bar/restaurant is small and tucked away down the side of the entrance. It looks quite quaint.

The pitches, however, are enormous. Easily 40 metres long and able to accommodate another four tents (we have seen this on other sites!). But here, this is all for us. And there are perhaps 25 pitches in total – not many at all. Further back is an extra runoff area for perhaps another 25 (but these do not have electricity and it is a longer walk to the showers.

Speaking of which – these are compact but sufficient. Just two loos per side and a trio of showers. But there is a washing machine and the boulangerie comes down every morning with fresh baguettes. The restaurant will also do you a supper – if there is enough interest.

We decide to stay a couple of days longer as the going rate is not bad at €17 incl. electricity. Roll on Low Season!

Villemarin was just great and very pleasant. The large pitches are great for privacy and there were quite a few older Dutch people – who are normally quite respectful of making noise. This was in stark contrast to the nearby village of Marseillan on the beachfront with its bars, shops and bustle. So this place gets a resounding thumbs up on the ‘thumbmetre’!

What did make for bafflement by yours truly were the sounds of heavy engines at three in the morning. I thought it was a quarry nearby, but Vic soon set this straight reminding me that it is harvest time!

Time to head east

From here we head further east in a bid to reach Port Grimaud with a half-crossed finger behind our back that they will have space. We have been to Camping de la Plage dozens of times and there has never been an issue – but seeing the number of tourists down here means things change up pretty sharpish.

The drive along the coast starts off well along the waterfront between Mèze and Bouzigues. Then we go further inland through the vineyards passing Arles and Aix en Provence and skirting Brignoles towards La Garde Freinet.

This is where we saw the devastation of the recent forest fires that laid waste to over 7000 hectares of forest. It was only halted by brave efforts from the Pompiers battling a Mistral.

Camping de la Plage

Reaching our campsite at Port Grimaud we were surprised that it was absolutely packed on the beachfront side. No room at all except for a solitary pitch next to the rubbish bins… Mmmm. Not very inviting, thank you.

But across the road were enough pitches available so we headed that way. We hadn’t been there yet but it was pretty cool. The pitches were generous and tall eucalyptus trees gave good shade.

The beach is also only a five-minute walk away through a tunnel under the main road. So we pitched the Oztent and set up camp for a week, doing some work, swimming in the mornings and visiting the ‘mini-Venice’ that is Prot Grimaud village.

Our next destination was Toulon and a slightly more aquatic adventure!