- Sleeps 6 (max 6 adults, 5 children)
The Owner Says
It was almost a decade ago that Cool Camping first pulled into the gravel drive leading to Le Poteau Campsite. Situated on the edge of the sleepy village of Castelnau d’Auzan, this charming spot lies in the heart of Gers’ bountiful wine- and Armagnac-producing départment. Hidden among the corrugated corduroy of vineyards, the campsite’s immediate appeal made it a shoo-in for our very first guidebook to France. It also made it a firm favourite with Scottish couple Alasdair and Fiona Downes, who visited the site in 2015 and promptly decided there was nowhere else they’d rather be. Today they’ve packed up the tent and live in the small house across the driveway, tending to all the new arrivals in what is now their garden.
The campsite itself, though kept to a manageable 20 or so pitches, sprawls out to offer ample space. There’s an assortment of shrubbery, small trees and bushes to obscure your tent from your neighbours, whilst across the driveway, a covered dining area and a cute terrace bar are there to be sociable in. Alasdair was a chef in his former years and cooks up a mean four-course meal a couple of days a week, enjoyed in the shaded setting of the orchard. Glance at a menu board on other days of the week, and you can pre-order some of his traditional French food to take away instead.
The church spire of pretty Castelnau d’Auzan peeps above the surroundings. The village is a short walk away and has its own little tourist office and a few bar-restaurants. You get a real taste for agricultural France as you pass tractors chugging along roads lined with tall trees that have grown from either side of the road and entwined together above you. There are as many of these tree tunnels as there are vineyards around these parts and they seem to echo the rustic, picture-perfect atmosphere of the settlements. Montreal-du-Gers, Fources and Larressingle are all designated plus beaux villages and can be easily reached by bike. Or you can simply stay put in the garden-like setting of this plus beaux campsite. Long may its years of secluded success continue.
About Domaine Le Poteau
Tents, campervans, caravans, dogs – yes. Large groups – outside of peak season only.
Alasdair is a keen cyclist and has the lycra to prove it. The quiet routes and wide range of options is one of the things that attracted him to Le Poteau and he is very happy to give tips and advice on where to go. From meandering rambles through country lanes to lung-busting challenges, there's plenty of choice. He and Fiona also have decent knowledge of the local walking routes – just ask. Montreal-du-Gers (9km), Fources (12km) and Larressingle (18km) are all Plus Beaux Villages and essential visits – the photo opportunities are unmissable! In Castelnau D’Auzan (5–10 mins walk) there is a large outdoor pool (larger than the above-ground one on the campsite), tennis courts and a park. You can also try wild swimming in Lac d’Aignan or Lac de Lupiac (each around 30 minute's away).
Food & Drink
Evening table d’hôte meals are served in the orchard around 2 times a week – Alasdair used to be a chef and whips up some fine fodder – and take-away French food is also often on offer. Local wines are served with dinner. They also make their own zingy lemonade, which is excellent. Fresh bread and croissants can be ordered in the evening for the next morning. In the village (walking distance) there are several small restaurants and an epicerie. The nearest traditional market is in Eauze (10km) every Thursday.
Domaine Le Poteau is located at Domaine le Poteau, 32440 Castelnau d’Auzan, Gers, France
This is a very rural location and the nearest train stations – Auch, Agen and Mont de Marsan – are all around an hours drive away. The nearest airports are Bordeaux (1½ hour's drive) and Toulouse (1¾ hours).