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Camping in France for Beginners: Everything you Need to Know

Camping in France for Beginners

France has been leading the way on many wonderful things for years. One of those is campsites – they are available everywhere in France and generally have all sorts of amenities. If you’re planning your first camping holiday to France, you may be wondering where to start. Here’s a guide on camping in France for beginners to help you in planning.

Camping in France at large, full-service sites offers luxurious amenities. From swimming pools and karaoke bars to restaurants, these destinations take camping to the next level.

But what if you’re looking to shake things up a bit? What if you’d like to opt for a more rustic, small-site feel? Then, consider checking out some of France’s more intimate camping locations.

France boasts many independent sites that are heavier on nature and lighter on amenities. Holiday-makers often choose big commercial campgrounds to relax while the children are distracted by the pools, playgrounds and kids’ club activities, whereas smaller sites emphasise outdoor adventure to be enjoyed as a family. They are often in beautiful surrounds. Plus, they are more affordable.

Back to Nature in France

Popular four-star campgrounds catering to massive crowds offer the ultimate in high-end European glamping. They include extravagant features like waterparks, discotheques, restaurants, spas and children’s clubs.

They’re great places to dive into relaxation while the kids take part in organised activities. But what if you’re looking for a slightly different experience?

Maybe you want to delve more deeply into an exploration of the French countryside and its history? Perhaps you’d like to immerse yourself and family in the French language and culture?

If you don’t mind foregoing some amenities, there is another way to approach camping in France.

Focus on sites that offer rustic charm and quaint experience. You’ll also be happily pleased by how easy they are on the wallet.

Camping in France for Beginners: Where to Go

Campsited offers an excellent selection of French campsites of both types. The sites featured on Campsited are fully staffed and offer a variety of services. They range in size and can accommodate everything from humble tents to luxurious motorhomes and also offer on-site cabins and mobile homes.

Campsited also offers individual sites that have been carefully renovated to bring campers closer to nature. They emphasize old-fashioned tent camping. And they offer a laid-back atmosphere with fewer rules than larger commercial operations.

France’s Municipal Campsites

France’s municipal campsites embody the new spirit of camping in France. These lower-budget sites are affordable, welcoming, and rustic.

For families looking for outdoor adventure, municipal sites offer an attractive option for camping in France.

France boasts about 2,800 municipal campsites across the country. The vast majority are situated near quaint villages or towns. While they aren’t as large as four and five-star sites, they offer basic amenities such as clean bathrooms and hot showers.

They also provide a different type of camping experience than larger chain, luxury 5-star campsites. Many of their locations remain off-the-beaten-path and are quite scenic.

Immerse Yourself in the French Culture

France’s municipal campsites prove more affordable and intimate than their commercial counterparts. They bring you closer to nature.

Plus, they give you more chances to rub elbows with the locals. Which is a great opportunity to practice your French. Allons-y!

While amenities tend to be fewer than at four or five-star sites, they are still comfortable, clean, and safe. They offer clean bathrooms, hot showers, and well-tended sites. Many offer activities and swimming pools, and they’re surprisingly close to major tourist destinations.

While some families like the idea of pitching a tent, there are other options, too. Some public sites offer a limited number of chalets or mobile homes for rent. Other sites offer treehouse camping, countryside camping, or full-on glamping at reasonable prices.

Municipal Campsites Worth Considering

Whether you’re looking for a getaway in Burgundy or the Ile-de-France, municipal campsite options are plentiful. Check out our offerings here.

You’ll find accommodations with facilities for babies or the disabled. There are also family-friendly sites that the whole family will love. When choosing the best campground for your family, start by making a list of which activities you’d like to do.

Are you looking to take your family on a relaxed bike ride through the French countryside? Or, does the thought of a week spent at the beach sound exhilarating and attractive to you? Are you interested in a lake destination that abounds in swimming and outdoor activities for all ages?

Perhaps you’d like to change it up by visiting the chateaux of the Loire Valley? Or check out France’s volcanic region of Auvergne? There are even camping facilities in handy proximity to the Ile-de-France.

No matter what you’re looking for, there is a French campsite to suit your family’s specific needs and vacation desires. With Campsited, you can take your pick while receiving all of the practical information that you need to make your next adventure unforgettable.

See France Region-By-Region

The flavour of French culture and history changes from region-to-region, and so does the camping experience.

