The Ultimate Guide on Where to Go Camping in France 2024 | EUROtoday

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If you get pleasure from a tenting vacation, France is difficult to beat for richness and variety: from the mountains to the coast, via shaded forests and luxurious inexperienced valleys, it offers the whole lot lovers of the good open air may want for ‘en vacances’.

For these looking for a calming break that embraces recent air and open areas, there are campsites galore to contemplate. And if you’re travelling with children, the alternatives are infinite, each by way of location and lodging sort.

Looking for a bit tradition, historical past or theme park enjoyable? Why not give your self one of the best of each worlds: get pleasure from the advantages of rural France on a campsite near a city of your selection, then use your cell residence or tent as a base from which to discover?

But the place to go? For inspiration, we current our collection of must-see vacation hotspots in six of the French areas with probably the most campsites. It’s inconceivable to resolve which locations in every of those areas are ‘the best’ all we purpose to do right here is current meals for thought for all of the household and want you bonnes vacances!


As France’s largest area and boasting numerous paysages each coastal and mountainous, in addition to beautiful cities and villages, a great deal of family-friendly choices and an excellent array of gastronomic and wine delights, Nouvelle-Aquitaine is a camper’s paradise.

Bordeaux, capital of the Gironde division and France’s sixth largest metropolis, is a strikingly elegant city delight. It is residence to the emblematic Cité du Vin (housed in a shocking constructing designed by Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières), which can educate you the whole lot it’s worthwhile to find out about wine historical past and winemaking, earlier than you head out to notable vigneron hotbeds comparable to Saint-Émilion. Make probably the most of your time within the metropolis with a quayside bike journey en famille earlier than looking down one of many metropolis’s famed candy treats, the canelé. Tick off must-see architectural wonders such because the grand Palais de la Bourse, the attractive, photo-friendly Miroir d’Eau (water mirror) and Porte Cailhau, a 35m tall landmark built-in into the town partitions.

Bordeaux’ mesmerising Miroir d’Eau © shutterstock

The Bay of Arcachon

A fantastic day journey from Bordeaux on the Atlantic seaboard – is a positive compendium of seashores and ocean views, sand dunes, typical structure, fairly ports and oyster beds. For a spot of sightseeing or an incredible seafood meal, make a beeline for Cap Ferret (mount the 258 steps of this iconic Bay landmark in the event you dare) and the city of Arcachon, whereas probably the most intrepid will wish to stomp up La Dune du Pilat, the well-known 110m excessive sand mountain, for an eye-popping panoramic view don’t neglect your digicam!

Keeping it coastal, there’s no seaside resort fairly like Biarritz within the coronary heart of the Basque Country, which presents contrasting double attraction: the olde-worlde tourism appeal of its refined inns (none extra so than the super-elegant Hôtel du Palais Biarritz constructed for Empress Eugénie) and the flocks of newbie and professional surfers eager to journey the crashing waves earlier than having fun with the bustling bar scene or dabbling on the Lucien Barrière Group on line casino. It additionally offers loads of rest choices due to a raft of thalassotherapy and spa centres and several other respected golf programs.

Pau is a captivating, characterful place to go to within the Pyrénées-Atlantiques division, a prefecture (administrative capital) that mixes positive panoramic views of the Pyrenees mountains and no finish of historic and architectural intrigue. Dive into the previous with a tour of Château de Pau, the birthplace of Henri IV in 1553, that sits proper within the coronary heart of the town of observe are the royal tapestries, pretty gardens, tower and well-known dungeon. Elsewhere, seize a espresso on a terrasse alongside Boulevard des Pyrénées to admire the aforementioned ice-capped mountains and make a journey on the town’s cute funiculaire – there’s a visit each three minutes and it’ll take you right down to (or up from) the principle practice station.

Climb the enduring Dune du Pilat © shutterstock

Vallée de la Dordogne

Snaking via lush countryside, the Dordogne river is one among France’s most interesting for these on the vacationer path, lined as it’s with perched villages, excellent water-based actions for all of the household (from leisurely boat excursions and kayaking to fishing, swimming and a lot extra), in addition to among the most spectacular villages in the entire nation.

Don’t miss La Roque-Gageac, a riverside ‘troglodyte village’ within the Périgord Noir nook of Dordogne, simply 12km from fairly Sarlat. Strolling via the village seemingly frozen within the Middle Ages, search out the 14th-century Romanesque church earlier than sampling and shopping for scrumptious native merchandise on the farmers’ market held on the foot of the village each Friday morning from May to September. And for a very memorable view of the village, head for the water on a gabarre boat tour.

