Planning your camping holiday should be enjoyable, but how do you determine the perfect location when camping in France? The two main reasons to love camping in France are the gorgeous coastlines and the serene mountains. Whether you prefer the salty French sea air or the quiet calm of towering peaks, France has something to offer everyone.
Geographically speaking, France is the ideal European camping location. One of the largest countries in western Europe, it boasts numerous mountain ranges and over 3,000 kilometres of coastline. Add quaint villages, amazing food, and endless activities, it’s no wonder why camping enthusiasts have a difficult time choosing where to go first!
Camping in France Location: The Beautiful Coastlines
Between the Atlantic coast on the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, there’s a great variety of beach camping options. The region in the northwest provides a jagged coastline full of inlets and cliffs. Head to Pointe de la Torche for surfing, kiteboarding, or just lounging on the beach. Check out Eckmühl Lighthouse for a bit of history and an amazing view. We have a great local campsite Flower Camping les Genêts for easy access around the area.
The Mediterranean Sea provides a more tranquil coastline, without the tides and currents of the Atlantic ocean. Since the landlocked Mediterranean Sea offers a more mellow swimming experience compared to the Atlantic, this location may be preferable for those parents who worry about their young children playing in the water. Head to Sète for pristine beaches surrounded by salt marshes and wetlands. This hilly city is rich in history and even caters to families and the less agile tourists by offering transport on its little train that does guided tours.
Nearby campsite: Les Mas du Padre
If you’re seeking a more luxurious trip head further east to the Côte d’Azur, which has long been a destination for the rich and famous, full of modern class and historic charm. Toulon, the gateway to the French Riviera, has everything from coastal footpaths to busy city squares. The Zoo Fauverie Du Mont Faron is also a great place to spend the day if you’re travelling with your little ones.
Nearby Campsite: Camping Port Pothuau.
Be sure to book your site and special activities well in advance, as the coast is a popular destination for both domestic and international tourists.
Camping in France Location: The Stunning Mountains
If you love camping but aren’t too keen on the presence of sand in between your toes (and everywhere else for that matter!) then you may want to consider heading inland. As France is an extremely mountainous region, your options are anything but limited.
The Pyrenees, which share a border with Spain in the southwest, provide a stunning backdrop for numerous spa towns, hidden grottos, and historic chateaus perched high atop the peaks. The Pic du Midi de Bigorre offers one of the most splendid views of the region. Get in touch with nature by hiking, riding the cable car up to the summit, or you can spend the night stargazing at the observatory.
Nearby campsites: La Forêt Lourdes and Le Monloo
Heading east into the Languedoc region, you’ll find some of the oldest chateaus in France situated in the middle of numerous sprawling vineyards. Biking aficionados can take a long ride along the Canal du Midi, stopping along the quaint villages to rest, camp, or sample the local delicacies.
Nearby campsite: Camping Domaine Saint Laurent
One of the benefits of heading up into the mountains has to be the cooler climate. July and August tend to be sweltering, and the higher altitude offers vacationers a break from the heat and humidity that typically accompany the dead of summer.
The Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region boasts countless crystal-clear lakes that are so pristine they reflect the surrounding mountains. Visit Aix-les Bains and cool off in Lac du Bourget, the largest freshwater lake in France. Keen photographers should opt for a relaxing boat cruise to get an up-close view of the stunning Hautecombe Abbey, a 12th century architectural marvel perched along the peaceful shore.
Nearby campsites: AIROTEL Camping Les Trois Lacs and De Martinière
Choosing best location when camping in France
Both mountainous and coastline camping have amazing environments, yet both offer different camping experiences. Whether you choose to pitch up close to a beach or head further inland, we’d love to help you plan your next French camping adventure!