The Little Carpe Diem - Les Olivettes

Europe France Provence Alpes Cote D’Azur Alpes-De-Haute-Provence

  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Children’s playground
  • Laundry
  • Dogs welcome
  • Good walks nearby
Superb views, personable owners and a de-cluttered closeness to nature that will leave you wanting to ditch the digital world for life

It's easy to see why, in early 2018, Sylvain and Mélanie fell head over heels in love with this little campsite – then called Les Olivettes – and, hearing it was to be sold, snapped it up in a heartbeat. After all, the place is an instant charmer; this staggering mountainside vista, in the heart of Provence, bursts with colour all year, while the individual tent pitches, parcelled up between olive trees and clusters of lavender, call out to any would-be camper.

Though under the helm of these inspirational new owners, Little Carpe Diem Campsite is, in fact, over 50 years old, but Sylvain and Mélanie took up the reins only recently, bringing a new lease of life and a new focus on close-to-nature camping. Even before they arrived, new additions included a solar-heated pool with a meditation area, a stylish barbecue spot and tastefully painted cornflower-blue amenities. While, despite a modern touch, it will still always be a place for traditional camping. Each pitch has been carefully considered and levelled, offering a variety of east- and west-facing pitches, with some olive trees totally shading you from the Provençal sun.

Ecology is important to Sylvain and Mélanie; both the showers and pool are solar-powered and all rubbish can be separated. The only additional lighting comes in the shape of small solar lights, which are only light enough to guide your way through the site at night. They certainly don’t pollute the incredible view of the staggering star-flecked sky – which is said to be the clearest in Europe. If you need more proof, then from July to mid-September scrutinise the night sky further at the astronomical observatory in nearby Puimichel.

Although there is a supermarket in nearby Les Mées in summertime fresh bread and croissants are delivered and potatoes can be collected directly from the farmer. Twice a week baked delights such as Quiche Lorraine and home-made confiture are brought back from the bountiful local markets: at some point you’ll want to experience these treats first hand.

Mélanie’s little office at the entrance is stocked full of suggestions of what to do further afield and Little Carpe Diem is quite perfectly placed. Just a 20-minute drive to the A51 means a great distance can be covered and so a wide range of activities are on offer – from gliding and ballooning in the east to swimming and water sports in the west.



2 excellent amenities blocks with wash-rooms, coin-operated washing machine, 4 solar-powered showers (free), baby-changing, disabled toilet/shower, playground and relaxing swimming pool. Baguettes and croissants must be pre-ordered (available July–August). Information point. You’re in the mountains, so it can be cold at night. Great BBQ area with tables, chairs, and sculptures. No campfires. No Wi-Fi. Provençal bistro opened in July and August from 17.00–19.30.

Suitable For

Tents, campervans, caravans, dogs – yes.


From 1 July to 15 September you can visit the Observatoire de l’Alifant in Puimichel. Ecomusée l’Oliver is the place to go to find out everything about the history of the precious fruit (00 33 4 92 72 66 91). Les Olivettes is great if you love heights. Paragliding school Haut les Mains often does flights around Oraison (00 33 4 92 34 34 00). Some days you might also see a hot air balloon drift your way. Hot Air Balloons Provence (00 33 4 90 05 76 77) are based 35 miles (55 km) away as the balloon flies; €245 long flight, €175 short trip. For kids there’s accrobranche at Jungle Parc in St Pons (00 33 6 86 73 37 57), though parents will have to venture further to Maillemoisson’s Forêt Domaniale (00 33 4 92 35 29 79) for adult-orientated versions. Further north there’s rock-climbing, or for those who like to climb a mountain and jump off it there’s Fusion Paragliding near Gap (00 33 6 80 02 54 39).

Food & Drink

Plenty of restaurants in Les Mées. The best is Le Marmite du Pecheur (00 33 4 92 34 35 56), specialising in seafood and, in case you’re wondering, marmite is the name for the cooking pot. The local baker delivers in July/August, but La Boulangerie de Lurs (00 33 4 92 79 17 68) is worth visiting for the wide variety of specialist regional breads. Le Restaurant Nouer (00 33 4 92 74 98 10) offers a changing menu based on seasonal availability. Further into the mountains, 9 miles (13 km) from the site, in Entrevennes, is Cafe Restaurant Paradiso (00 33 4 92 77 25 92) a very reasonable bistro with an extensive vegetarian menu/seasonal delights. Regional specialities at the markets in Oraison (Tuesday morning) and Gréoux-les-Bains (Thursdays). Provence celebrates different produce every week from end of August until mid October (00 33 4 92 73 02 57).


Late April – Late September.

The Owner Says

In order to ensure you 100% holiday camping and optimal integration into the landscape, we made the choice to have no mobile homes. Camping is on a human scale so nothing is far away, the pitches are spacious for privacy and common places for conviviality.