For example, camping in Normandy offers a sunny escape for families who love the sun, beaches, water sports, and local attractions. But the area also boasts attraction parks such as Festyland and the Enchanted Village, both guaranteed to provide you with family memories worth saving for a lifetime.

Camping in Brittany comes with spectacular coastlines, great surfing, and stunning geographical features like the Bay of Biscay. No trip to Brittany would be complete without checking out the megaliths of Carnac, so if you’re looking to go a bit “prehistoric”, this is your spot. For the adventurous type, there’s also the Carnac Evasion, the first kite-surfing school in Brittany.

Camping along the Ile-de-France puts you in convenient proximity to many of France’s most iconic attractions including the Palais de Versailles and Paris. What better way to mix up a camping trip to Gaul than by staying along the scenic banks of the River Seine?

Camping Sandaya International Maisons Laffitte rests in a surprisingly calm, serene natural setting just 20 minutes from the Avenue of the Champs-Elysees. It’s a 10-minute walk to the RER, which puts you in easy access to countless Parisian attractions including the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame, Versailles, and more.

If you’re looking for an exploration of the iconic chateaux of the Loire Valley, consider staying at Camping Sandaya Chateau des Marais. It’s family-friendly and picturesque. Located just 500m from the Chateau of Chambord and 200m from the Loire a Velo, it’s the perfect launching off point for an exploration of France’s sumptuous past.

If the French Alps are calling your name, try Camping Les Lanchettes located at the entrance of the Vanoise National Park. There’s no better launching off point for a variety of mountaineering and skiing activities. And the natural setting is breathtaking.

Or, consider Camping du Lac de Carouge at the entrance of the Regional Natural Park of Wallows and near the Lake Carouge. It’s a great place to indulge in water activities like swimming and fishing, and it features spectacular mountain views. Don’t forget a day trip to the vineyards of Savoie to explore the area’s rich history and exceptional wine selection.

Camping in France for Beginners: useful information for your choice

Camping is an exciting way to take in the French countryside. There is an abundance of camping options available, from commercial sites to municipal ones. There’s a campsite for every family’s needs and travel interests.

Whether you’re using a tent, caravan, or motorhome, French campsites offer diverse activities and facilities. They come in a variety of price points, too.

Campsites in France are classified according to a star-rating system, from one star to five stars, like hotels, with five being the highest campsite rating based on the quality of facilities and campsite equipment provided. The stars are defined by law as following:

  • One-star campsites: small campsites, with very few facilities and extremely cheap, and a pitch over 70m².;
  • Two-star campsites: a reception during the day, individual shower cubicles with hot water, individual washbasins, amenities for small electrical equipment, pitch over 70m².
  • Three-star campsites: reception 24/7, reception in two foreign languages including English, tiled floors in washing areas, equipped children’s play areas, a wider range of services (Internet access, beverage dispenser…), pitch over 80m².
  • Four-star campsites: private washing cubicles with hot water, dish-washing and clothes-washing sinks with hot water, pitches over 80m², tarred roads within the site, food stores on campsite or close by.
  • Five-star campsites: a reception in 3 languages including English, compulsory swimming pool, Internet access, optional leisure services, pitch over 80m².

Prices generally reflect the number of stars of the campsite but they can vary based on the season.

How to Find the Best Campsites in France

Before booking a site, do some research at Campsited. When doing your research, consider the following questions:

  • Who’s going camping?
  • What types of special facilities might you need? Which camping experiences do you want to have?
  • Are you looking for countryside, oceanside, lakeside, forested, or somewhat urban camping?
  • Will you be camping in a tent, a caravan, or a motorhome?
  • How long will you stay?
  • What’s your camping budget?
  • Which amenities do you need? Which amenities can you do without?
  • Are you ready to practice your French language skills and stay where the locals do?

With a variety of landscapes and climates for you to choose from, it can be difficult to pick just one French campsite. At Campsited, we are here to help you explore the vast selection of campsites in France, with suggestions and advice to get your holiday finalised and booked with ease.

There are over 10,000 campsites located throughout France. They fit a variety of budgets and interests, and we are here to help you narrow down those choices to book an unforgettable vacation for the entire family.

In the search for your perfect camping destination, other questions will come up. Make a list and check them off as you dive into research.

Nobody knows camping in France better than we do. Get in touch with our French camping experts today to learn more about the best camping destinations for your group!

Your dream camping holiday in France is just a few clicks away!

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