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Campsites in France | The Best French Camping Sites

Campsites in France

The Med, the Alps, Champagne, Bordeaux – just thinking of the places makes you smile and dream of sunny days camping in France and munching on a warm croissant for breakfast. Whether you’re looking for a glamping site in the Dordogne or a traditional campsite in the south of France, we at Cool Camping have been searching high and low to find the very best places to camp in France. The mix on offer is better than ever before too. We’ve found luxury safari tents in the Loire Valley, bell tents high in the Pyrénées, secluded camping pitches on the French coast and teeny tiny camping sites in the heart of the Limousin. Planning a camping trip to France? You’ve come to the right place.

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La Ferme de Penquelen La Ferme de Penquelen, 1151 Penquelen Huella, 29390 Scaër, Finistere, France

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Campsites in France by region

From the vibrant coastline of the west to the mighty, alpine mountains of the east and the prickly pyrénées in the south, France is a vast and varied land. While certain area's of France are well known in their own right – river valleys such as the Dordogne Valley, for example, and mountain ranges like the Alps and the Pyrénées – the entire country is also split down into a number of different regions. Each region contains a collection of departments, similar to British counties, and each will also have its own intriguing history, landscapes and visitor attractions. If you know where you want to go, take a pick of the regions of France below and discover the campsite that's right for you.

Travel Inspiration & Information

France is a real country of contrasts. To the west is the Atlantic-facing coast, in some places dotted with off-shore islands that make for cycle-friendly camping havens, in other spots, open to the barrel waves of the Atlantic and perfect for surfers. In the east, meanwhile, lies the mighty mountains of the Alps, great crinkled giants where mountain-bikers and hikers reign supreme in summer and skiiers slide in winter. Between the two, there is something for everyone. There's open countryside, where Limousin cattle graze, fine French wines are made and miles upon miles of canals create a watery navigational network. There's forested national parks, where powerful rivers carve dramatic gorges through the hills before slipping serenely into swim-friendly pools of blue. And there's space, in abundance, to simply kick back at a campsite and enjoy the peace and quiet. Wherever you go, the climate is fairly reliable, while local events are a must-see. For maximum information, its worth checking out the official Tourism France website and checking travel information with your ferry company, airline or trainline before you leave. But for neat ideas and inspiration, you're already in the right place. Our dedicated team have pulled together their top travel ideas for time spent in France and picked their favourite campsites. All you have to do is pack the car and book your camping break!

The best campsites in France

Visualise your idea of the best campsite in France… Do you see a tent pitched in the shade of pine trees on the edge of a sandy beach? Or a place with wildflowers among mountains? Perhaps you imagine a green spot by a river with a view of vineyards or a cabin overlooking the sparkling Mediterranean? The variety of landscapes in France and the sheer number of French campsites means all these things are available and more. The choice can make finding your perfect pitch a tricky task but hopefully that’s where we can help. The Cool Camping team have been scoping out camping holidays in France for years and our hand-picked selection features only sites that we think offer something extra special: often it’s an amazing location, sometimes it’s a genial host and occasionally it’s just a little je ne sais quoi.

Camping holidays in France

Our collection includes both incredible tent camping sites and exceptional glamping sites to make your camping holiday in France one to remember. There are campsites that are perfect for family camping and campsites that offer romantic stays for couples who want to get away from it all. Whether you want to go camping on the west coast of France, in the Dordogne, the Alps or on the Mediterranean coast, we should have something to suit you.

Tent camping in France

The French sure like to camp and French campsites are often well set-up with more facilities than we’re used to back in the UK, to make French camping holidays really comfortable. Even on the smaller sites preferred by the Cool Camping team there’s often a swimming pool, table tennis and pétanque. And a bread and croissant ordering service is de rigeur pretty much everywhere you go. Combine these classically French touches with the wealth of amazing destinations, sunny weather and delicious French produce, and our nearest neighbour presents an attractive place for a camping holiday abroad.

