It’s not the sharp menthol smell of eucalyptus leaves that hits you when you turn off D93 on to chemin des Moulins, but the earthy acidity of rows of bountiful grapevines. Husband and wife Philippe and Florence Lamon have wine running through their veins after inheriting the farm from Florence’s father in 1994.The Lamons also belong to a co-operative, Les Vignerons de Grimaud, which produces Les Grimaldines wines. The hard-working Lamon’s enterprise doesn’t stop with grapes. The industrious couple renovated part of the farmhouse at the turn of the millennium and converted it into holiday apartments. But the pièce de résistance of Les Eucalyptus is their site, Camping à la Ferme, which is as close to St- Tropez’s most famous beach as you want to be.
Just a short moped ride away from the farmhouse, the site is beyond the vines and near the working part of the farm, although the grapes are mushed offsite at the co-operative. The occasional sound of a putting tractor is drowned out by the comforting and inviting roar of waves beyond the bamboo plantation backing onto Moorea Plage, part of St-Tropez’s legendary Pampelonne sands. The more discerning camper can sunbathe on the plage privé, with sunloungers reasonably priced for the area, however the public beach is equally delightful. Boutiques selling cool clothes are fringed around the restaurants, which offer bar snacks with a French-Reggae vibe at the end of the beach. Or if you’re into a little more comfort and delicacy, there’s a finer-dining area that wouldn’t look out of place in nearby St-Tropez. Even further, towards Pampelonne’s world-famous Plage de Tahiti, is a larger campsite with its own supermarket. Perfect for stocking up before retreating to the privacy of Camping à la Ferme. But if you crave the glitzy limelight then you could walk to the ultra-exclusive Kon Tiki beach huts and Club 55, famous since Brigitte Bardot’s first sashay and where megastars such as George Clooney have been spotted more recently.
Although you may occasionally spot a yacht on the horizon, the seclusion of Les Eucalyptus is miles from the mass camping holiday sites at Port Grimaud. The grounds host around 30 pitches and you’re more likely to see a vintage Citroën van than a four-by-four parked up alongside the tent. The campsite is well spaced with a well-appointed, though basic, shower block. The Lamons promise to update the facilities soon and have added it to their never-ending to-do list.
Foodwise, a brick-built BBQ is available mid- season, when there is less wind and not so much risk of fire, but if you’re looking for something smarter, inland there is Les Moulins de Ramatuelle, a hotel-restaurant with style, just a seven-minute bicycle ride away. A visit to nearby Ramatuelle, a quaint medieval town in the mountains with a traditional museum and a nocturnal market every Wednesday, is heartily recommended.You can also stop by Les Vignerons de Grimaud to pick up wine made from your local vineyard. And, of course, you’re only a short drive from St-Tropez and Port Grimaud, where if you want to live the life of the rich and famous you can always splash out on a yacht for as little as 2,000 euros a week.
FacilitiesAround 30 pitches with hook-ups, wash-rooms clean but basic, 4 sinks, 2 cold showers, 2 hot showers for €1, 2 women’s toilets, 2 men’s toilets, 2 outdoor urinals, washing machine (€5). Kids have the beach and bike rides. BBQ facilities in peak season. No campfires.
Suitable ForTents, campervans, caravans, dogs, small groups, young families – yes.
Pampelonne beach stretches over several miles, so it’s well worth wandering along. The most famous area is Tahiti, where Brigitte Bardot used to hang around in the 1950s. There are also quite a lot of naturist beaches due to deregulation from St-Tropez. Exceptional views along the St-Tropez Peninsula. The town is only 3 miles (5 km) away, so if you want to rub shoulders with the rich and famous by night then a visit to Le Caves du Roy (00 33 4 94 56 68 00) in Hôtel Byblos is essential, but be sure to get out of those campsite clothes first. If the budget can stretch even further, then Madraco Yachting (00 33 4 94 56 48 00) offers the perfect St-Trop posing- machine. Prices vary according to sail, speed, or motor power, season and, of course, length. Port Grimaud offers cheaper thrills, particularly Azur Park Gassin, with its mini-golf and fairground attractions. For the more adventurous, Pep’s Spirit (00 33 4 94 96 88 04) in nearby Grimaud offers guided tours by mountain bike and facilities for outdoor sports, including anything from kayaking to mountain-climbing. Grimaud’s Musée des Arts et Traditions (00 33 4 94 43 26 98) tells the remarkable story of the town’s restoration, actually making it the richest town in the area in terms of desirable property prices. Musée du Phonograph et de la Musique des Maures (00 33 4 94 96 50 53) is a real treat for sound geeks or really old-school DJs, home to a personal collection of old record players and early Edison recording equipment. A local diving school is just down Kon Tiki Beach on the right (00 33 4 94 79 90 37).
