France may be Europe’s top camping destination. It seems like every beach, natural landmark and regional park is accompanied by well-presented places to pitch up.
And these cater for all types of campers: You might travel light and prefer a rough-and-ready camping style with no frills.
Or you could be high-maintenance, and demand every luxury possible at swish new glamping accommodation.
Many of the selections below are self-contained holiday parks, deep in fresh woodland, with restaurants, water parks and even spas on site.
Others let their location do the talking, putting you next to mountain lakes, châteaux, undiscovered beaches, gorges, cliffs or even the largest sand dune in Europe.
Lets have a look at the best campsites in France:
1. La Garangeoire, Vendée
What campsite could be more quintessentially French than this, on the grounds of a beautiful old château.
La Garangeoire is cloaked in woodland and meadows, just a few minutes by car from cinematic Vendée beaches like Grand Plage at Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie.
There are 200 hectares of nature surrounding this sprawling campsite, with four fishing lakes and opportunities for cycling, canoeing and horseback riding.
Camping pitches are up to 200 square metres, and all are on lush grass.
While there are also mobile homes and chalets, with hedges to provide some privacy.
You can make use of the heated pool complex and a welcoming little restaurant in one of the buildings on the château grounds.
2. Les Alicourts, Loir-et-Cher
The divine châteaux of the Loire Valley will be at your fingertips at this five-star site in central France.
Many of the pitches at Les Alicourts are grassy, and some benefit from the shade of oak trees.
The facilities on-site are what set this site apart, with a water park for little ones, a spa centre with sauna and massages, and a nine-hole golf course of all things! You could make excursions to the renaissance Château de Chambord, or the city of Bourges where in summer the Nuits Lumière take place, illuminating the city’s medieval monuments after dark with fantastical light shows.
3. Bot-Conan Lodge, Finistère
This glamping site has a magical location in a glade overlooking a tiny cove for swimming in summer.
When you think of Brittany you might picture Atlantic waves breaking on cliffs, but the beach next to Bot-Conan Lodge is the complete opposite: Smooth, safe waters and an enticing crescent of white sand.
The accommodation is just as welcoming, with a range of safari and bell tents that add a bit of luxury and style to your camping holiday.
They come with imaginative extras, like antique postal bikes to help you roam the trails snaking away from the site through meadows and along the indented coast.
4. Camping Les Pêcheurs, Var
A few kilometres in from Fréjus, this campsite is a piece of the Provence countryside everybody raves about.
The site is in the shadow of the Roquebrune rock, with ochre walls that turn bright red at sunset.
There are 110 generous touring pitches, all bordered by natural barriers like bushes and trees.
Ample shade is also provided by the foliage, a must in summer.
There’s a lake just across the road, with kayaks for hire and a little beach for sunbathing.
If you want a taste of the Riviera lifestyle then you can rub shoulders with the stars at Saint-Tropez, if you beat the traffic
5. Séquoia Parc, Charente-Maritime
In a pastoral landscape of arable fields and salt marshes, Séquoia Parc is a 45-hectare campsite where a farm used to be.
The site occupies the historic farm buildings to give Séquoia Parc a congenial, old-world feel.
A perfect day at the beach can be had at nearby Saint-Palais-sur-Mer, where there’s a sequence of golden sandy bays in a little inlet with rock pools when the tide goes out.
But there’s also water-based fun to be had on-site, with a water park offering slides and a lazy river that kids won’t want to leave in summer.
The parc also has a team of instructors for activities like tennis and horseback riding, with trips into the nearby forest.
6. Saint-Avit Loisirs, Dordogne
This campsite is cooled by the dense woodland of Black Périgord and has stone buildings with slate roofs designed in the classic regional style.
The stunning Dordogne River meanders just a few minutes from the site, and the parc will arrange a canoe trip for you and your family.
You’ll glide past the famous limestone gorges, castles and caves inhabited for many thousands of years.
On the other hand it could prove tempting to just laze by the site’s four pools.
There’s a broad range of accommodation at Saint-Avit Loisirs, with chalets, mobile homes and pitches that provide extra comforts like running water and electricity.
