The best camping spots in France for an October break
The weather has changed, the clouds look more ominous and the fleeces have come out, but does that mean that camping in October should be ruled out? Absolutely not! With so many campsites now operating throughout the year, or at least until the end of October, camping in the Autumn months has become more popular than ever before. Whilst it might seem strange to not go to France to camp during the summer months, when the sun is at its strongest, there are various benefits that come with camping or caravan holidays in October.
From cheaper pitches and ferry routes to less busy campsites and cafés, you can enjoy camping during off-peak months just as much as you would during the height of summer, if not more. There are various ways to avoid bad weather ruining your trip too, whether it’s embracing the more modern version of camping, in mobile homes and chalets, or just being more prepared for extreme weather with better equipment, like a gazebo. You can also choose areas in the south of the country, which are likely to still be warm during October, and you may even catch a few last rays of summer sun.
So, where is the best place to stay in October when it comes to camping? We take a look at our favourite camping spots across this vast country and provide you with a few tips so you’re prepared for every eventuality.
What are the best camping tips in October?
From the cooler north of the country to the sunnier south, there are various areas that are great for October camping.
Head to the Med
With a range of campsites available in between Marseille and Nice, you can enjoy the last of the summer sun in style, even visiting glamorous resorts such as Cannes and St Tropez while they are quieter and more pleasant. With the weather likely to be hot still, you can take advantage of the quieter beaches. Try out Plage du Midi, a family favourite, which has a lifeguard to keep an eye on your kids. Don’t forget your sun cream as October can still be hot.
The sunny south
Getting closer to the Spanish border, you will be able to enjoy late summer heat in campsites close to Pau or Toulouse. If the weather is still pleasant, take a hike in the Parc National des Pyrenees, which has some stunning scenery to offer. Remember good walking shoes and perhaps poles.
The awesome Atlantic
In the southwest of France, while it is cooler and windier, you should still get to combine some great late summer weather with the Atlantic Ocean and the impressive Landes Forest. With campsites such as those close to Vieux-Boucau-Les-Bains having a great range of activities for families, this is a great area to visit in October. Take your family on a day out cycling on the Velodyssey, which goes through the town and hugs the Atlantic coast, and enjoy a day amongst nature. Remember to fill up your water bottles, as it’s thirsty work.
Just because it’s October, doesn’t meant that you have to head south. You can visit a campsite in Brittany, such as those close to Perros-Guirec. In case the weather is more autumnal, you could opt for a caravan or glamping alternative to keep everyone cosy. In this area there is so much to visit. An example is the pink granite coastline, which is great for a day out walking. Take your camera as you’ll want to share the view with your friends back at home.
Staying in the north of the country, Normandy has just as much to offer in October as it does in the summer, with many of the campsites offering indoor or heated pools for your enjoyment. With some great port cities to visit too, such as that of Caen, even on a rainy day you won’t be short of things to do. Check out Caen Castle, a Norman Castle that the kids will love.
Luxury in the Loire
The Loire Valley offers something for everyone, no matter the time of year. Great for walking and cycling, you can explore the wonderful castles and vineyards with ease. Take in the Cathedrale Saint-Gatien, which is a glorious bit of architecture in the middle of the town, then enjoy a stroll along the River Loire.
The Heart of France
If you don’t fancy the coast during October, then there are plenty of campsites in the centre of the country, which can provide you with some great fun and games for your holiday. Stay at a campsite near to Limoges, where you can opt for a day on site using the facilities, such as cycle paths, swimming pools, and games rooms, or head to the pretty city of Limoges, where you can visit the popular Musée National Adrien Dubouche, which is all about the decorated porcelain the city is famous for.
Lovely La Rochelle
If you’re happy to brave the coastal winds and you’re a rain or shine camper, then a campsite near the pretty port-city of La Rochelle is probably a good option for you. If the sun’s out you can enjoy the marina and close by beaches and islands. If the weather is not so good then you can visit the aquarium, Natural History Museum or Maritime Museum, all of which will shield you from the rain.
What are the benefits of camping in October?
Camping in October has various benefits that the summer doesn’t offer. Here’s why we think it’s great.
Treat yourself to a mindfulness retreat before winter
Before the clocks go back and we get closer to winter, what better way to treat yourself than on a mindfulness retreat. Camping in France in October provides you with the perfect opportunity to experience some sun and sea before the winter months approach.
Not only will you have a great time camping in France in October, but you will find it’s cheaper than it is in the Summer. If you are arriving by ferry then you will save a lot on reduced shoulder season prices. Most campsites will have off-peak rates too.
It’s less busy
Some people love how busy a summer campsite in France can be. However, for those that aren’t such big fans of crowds, queues and a constant lively atmosphere, camping in October will often be just the ticket. Not only will the campsite provide you with some peace and quiet, but the popular tourist attractions will also be quieter too.
The weather could still be great
Yes, it might be October, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the weather will be cold and gloomy. Not that we can guarantee a heat wave either, but camping in October in parts of France, especially the south, still means a great climate, so you will be able to enjoy some sun and warmth before you head back home to winter.
Re-energising for the whole family
A camping trip to France is a great way for you and your family to re-energise. If you’ve had a busy year or an action-packed summer, then pitching up in October could be a great way for you and your children to get some much-needed time away from the madness, to recharge your batteries.
Get prepared for your camping trip in October
Make sure you’re not caught out by the unpredictable nature of camping in France during October with our list of questions.
Are all the campsites open in October?
The majority of campsites in France will be open in October, so we will still have a great range of sites to choose from. If there are particular amenities at the campsite that are important to you (such as outdoor pools or waterparks), it’s always a good idea to double check with a note in your booking request that that specific amenity is open in October.
What camping equipment will I need during October?
If you’re tenting it, you will need a tent that can withstand a good rain shower and effective ground sheets. If you’re buying a new tent, one with a porch area where you can hang wet clothes will be handy. Waterproof shoes, jacket and trousers are always a good idea in the shoulder season. But you’ll still need to pack the swimming shorts and sun cream!
How can I protect my belongings from getting wet?
You can ensure all your clothes are kept dry inside your tent by putting them in reusable plastic bags, which come in handy when you are out and about too (for example, line your rucksack with them when going walking). Back at the campsite, a gazebo might also be helpful if the rain comes down, as it can protect you and your belongings should there be a heavy rain shower.
Is camping as popular in October?
Camping In France in October is becoming more popular than ever, with increasing options of staying in a rental, rather than tent it. There is a reason that campsites stay open throughout the autumn and that is because people still want to spend time in the open air, making the most of the last months before winter. Campsites make the perfect base from which to launch your adventure.
Will the swimming pools be heated at the campsites?
Yes, many of the campsites that have swimming pools will offer a heated and/or indoor swimming pool. So, after a good day out exploring with your family, you can return to your campsite and relax in a nice heated pool.
Get adventurous and camp in France during October!