Camping Les Chapelains in the news with ACSI Freelife magazine!
A nice recognition for the camping! The ACSI Freelife magazine dated June 2016 publishes in a double page a sympathetic portrait of the VERHOEFF family, for their last season at the head of the campsite.
ACSI Free Life is a Dutch magazine for campers published eight times a year by ACSI. ACSI (Auto Camper Service International) is a tourist information service for visitors to campsites in Europe. ACSI has become one of the European leaders in 50 years and sells 500,000 guides per year in 14 countries.
And here is the english translation :
ACSI FREE LIFE 6-2016
The Camping Owner Tells
Text: Sander COX – Photos: ACSI and Les Chapelains
Don et Monique Verhoeff, owners
Camping: Les Chapelains (Saillans, France)
Number of touring pitches: 40 (80-115 m2)µ
Surface: 1 ha
Season: April 26 to September 15
At home in France
After a long drive on the busy French motorways, it is nice to get a warm welcome. That’s what Don and Monique Verhoeff of camping les Chapelains understood well in the southern France village of Saillans.
“It is an advantage to speak Dutch”, admits Monique. The Dutch couple are the proud owners of this neat campground between Vercors and Provence, on the banks of the Drôme since the beginning of 2010. With her warm smile, Monique gives campers the immediate feeling of being at home. Don says : “Hospitality is essential. We welcome everyone personally and we regularly go around the camping to meet people”.
Monique is proud that their camping is fully booked every year.
“It can really move me that we can welcome so many guests.” You don’t feel like cooking? Then you don’t need to leave the campsite. Almost every night the terrace is filled with Monique’s cuisine.
Would you rather stay on your quiet camping spot ? Then you can pretend you’re at home here and pick up a quick bite at the restaurant’s take away!
There is shadow on the site for a large part of the day. Behind the dike, the forest is even more quiet, and there is more shadow. These sites are for tent campers only.
You won’t miss the swimming pool
Don would make an excellent guide. Like an imperturbable history teacher, he takes you to the local history of the Drôme region. Like the history of Vassieux-en-Vercors for example. The Germans attacked this small village close to Die in 1944 in order to liquidate the local resistance group. Vassieux-en-Vercors is located in the Vercors.
In this vast mountain range, you’ll hardly find any traffic and you can enjoy beautiful views. One of the most beautiful views you have is on top of the more than 1,300 meter high Col de la Bataille. Some campers get so much involved that they seem to belong to the animation team. “We are not into hysterical and organized animation,” emphasizes
Don. “If someone proposes to organize a football tournament the following day, we walk around the camp and bring up several teams together.”
There is no swimming pool on site but you will not miss it at all. Just walk a few hundred meters, and you can cool off in the river Drôme. Sports fans don’t miss a thing at Les Chapelains. In summer, there is always someone in the ‘Tour de France-building’, so you can look together at the European Football Championship or the French cycling spectacle. It is a quick and great way to connect with fellow campers. Want to find the local culture? The center of Saillans is within walking distance. In this picturesque town, you can enjoy the market every Sunday morning.
Former Town Camping
Don and Monique both have had a long passion for camping. After years of being guests at campings in France, the two Francophiles decided in 2005 to pursue their dream. The couple ran for five seasons a mini-camping in Coupiac. Through campers, Don and Monique heard of the town of Saillans selling off its camping. The two were immediately excited. By chance, they met with the Mayor. Would it be possible for the Dutch to buy the municipal camping ? But of course. Don and Monique were not the only one who had an eye on this camping. The municipality received 24 offers. After a detailed presentation at the municipal council, the municipality of Saillans chose the Dutch plan in late 2009.
The real work had not yet begun, speaking of maintenance. Don: “The plumbing dated back from 1964. We spent a few weeks cleaning up all the leaves. There was a very old sewer which almost flooded during the first season.” After three winters of hard work to put the camping in order, it was finally really finished in April 2014.
“There’s always a relaxed and friendly atmosphere for which many guests come back,” as Don describes the Chapelains ambiance. “Moreover, there is something for everyone to do. We let our visitors as much as possible enjoy their privacy. This casual atmosphere is typical for Les Chapelains.” The three children Lotte and Lieke (18) and Gijs (16) happily give a hand to help their parents-managers. They can be busy with the campers children for an activity, or look after the reception, and they can also enjoy their holidays together.
What you learn young, you remember when you get old !
Left to right : Lotte, Gijs, Monique, Lieke and Don Verhoeff (left).
In the evening, the restaurant terrace of Les Chapelains is regularly full (below).