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5 Tenting Choices in France (Free & Paid!)

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Trying to camp in France? France is thought for being some of the camper-friendly nations in Europe and a kind of causes is the plentiful tenting choices. Right here we’re diving into the highest 5 choices for tenting in France.

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1. Campgrounds

That is essentially the most simple, conventional approach to camp in France. Like RV parks within the States, campgrounds in France supply designated campsites and facilities.

At campgrounds, you possibly can entry electrical energy, water, and probably a dump station. You’ll additionally discover laundry, showers, loos, and—even within the smallest campgrounds—a playground.

french campground playgroundTenting outdoors of Annecy, France

Campgrounds are an ideal place to remain, however as a result of France is an especially camper-friendly nation, there are numerous extra distinctive motorhome stopover choices.

Learn extra: What Campgrounds in France Are Like

2. Aires

Aires are relaxation stops meets fuel stations.

You’ll see indicators for aires about each 10 minutes on the freeway they usually have various ranges of niceness. Some are like picnic areas within the states—a spot to park and a few tables. Others are full-blown fuel station relaxation stops that join the east and west sides of the freeway with a sky bridge, supply a number of eating places, and all of the basic issues campers want like dump stations and showers. It’s fairly the vary.

france camping options aire motorhome stopover

How Do Aires Work?

These are typically first-come, first-served in a single day parking spots. Many aires are free, however some could require a small charge (lower than $10 and often provided that they provide providers like electrical energy). Dump stations and water fills are sometimes free, however you’ll need to native verify signage.

Not all aires supply in a single day parking, so double-check the knowledge on Park4Night earlier than planning an in a single day keep. I additionally suggest studying the evaluations (they need to translate for you within the app) for crime reviews. France is mostly protected, however sure areas of France have extra petty crime than others. Should you’re in a extra crime-ridden space, you’ll see reviews of prowlers or theft in Park4Night evaluations.

How do you discover aires?

We completely used Park4Night to seek out aires due to the evaluations and the options itemizing. After we wanted to discover a place to eat lunch and stretch our legs on a protracted drive daywe searched and located an aire with an enormous picnic space and a playground for the youngsters.

You possibly can, nonetheless, additionally simply maintain your eyes peeled for signage or search “aires” on Google or Apple Maps.

3. Wild Tenting

Wild tenting, referred to as boondocking within the States, is tenting free of charge in nature. We discovered wild tenting choices all through France, usually in forests or on rivers. At one specific campsite—which was actually a gravel space on the facet of a quiet nation street surrounded by timber—we had miles of trails proper outdoors our door.

We loved a peaceable night time in nature and wakened and hiked by way of the forest. Even higher, that campsite was quarter-hour from a fort and a three-minute drive right into a tiny village the place we loved espresso and pastries the subsequent morning.

In keeping with the web, wild tenting is each allowed and never allowed in France. Formally, it’s banned. But it surely’s additionally as much as native ordinances. To place it within the easiest phrases doable, you understand if you see a photograph of a tent on Instagram in the course of nowhere surrounded by mountains? That’s an enormous no-no in France. You possibly can’t simply go anyplace in nature and name it wild tenting.

You’ll have to discover a designated in a single day tenting spot to keep away from getting ticketed. Don’t fear, it’s surprisingly simple to seek out free in a single day parking all around the nation.

How Does Wild Tenting work?

We, once more, use Park4Night to seek out wild tenting spots. Park4Night is only a itemizing app, so that they don’t personal or coordinate any campsites. However they’ll present the precise location coordinates you want, usually paired with pictures and evaluations. You possibly can click on the navigation button or copy-paste the GPS coordinates and head towards the tenting space. Park4Night is particularly for motorhomes and caravans, so that you received’t get something that may take you offroad or the place you possibly can’t drive. Learn the evaluations if there are peak or size restrictions which may stop your RV from making the drive.

After we arrive at our “campsite,” we discover a stage place to park that’s out of the best way of any street visitors and leaves area for different campers to affix us. There aren’t any providers if you’re wild tenting, so establishing your RV is so simple as placing it in park. We frequently instantly arrange our tables and chairs outdoors so we may take pleasure in as a lot time outdoors as doable.

Our Expertise Wild Tenting

Wild tenting felt each protected and quiet. We by no means encountered any rowdy campers or loud street noise. We, as vacationers, are additionally overly cautious of native signage to ensure we’re tenting in the suitable spot. The very last thing you need on vacation is to get woken up by the police in the course of the night time telling you to go away.

4. Residence Camper

Residence Camper is the place you possibly can keep in your motorhome at folks’s houses/on their property. (Similar to a HipCamp or Boondockers Welcome.) You’ll want a self-contained RV (AKA your personal onboard lavatory) and also you’ll most likely need to know a bit of French, because you’ll be conversing with locals.

We used Residence Camper on our second night time within the RV to remain within the yard of a champagne home in Epernay. We have been greeted by Frank, who guided us to a big area the place we parked with 4 different motorhomes. Which will sound like lots, however we had loads of area between our RVs! This website supplied electrical energy, loos, showers, and playgrounds, however facilities fluctuate by website.

