About This Guide
Each campsite included in this guide has a full description with an explanation of the details included for each campsite listed below. Over a 1,000 campsites have been inspected and the featured sites have been selected from the best independent camping and caravan sites in France. Whether you are travelling with a motorcaravan, a trailer tent, tent or caravan you should find a good choice of campsites to suit your personal requirements. The campsite guide is set out in 13 different tourist regions with a sypnosis of tourist attractions for each area. We have also featured information on travelling and holidaying in France.
Campsite Services and Facilities
All the sites welcome caravans, motorhomes, tents and trailer tents and almost all offer some form of accommodation in chalets, mobilehomes, tents, apartments, gites or even tree-houses. We have indicated where pitches would be totally unsuitable for large outfits. Generally most of them have pitches about 100m², so do bear in mind that motorhomes 11m long or tents measuring 9m x 9m plus car will have difficulty fitting on a pitch. If you have a particularly large caravan, motorhome or tent, we recommend contacting the site before arrival even in the low season to check that there are pitches available which can accommodate your outfit. Often we say that a pitch is grassy, but do remember that by end of a busy season of heavy use, there may be very little green grass left and the pitch will be very dry and sometimes muddy or dusty. The further south you are, the more this is likely to be the case. Also when we indicate that pitches are gently sloping, we recommend levelling blocks for caravanners and motorcaravanners.
We have included star ratings for all these sites. These are not our ratings, but those allocated by individual local authorities in France. They are rated according the number of facilities provided per camper and do not necessarily reflect the quality of the installations nor the quality of maintenance. Consequently some 3-star sites can actually provide better quality services than some of the 4-star or 5-star ones.
The French Ministry of Tourism has recently updated the criteria for assessing star ratings of campsites and have introduced a fifth star for the real top of the range establishments. All the old classifications should now be updated. A 5 star site has to have a swimming-pool, a reception offering 3 languages (one of which must be English), internet access on the pitches and something extra such as a spa or fitness centre. This website has been updated with any changes in star ratings.
The review rating for each campsite gives a mark out of 10 for each of the following aspects and also gives a general average rating.
- Overall impression
Electricity, Water & Drainage
220 volt electricity is generally available although the amperage provided varies from site to site. Not all sites offer pitches with water & drainage and on many sites only a limited number are equipped with this facility.
Sites which are specially suitable for motorhomes because of their proximity to a town have been highlighted. This helps identify the sites where you will not need to take your outfit off site too often.
The majority of sites have swimming pools and paddling pools. Only the larger sites employ attendants, so generally they are not supervised. Increasing numbers have installed indoor pools or cover the outdoor ones in low season. Although many sites advertise heated pools the temperature of the water does tend to vary. On some of the larger sites you will be obliged to pay a deposit, refundable on departure, for a wristband which permits entry. Most sites now forbid Bermuda shorts in their pools. Only trunks allowed.
Activities On Site
These vary from site to site. Some offer an enormous range of activities including tennis, all weather sports pitches, mini-golf, trampolines, paintball, adventure parks, canoe hire etc. Others only have a children’s playground and a boules piste. Boules or Pétanque is the French game played with heavy steel balls thrown to be nearest the cochonnet, often played in teams. It is airborne bowls and the skill comes from reading the bumps, holes and cracks on the stony uneven surface.
Again this varies dramatically and is usually only available from the beginning of July to the end of August. Some sites offer no organised activities at all. The majority offer some daytime entertainment and the occasional evening concert in high season. Most sites now employ an “animateur” to run a children’s club. Many sites organise sporting competitions such as tennis or volleyball tournaments and some of the bigger sites have a programme of organised activities all day long, even in the low season. Many sites offer organised excursions including guided walks. Discos are run every evening by some of the larger sites only.
A description of the facilities is given for each site and includes details such as whether showers have temperature control and if there are sufficient hooks. Some sites do not provide toilet paper and even on those that do, don’t forget it may run out at peak times! Most sites provide separate sinks for washing clothes (bac à linge) and for washing up (bac à vaisselle). It is important to take your own bowl as plugs are not always provided or tend to “disappear” during the season. Most sites have washing machines, dryers, usually operated by a token system obtained at the reception. There is great demand in the high season, so aim to use them early in the morning or late in the evening. Free ironing facilities are also usually available.
Most sites have shops that sell only basics and generally open in the morning and in the evening from 16:00 to 19:00. Restaurants and take-aways tend to offer fairly limited menus. Do bear in mind that the chef is usually only employed for the season.
Opening times of services
These vary on most sites depending on the season. The reception on a large number of sites is closed at lunchtime from 12 - 2pm, particularly in the low season and on smaller sites they may be shut for 3 or 4 hours. Similarly other services like the shop, bar, take-away and restaurant may have more limited hours in low season or may only operate in high season. Some sites are now giving full details of the opening times on their website. If you want to be sure that something is open, either email or telephone in advance. Most proprietors or receptionists speak English well enough to respond to your queries.
Internet & Wi-Fi
All but a few sites offer an internet service and most now also offer Wi-Fi. Some offer Wi-Fi for free and others make a charge.
Barbecues are not allowed on all sites, particularly wooded ones, and may be banned altogether during prolonged dry periods. Gas barbecues are allowed on most sites. Some sites ban the use of electric barbecues. Open fires on the ground are banned on all sites.
Nearly all sites now have their own mobile homes and/or chalets available for rent. Some also have gites or rooms for rent. We have not inspected the accommodation available and have not included any specific information about them. Refer to the site’s own web for further details.
We have indicated as far as possible the number of British tour operators present as this obviously reflects the atmosphere of the site. It means that there will be other British children for your own to play with, but equally the number of French and other nationalities will be considerably reduced.
The opening dates are those advised to us at the time of going to press. We do not accept responsibility for any variations in these details.
The prices shown are indicative only and give the nightly rate for two persons on a standard pitch. Electricity is usually extra and a taxe de séjour of between €0.20 and €0.60 per night per person is payable at most sites. Prices for each site are published on their website.
Contacting the site
The postal address, email and telephone number of each site is provided.
Directions are given to the site from the most popular routes with an indication of the location of the site. The GPS coordinates are also given.
It is always a good idea to look at the campsite’s website. A few are brilliant and provide good images and excellent information. The majority have enough pictures to give you an idea of what to expect, but the quality of the information is poor. However the quality of the web does not necessarily reflect the quality of the campsite.
We have added a number of good quality sites near to the ports or on main through routes which are suitable for overnight stops.