Plus Beaux Villages lovers may even wish to cease by Collonges-la-Rouge, the reddish-brick magnificence the place the affiliation of France’s most beautiful villages all started, whereas children will love Le Gouffre de Padirac, a magical realm of caves.

Limoges is an usually unheralded metropolis vacation spot, and an excellent day journey for campers within the area. The practice station, constructed between 1924 and 1929, is amongst France’s most beguiling, whereas its positive porcelain heritage offers the prospect each to study and store in type because the vacationer board says, “the arts of fire deeply mark the identity of the city”. Start by snapping the monumental fountain adorning the attractive mairie (city corridor) earlier than taking within the Musée nationwide Adrien-Dubouché, which is devoted to Limoges porcelain and the historical past of ceramics. The metropolis can be blessed with many pretty inexperienced areas and concrete gardens during which to chill out with a picnic and benefit from the wildlife.

What’s so interesting concerning the Marais Poitevin (which is positioned throughout sections of Vendée, Deux-Sèvres and Charente-Maritime within the historic Poitou province) is that the entire household will love exploring this expanse of navigable marshland with its community of canals framed by lush vegetation. Take your choose of transport modes, all of them leisurely: by foot, horseback (or donkey journey!), by bike or go-slow boats. Known domestically as ‘Green Venice’, it provides an actual back-in-time, gradual tourism expertise.

Sailing on the Dordogne river at La Roque-Gageac © shutterstock

From its idyllic restaurant and bar-lined bustling harbour facet, whose entrance is neatly framed by two imposing towers, La Rochelle is an ideal day-out vacation spot for anybody tenting close by. After a photograph alternative on the emblematic Grosse Horloge clock tower, discover the city’s historic arcaded streets, lined with boutiques, or maybe head out to sea for a magical boat journey to identify Fort Boyard or go to the close by islands of Île de Ré, Aix and Oléron. For these with out sea legs, little ones will love the massively spectacular aquarium, whereas cyclists can discover a bit of the brilliantly maintained Vélodyssée route, which passes via the city.

Then everybody can unwind while tucking right into a generously heaped platter of fruits de mer in one of many city’s many high-quality seafood eating places. First cease on any go to to Poitiers must be the Romanesque architectural gem, the church of Notre-Dame la Grande, on Place Charles de Gaulle. Have your digicam zoom able to snap the magnificently sculpted western façade, deemed a masterpiece of non secular artwork. Then step additional again in to time to discover the Palace of the Counts of Poitou-Ducs d’Aquitaine, an incredible medieval hold within the Plantagenet type..

Ten kilometres north of the town is one among France’s finest theme parks, Futuroscope – a winner for teenagers of all ages that mixes hi-tech wizardry and thrilling rides. Lovers of cartoon story books referred to as ‘the ninth art’, or bandes dessinées in French will discover no higher spot in the entire of France during which to indulge of their ardour for the printed image yarn than Angoulême (prefecture of the Charente division). It is residence to each the Comic Books Museum and the annual get-together of like-minded comedian lovers, referred to as the Angoulême International Comics Festival. Meanwhile throughout city you may spot brilliantly conceived murals, which could be ticked off on a ‘painted walls’ strolling tour.

Nouvelle-Aquitaine vacationer board

An enormous mural in Angoulême
devoted to Astérix
illustrator Albert Uderzo © shutterstock


Occitanie was shaped in 2016 from the previous areas of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées. Blessed with a wealthy number of lovely landscapes each coastal and inland, it is usually famed for the locals’ ardour for a life-style embracing nice foods and drinks traditions… and innumerable fairly villages and historic cities.
Viewed from the A61 autoroute (it’s solely 75 minutes from Toulouse), the sprawling Cité Médiévale de Carcassonne a citadel constructed within the twelfth century and listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997 – is among the most imposing and startling sights in all of France. While its 52 towers and ramparts set the aesthetic from afar, it’s when you move via its gates that the actual magic unfolds. Explore the charming streets and alleys the place stylish boutiques, bars and eating places full the distinctive customer expertise. Just 35 minutes northeast of Nîmes is the place you’ll spot probably the most visited historic monument in France, the majestic aqueduct Pont du Gard. Measuring 275m lengthy and 49m excessive and that includes three tiers of arches, it was constructed within the 1st century AD to hold water throughout the Gardon river to what was then a Roman colony referred to as Nemausus (current day Nîmes). It is a perfect spot for household bathing (it has a supervised play space and seashore) whereas the immersive scenography on the close by museum recounts the bridge’s development. Little ones and adults alike will marvel on the ingenuity of Roman engineering!

