Campsites in France are open. Find out about any difference you can expect in the summer of 2021, in the context of Covid-19.
After what has been a torrid 12 months for many people across the globe, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel. With the vaccination campaign well and truly underway, Europe is beginning to open up for families to enjoy their first holiday together in over a year.
Arrivals to France from EU and other ‘green list’ countries, such as the USA and Canada, need to present either proof of full vaccination (plus the required waiting period, which depends on the type of vaccine) or a negative Covid test in the previous 48-72 hours (depending on test type).
Arrivals from the UK and other ‘orange list’ countries need to present both of the above. For full information on travel, the best thing to do is to consult the government information directly: https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus.
Arrivals at campsites will need to present the same documents, termed a ‘pass sanitaire’ or health pass in France. (Note: this is currently only required for adults, but will be required for children from 12 to 17 from 30 August 2021.)
Having spent such a long time cooped up at home due to restrictions, camping in France is a great way to reconnect with nature. Camping is a great escape from the frustrations of day-to-day life, offering a proximity to the calming effects of nature that you can’t get elsewhere.
During times of difficulty, it can be just what you and your family need. So, we thought it was important to let you know that campsites are open in France and operating relatively normally, with just a few differences that are good to be aware of.
After months of restrictions being in place, campsites in France opened their gates to the public again on 19 May 2021. Quite strict rules were in place at the start, with a staged easing of the rules being implemented between then and 30 June 2021.
There are still general health and sanitation measures in place, which you will need to follow when you are camping in France, to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones (see our FAQs at the end of the page), but nothing too awkward.
Whilst there will be a few things done differently this summer, you can still enjoy a holiday, which will give everyone something to smile about.
What are the best activities to do while camping in France in 2021?
While campsites have reopened in France and operating relatively normally, there will still be a few restrictions in place. Whilst there will be plenty of fun activities to do, you may want some further information about any possible restrictions.
Check out a chateau close to the campsite
Chateaux and other tours and monuments are open and, in most cases, operating under their normal capacities. With so many castles in France, you won’t have to travel far to find an impressive chateau.
Take a trip to Chateau de la Roche Courbon in Saint-Porchaire, where you can enjoy stunning architecture and garden scenery. There will still be signage in place inside all chateaux, to ensure social distancing is adhered to, and masks are required indoors.
Visit a nearby lake for a swim
You can enjoy time away from your campsite at one of many lakes dotted across the country. For example, you could visit a lake such as Lac d’Annecy, which is in the Haute-Savoie region on France.
Perfect for all the family to take a dip, don’t forget sun cream as the sun can get powerful in the Alps. This is a great activity for those that want to avoid busy locations due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Visit a local town and soak up the history
France is a country filled with history, with local towns showcasing some great historical features. Yvoire, which can be found in the Rhone-Alpes region of France, is a prime example, where you can enjoy strolling through the medieval streets of this 14th century town.
A great outdoor activity for the family to do, you can enjoy eating outdoors on café and bar terraces. When moving (for example to go indoors to use the toilet), you will need a mask, so have one handy.
Enjoy a day cycling on a cycle route
With campsites reopening in France, it means it’s time to dust off your cycle helmet and enjoy the fabulous cycle paths that France has to offer. Enjoy the Velodyssey, which hugs the Atlantic coast in France, and pick up the route wherever your campsite is based.
Perfect for families that want to avoid large gatherings, you can enjoy complete safety along car-free cycle paths. Remember to fill up your water bottles, as you might cycle for quite a long time in between towns and it is hot in France in the summer.
Eat at a local café
With cafés and bars reopening their doors too, you can now visit a local town where you can enjoy a taste of France. Enjoy local delicacies such as Moules Frites, if you are in northern France, where this dish has its origins.
Both outdoor terraces and indoor dining rooms are open, with table service only – no ordering from or sitting at the bar is allowed for the moment. Remember to ask the restaurant worker what the local delicacy is in the area of your campsite, so that you experience the best food available.
Take in stunning scenery on a hike
The vast expanse of France lends itself to hiking and you’ll find your campsite is never far away from a popular route. Take on the Crozon Peninsula or the Pointe du Raz, and experience the great outdoors with some fresh air and dramatic scenery.
A perfect activity for the whole family, it’s also great for those that want to avoid larger gatherings. Bring your comfy shoes, as you won’t want to turn back.
