french campground views

This Campervan Campsite in France Blew Our Minds!

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As we continue RVing in countries worldwide, we can’t help but notice all the different amenities and details that make each experience and each country unique. Campervan campsites in France are easy to find. There are “motorhome stopovers” and free places to stay around the country.

But in this post, we dive into official campsites at campgrounds or what in the States you might call “RV parks.” In France, these campgrounds will be referred to as “camping,” which is pretty lucky for us English speakers!

We have to start with what is EASILY the most beautiful campervan campsite I’ve ever seen.

Did We Find the Best Campsite in France?

We found it. Well, maybe not the best campsite in France, but what can only be known as the most beautiful campsite views in the world.

Watch the video to fully appreciate the views of this campground in the French Alps.

What are French campsites called?

Campgrounds in France are often referred to as “camping.” For example, a campground in Carcassone will be called “Camping Carcassone.” Similarly, we stayed at Camping de la Forêt – Lourdes and Camping Cimes Chamonix. This translates roughly to Forest Campsite – Lourdes and Peak Campsite Chamonix (in the towns of Lourdes and Chamonix, respectively). Very straightforward.

This makes it extremely easy to use Google Maps to search for campgrounds in the area you’re looking to camp. Just search “camping,” and these campgrounds will come up.

Related: What Campeggi in Italy Are Like

How much does a French campsite cost?

Pricing in France is a little different than in American campgrounds.

You’ll be charged per person and per service, like if you need electricity. In our video, for example, the campground charges 7,80€ per adult, 0€ for our baby and three-year-old, 6,60€ for the “allotment,” aka our campsite, and 4,20€ for electricity. That’s 26,40 € per night, which was about $25 at our current conversion rate.

We generally didn’t pay more than $30/night for a campground (and we always paid the extra bit for electricity).

Most campsites charge similar prices, and you’ll often find a pricing chart on the campground website.

What To Expect at Your French Campsite

If you pay for electricity, that’s the main amenity you’ll get at your campsite.

French campsites are very minimal. You’ll be parked often in the grass (typically unlevel since much of France is hilly and mountainous). There will be a divider between your campsites and your neighbors. In the above video, it was hedges. However, most campsites we stayed at after this one used vines to separate sites. Yes, like vines growing grapes to make wine. Welcome to France. 🍷

The vines provide much less privacy than hedges but give off that quintessential French vibe you’ll love. (Walk to the campground bakery—it probably has one—and grab a croissant to complete the French vibes.)

That’s about it for your actual campsite.

Personally, I love the minimalism of French campsites versus American sites. With tiny RVs abroad, the unlevel ground is less of an issue. European RVs don’t need full hookups because they are built differently. Plus, parking in the grass gives you a much more authentic “camping” experience.

Related: 16 Differences Between RVing in America and RVing Abroad

What Amenities to Expect When Camping in France

So what amenities can you expect if your campsite is just unlevel grass and maybe electricity (if you paid extra for it)?

It depends.

french campground playground campervan campsite france
Campground near Annecy, France

Every campground is different.

Every campground we camped at offered:

  • A restaurant or bakery (seasonal)
  • Playground (probably more than one)
  • Shower house
  • Bathhouse (Often separated from showers)
  • Dump area for cassette toilet
  • Fresh water fill
  • Tent camping area
  • Dishwashing station

Most campgrounds we camped at offered:

  • Laundry
  • Dump station for grey water
  • Bus tickets, shuttles, or other local transport services
  • Kids bathroom*
  • Running water (rivers, streams, creeks, etc)

*Kids showers, baby bathtubs, lower access sinks, and lower access toilets and urinals are common across southern European campgrounds.

Amenities you’ll sometimes find:

Most of the campgrounds we saw were “mom and pop,” meaning owned by locals, not a big camping chain. This means every campground was set up differently and offered a wide range of possible amenities. In more touristy areas, we found more amenities available (especially pools).

One other note: Laundry will be obscenely expensive. We paid about $9 per load every time we did laundry!

Do French Campgrounds have WIFI?

Yes. I mean, no. Kind of?

Nearly every campground said they offered wifi (often free).

However, connecting was extremely difficult, and the signal wouldn’t be very strong if we did connect. So they offered wifi, but it wasn’t reliable.

We relied on SIM cards instead and used our phones as hot spots when we needed to use our computers. I specifically used Airalo on my phone, an eSIM option where you can designate your country, how many days you’ll need the SIM, and how much data you’d like. Airalo only offers data, not calling.

I purchased the one-month EU-wide plan for my iPhone and did not use all my data. I frequently streamed videos and music and still had plenty of data left over. (On the other hand, my husband got a physical SIM from Orange for calling options. His total costs were more than mine, but we did make phone calls to campgrounds on his phone, so it was worth it to have both.)

Are French Campsites Open Year-round?

Depending on the area, yes. However, most close for the winter in our experience. We stayed at one park near the Pyrenees on the last night they were open for the season (October 7th).

Pools also close for the season. We arrived in France in mid-September, and all the pools were closed at the campgrounds.

Do French Campground Staff Speak English?


When you visit a foreign country, you tend to pick a few phrases you need to know for travel. Where is the train station? One cappuccino, please. Excuse me. I’m sorry. Thank you. 

Read Next: You should learn these phrases in every country you visit

Similarly, this might also be the level of English that campground staff can speak. You will meet trilingual or multilingual staff who can speak fluent English with you. (Remember to be patient! You’re often talking to a Swede fluent in Swedish, French, and English or a German fluent in German, French, English, and Spanish, and so on.)

But sometimes, especially outside of major tourist areas, you’ll find that staff speaks just enough English for their job. They can ask if you need electricity, how many people, what dates, etc. They can usually get you set up at a campsite with no problem, but it’s more difficult if you try to have a conversation outside of that.

Trying to communicate over the phone if making a reservation was the toughest communication barrier, but we could always understand each other face-to-face.

Overall, the language barrier was never a major issue—and we speak basically no French.

Should I Make Reservations for France Campgrounds?

We made zero reservations before flying to France, but if you’re visiting in the high season (summer) or have certain spots where you really want to camp, I would recommend making advance bookings. You may find that online booking will also be available in English (or your preferred language).

Campervan Campsite in France

France is often heralded as the most camping-friendly country in Europe. We definitely found that to be the case. (And the views don’t stink either!)

french campground views campervan campsite france

For more campsite options, read: 5 Camping Options in France (Free & Paid!)

2 Responses

  • Thank you for the blog and videos. I’m currently planning a trip to France for next year. Sorry if I missed it in the video, but what is the name of the campsite with those views, I want to put it on my list!

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