Ramatuelle The Best Motorhome Aire in France

Ramatuelle The Best Motorhome Aire in France

In our opinion, Ramatuelle is just the best motorhome Aire in France. But, it’s not all about the location, which is on the superb St.Tropez peninsula. Ultimately, this is one of the most exclusive parts of France and a firm favourite for so many reasons.

Although, perhaps, it’s not all about the Aire, but something much deeper. So, let’s share our reasons for loving Ramatuelle so much, especially as it’s so much more than a parking space!

Sometimes when you’re new to something, the rewards are so much more enlightening. Maybe, this is why we love Ramatuelle so much, because it’s such an iconic moment in our early motorhome years.

Driving beside the immaculate vineyards surrounding St.Tropez is simply idyllic. Beside these lush green landscapes are an intoxicating mix of exclusive estate’s. Incredible mansions and top-end villa’s hide behind Cypress trees and electric gates.

Quite possibly, it’s the least likely place to find an Aire.

If I’m honest, I don’t really know how we first came across the Aire at Ramatuelle. Although, I remember as soon as we drove in, we knew we were going to stay here the night.

Wow! We’d never seen anything like it before. This vast, rustic, sandy area was full of motorhomes, almost resembling some sort of motorhome commune. Not only that, but best of all, it hasn’t changed at bit. With our last stay in September 2022 being as exciting as the first.

Surrounding the perimeter, Bamboo as high as a house give’s shelter from the hot winds and endless motorhomes park up. Not only is it crazily basic, but there’s a feeling of just wanting to be part of this community spirit.

Even more rustic, are sections of Bamboo enclaves in private little bays. Inside, more motorhomes can shelter, hidden away from the masses.

There’s room for 130 motorhomes here, enjoying Summer in the Mediterranean. During that very first trip, about 15 years ago we soon found out why it’s so popular.

Yes, just a stone’s throw from the Bamboo and nomadic community of motorhome’s is possibly the most iconic beach in the South of France.

St Tropez

Incredibly, that beach just happens to be Pampelonne. Not only is it home to the jet-set, since the heyday’s of Holywood in the 1950’s, but also where St.Tropez resident and iconic star, Bridget Bardot filmed the movie “And God Created Woman”.

The stretch of silver sands of Pampelonne covers several kilometres and it’s where the rich, famous and everyone in-between lay down their beach towels. Not only are some of the hottest beach bars in Europe here, but also some of the biggest stars.

Ramatuelle The Best Motorhome Aire in France

Walking from the Aire is a path, along wooden boardwalks. With the sand beneath your feet, there’s a feeling of California dreaming rather than French Mediterranean. Everywhere is low-lying, so you can’t see the rows of exclusive beach clubs beyond the bamboo and reeds of the shallow dunes.

This natural environment is protected, so there’s plenty of greenery to contrast against the bright blue of the sea. Then, in-between the natural beach shrubbery and the sea are swathes of fine sand. There’s almost a natural privacy screen thanks to nature, which is possibly another reason the Hollywood elite come here each Summer.

Once you step foot onto the sands, the whole of Pamelonne Beach comes into view. Stretching for miles, between the headland’s of St.Tropez and Cap Camarat. Undeniably, Pampelonne is beautiful.

Looking out to sea, various super yachts float on their moorings. Those on board come ashore in smaller craft, before dining and lounging in one of the fine beach clubs along the sands.

Celebrity watching is easier said than done, as large sun hats and designer shades protect the identity of those relaxing on deep-cushioned sun loungers.

Amongst those who’ve been here are Elton John, Bono, Joan Collins and Paris Hilton, but our own encounter came when Nigel spotted Jack Nicholson! Now that’s about as good as it gets – pardon the pun!

The bamboo on the Aire was a bit out of control at one time, but it’s been trimmed back now.

At the entrance there’s a white painted hut where the ladies who stand on duty watch every little movement of those coming and going. Without doubt, there are no tricks missed under their watchful eye!

Other than visitors in swimwear and flip flops, another regular to the Aire are a family of Wild Boar. Incredibly, last year as we were sipping a nice glass of Vin Blanc, along came the biggest Boar imaginable complete with two baby boars, just strutting their stuff along the rows of Motorhomes as if completely the norm.

Just outside the entrance to the Aire is a bus stop, providing Summer shuttle services to Ramatuelle hilltop village and some other beaches close by. You can also change bus a little further up the road and catch another bus direct into St.Tropez, about a 10 minute ride away.

St.Tropez is such an incredibly intoxicating place to visit and from the very first moment we walked its exclusive harbour front, we knew we’d be back.

Although St.Tropez is glitzy, it’s not overbearing or uncomfortable, to be honest it’s quite the opposite. Somehow, despite all the multi-millon dollar yachts, famous faces and glamorous stores, there’s another side to this beautiful old town that’s really down to Earth.

From its gentle, pastel coloured buildings to narrow alleyways and harbour-side eateries, it’s typically French yet undeniably warm in a homely kind of way.

Above all, in the height of Summer, St.Tropez is the place to be and be seen, but just being amongst the buzz is enough to keep us coming back for more.

Now motorhome travel has many benefits, but one of the big ones is just how low-cost it is once you’ve made the initial investment.

Where else can you stay on the incredible Côte d’Azur for under 20 Euro a night? Well, the Aire at Ramatuelle, maybe about 17 Euro a night in Summer, but off season, it’s just 10 Euro.

At the entrance, when the staff are on duty, the barrier will be down and they’ll take payment and let you in. Otherwise, the barrier is open, you just find your parking spot and pay once the entrance hut is open again.

Make no mistake, the staff have eyes at the back of their heads. So, they’ll soon come knocking with their notebook and list of unpaid motorhomes. Probably, I describe them as slightly sharp, but don’t take offence, they are like that with everyone!

Now with all things rustic, don’t expect tarmac parking, neatly mowed lawns or flower beds. If you do, you’ll be disappointed!

No, this Aire is exactly how we like them, complete with dust, a couple of basic toilets, cold shower and busy dump area.

All these are only open for use during set hours of the day, but it sort of adds to the quirky feel of this place.

What lacks in luxury on the Aire itself is made up for in the surroundings. Step beyond the entrance and follow the road beyond a mini roundabout and you’ll come to the coastal path. Here you can walk the rugged cliff tops, along a couple of gorgeous little bays and even the odd swim opportunity further along the route.

Eventually, the path leads to a light house before before joining a road. Then, you emerge to vineyards and fine views across Pamelonne to St.Tropez.

By night, you can stroll the sands in a romantic moonlit walk, watching the sea lap upon the shore – it’s simply magical.

Last but not least, at the end of the day it’s an Aire, so you’re sort of crammed in a bit. But, there are some marked bays to give some way of knowing where a space is.

Finally, last year we were told the Aire was due to undergo refurbishment. Over the last few years, the rest of Pampelonne has been re-developed with improvements to car parks, footpaths and signage.

There were rumours that the Aire was going to go altogether, but we really hope that’s not true. After all, the Aire at Ramatuelle is one of the last remaining on the Cote d’Azur. Bearing in mind, there were 5 around St.Tropez when we first began, so loosing this would be such a shame.

So, if you want to experience a stay on a traditional French Aire, now maybe the time. In case it’s soon too late. Who knows what the future holds, but hopefully, we’ll be returning very soon to this unique and well-loved location. Perhaps, we’ll see you there too!

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