France is one of the best destinations in Europe for open-air holidays. From the mountains of the Pyrenees to the beaches of the Atlantic or the gorges of the Verdon, the most beautiful campsites in France await you. But where can you find the most beautiful place for a short break away from it all, or a longer summer holiday?
It all depends on what you’re looking for: if you want to marvel at stunning natural landscapes, you can choose a campsite in the Dordogne or the Verdon; if you’re a water sports enthusiast, you can choose one of the many beaches in Languedoc or the Basque country.
At Campsited, we are here to help you. In this article, we have selected the best destinations in France for an outdoor holiday. We explain exactly where to find the best campsites in France.
Brittany is an excellent destination for families looking for a natural and unspoilt setting for a camping holiday. From Carnac to the pink granite coast, via Belle-Île-en-Mer, you will find beautiful spots to explore.
It’s not often mentioned, but the Breton food is also one of the highlights of any holiday in Brittany. Between the crêpes, the kouign amann and the far breton, your taste buds will be delighted! The region specialises in simple and hearty dishes, which even picky children usually love.
The Breton coastline has many fine sandy beaches, perfect for playing and enjoying watersports. To make the most of it, choose one of Brittany’s seaside campsites.
Those who like some urban atmosphere can choose one of the establishments near Quimper, Rennes or Brest.
Finally, you can opt for a campsite in the countryside, in the heart of Morbihan for example, where you can enjoy a 100% relaxing outdoor holiday. For example, you could go hiking in the famous and mysterious forest of Brocéliande.
To return to top comfort after a long day enjoying the great outdoors, you could splash out on one of the many luxury campsites in Brittany, including 5-star campsites with a water park, spa area and indoor pool.
Ardèche should also be one of the first places to consider in the hunt for the most beautiful campsite in France.
This little haven of peace will appeal to nature lovers. It is one of the most beautiful regions in France – the scenery is often breathtaking. Ardèche campsites are surrounded by valleys, rivers and forests. And the area offers a multitude of outdoor activities, such as hiking and mountain biking.
Water babies don’t have to worry about being too far from the sea, as the impressive Ardèche river offers great opportunities for swimming, canoeing and rafting.
In addition to the beauty of the landscape and natural sites, Ardèche is also an excellent choice for people who love to explore a small, authentic town or village (Balaruc or Ruoms are two examples). You’ll find everything you could need here, without bumping into lots of other tourists, or feeling suffocated by crowds.
There are several 5 and 4 star campsites in the department. All offer a multitude of quality services. From swimming pools to direct access to rivers and entertainment, Ardèche campsites guarantee an exceptional holiday.
Although the whole department is beautiful, the campsites in Vallon Pont d’Arc are the most popular because of their proximity to this incredible natural rock formation. It is also an excellent location for access to other attractions, close to the Ardèche gorges and the Chauvet cave, known for its prehistoric paintings.
Comfort, fresh air, nature and rural surroundings: that’s what you can expect at the most beautiful campsites in the Ardèche.
The French Riviera and Provence
The south of France is one of the most popular destinations for French and international holidaymakers, and for good reason! The Côte d’Azur enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters: perfect for enjoying a holiday in the open air, near the beaches and the sea.
If you want to discover the glamourous crowds and people-watching opportunities of the French Riviera, choose a campsite near Saint-Tropez, Antibes or Cannes. If you want to enjoy the peace and quiet and the sound of cicadas singing, choose Provence. You’ll be surrounded by fields of lavender and olive trees. For beach and swimming lovers, choose a campsite near Hyères. There are 4 and 5 star establishments close to the sea and the beautiful island of Porquerolles.
Wherever you stay, you should visit the Verdon gorges, a real natural wonder.
However, beware: if you want to holiday on the French Riviera during the high season, you will have to book well in advance.
The Loire Valley
The Loire valley offers an exceptional natural setting with its wooded banks and majestic (and countless!) castles. If you want to stay at one of the most beautiful campsites in France, this is the right place.
The impressive castles make the region a must-see destination for history lovers. Between the ‘giant’ Chambord and the magnificent chateau of the ladies of Chenonceau (below), you will be spoilt for choice. Quite simply, the history of France unfolds before your eyes, along one of the longest rivers in Europe. Read our article on French castles to visit on holidays here.
For an unforgettable stay on the banks of the Loire, choose one of the campsites located between Tours and Blois. The beauty of the river and the treasures of the Loire Valley will be easily accessible from here.
The campsites in the Loire Valley are very varied. You will find glamping accommodation, lodges on the river, educational farms and even a château campsite. This diversity of accommodation makes the Loire Valley one of the best places to find unique campsites in France. One of Campsited’s favourites!
If the words ‘forest’, ‘beach’ and ‘surf’ rhyme with ‘perfect holiday’ in your head, then your version of paradise is in the Landes department.
On the Atlantic coast, this destination is an excellent choice to relax by the ocean, in a natural setting.