Packing up the car for a tent camping holiday in France, getting on the ferry and remembering to drive on the right is all part of the adventure for some people – even an annual ritual for others. If you haven’t already found your favourite camping site in France, chances are you’ll find it among our hand-picked selection. We’ve tried to make it easy for you to find your ideal place to stay with our “Refine Search” feature which lets you create your own custom list of French campsites by filtering our selection down to sites which offer the things you want in the locations you like the look of.

Glamping holidays in France

Our collection of glamping sites in France have been as carefully chosen as our classic French campsites and offer a way to go on a camping holiday in France with none of the hassle. If crossing the Channel and driving south with all your holiday gear is not the comfortable ride you want at the beginning of your holiday, why not go for glamping instead? Leave the tent, bedding and cooking equipment at home for a car journey that’s less likely to give you cramp or even fly to your destination and find a luxury tent, cabin or chalet set up and waiting for you.

Glamping in France is growing all the time and the range of accommodation is huge from treehouses to tipis, and from modern geodesic domes to old-fashioned roulottes or gypsy caravans. There are shepherd’s huts, bell tents, yurts, safari tents and more. With hundreds of large-scale campsites across the country and especially on the south and west coast, you might say that the French were offering glamping before the word was invented. They have long had campsites with pre-erected tents, cabins and chalets, often on vast sites with amazing facilities, a kids’ club and entertainment galore. Here at Cool Camping we usually prefer something a little more bijou, a little more homegrown and a little more in keeping with the surroundings but there’s no doubt that the nation’s track record in setting up campsites with all mod cons has fed in to their ability to provide great glamping too.

Huttopia campsites

Huttopia campsites manage to cater for the large number of European campers and glampers who head for France whilst retaining the ethos of a classic campsite. This well-established brand is the exception to the rule when it comes to big-name campsites, making a conscious effort to offer accommodation and facilities that blend in with the natural surroundings whether that be a woodland, lakeside or beachfront site. You’ll find natural materials and colours are used in the glamping accommodation they offer which includes safari-style tents, roulottes and wooden cabins.

Like other larger campsites, Huttopia sites offers facilities and activities for its campers but many of these are designed to immerse you in the surroundings and to make the most of them rather than exploit them and rub off their rough edges. There are sites with natural swimming pools and forest spas with activities, including yoga, archery and basket making.

Family camping in France

Kids tend to be well catered for on campsites on the Continent so finding family camping in France is not usually difficult. The larger sites, like the family-friendly Huttopia campsites, tend to lay on activities for children during the holidays and at weekends. Before you promise the kids that they’ll be hanging out at the holiday club or diving in to the pool though, it’s always a good idea to check the opening times as these activities and facilities are often seasonal and do not always coincide precisely with the campsite’s own open season.

Whether there are child-friendly activities laid on or not, it’s likely that your kids will love their camping holiday anyway. Years of camping with kids has taught us that, as a general rule, they love the excitement of running wild on a campsite, toasting marshmallows, making new friends and sleeping under canvas. Add in pain au chocolat at breakfast time, Oranginas with lunch and all the adventures that come with a holiday in France and your kids will have a holiday they’re not likely to forget.

Romantic camping and glamping holidays in France

France may be the ideal location for a family-friendly camping holiday but it can also be the perfect place for romantic camping and glamping too. With campfires, candlelight, scenic camping spots and endless stargazing, even the stoniest of hearts might begin to soften a little and there’s no denying the romantic appeal of France; it’s a country of lovers with Paris at its heart and Champagne pretty much the national drink. It’s possible to find a place to stay that’s within reach of the capital if you want to wine and dine in the Europe’s most-romantic city and there are lots of rustic and romantic sites out in the countryside and on the coast too.

If you like to pitch your own tent or park up in your campervan, a site with secluded or spacious pitches can give your camping trip a romantic edge. But glamping accommodation really ramps it up by adding romantic luxury to a camping holiday. Much of the glamping accommodation that’s out there is perfectly-sized for two: bell tents, yurts and geodesic domes, sometimes with hot tubs, too, or shepherd huts and wooden cabins that are snug and cosy for a couple.