At the heart of Haute Provence, at the foot of the Luberon and near the Verdon, spend your holidays in the peace among olive trees and in the shade of oaks.

Located in the town of Mées (11km) and near the village of Oraison (4km), ideally placed for the discovery of our beautiful region.

Our small campsite of 35 pitches; 29 " Nature Locations " including one adapted for people with reduced mobility and 6 " Prestige Locations " welcomes you from May 04 to September 30, 2018.

In order to guarantee you a 100% camping holiday and optimal landscape integration, we have chosen to have no rental.


Contact The Little Carpe Diem - Les Olivettes, Les Olivettes, Hameau les Pourcelles, 04190 Les Mées, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France

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Rated ★★★★★ over 5 reviews


1 night turned into 7!

We were en route to Geneva intending to stay for just 1 night. After the first night we just found it hard to leave this magical place. The charm is in its simplicity. The swimming pool was beautiful, the pitches are large and reasonably private, the toilet and shower blocks were spotless. We loved spending days on the site just moving from spot to spot either by the pool, in various areas around the little bar or laying in a hammock reading. On the days we left the site we visited Forcalquier twice (Monday is Market day...vibrant) which was beautiful, Lurs had the most amazing views and we kayaked 18km along the Gorges du Verdon. The beauty of the area is outstanding and even though we dont like going to the same place twice we will definately be returning.
Oct 5, 2018 by Andrea Chamberlain

Lovely, well-run campsite

Sylvian and Melanie, the new owners, were welcoming and helpful and are running a truly wonderful campsite. We camped under olive trees with a spectacular view across the valley. The pitches are surrounded by trees, giving great privacy, but there are also communal areas (such as the bar) to meet other campers. The bar has a range of musical instruments which guests are encouraged to play, leading to a singalong one evening we stayed. There are plenty of clean and well-maintained toilets and showers. This is highly recommended and we hope to return for a longer stay.
Sep 2, 2018 by Martin Brown

Lovely site, great owners.

This is probably the best kept campsite I've ever been to. The facilities are almost hotel standard. And when they say you can rent a fridge, they mean an actual fridge. But that's not the headline, that's reserved for the lovely vibe which comes directly from Sylvain and Mélanie, the owners. Spacious pitches (some shady), several communal areas with a chilled out vibe, a lovely but not overbearing bar area and beautiful surrounding countryside make for a delightful stay. It's a family-centric site, so the pool area is not for couples looking for a peaceful day of sunbathing, but that's a minor point, and not one that affected us. Local attractions include Forcalquier, Valensole, Banon and Sisteron but you could easily not leave the campsite for a week. We'll definitely go back.
Aug 9, 2018 by Lilp1976

Beautiful campsite, friendly new owners

Having just stayed at Les Olivettes for one week (probably soon to be changed to Little Carpe Diem) with our 5 month old son, we felt it was only fair to write a review in praise of Sylvian and Melanie’s beautiful campsite and friendly hosting (new welcoming owners). We camped with a campervan and bell tent and most pitches are of ample size to cover our large footprint. The majority of which had olive and oak tree shade. The site has been craftily designed so that the pitches are not in view of each other and all have easily accessible electrical hook ups. The facilities were modern, of high standard and impeccably clean. There is a pretty pool area, a shaded grassy garden (perfect for relaxing in midday sun), a terrace with BBQ facilities and a small bar selling local beer amongst other drinks and olive oil made from olives harvested from the campsite. The previous owners clearly thought of every little detail to a high standard, but from previous reviews perhaps they may have seen the campsite as their back garden and as such, campers were subject to many rules. Sylvian and Melanie’s approach is very different, with them making every effort to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. We arrived quite tense from a caterpillar filled camping experience in the Ardèche (some kind of local invasion), but after a week at the tranquil and relaxing Les Olivettes, we leave refreshed, calm and happy. We recommend this campsite unreservedly and will definitely be returning in future.
Jun 24, 2018 by Sophie K-L

Beautiful. Clean. Quite

I stayed here with my two children this summer for 7 nights. This site is really well run and perfect for a quite family holiday. Very, very peaceful and relaxing. I found the facilities to be spotlessly clean, conveniently located and the staff very helpful. The shade of the trees is a must in the summer months. The only 'fly in the ointment' for our stay was a recommendation to use Pam Pam cafe in nearby Oraison for free wifi - I did this, purchasing a couple of coffees and soft drinks for the children and found the owner to be unhelpful and assumed I could not understand his insulting conversation with another local customer. I was also short changed on leaving. By contrast, the Tourist Information centre in the same village were welcoming, helpful and offered free internet for 30 minutes without any hostility!
Sep 1, 2016 by Dawn

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