Continuing with our newly discovered clean, calm and cheap camping municipal in France on days 12 and 13 of our family camping road trip from Spain to Poland this post-coronavirus-lockdown summer, we ended up pitching tent at Camping Municipal Epernay near Reims–the champagne country of France. In a word, this campground was BUSY.
Note: In case you’re wondering. . . No, we have not received any form of compensation or freebies or anything at all for reviewing or mentioning this or any others on our blog.
Almost all pitches for both caravaners and camper-tenters were occupied. In fact, when we arrived a sign hung on the gate that read “Complet“. Thank God, Allah and the Big Smiling Buddha, I have a wife who wouldn’t take that and just turn around. As it turns out there were plenty of spaces; an entire section in fact of 20-something pitches.
It was still quite full with hundreds of visitors. However, it looked like most caravans were overnight stayers as most pitches were all cleared in the morning after breakfast.
It was also interesting that there were police patrol checks a few times a day. Maybe it’s related to reinforcing the coronavirus social distancing requirements.
The receptionist spoke English as well as the waitstaff.
TO DO: What’s to see/do nearby? It’s about a 30-minute drive to the bigger city of Reims–the champagne capital of France. The question is why is this place so packed…. so busy? Is it because it is the only camping municipal near the champagne capital or Reims, France? Is it because of its riverside access and canoes/kayaks for rent? We didn’t quite get the answer.
SHADE. There’s plenty of shade from all directions from well-matured shadeful trees.
ACCESS. The entrance to the camp site is slightly tricky to get into because it is right of a rather busy road. It should not be a problem though if you slow down long enough for your GPS or Google Maps directions to catch up.
PITCH. How’s the pitch? It’s a soft pitch with no problem sinking tent pegs. The grassy pitch is 3 times the size of a car with a 3-person tent, tent and a bit more.
Privacy hedges on all 3 sides were useful, especially when a band of 5 family caravaners from the UK surrounded us and turned our little patch of peace into a surreal independent film with gregarious adults and joyous, free-roaming kids everywhere! We woke up to a reading according to the book of someone. . . in Jesus’ name. A bold, blonde and Bible-wielding bunch for the night!
PLAY. There’s only a one-slide playground for toddlers next to the bar/restaurant but there’s plenty enough of playspace with a combined basketball×football court near the entrance and an open field next to the campground.
PRICE. Lower than average at 24.25 euros (including tax) for a family of 4 (2 kids–1 under 5), a car, 3-person tent with electricity during high summer season (July).
FACILITIES. Like in Camping Municipal La Pelouse in Bergerac, France the facilities here are sufficiently basic. But here it’s insufficiently clean. It’s also a downer that we have to bring our own toilet paper.
DINE/DRINKS. There’s a bar/restaurant by the river at the far end of the campground that costs at least 13 euros per meal. We did not try it but the view looks cozy.
What we like about this place…. faucets…
What we don’t like about this camp site? The bathroom situation. There was no toilet paper in a high-traffic bathroom. It looke like there were 4 toilets each for men and women for the entire 65-place camping site. And it was NOT kept well. A signin the bathroom indicated 3 times of cleaning. But I checked 3 times within an hour of the designated cleaning times. . . and nope “ni nada na” (as they say in Andalucia). . . There was not even soap much less anti-coronavirus, disinfectant spray. Coronavirus sanitation guidelines were pro forma, it looked like.
The next time you’re camping or driving through France, like us, check out and enjoy a pocket-and-family-friendly stay at camping municipal. You don’t have to pay extra for showers, like they have you do in Belgium.
Next stop: Champagne country, then Belgium.