France offers some of the most incredible camping opportunities. Boasting a rich patchwork of ancient habitats just begging to be explored. For the nature-loving camper, there is more than enough to whet the appetite – camping in France will leave you feeling refreshed, exhilarated and ready for anything.
In an increasingly noisy world, finding the time to switch off can be difficult. Studies have shown that we are becoming increasingly disconnected from our wild sides, and that our mental and physical health is being affected by increasingly sedentary lifestyles. Research shows that one of the best ways to overcome this is to simply spend time in nature – and camping offers the perfect opportunity to do just that. So, what’s the answer? Simply pitch up your tent, switch off your phone and tune in to nature.
1. Côte de Granite Rose, Brittany
Head to Brittany’s northern coast to discover a landscape like no other, where giant pink boulders emerge from the sea and pepper the shoreline for miles. The area north of Tréguier is perhaps the most picturesque, where decades of wear have smoothed the boulders into other-worldly shapes. A short boat trip to the Sept-Isles (approx. 7km north) is well worth it for some exceptional sights: around 40,000 fous de Bassan (northern gannets) nest on the islands during high summer, as well as puffins, guillemots and cormorants. Nearby campsites: Domaine de Trestraou / Camping Les Alizés
2. La Brenne, Berry
A natural refuge in the heart of France, the landscape of La Brenne National Park is dotted with thousands of medieval fishing ponds. The unique conditions attract some unusual wildlife including La Brenne’s favourite residents – the terrapins. These can often be spotted nosing their way through the pondweed during summer months, during which time the air is alive with butterflies and the plantlife is unbeatable. La Brenne can be explored by foot, bike, horse, electric carts or even donkey. Nearby campsites: Camping L'Oasis du Berry / Airotel Camping La Roche Posay Vacances
3. Pyrenees and Gavarnie Falls
The towering Pyrenean mountains mark the boundary between Southern France and Spain, where the dramatic landscape is home to some impressive wildlife. Rare birds, reptiles and mammals inhabit this part of the world, and even brown bears have been known to roam the mountains. The Pyrenees are the backdrop to many local myths and legends, and it’s no wonder - the ancient terrain is packed with soaring peaks and dramatic waterfalls. La Cascade de Gavarnie is France’s tallest waterfall and promises a great day out - especially in May and June when the snow-melt leaves the falls at their most splendid. Nearby campsites: Camping Le Hounta / Camping Pyrenees Natura
Approaching the Camargue salt flats is an extraordinary experience, as an unusual patchwork of pink and blue fields appear to stretch towards the ocean’s edge. These are the salt flats themselves, which display an incredible variety of colour thanks to the salt reacting with algae in the water. The stars of the show at Camargue are the flamingos who come to feast on the algae and are often found gracefully balancing in their hundreds. Nearby campsites: Flower Camping Le Mas de Mourgues / Camping Crin Blanc
5. L’Abbey de Senanque and the Parc National des Calanques, Provence
Each summer a sea of purple washes over the fields of Provence, leaving the air heavy with the scent of lavender. The picturesque L’Abbey de Senanque where Cistercian monks grow lavender is definitely worth a visit. Flowers bloom at the midsummer solstice, so visit any time from late June to August for the best experience. For a different (and slightly wetter) day out, head two hours south to find the Parc National des Calanques – a marine national park, which boasts bottlenose dolphins, loggerhead sea turtles and fin whales as regular visitors. Nearby campsites: La Sorguette*** Airotel / Camping Fontisson
6. Gorge du Verdon, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
The famous French Riviera is known for its white sandy beaches and luxurious accommodations - but tucked just inland is a lesser-known treasure. The Gorge du Verdon is one of France’s natural wonders: a river canyon that is, in places, up to 700m deep. The startling turquoise river meanders through the canyon, offering great opportunities for rafting and canoeing; whilst hundreds of metres above is one of Europe’s highest and most striking roads – this drive is not for the faint-hearted! Nearby campsites: Camping Sandaya Domaine du Verdon / Domaine du Petit Arlane
The wildlife of the Dordogne region reads like a litany of rare and wonderful creatures: fire salamanders, lesser horseshoe bats, hoopoes, purple emperor butterflies, orchids, dragonflies… this area really does have it all. When you add in the extraordinary medieval towns and villages, it’s hard to find a reason not to visit this unspoiled paradise in the heart of France. Nearby campsites: Château le Verdoyer / Camping Le Paradis
8. Parc naturel régional de Lorraine, Lorraine
Nestled in the corner of north-east France, the region of Lorraine is crisscrossed with rivers, tributaries and wildlife-rich marshland. The Lorraine Regional Natural Park is the place to head for some of the country’s best bird-watching. The park is set-up for some serious binocular twitching and boasts four bird-watching stations and two family-friendly discovery walks. The vast network of wetlands is also home to wild ponies, incredible plantlife and a buzz of dragonflies in the summer months. Nearby campsites: Camping Les Boucles de la Moselle / Camping La Croix du Bois Sacker
Wherever you decide to visit, France promises an exhilarating escape which will leave you with a wealth of memories to take home! If you're wanting to find other places to camp why not use our website for campsites throughout Europe and the UK.