From river valley to mountain excessive, attain for the celebs (virtually actually) with a vertiginous journey up Le Pic du Midi – Europe’s highest planetarium at an altitude of two,877m dubbed ‘the balcony of the Pyrenees’. Accessed by cable automobile from La Mongie ski resort, there’s loads to see and do: go to the Experiences museum, refuel on the restaurant, or get pleasure from stargazing nights with a meal and astronomical leisure (reserving forward is suggested).

A go to to the ‘pink city’ of Toulouse must be on everybody’s Occitanie wish- record, be they first-timers or repeat guests. There’s a lot to see and do, from UNESCO World Heritage websites Saint-Sernin Basilica and Hôtel-Dieu Saint- Jacques; to the Jacobin Convent, a gem of Southern French Gothic Art, and the cloisters and Augustine Museum; and the excellent mansion, Hôtel d’Assézat. Afterwards, get pleasure from lunch on spectacular central place du Capitole or place Saint- Georges, the place a hearty portion of native speciality cassoulet will set you up for extra visits! For kids, a visit to the two,500m² Cité de l’Espace is the subsequent neatest thing to going into house.

Pont du Gard © Shutterstock

For followers of untamed nature, Gorges du Tarn (the Tarn river canyon) is difficult to beat. Between Quézac (Lozère) and Le Rozier (Aveyron) there’s a mindblowing 50km stretch of the snaking Tarn flanked by steep limestone cliffs to marvel at both from above by way of climbing trails and panoramic viewpoints, or under on the water (canoeing, swimming). Have your digicam prepared whenever you arrive within the medieval village of Sainte-Enimie, categorised as a Plus Beau Village de France itself an incredible departure level for river-based enjoyable.

Few Mediterranean ports are as vibrant and characterful as Sète within the Hérault division. With its canals, quays and small squares which have earned the port the nickname ‘Venice of Languedoc’ – in addition to an array of cultural occasions such because the well-known sea jousting competition (Escale à Sète, happening from March 26 to April 1 this 12 months) and an abundance of excellent seafood culinary experiences, it’s a key seaside vacation spot in southern Occitanie.

Sigean, located between Narbonne and Perpignan in Aude, is an unmissable vacation spot for households holidaying on the coast of the previous Languedoc-Roussillon area. The motive? Its great African Animal Reserve, a ‘semi-natural’ animal park that isn’t solely residence to rhinos, hippos, lions, chimpanzees, giraffes and flamingos but in addition has an necessary scientific analysis and wildlife conservation programme.

Speaking of wildlife, the Camargue is an enormous, magical space of saltwater lagoons, marshes, and freshwater lakes positioned between the Mediterranean and the Rhône delta, full of distinctive biodiversity. IGP Camargue rice is grown on paddy fields, whereas black bulls, white horses and pink flamingos abound. Why not drop right into a manades – a bull breeding farm run by the enduring gardians, or horseback bull herders.

Water Jousting efficiency in the course of the St Louis competition in Sète © shutterstock

The Seventeenth-century brainchild of Pierre-Paul Riquet, Louis XIV’s tax collector, the 240km Canal du Midi was a rare feat of civil engineering, making a waterway from Sète to Toulouse. Dreamy and inexperienced tourism has overtaken items transport as its raison d’être, so gear up for a barge journey, bike journey or stroll, taking in wine tastings, villages and high websites such because the restored Fonseranes Nine Locks.

Occitanie has dozens of beautiful villages to discover: go away the campsite for the day and set your GPS for diamonds comparable to Conques, Cordes-sur-Ciel, Castelnau-de-Montmiral, Puycelsi, Penne, Bruniquel, Saint- Guilhem-le-Désert, Rocamadour and Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. Finally, the Hautes-Pyrénées, its most westerly, mountainous division, is tremendous for summertime campers and hikers – select from light routes via the rolling foothills and plains, or excellent way-marked trails of the Louron valley, Gavarnie and Grand Tourmalet. You can spot large wildlife when exploring by bike or on horseback. The thermal resort of Saint-Lary is an genuine Pyrenean village with all method of family-friendly actions from climbing to archery. In brief, Hautes-Pyrénées with its wildly spectacular backdrop, is an excellent journey playground, no matter outside thrills you occur to be looking for.