The campsites in Landes are particularly well equipped: they are aimed at families who prefer a “club” atmosphere. They have water parks, spas, balneotherapy and entertainment programmes to appeal to both young and old. Your little ones will spend hours having fun on the slides and other water games. In terms of accommodation, you will find many mobile homes and bungalows, pitches and also glamping accommodation.
As far as activities are concerned, there is a wide range. First of all, surfing is the most popular activity in the area, and the seaside resorts of Hossegor, Capbreton or Seignosse are the places to go for this. Cycling is also particularly good fun here, as there are many cycle paths through the typical pine forests of the region.
Landes is also an ideal place to enjoy sun and a mild climate, tempered by the ocean. July and August are the best months for camping holidays in Landes, but the temperatures are still pleasant from April until October.
The Languedoc coast (or Occitan coast) is made for those who love the water. On the Mediterranean between the Côte d’Azur and the Spanish border, this area has many seaside resorts with Occitan charm. One of them is the gorgeous little town of Collioure (pictured).
These are the other main holiday destinations in the area:
- Le Barcarès
- Narbonne Plage
- la Grande Motte.
All of them have a large number of ‘open-air hotels’: so much so that Argelès-sur-mer is sometimes referred to as the camping capital of Europe.
The Mediterranean coast is also famous for its family beaches. The gentle slope of the water, the mild temperature and the fine sand are all attractive. The calm sea is like a lagoon – safe and welcoming for children to swim in.
In terms of accommodation in Languedoc, you will find beautiful seaside campsites with waterparks, luxurious bungalows and unique glamping rentals. You can choose a campsite with direct access to the sea and plenty of entertainment, or a quieter campsite, near the Narbonnaise regional park for example.
Those who love nature and greenery should head for Normandy.
This region offers landscapes with striking contrasts: fine sandy beaches and steep cliffs on the coast and green, welcoming bocage inland. Of course, the coast attracts the majority of tourists. There are lots of nice beaches in towns such as Deauville, Trouville and Honfleur and you should also visit the cliffs of Etretat.
For history lovers, Normandy is a must. Between the WW2 landing beaches and the city of Rouen, where the trial of Joan of Arc was held, there is more than a thousand years of history to discover. And can we fail to mention Mont Saint-Michel (below), the most visited tourist site in France after Paris?
Choosing a camping holiday in Normandy is also an opportunity to taste the local produce. Brie, cider, oysters and many other typical products, to be enjoyed with or without moderation!
As far as accommodation is concerned, you will find many campsites in Normandy with indoor swimming pools, near the sea and with a children’s club. Your little ones will make friends from all over Europe while you enjoy a well-deserved rest.
This family destination par excellence gives you the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing holiday while taking advantage (or having your children take advantage) of the many activities on the campsite.
It would be impossible to talk about the most beautiful campsites in France without mentioning the Dordogne. This area has landscapes worthy of the most beautiful postcards with its medieval castles, rivers and caves.
As well as its beauty, the Dordogne is also a very popular camping destination because of the wide range of activities it offers visitors. Among these are the famous Lascaux caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A stroll through the beautiful towns of Sarlat and Bergerac is food for the soul. Finally, the Dordogne is also home to a number of villages that have been awarded the title of “Most Beautiful Village in France“. To name but a few:
- La Roque-Gageac.
Go hiking, canoeing, horse riding or simply enjoy the sunshine at one of the many campsites in the Dordogne with a swimming pool or water park.
Dordogne is also known for its local cuisine: truffles, foie gras, potatoes cooked in duck fat (les pommes de terre sarladaises). You can try all these products in the many restaurants in the region. Why not even in the one at your campsite, if that makes life easier?
To choose the most beautiful surrounds, opt for a campsite near a lake or river. You can book a stay in a mobile home, glamping accommodation or go for a ‘100% open air’ stay with a bare pitch for your tent, caravan or motorhome.
The Vendée has a lot to offer for camping holidaymakers.
Whether you prefer the sea or the countryside, you will find what you are looking for. The Atlantic coastline is lined with many wide beaches. Offshore, you can visit the charming islands of Noirmoutier and Ile d’Yeu.
There are great facilities on the Vendée coast for watersports such as sailing, kitesurfing and paddle boarding. In fact, the Vendée is a very popular destination for families because it offers so many services and activities suitable for children. There are many campsites in the Vendée with water parks and mini-clubs, all close to the sea.
Inland, you can wander through beautiful forests and natural parks and visit the castle of Tiffauges.
France is a great option an outdoor holiday in a genuinely beautiful place, that will make the whole family really realise what a wonderful world we live in. And there really are so many choices of stunning destination that there is space for everyone to find their little piece of paradise.
Whether you are looking for a campsite near the sea or in the countryside, the destination of your dreams is waiting for you. So, pack your bags and set off to discover the most beautiful campsites in France!