Campsites around Paris

Camping near Paris gives you the chance to see the sights and sounds of the city and one of France's most popular destinations during the day, while enjoying a greener space as a base. There are campsites with a short drive or train ride from the city centre which offer a surprising contrast to the bustling streets. You can visit The Louvre, climb the Eiffel Tower and explore Montmartre before returning to your campsite to cook on the barbecue and sleep under canvas. You can wake up to birdsong and have a picnic-style petit dejeuner at your camping or glamping site then head in to the city to tour Notre Dame or cruise on the River Seine. For a couple looking for an affordable way to visit Paris with a snug and romantic accommodation option, a campsite near Paris is a great choice. It’s also an ideal way to holiday near the capital for families as you can combine days of sightseeing with days by the pool, cycling or relaxing on site.

Brittany and Normandy

Brittany and Normandy on France’s northern coast are great places for a camping holiday in France as these regions are relatively easy to get to and full of fascinating places to visit. It's no surprise they are the most popular regions for summer holidays and quick family holidays for those in the South East of England. Brittany is a peninsula in France’s far north west with a rocky coastline. It’s directly south of western England and there are ferry services from Portsmouth and Plymouth. The historic city of Saint Malo and Brest are tourist hotspots and on the more natural side of things you may want to head for the Forest of Brocéliande, full of Arthurian legend, or to the Parc Naturel Regionel d’Armorique. Technically, Mont St Michel is in Normandy but easily accessible from both regions as it sits on Normandy’s west border in Northern France. This much-photographed tidal island with cobbled streets and a medieval monastery is well worth a visit. Normandy’s coast is varied but best known for the sandy expanses of the D-Day beaches and the region is also home to Monet’s Garden at Givenchy.

The Atlantic Coast of France

The west coast of France is home to some fantastic sandy beaches and, while they may sometimes be a little rougher than the calm seas of the Med and Eastern France, they are also a little more accessible from the UK – and offers some great opportunities for watersports. There are campsites all along the coast and we’ve picked out the best to feature in our collection of campsites in western France. There are also islands off the coast where sand dunes and salt marshes form the landscape and seafood features on almost every menu. So, when choosing your campsite, ditch the big camping club and take a surf through our seaside recommendations instead. You can get an injection of culture and a taste for wine in Bordeaux and a taste for adventure at Dune du Pilat, Europe’s largest sand dune, or Biarritz, France’s surfing capital.

The South of France

If you drive it can be a bit of a trek but camping in the south of France is worth it: Provence, the French Riviera, the Cote D’Azur, Languedoc. Fields of lavender, vineyards, eucalyptus trees, the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean and sun: this is the stuff that dreams are made but, of course, everyone knows it. There are plenty of places to stay but the Cool Camping-rated ones are fewer and further between and often a little off the beaten track. Our collection of campsites in the south of France offer camping and glamping both on the coast and inland in some spots that are simply hard to beat.

The Alps

Incredible views of snow-capped peaks, crystal-clear lakes, Alpine wildflowers and adventure – camping or glamping in the Alps offers, both literally and metaphorically, a breath of fresh air. During the summer months there are plenty of camping sites where you can pitch up and head out to explore the region and there are glamping sites that operate year-round too, offering a comfortable base whatever the weather. The Alps region is the place for adventure and outside of ski season activities including hiking, climbing, running, mountain biking and white-water rafting are all on offer. But it can also be the perfect place for a restful break where gazing up at Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain, is as active as it gets.

The Midi-Pyrenees

On the other side of the country is France’s second highest mountain range, The Pyrenees with many peaks over 3,000 metres. The range forms France’s border with Spain and the Midi-Pyrenees region is another great place for camping and glamping amid spectacular mountain scenery and, particularly, for those who like to combine their camping with a healthy dose of adventurous activity. If you’re camping in or near the mountains, hiking, climbing, canoeing, white-water and white-water rafting are all easily accessible – some campsites even offer these activities for campers.