Food & Drink
Les Moulins de Ramatuelle at the nearby hotel of the same name is a good place for Tahiti- style glamour, so go for French cooking such as roast lobster with basil for €38 (00 33 4 94 97 17 22). St-Tropez has plenty to choose from, including Petit Joseph, offering contemporary Asian-style food cooked up by the same kitchen as the swisher Grand Joseph next door (00 33 4 94 97 01 66). The market at Grimaud is on Thursday with a bigger one at Port Grimaud the same day and Sunday. St-Tropez’s famous place des Lices market happens Tuesday and Saturday morning; daily fish market near the old port.
OpenEnd May–mid September.
Contact Les Eucalyptus, Chemin des Moulins, plages de Pampelonne, 83350 Ramatuelle, Bouches-De-Rhône, France
D93 runs down the coast from St-Tropez to Ramateulle. Les Eucalyptus is on chemin des Moulins – follow signs for Moorea Plage.
ReviewsAdd Your Review
Rated ★★★★☆ over 8 reviews
Location Check - very noisy
Our favourite site
Well some very mixed reviews!
We have travelled from London to Les Eucalyptus each June and September for the past 3 years, so I guess you can tell this site gets 5 stars from us.
We love the proximity to the beach, the well maintained (newly refurbished) shower block, the morning mobile bakery and Philippe and Florence who maintain this so beautifully alongside their farm.
And just that. Very simple.
This is, possibly one of the most famous beaches in Europe, with clubs and bars and restaurants for the stupidly wealthy....(it's a beautiful beach in an expensive place)
So to find somewhere so natural and beautiful that you can pitch a tent is quite amazing.
As the other good reviews say, it is maybe different in July and August, though I doubt there is any campsite 3 minutes from the sea in this part of France that could boast space and peace.
Even in June or September, be prepared to fall to sleep to the music of one of the beach clubs on weekends and the possible occasional waking early to farm machinery. That aside, this is a wonderful site.
Pretty close to paradise
This review is well overdue – we stayed there in June 2012 – but after logging onto the website to plan our next camping trip I felt I just had to share how magical this place was! I see that most of the 'negative' reviews were left by people who travelled there in the high season and understandingly complained about the late-night parties, cramped pitches, slightly less middle-class campers etc... Which unfortunately does come hand-in-hand with holidaying on the coast in France from mid-July through to August. This is when most of the French holiday themselves, and rightly or wrongly St Trop becomes somewhat less discerning during those times. This is actually we never holiday in July/August in France, but stick to June -the weather is more than hot enough (30c +) and there's more than enough space for the few of us!
We arrived at Eucalyptus after 5 days on the road, having road tripped from Geneva and camping along the way. St Trop was our last stop before driving back, we stayed there 3 nights and all 4 of us wished we could've stayed at least 5! There was only 3 pitches taken up, by the end there must have been max 5. The showers were cold unless you wanted to pay €0.50, but after baking in the sun all day we were all more than happy not to. There were 2 or 3 toilets that were perfectly clean – I can understand that if the campsite was at full capacity that could easily be an issue – but that's where it pays to know when to travel where.