Take in the sea air and practise open-water swimming
With such an impressive coastline, your reopened campsite in France won’t be far from a family-friendly beach. This might be great for families who want to enjoy a day filling their lungs with the sea air. After missing out on going to the pool for so long, it’s the perfect time to teach your little ones to swim!
Head over to a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Get back into tourism activities and visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site near to your campsite. A site which might be more appropriate for your family during the easing of restrictions is that of Canal du Midi in southwest France, which is an open-air spectacle.
Enjoy the serene setting whilst you make memories with your loved ones. Bring a camera too, so that you can remind yourselves of your first big holiday since the famous lockdowns of 2020-2021!
What are the benefits of a camping holiday now that campsites have reopened?
After such a stressful year for so many of us, campsites offer the perfect retreat to be at one with nature and to create bonds with your family, some of whom you might not have seen for months.
Here are just a few reasons to camp!
Spend time with family members
Having not been able to see some family members for so long, you can now enjoy spending time with those that you have missed so dearly.
Now that campsites are open in France, you can spend invaluable time with your family, creating memories along the way.
Change your environment and be at one with nature
Take your family on holiday and give everyone the change of environment that they have been craving.
After months of lockdowns and not being able to spend extended periods of time in nature, we can now be at one with the great outdoors and give everyone the holiday they deserve.
Treat your body and mind to a recharge
After a strenuous year for everyone, we can now treat ourselves to some much needed rest and relaxation. Now that campsites have reopened, your family can enjoy a holiday that provides you with the opportunity to exercise, relax, and unwind.
Not only will this be great for you physically, but your mental health will benefit too, so you and your family can return to your home ready and raring to go.
Spend time relaxing and socialising
A lot of people have spent months wondering ‘when will campsites open?’, as they play an important role in their annual social calendar!
Not only are you able to relax and enjoy the sounds of nature again, but you can also enjoy socialising and interacting, which many have longed for over the past year.
Live, love, and laugh
Feel free again, feel unrestricted, and enjoy moments that matter, like that of the smile of your children.
Moments mean more since the pandemic and now campsites are open again in France, we want to help you make them count.
Useful information for staying in campsites in France in 2021
For the health and safety of everyone, campsites will have certain restrictions in place this summer. Here are just a few frequently asked questions, which may answer some of your concerns.
Are there social distancing and other COVID 19 protocols in place?
Yes, campsites in France are adhering to social distancing protocols and other COVID 19 protocols. All adults must present a ‘pass sanitaire’ on arrival at the campsite. This means either a full vaccination certificate, a certificate of immunity proving an infection in the last six months and remission for at least a week, or a negative COVID test less than 48 hours old.
You can also expect adapted arrival and departure procedures to reduce contact between people, and a face covering requirement indoors and outdoors wherever distance cannot be maintained, for example in queues or in crowds. The mask requirement is due to be lifted during the summer in places where the ‘pass sanitaire’ is required, but a date has not yet been announced for that.
Activities and entertainment may be adapted so that they meet government guidelines, for example while pools and waterparks will be open, spaces to lie nearby may be reduced.
How will I know what I can and cannot do in the campsite?
When you are at the campsites there will be signage throughout the grounds to ensure you feel comfortable and knowledgeable about what to do.
For example, signage might show an adapted flow of traffic to reduce face-to-face contact, floor markings might be in place to stop customers getting too close in queues, and signs to wear face-masks and sanitise before entering an area will be present where it is required, throughout the campsite.
What kind of hygiene measures are in place?
Health and safety of customers and staff is a major priority for campsites in France, so hygiene measures have been increased across the country.
Not only are you encouraged to sanitise and wash your hands regularly, but cleaning in common areas has become more frequent, using strong disinfection products that are effective against Coronavirus.
Are swimming pools and waterparks in campsites open?
Yes, once any adults have a ‘pass sanitaire’, you can still use swimming pools and similar amenities in campsites in France. In some cases they may operate at reduced capacity or there may be less space to sit nearby.
There is a stronger cleaning protocol in place before and after the public access the pools each day too. In addition, a one-way traffic system is often in place to help campers avoid unnecessary interactions.
How many people can stay together at any one time?
Under current government guidelines, there is no limitation to group sizes, so your extended family can enjoy a summer holiday together in France. (Elsewhere in the sector, shared accommodation is restricted to groups travelling together, to minimise contact between different groups.)
Reconnect with nature, and your loved ones, now campsites have reopened. Book a camping holiday in France today! Check out our special offers for 2021 and enjoy your next French camping adventure this year!