For a seaside camping holiday in France, how about heading to Brittany or Normandy? These neighbouring regions in the north of the country are easy to get to, have beautiful beaches and are awash with great campsites. We’ve handpicked five of our favourites here – and given you our top recommendation for glamping too!
Le Balcon de la Baie
Perched with views out to Mont Saint Michel Bay, Le Balcon de la Baie campsite offers grass and hard-standing pitches for campers, campervanners, motorhomes and caravans. It’s a relaxed and peaceful place that’s dog-friendly and very-well kept without being overly manicured. Shrubs and trees break up the camping areas, which, together, accommodate 39 pitches. The site is midway between Mont St Michel in Normandy and the historic walled city of St Malo in Brittany (25-minute’s drive from each) with plenty of beaches, including the seaside resort of Dinard, in easy reach too. There’s a daily bread delivery to site and there’s table tennis, volleyball, pétanque, a heated swimming pool and a games room by way of entertainment.
Camping Bel Sito
This site was not christened Bel Sito for nothing. Facing west from Normandy’s Cotentin Peninsula, every pitch has a sea view and looks towards the sun as it sets behind the Channel Islands out in the bay. It’s a 10-minute walk on paths through marram-grass dotted dunes to reach the beach where it’s sand all the way. There are 85 pitches on this relaxed site that provides an alternative to large-scale holiday parks. There’s no pool, no cabaret entertainment, no kids’ club and no large groups allowed. It’s a quieter place where sea, sunsets and the simple life are valued. But it’s not exactly back-to-basics; you can expect clean facilities, hot showers, electric hook-up, a children’s play area and ping pong. There are basics for sale in reception too and bread delivery in the busier months of July and August. What more could you ask for when the beach is a sandy 900-metre walk away?
Camping du Letty
If proximity to a beach is the main priority in your search for a seaside campsite, consider Camping du Letty. In Brittany’s Finistère region, this frankly enormous campsite couldn’t get any closer to Plage du Letty, a sandy beach which edges a sheltered lagoon. The campsite has 550 pitches across 25 acres, bucking the trend for the Cool Camping tendency towards smaller sites but justifying its listing with its excellent location. In addition to that, it’s a family-owned place with care and attention to things that make a difference like the planting of trees and shrubs that help screen and shade pitches and give the place a tropical feel. All are welcome but it’s sociable families who will enjoy this place the most thanks to the wide variety of facilities and activities, which include everything (and we mean everything) you’d expect from a site of this size. There’s a bar and restaurant, a mini-mart, an aquapark, a disco, a kids’ club, spa facilities, tennis courts; a list that ensures you won’t have to leave the site – except to go to the beach of course.
You can pitch your own tent or go up-market and go glamping at Huttopia Douarnenez which is also on the Finistère coastline. Spread through 10-acres of light woodland are 90 pitches for people with their own tents, campervans or motorhomes plus a good number of pre-pitched safari-style tents and a few roulottes (France’s answer to the gypsy caravan or shepherd’s hut). Kitted out with everything you need, the glamping accommodation is great for those who want to try camping for the first time or simply can’t fit the tent in the car along with all your other gear. And with La Plage des Sables Blanc (beach of the white sands) just 400 metres from site, that’ll definitely include swimwear and flip flops! The sea is so close, in fact, that you can glimpse it through the trees and gaze out over it while swimming in the on-site pool.
Camping Les Falaises
An hour’s drive from the ferry port at Le Havre and less than three from Calais, Camping Les Falaises is a cliff-top campsite on Normandy’s Channel-facing coast. It’s a comfortable stopping-off point for those headed further into France – and a charming destination in its own right. This simple site of 170 pitches provides all the classics of French camping: fresh bread delivered to site, pétanque and table tennis. It’s just down the road from the village of Saint-Pierre-en-Port where you’ll find the essentials (boulangerie, boucherie, restaurant and tourist info) and a short but steep walk down to the beach. Nestled between chalky cliffs, the beach at this former fishing village is pebbly but picturesque and great for a cooling dip in hot weather.
And our pick of the glamping sites: Bot Conan Lodge
For a super luxurious, super relaxing glamping stay on the Atlantic coast of Brittany we love Bot Conan Lodge – and we’re not the only ones. You only need to take a peek at the reviews of previous Cool Camping customers to know that a stay here will be something special. The glamping site offers fully kitted-out bell tents and safari tents in tree-lined meadows overlooking the secluded Bot Conan beach. This little cove on the Baie de la Forêt has soft sands and sheltered water that's just right for family-friendly swimming. And there are paddle boards and canoes available to borrow from the site too. Each tent has bedding, linen and towels provided and comes with its own outdoor furniture, decking and an equipped outdoor kitchen. Facilities are in the spotless bath house and there’s a hot tub and sauna too – bliss.