Further data Occitanie vacationer board

Plus Beau Village
within the Lot division
of Occitanie © shutterstock


With its epic chain of volcanic mountains and the mighty Alps, this naturally blessed area is residence to the departments of Ain, Allier, Ardèche, Cantal, Drôme, Haute- Loire, Haute-Savoie, Isère, Loire, Lyon Metropolis, Puy-de-Dôme, Rhône and Savoie.

Any record of nice locations to go to on this area ought to embrace the regional capital and France’s capital of gastronomy – Lyon, which is positioned on the assembly level of the Rhône and Saône rivers. Exploring its historical past of silk making, community of traboules (shortcuts linking streets via a number of buildings) in Vieux Lyon and the slopes of La Croix-Rousse hill, iconic Place Bellecour, with its equestrian statue of Louis XIV, the Fourvière panoramic viewpoint and indulging in its legendary bouchon gastronomy is only for starters…

Elsewhere, Mont Blanc is Europe’s highest level and the winter Alpine ski choices are infinite. But come summertime when campsites are calling you, ski resorts present the excellent amenities so beloved of skiers in winter, whereas the swathes of flower-filled meadows and grassy slopes lure hikers and mountain bikers.
Auvergne’s greenery is. unmatched and it has many excellent pure regional parks. Puy de Dôme overlooks a variety of 80 volcanoes that make up the Chaîne des Puys attain the highest in simply quarter-hour aboard the Panoramique des Dômes practice. The Rhône-Alpes, in the meantime, boasts picture- postcard Lake Geneva and Lake Annecy, offering great areas for campers to get pleasure from a summer time break with a spot of cruising, swimming and loads of different watersports. However, for campers who get pleasure from visiting cities for the day, the area is blessed: effectively price taking in are Saint-Étienne and Grenoble and the historic metropolis of Clermont-Ferrand. And don’t miss fairly Le Puy-en-Velay, prefecture of the Haute-Loire division, or the implausible Vulcania theme park, a children’ favorite.

In phrases of pure wonders, the Pont d’Arc is difficult to beat. Ardèche, the division during which it’s positioned, is an excellent space for tenting, with attractive riverside idylls (seize a kayak or canoe to discover the surroundings). Then there’s the Chamonix glacier and the spa cities of Évian and Thonon, not forgetting the pleasant Côtes du Rhône vineyards stretching from Vienne to Tournon.

Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes vacationer board www.auvergnerhonealpes-

The alpine meadows come into bloom in spring and summer time © shutterstock


All channel- hopping guests could have their distinctive Breton bucket-list, however listed here are some concepts for exploring city delights and pure wonders on this wealthy and rugged area only a brief ferry journey from the UK.

The capital Rennes is an historic gem full of nice markets and cultural occasions plus a energetic scholar inhabitants. With its cobbled streets and buzzy café terraces, half-timbered homes and restful inexperienced areas, it’s the proper place for a time out.

Travelling by way of ferry at Saint-Malo? Stop among the many granite ramparts and discover the quaint streets oozing appeal, maritime tales and tremendous boutiques and eating places. Inland, the legendary forest of Brocéliande is the cradle of King Arthur’s tales and residential to unspoilt countryside. Explore the forest trails en famille there are virtually 200 signposted routes. For extra historical past, head to the 1,000-year-old fortress city of Fougères in Ille-et-Vilaine, the place the epic defensive advanced of the citadel is a sight to behold, or Carnac within the Quiberon Bay, the place fields of menhirs (standing stones) and 5 pretty seashores mix for an incredible household escape. Coastal appeal abounds, in fact, from the fantastic thing about the Pink Granite coast (photograph op: Ploumanac’h lighthouse) to island gems comparable to Belle-Île-en-Mer and Bréhat, whereas villages comparable to Rochefort-en-Terre voted France’s favorite village in 2016-and riverside magnificence Dinan are each lovable.

Brittany vacationer board

Brittany’s rugged shoreline © shutterstock


Formed by the unification of the previous Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy areas in 2014, that is the northernmost area of France, the place tenting tradition vultures, foodies and lovers of the good open air are in for a deal with Lille, the eye-pleasing capital, offers plentiful attraction to day guests, with ample alternatives to feed each the thoughts and the abdomen with a various array of museums, cultural landmarks and a variety of must-taste native culinary delights. The focus is the beguiling and spacious Grand’Place (drop into the beautiful courtyard of the Vieille Bourse), also called Place du Général de Gaulle (Charles de Gaulle was born in Lille in 1890). Beyond this, Vieux Lille is a rabbit warren of quaint streets, dotted with estaminets (characterful outdated taverns) serving up hearty native delicacies comparable to carbonnade flamande, a beef stew served with frites. Bucket-list spots to go to embrace the Musée de l’Hospice Comtesse and the Palais des Beaux-Arts, whereas different unmissable Hauts-de-France cities for historical past addicts are Beauvais, Laon and Arras. La Piscine in Roubaix, only a brief hop from Lille, is a powerful museum put in on the positioning of the previous Art Deco municipal baths, with beautiful sculptures standing sentry over the pool and a formidable roster of non permanent exhibitions.