Three white motorhomes parked next to each other in a grassy campsite.One in all our first stops in France was this Champagne home who had a tenting space (and scrumptious champagne!).

How Does Residence Camper Work?

To make use of Residence Camper, you’ll first want to enroll and create a free account. Then you possibly can browse their listings, see pictures and evaluations, and request or e book a reservation. We discovered an exquisite spot in Champagne after which chosen our dates, our car sort, and the way many individuals have been in our social gathering. Most Residence Camper listings cost per individual (like campgrounds do) however don’t cost for younger kids like ours. You’ll add your bank card data to request your reservation.

We clicked request and received a request affirmation through electronic mail. It notes particularly that if our request expires or is declined, we received’t be charged.

4 minutes later, our host, France (pronounced like Frank), accepted our reservation.

With the reservation affirmation electronic mail, we obtained the handle, cellphone quantity, and electronic mail handle of our host in addition to arrival data. We have been advised to reach at 5:00 PM, which we mistakenly learn as after 5:00 PM. France was ready at his gate patiently at 5 whereas we have been sitting at a champagne tasting downtown. This was a complete cultural miscommunication on our half. As soon as we realized our mistake, we referred to as and let him know we have been on our approach and headed to the champagne home.

The rationale this was essential for this specific reservation was that the pictures of the property confirmed acres of inexperienced grass and timber surrounded an exquisite chateau. We drove down a tiny metropolis avenue lined with buildings getting meters away from our vacation spot and we have been past confused. Shouldn’t we be in nature?

However there, behind a concrete wall and a large gate, was the hidden property. If somebody wasn’t ready by the street to get our consideration, we’d’ve gotten misplaced.

France greeted us and we apologized for our delay. He confirmed us the place to get parked and tips on how to hook as much as his electrical energy. After which we have been free to discover and benefit from the property. We performed on the playgrounds, drank France’s champagne, and he even introduced over just a few eggs he plucked from his hen coop.

We stayed one night time, although we may’ve booked extra if we had the time!

5. France Ardour

Regardless of what the identify may call to mind, this isn’t a French relationship app. French Ardour is a membership program the place you possibly can camp free of charge at farms and wineries throughout the nation. This was our favourite approach to journey throughout France!

As a result of this can be a membership, there’s an preliminary charge. However after becoming a member of the membership, you get to camp free of charge throughout France!

How Does France Ardour Work?

Earlier than heading to France, we signed up for a membership on-line. (I’ll cowl signing up in a second.)

As soon as signed up, we’d browse their e book or their app for nice locations to remain alongside your tenting route. With over 2,000 areas, you’re at all times positive to seek out one close to you. Make sure you have a look at the itemizing particulars to see in case your motorhome can match, if children/pets are welcome, and in the event that they require calling earlier than arrival.

While you present up at your chosen campsite, join with the house owners to know the place to park. We at all times had a grassy space to ourselves. After getting parked, it’s customary to patron the enterprise. This implies shopping for a wine tasting, bottles of wine, produce, or meals. We felt that this was a good way to get really native meals and loved shopping for wine, olive oil, and different native treats from every place.

Be respectful throughout your keep by cleansing up outdoors your RV and never dumping any of your refuse or tanks. While you depart—there could also be most well-liked “depart by” hours—take a second to go away a assessment within the France Ardour app. You may also depart a assessment on Google. Selecting to remain at France Ardour websites means you’re supporting native household companies and each assessment counts!

How do I be part of France Ardour Program?

The France Ardour program is fairly old-fashioned. To enroll, it’s a must to order a bodily e book. I used to be barely confused at first on whether or not or not I’d additionally want to enroll and pay for an app individually, however you don’t. In essence, you simply go to their web site to buy a e book and then you definitely’re enrolled.

The price to enroll is at present at $33 yearly (consists of the bodily e book, your membership card, and app entry).

Associated: How the France Ardour Program Works

Our Expertise Staying at France Ardour Websites

I communicate zero French. With my huge data of the French language, I used to be a bit of involved about coordinating with hosts. (I’ll cowl French phrases to know within the subsequent chapter!)

I imagined calling French hosts and attempting to elucidate in English that we’d like to return and keep of their winery. They’d most likely begin asking me about our motorhome size however then I’d get confused and suppose they have been inviting me to a chocolate tasting.

Fortunately, that didn’t occur.

First, the vast majority of the hosts spoke English. Second, for those who didn’t, I used to be in a position to bust out Google Translate (my greatest buddy when touring overseas) and we managed to get sufficient phrases like “tenting automotive” into the combination or “France Ardour”. Inevitably, as soon as they heard France Ardour they gave an enthusiastic sure.

Tenting Choices in France

Should you’re planning a street journey round France, you’ll not battle to discover a place to remain for the night time. As you possibly can see, there are a number of free and paid tenting choices in France.

Need journey suggestions for motorhoming in Europe? Try a few of our in style articles:

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