100% of recent Hipcampers say the sites felt private.
A quiet rural campsite as refreshing as the homemade lemonade and local wine that's on the menu
It was almost a decade ago that Hipcamp 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.
Castelnau D'auzan Labarrère, Occitanie, FranceTraditional, ancestral territory of various First Nations according to To respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Domaine P.Joined in February 2017
6 Ratings · 15 reviews
August 27, 2022
The perfect campsite and Alistair and Fiona are great hosts. Very highly recommended!
August 10, 2022
Fab place, we loved it. Tent is so well equipped both with kitchen equipment and comfy beds. Lovely friendly campsite, Great pool, excellent meals from Alasdair! Thank you for an excellent stay
August 6, 2022
Idyllic pitch in nature setting
Camping next to vines
Most pitches are level, nicely planted with trees to offer shade. Electric hook ups if required
August 3, 2022
Idyllic pitch in nature setting
What a beautiful setting - nestled amongst vineyards, the pitches are spacious, peaceful and shaded by trees, some having views across the countryside and of the nearby village rooftops. The facilities are recently renovated and immaculate. It is an idyllic place to camp.
The hosts really make the place what it is, paying attention to all the little details. We were welcomed with a glass of locally produced wine (you can order more of it from them by the carafe or bottle) and able to order freshly baked bread and pastries which were delivered each morning from the local boulangerie. We were also lucky to be there on one of the nights that the host was cooking a meal- so enjoyed dining with other campers.
Other highlights included the friendly animal companions- donkeys, chickens and cats; and the secluded swimming pool which you reach by walking through a vineyard.
The village itself as a short walk or cycle, with a pleasant square and a boulangerie, epicerie, bar, couple of restaurants, and a lovely lake and lakeside open air pool and tennis courts.
We could understand why so many campers keep going back, and expect we’ll be back int he future!
June 20, 2022
Idyllic pitch in nature setting
A very warm welcome and lovely site
Fantastic site, brilliant hosts who went above and beyond. Beautiful location. Easy walk to the village and local amenities. Thank you !
August 1, 2021
Tucked away in peaceful surroundings, Le Domaine de Poteau is a very special campsite: small and well cared for. Relaxed and friendly, clearly a favourite with their regulars, and has everything needed for a comfortable stay. Alasdair and Fiona were very welcoming and helpful with their local knowledge. The bell tent was spacious with a very comfortable bed. We stayed 2 nights, so missed the Saturday evening meal offered by Alasdair and Fiona but it sounded popular. Lots to see and visit within easy reach. A great place to stay.
From the host
We’ve been careful to preserve the things that made us fall in love with Domaine Le Poteau. It’s a friendly, relaxing, quiet, and beautiful little site where you can unwind, enjoy the wildlife and forget the hassles of the outside world. The most stressful thing you are likely to encounter is our very disorganised and not very serious boule tournaments. When you do peel yourself off your hammock or lounger, the beautiful Gers region beckons; rich with culture, gastronomy and outdoor activity. A fabulous, friendly, unspoiled region to explore.
Our pitches are large, shaded and carefully spaced to offer privacy. However, we also have get togethers for boules, apero and of course our popular and delicious meals in the orchard. Our new, stylish toilet blocks are kept spotlessly clean.
We also have two gites, located at the far end of the vineyard, far enough away from the campsite to provide solitude but close enough to make participating in the campsite activities an easy walk past the ripening grapes. They are well equipped and have beautiful views over the surrounding countryside and village. Our guests describe them as "magical" "calm" "Idyllic".
We have a seven metre, above-ground pool, nestled in a little hollow below a meadow and above our woodland. It is an unusual but delightful spot for a dip.
The vineyard, which used to produce Domaine Le Poteau’s own wine and Armagnac, still borders our site, where you may see Jean Jacques, the vigneron, checking his crop. We make sure that as much fabulous local produce is available to visitors as possible – from bread and croissants delivered fresh from the village to the wine you can sip in the orchard and the ingredients used in the traditional French meals served in the evenings.
The local village, Castelnau d’Auzan is just an easy stroll from the campsite and gites. It is a really friendly and very welcoming village where you will be able to eat and drink with the locals. We feel that it is really important to support the excellent local businesses which support the life of our community. The other villages that surround us also offer a wide range of markets, festivals, cafes and restaurants.
Alasdair & Fiona Downes
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 and 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.