The Dordogne and Lot

Between the Pyrenees and the beautiful Loire Valley, lies the Dordogne and Lot region. The rivers of the same names meander through this green and pleasant land and make it what it is: one of the most popular places for camping in France and a place that has seduced many Brits to up sticks and leave the UK for good. If you choose camping in the Dordogne we’re confident you won’t be immune to its charms either thanks to the vineyards, forests and rivers that make up its beautiful landscape. The countryside is dotted with rustic stone buildings and fairytale châteaux and there are medieval villages and ancient caves to visit as well as a lot of waterways to kayak and canoe your way along. In short, it’s got a bit of everything including campsites and glamping sites that deserve their place in our hand-picked selection.

What to see and do when camping in France

France’s vast and varied regions each offer a wealth of things to do and you’ll find region-specific inspiration at the official tourist information site for France. It’s a tad tricky to shortlist a whole nation’s not-to-be-missed sights and activities but here at Cool Camping we love a challenge so here follows our suggestions of things to do on a French camping holiday. If you're looking for holiday ideas, we think this is a good place to start. You may not be able to manage all of them in a fortnight’s holiday in France, but we’re sure you’ll be back…

1. Try the local produce

The French, like many Europeans, still have thriving food markets where rural producers come to town to sell their wares. These are great places to pick up local produce for barbecues and picnics whilst on a camping or glamping holiday. You’ll find regional specialities and national favourites as well as the freshest fruit and veg around.

2. Spot a château

The sight of a French château as you drive around the countryside can bring a gasp of wonderment. Often turreted, towered even tumbling, French castles seem to have a fairytale quality that is enough to make you swerve to the side of the road for a selfie in front of them. The Loire Valley is the place to see the best of them but each region claims a few. Some are private homes, some have been converted and some are open to the public and can make fascinating places to visit on days out.

3. Kayak or canoe

With so many waterways it’s no surprise that France is said to have some of the best kayaking in Europe. Whether you are camping near the Dordogne and Lot, in Provence, the Alps or the Midi Pyrenees, there’s likely to be a lake or river where you can canoe or kayak to take in the sights, ride the rapids or enjoy a bit of wildlife watching.

4. Sunbathe on the beach

With a north coast on the Channel, a west coast on the Atlantic and a south coast on the Mediterranean, not to mention plenty of lakes and river beaches inland, there’s every chance you’ll be camping or glamping somewhere near a shore where you can enjoy a spot in the sun and a place to launch yourself into the water.

5. Explore medieval France

Mont St Michel in the north, Sarlat in the Dordogne and Carcasonne in the south… France is peppered with well-preserved medieval towns and villages that provide the perfect backdrop for a café au lait and deserve a little exploration.

6. Head underground

France’s Vézère Valley in the Dordogne region is home to the Lascaux Cave where pre-historic cave paintings have proved that the area has had human occupation for at least 400,000 years. The Lascaux Cave is closed to visitors to preserve its ancient artwork but a replica has been created and there are many other subterranean sites in this World Heritage-listed valley and around France.

7. Climb a mountain

If you’re camping or glamping in the Alps or Midi-Pyrenees, you’ll have this covered and, if you’re near enough, we highly recommend making a detour to take in some spectacular mountain scenery. Even in the other regions, you’re never too far from a high peak in France – there’s the Massif Central in the heart of the country, the Juras, Vosges and Ardennes in the east and the Massif Armorican in the north west.

8. Sample French cuisine

France is known throughout the world for its fine cuisine and even if you’re self-catering on a camping or glamping holiday, it’s worth making time for a meal out. A fixed-price menu is often available (especially at lunchtime) offering a good-value way to dine out. Or perhaps trust your taste buds to the chef and try the Plat du Jour in a restaurant.

9. Drink wine

A carafe of wine on the table at mealtimes is fairly standard in France and with so much fantastic wine produced in the country it would almost be rude not to sample it. If you’re in one of the wine-producing regions, why not go a step further and visit a vineyard.

10. Play pétanque

Petanque or boules is enjoyed throughout France and most towns or villages will have a petanque court where you can watch the locals play. Many French campsites also have a court of gravel or sand so you can while away a few relaxing hours trying your hand at this sedate but addictive game.

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