“We sucked at pétanque”: readers’ favorite campsites in France | french holidays
Winning tip: Campsite with waterfalls, Occitanie
If you want to fall asleep to the hypnotic rhythms of waterfalls, Campsite les Cascades is for you. At the foot of the Cascades du Sautadet, an hour’s drive north of Avignon and not far from Orange, this 4-star site is located in a green and verdant area of unspoiled nature. You can also splash around in the swimming pool or the paddling pools with the children, spend a nice day on the beach of the Cèze river or take a walk in the neighboring villages. You have the choice between cottages, glamping tents and tent safaris. Lots of sports to do too, including football, table tennis and canoeing – the locals even offered us a glass of wine for our desperate attempts to try the classic French game of pétanque one evening!
Pitches from €23, campinglescascades.com
Perfect French village, Occitanie
The 4-star Le Camp de Florence campsite in the Gers is located next to the village of La Romieu, considered one of the prettiest in France. Among its most famous buildings is the stunning Collégiale St Pierre, a 14th century church with a cloister and tower. The campsite restaurant serves excellent cuisine and wines inspired by the local Gascony countryside and there is a superb tropical-style swimming area for families. The staff are very accommodating and go the extra mile. Highly recommended – I will be back!
Visions of Gauguin, Brittany
For a relaxing camping experience, stay at Quinquis campsite in the coastal village of Le Pouldu in southern Brittany. Once there, visit the beautiful nearby village of Pont-Aven. The village is famous for its picturesque landscape, which has attracted many artists, including Paul Gauguin. Stroll the pretty banks and enter the many small galleries while soaking up the bohemian vibe. The Quinquis campsite offers you the ideal starting point to discover the countryside, the coast and the Breton culture.
Stargazing on the beach, Brittany
It is rare for a family to stay only once in a three star Beach Campsite, near La Trinité-sur-Mer in southern Brittany. Its appeal is not just in the direct beach access, but in the communities that congregate on the site every year. In the evenings, the children cycle around the covered avenues while the adults gather around a glass of wine; nibbles in plastic bowls with merguez sizzling on barbecues. The teenage friendships I made here spanned more than two decades, and I can’t wait to introduce my own son to sandcastles, swimming, and stargazing at this French home away from home. .
Green park, Vendée
Want to camp in a French castle? Then five stars The Garangeoire, on the grounds of a magnificent old castle, is for you. It is nestled in woods and meadows, just a few minutes drive from Vendée beaches such as the Grand Plage in Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie. There is verdant countryside around this vast campsite, with four fishing lakes and cycling, canoeing and horse riding within easy reach. The camping pitches are very spacious, all are on grass with hedges to ensure privacy. There’s a swimming pool and a small, welcoming restaurant that serves local dishes like octopus salad at fair prices.
Take me to the river, Dordogne
Swim early in the morning in the swimming pool of Le Capeyrou campsite as the spectacular Château de Beynac emerges on its cliff above the morning mists, then stroll along the riverbank to the village posing as Juliette Binoche en Chocolat. Walk to the castle of Beynac or Castelnaud-la-Chapelle. Picnic on the beach of the Dordogne river and swim, observe the tourists in kayaks and barges (traditional flat-bottomed fishing boats). We used to drive a rusty Volkswagen T2