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When you ever resolve to ship your RV or hire an RV to go to France, you NEED to enroll in the France Ardour program. The inspiration behind Harvest Hosts within the States, France Ardour is one of the simplest ways to see France. Not solely did we camp instantly on among the most lovely properties, however we additionally tasted among the greatest wines and met some actually great individuals.
However earlier than speaking concerning the France Ardour program, I wish to rapidly introduce Harvest Hosts (for those who’re unfamiliar).
Harvest Hosts is a program within the US the place you possibly can pay an annual charge (final I checked round $100/12 months) and get entry to over 4,000 farms, wineries, breweries, and golf programs throughout the nation. Whereas have been full-time RVing within the US, this was considered one of our favourite methods to journey.
So after we booked our one-way RV rental from Paris to Barcelona, I knew that I wanted to enroll in the France equal of Harvest Hosts referred to as France Ardour.
Tenting at a Champagne Maison (Champagne Home)
What’s the France Ardour Program?
France Ardour was began over 30 years in the past. It was truly the unique inspiration for the Harvest Hosts program within the US. The founders of Harvest Hosts liked their France expertise a lot, they determined to convey it again to the US.
Because it stands at present, the France Ardour has over 2,000 websites protecting nearly all of France. Websites embrace stopovers like wineries, farms, and vineyards.
To get a greater glimpse of what France Ardour stopovers are like, watch our video:
How Does France Ardour Work?
You should be a member to make use of France Ardour. I’ll cowl signing up in a second.
As soon as signed up, browse their e-book or their app for nice locations to remain alongside your tenting route. With over 2,000 places, you’re all the time certain to search out one close to you. Be sure you take a look at the itemizing particulars to see in case your motorhome can match, if youngsters/pets are welcome, and in the event that they require calling earlier than arrival.
While you present up at your chosen campsite, join with the house owners to know the place to park. We all the time had a grassy space to ourselves. After getting parked, it’s customary to patron the enterprise. This implies shopping for a wine tasting, bottles of wine, produce, or meals. We felt that this was an effective way to get actually native meals and loved shopping for wine, olive oil, and different native treats from every place.
Be respectful throughout your keep by cleansing up outdoors your RV and never dumping any of your refuse or tanks. While you go away—there could also be most popular “go away by” hours—take a second to go away a evaluation within the France Ardour app. It’s also possible to go away a evaluation on Google. Selecting to remain at France Ardour websites means you’re supporting native household companies and each evaluation counts!
How do I be a part of France Ardour Program
The France Ardour program is fairly old skool. To enroll, you must order a bodily e-book. I used to be barely confused at first on whether or not or not I’d additionally want to enroll and pay for an app individually, however you don’t. In essence, you simply go to their web site to buy a e-book and then you definately’re enrolled.
The price to enroll is at the moment at $33 (consists of the bodily e-book, your membership card, and app entry).
Utilizing the France Ardour App
When you’ve bought your e-book, you’ll obtain login entry for the France Ardour app.
The app is pretty user-friendly. Most significantly, the protection as we have been driving throughout France was phenomenal. By protection, I imply how usually we might discover host websites alongside our route. You’ll be able to search within the app for websites close by or near your subsequent vacation spot.
Nearly all of the Ardour websites we stayed at had 10 or extra evaluations within the app. The evaluations will break down each the general expertise on the host website in addition to how pleasant it was for an RV (or van) to drive to. Additionally, there’s a built-in translation function for the evaluations so you possibly can learn them in your native language.
One merchandise I want the app would have included is user-generated pictures. There aren’t any pictures of motorhomes or vans parked on the places, which might have been very nice. If anybody from France Ardour reads this, ajouter des pictures générées par l’utilisateur! ⬅️ In English: Add user-generated pictures, SVP!
Our Expertise Staying at France Ardour Websites
I communicate zero French. Truly, that’s not true. I can say “je ne parle pas Français” (I don’t communicate French). With my huge information of the French language, I used to be slightly involved about coordinating with hosts.
I imagined calling French hosts and making an attempt to clarify in English that we’d like to return and keep of their winery. They might most likely begin asking me about our motorhome size however then I’d get confused and assume they have been inviting me to a chocolate tasting.
Fortunately, that didn’t occur. (Or unluckily, relying on the way you take a look at it. 🍫)
First, nearly all of the hosts spoke English. Second, for those who didn’t, I used to be capable of bust out Google Translate (my greatest good friend when touring overseas) and we managed to get sufficient phrases like “tenting automotive” into the combination or “France Ardour”. Inevitably, as soon as they heard France Ardour they gave an enthusiastic sure.
How we used the France Ardour app
Our typical course of for utilizing France Ardour was first to search for stops alongside or close to our vacation spot. We steered in direction of wineries as a result of we have been in France and why not? Nevertheless, there have been a whole lot of lovely farm places listed as nicely.
I want to go along with the lots in the case of selecting a spot to camp—aka the place with probably the most evaluations and most optimistic experiences. I’d then click on on these host listings within the app and study extra concerning the property. There’s a direct name button within the app the place you possibly can attain out to the hosts. Nevertheless, a number of of the host places say there isn’t a have to name earlier than arriving. We did name forward for many of them simply to ensure it was okay to remain in a single day.
The one time we simply confirmed up as an alternative of calling it was completely tremendous. Most of the hosts we visited most popular visitors to reach round 5 o’clock. We by no means had an issue with a bunch turning us away or the location being too overcrowded.
Why France Ardour Websites Have been Our Favourite Stopovers
Throughout our monthlong street journey within the RV, we stayed at business campgrounds, free campsites, and a whole lot of Ardour websites. Of all of the locations we stayed, France Ardour stops have been our favourite.
There are a couple of the reason why:
1. The individuals.
Our first France Ardour stopover the place the house owners sat subsequent to us and informed us about their wines and expertise making champagne.
Most of the winery house owners and hosts are legacy farmers. Their nice, nice, nice grandparents planted the preliminary vines on a property and generations later they’re taking the reins. I liked listening to concerning the legacy of those households and the way they’re nonetheless rising and enhancing so a few years later. Certainly one of my favourite components of experiencing a brand new place is interacting with the individuals. France Ardour is an effective way to satisfy actual locals.
2. The Views
Every of the France Ardour stops we stayed at had unbelievable views and ambiance. In some locations, just like the one above, we had a complete winery and orchard all to ourselves.
3. The wine.
Let’s be clear. This was a major driver. We have been in France, in spite of everything. The wine was superb. Having the ability to park our motorhome after which stroll inside and decide up a pair (scrumptious) bottles of wine was pleasant.
Typically while you keep at wineries within the States, the wine is okay. You maybe purchase some only for the free in a single day tenting. However in France, each bottle we purchased was unbelievable. The champagne actually took the cake although.
Is France Ardour price it?
YES! I’d completely suggest signing up for France Ardour. It’s cheap and also you’ll undoubtedly meet some great individuals and style some scrumptious wine. Oh and as a bonus, it’s a straightforward approach to save cash on tenting charges. 🙂