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The Ultimate Guide to Camping and Caravanning in France

Fresh air, waking up to birdsong, toasting marshmallows over flames… it’s the little things that make camping holidays so enjoyable for people of all ages.

With its pleasingly warm climate and unspoilt countryside, France is the perfect place for a camping break, offering lots to do and see for the entire family. All you have to do is cram your car boot with all your camping gear, then catch a P&O ferry across the Channel.

This guide to camping and caravanning in France should help you with the rest.

How to Choose Where to go Camping in France

Finding it tough to figure out the best location for your camping holiday? Don’t worry. The French love camping more than any other country in Europe, so facilities are often superior to UK standards. With great campsite options wherever you look then, your decision should primarily be based around the type of holiday you’re seeking.

Family Campsites in France

While there are great areas for camping all over France, it’s worth bearing in mind the time it will take you to drive from Calais to your destination. In the interests of maximising time around the campfire as opposed to in the car, most families travelling via ferry opt for one of the many great campsites in the north or west of France. However, those wanting to venture further out will also find plenty of splendid spots to enjoy the country’s sunny southwestern climes.

Active Camping Holidays in France

Adventure seekers will love pitching up in the mountainous terrain of the Alps, where you’ll find loads of activities to suit all tastes – including hiking, cycling, paragliding, white water rafting and even summer skiing. Inland, you’ll find alpine resorts at the foot of majestic-looking mountains and well-equipped campsites in the heart of rolling countryside, all within easy reach of tiny villages and towns bursting with character – making them perfect for a walking holiday.

Camping near the Beach in France

Of course, France also boasts 3,500km of coastline, with pristine beaches, secret bays and gorgeous fishing ports to explore by the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. The nation’s crystal-clear waters and white sand are a fantastic choice if you’re travelling in a group, as you can choose between an easy day’s reading on a sun lounge and testing your nautical skills at a local sailing school.

The Best Campsites in France

Ready to pitch up? We’ve rounded up some of the best sites in France for all kinds of camping holiday.

Campsites in the North of France

A camping holiday in the north of France puts you in good stead to see some of the most important French towns and cities – take Boulogne-Sur-Mer, for example, which is surrounded by no less than 22 campsites. At the heart of the country, the Loire Valley region makes a brilliant choice for a camping holiday. There are several dedicated campsites around Cheverny, putting you in the perfect position to explore the throngs of beautiful chateaux around the area.

Campsites in Southwest France

While it’s quite a bit further down the country, camping aficionados would do well to consider the gorgeous Charente Maritime region in southwest France. At around seven hours’ drive from Calais, this trip is best for those going on a longer break, but the drive is more than worth it. The stunning region benefits from some of the warmest temperatures in France, and has a plethora of campsites to choose from. You’ll be in easy driving distance to explore amazing places such as La Rochelle and the tiny island of Ile de Ré if you so choose.

Campsites in the Alps

Alternatively, the Alps are a beautiful place for camping, whether around Lake Annecy or somewhere further afield such as Pralognan. If you want a budget camping break, check out what Eurocamp has to offer. Here, you hire a tent that has already been set up, allowing you to pack light and leave your kit at home.

Camping with a Dog in France

Camping is a huge draw for pet-loving holidaymakers. There aren’t many other types of break where you’re actively encouraged to bring along your four-legged friend – and why should they be confined to the kennels when there’s so much outdoorsy fun to be had? While there are many dog-friendly campsites in France, there are a couple of important points before you set off leash in hand:

Your pooch will need an EU Pet Passport to travel to France and you’ll need an approved carrier to bring your dog on a ferry.

All dogs need to be microchipped before entering the country and should be up to date with their vaccinations.

Dog-Friendly Campsites in France

The majority of campsites in France allow dogs, so just be sure to call up or check official websites before you book to confirm site rules. Whether you choose to stay in a caravan or a classic tent, your dog can join you for a camping adventure for a small additional cost at popular campsites such as Le Ranolien in Brittany and Le Vieux Port in Gascony.

So there you have it – a quick guide to camping in France. Why not start planning your French camping adventure today and check out the ferry route from Dover to Calais?