Camping in France is unlike camping anywhere else.
Being from Canada, to me, camping is very basic with very few amenities. In France, you can often order croissants in the evening for delivery to your campsite in the morning. Now that’s luxury.
I have twice traveled through France with multiple kids in tow. For us, camping was a perfect choice for accommodation for most of the country. (Paris and other major cities were the exception of course.) During the day, we would sightsee but when back at the campground it was like being at home. It was predictable and kids like predictable.
On the flip side, my husband and I could be confident of our children’s safety – they really couldn’t go too far. As a result, they could be free to roam a bit and we were free to socialize. Campgrounds gave us access to a community and opportunities to stretch our French skills while sharing world views with people from all over the country.
Not all campgrounds in France are luxurious of course. Sometimes you’ll find a simple field with lavatory facilities and probably a bar. This is ok for the occasional overnight stay but for longer stays it is really worthwhile finding the more developed campgrounds. After all, if we were looking for a minimalist camping experience we would stay in Canada.
Many independent campgrounds offer pools, restaurants and bars. Some are almost like resorts with activities for kids and excursions. If you want to avoid the hit and miss of independent campgrounds, you might want to check out Les Castels Hotellerie De Pleins Air. We found a number of exceptional campgrounds through this network that stretches all over France.
Camping may not be top of most people’s minds when it comes to accommodation but I can assure you that it is a wonderful option for a fascinating country.
With her children grown, Janice now travels solo. As publisher of Solo Traveler, she offers solo travel stories, tips, safety advice and destination ideas. She also has a free ebook: Glad You’re Not Here, a solo traveler’s manifesto. A professional writer and entrepreneur, she is co-founder of the Global Bloggers Network, an interactive, online service for travel bloggers.