For an excellent bigger immersion into inventive endeavour, head over to Lens, the place the Louvre’s regional sister museum has breathed life into this former hub of coal mining. Open since December 2012, the principle focus of this cultural behemoth is the 120m-long Galerie du Temps, displaying over 200 artworks spanning 5,000 years.

Chantilly citadel, one among France’s architectural crown jewels, is positioned within the Oise division and is equally interesting for equestrians and artwork lovers due to its stables and stylish Condé Museum, housing the second largest assortment of vintage artwork exterior the Louvre.

With its hortillonnages – a labyrinth of ‘floating’ gardens, Jules Verne’s home and bustling Saint-Leu restaurant quarter, Amiens already has a lot to supply. But probably the most essential go to to be made right here is the epic Notre-Dame cathedral, the most important Gothic cathedral on the planet.

The ferry port of Calais is commonly seen within the rear-view by these whizzing off elsewhere in France on vacation but it surely actually is price a go to in its personal proper. There’s plenty of tradition to discover: the City of Lace and Fashion; the Fine Arts Museum positioned reverse Richelieu Park; the beautiful belfry adjoining the Town Hall; and Auguste Rodin’s statue of the Burghers of Calais the town’s most photographed monument.

Hauts-de-France has its fair proportion of attractive villages, among the many most interesting being picture-postcard Gerberoy, a imaginative and prescient of half-timbered homes and wisteria-covered partitions. Campers visiting in June will love the spectacular Fête de la Rose (rose competition).

The Louvre-Lens is an artwork museum positioned in Lens, Pas-de-Calais © shutterstock

To benefit from the nice French open air writ massive, head for the Bay of Somme, a Grand Site de France and a peaceful haven for a quiet stroll, chicken watching and even sand- yachting-all nice for teenagers who love the ocean air.

Another coastal magnet is Les Deux-Caps, a wondrous stretch of white cliff-framed seashores on the famed Côte d’Opale (Opal Coast). With climbing trails and heritage gems to discover, enjoyable actions and beautiful views, it’s a family-friendly vacation spot simply half an hour from Calais and the colourful port city of Boulogne-sur-Mer, which is residence to the implausible and unmissable Nausicaá, Europe’s greatest aquarium.

No household journey to Picardy, in Hauts-de-France, is full and not using a day or two on the Parc Astérix, the amusement park devoted to France’s most iconic cartoon books. Over 40 rides deliver thrills and humour in abundance for teenagers (and adults!) of all ages.

Hauts-de-France vacationer board www.french-weekendbreaks.

Aerial view of the Bay of Somme © shutterstock


The epitome of sunny southern French dwelling, PACA – also called Région Sud – combines the glitzy Riviera with an idyllic hinterland.

Boasting placing hilltop villages comparable to Saint-Paul de Vence and Èze, lavender fields throughout (drop into villages comparable to Sault) and the glowing Mediterranean shoreline with its spectacular vary of chic resorts and exquisite seashores (Cannes! Antibes!), Provence-Alpes- Côte d’Azur actually is akin to vacation heaven on earth little surprise this dazzling area attracts guests from everywhere in the world. In peak season it will get very busy however you’ll find a bit peace away from {the summertime} throng-families with a ardour for the outside ought to head to the Gorges du Verdon, France’s reply to the Grand Canyon. Accessed by way of a panoramic corniche route across the rim of the gorge, the realm of excellent magnificence is a haven for intrepid hikers and has plenty of secure river swimming and canoeing alternatives.

Love a bit historical past and metropolis exploration on vacation? Check out the Roman ruins in Arles (Bouches-du-Rhône) or culturally wealthy Avignon (Vaucluse) then discover the area’s two main cities, Marseille and Nice, earlier than taking your choose of small coastal gems comparable to Bormes-les-Mimosas and Saint-Tropez (each within the Var division).

Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur vacationer board

From France Today Magazine

Beautiful Bormes-les-Mimosas epitomises the south of France © shutterstock

Lead photograph credit score : Brittany’s rugged shoreline © shutterstock

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The Ultimate Guide on Where to Go Camping in France 2024