You could hear the waves at night, and there very high bamboo to add a bit more privacy.The 5min walk through the sandy country path to one of St Trop's most beautiful beach was not long at all, and the view on the Med was priceless -and this is coming from someone who's had a very lucky up-bringing and has been all over the place in top hotels. Obviously one has to bear in mind this is camping – not an all-inclusive luxury resort. But as far as luxury camping goes, this definitely hits the mark!
avoid at high season
Loud all-night parties next door. A bread-man who beeps his car-horn at 7am every morning in the middle of the camp-site. There also appeared to be quite a number of live-in pitches - though these may have simply been longer-term holidays than we had.
As for facilities.. well er.. there really weren't any. dodgy cold showers (hot cost extra), very few toilets, fresh water and a quite nice communal BBQ is all that there was. The staff were scarce, but with so few facilities there wasn't much need of them.
I guess if you like budgie-smugglers and leather-skinned ex-pat's, then St Tropez might be for you.. and you might not care too much about the camp-site. For me however, the whole week was rather painful and I yearned to return to the more idyllic camp-sites that i have come to associate with luxury camping in France.
Whilst I'm only giving this camp-site 2*, i also accept some responsibility for choosing St Tropez. It clearly wasn't right for me on any level!!
A Real Gem!
Having stayed at several campsites on our way down to St. Tropez in June 2013, we arrived at Les Eucalyptus and drove through the private gates into a spacious, beautifully shaded, secure and pretty campsite. Our pitch was superb, with plenty of space around us, plenty of shade from the tall pine trees and the proximity (2 minutes' stroll) to the famous Pampelonne beaches could not be bettered! The shower and toilet block had been newly refurbished, to a very high standard. The fact that there were only 2 mens (+ 2 urinals) and 2 ladies toilets was never a problem at this time of year and no queuing was involved. However, we were informed that more toilets are on the way, to cope with busier times of year. This site is not commercialised, which is a major plus for us (the daily bread van and supermarket 2-3 miles away are more than sufficient, in the way of amenities).
To walk with our dogs every morning and evening along the beach, passing just a handful of people, watching the amazing sunsets and the fishermen idly casting their lines, filled us with a feeling of peace and tranquillity. Alternatively, we would also visit the beach during the day, for a more lively experience and watch the jetset at play! St Tropez, with all its glitter, is a short drive away, giving one the choice of tranquillity or hustle and bustle.
The owners, Florence and Philippe Lamon, are charming and go out of their way to make sure their visitors have a pleasant stay. We will definitely be returning to this site, again and again! Its ambience is unrivalled in our opinion!
We arrived at this site after spending a beautiful week in the Cascade national park. We were looking forward to a week by the beach and were happy to be paying the 34 euros a night for the experience described in the cool camping review. However in pretty much all aspects we were disappointed (please see the review by Jubay). In particular the noise from the beachside bars (which are far too expensive to be enjoyed by a Ferrari less family) and the very noisy campsite next door meant that sleep was a luxury. The beach was incredibly busy apart from first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening with no facilities for the average family (toilets, showers). If you fancy travelling around the area be prepared for long queues, it took us 2 hours to travel 20 miles along the coast. I have given two starts for proximity to the beach and the assumption that in low season this campsite may be a much more pleasant experience.
This was quite an experience! The beach is 5 minutes walk away and deserted in the mornings and evenings for magical swims - I will always remember having the whole beach and sea to ourselves!
The 'jet set' haunt the nearby bars - some flying in by helicopter and fleets of enormous gin palaces moor out at sea.
One joy was driving into St. Tropez early in the morning before the rich world and their families got up. We walked around the quiet town and then ate a croissant and coffee watching the wealthy watching us from their multi story mega boats. A visit to the lovely, cool art gallery on the port side and out as everyone else arrived!
Although we like simple camping this site felt bare and barbaric when it was so hot. The beach would become crowded and there was nowhere to hide. We did meet some lovely people there - you get to know your neighbours well as you live so close to everyone! This site is cramped and shadeless and it's miles to any shops - a bread van visits for a few minutes in the morning. Evenings are noisy as the camp shares it's fence with a very lively site next door.
OK for a one off experience-probably best out of the main season!
The proximity to the sea adds stars for me!
A Grim-old campsite
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