7. Camping Le Pré Bas, Puy-de-Dôme
Found at an elevation of 870 metres and just a few steps from the Blue Flag Lac Chambon in the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Park, Camping Le Pré Bas is a four-star site where you can really escape to nature.
The topography is spectacular, with volcanic domes all around, best explored by road or on the long-distance GR 30 trail.
Close by in Murol there’s a Neolithic monument, a medieval castle and an assortment of quaint old houses to gaze at.
But it’s tempting just to take it easy next to the lake’s sparkling waters that warm up on summer afternoons.
Or you could indulge in a variety of treatments at the site’s wellness complex.
8. Flower Camping Le Rompval, Somme
In more temperate climes, Flower Camping Le Rompval places you close to the highest chalk cliff in Europe, in verdant countryside only a few minutes from the Somme Bay.
This site has caught the glamping bug, with a 20 square-metre bubble home with a separate bedroom and even a bathroom.
The beach at Mers-les-Bains is moments away on summer days, and has a traditional seafront, art nouveau houses and charming old bathing huts.
And if the weather and English Channel are a bit brisk there’s a covered heated pool to unwind in.
9. Camping Panorama du Pyla, Gironde
Also a stone’s throw from an awesome natural wonder is this site in Gironde, walking distance from the Dune du Pilat.
The 15-hectare campsite is in the fragrant black pine forest that fringes the dune, and provides a selection of rented accommodation or large pitches.
The forest continues for several kilometres in every direction and is woven with trails.
But of course the main attraction is the 110-metre-high dune that might make you feel like you’re in the Sahara.
It will be hard to resist coming back every day, but glorious Bordeaux, Atlantic beaches and the world’s greatest wine châteaux are within range.
10. Camping La Ravoire, Haute Savoie
It doesn’t get more spectacular than Lake Annecy, and whether you’re on these shores for a breathless holiday full of activities or to do as little as possible, La Ravoire is a great place to be.
They’ve got mobile homes, chalets and pitches, all complemented by a swimming pool and mini water park.
You’re less than a kilometre from the western lakeshore and the walking trail that bends around the perimeter.
Summer is the time for water sports like wake-boarding and paragliding, available from the pier a brief walk or bike ride from the site.
If you’re undaunted by the peaks next to the lake there are all sorts of perched lookouts to seek out, while Annecy is nothing short of enchanting and must be visited at least once.
11, Anse du Brick, Manche
On the north side of Normandy’s rural Cotentin Peninsula, Anse du Brick is an irresistibly cute campsite in 300 natural hectares.
It’s all just a refreshing amble away from the sea and an adorable little beach.
Much of the accommodation at this campsite benefits from coastal views, as do the two restaurants here.
The scenery on the Cotentin Peninsula can be as rugged as it is gentle, and Cape of La Hague there’s a craggy seascape of granite and gneiss cliffs and outcrops.
You could take a day-trip here, go down to the unforgettable Mont-Saint-Michel or stay put and spend long summer days by the pool while the little ones run wild at the water park.
12. Etang-des-Haizes, Manche
Nearly all the campsites on this list are fine for families, but Etang-des-Haizes in Normandy goes the extra mile to ensure parents and children have the best time possible.
There’s a “Kids’ Club” where little guys are supervised by fun, enthusiastic staff for all sorts of activities.
There’s an adventure playground too, and the essential outdoor pool with slides.
A neat feature at Etang-des-Haizes is that you can go fishing without a licence at the local lake, or rent a pedalo.
We haven’t even mentioned the best part yet: The site is an apple orchard in bucolic countryside, but seconds by road from La Haye-du-Puits, with all the French village shops you know and love.
13. Le Paradou, Loire
In the low Montagnes de la Madeleine this large and unpretentious rural campsite borders three fishing lakes with abundant carp, and has services facilities like free wi-fi, a supermarket and cycle hire.
If you want the camping experience without lugging all your gear across the country, then Le Paradou also rents out tent trailers and fully-furnished caravans.
It’s the remoteness of the site that also appeals, almost an hour from Vichy, the nearest city.
You can recharge you batteries on walks through mossy fir forest, and visits to the picturesque farming communities around the site.
14. Camping Pyrénées Natura, Hautes-Pyrénées
This highly-rated site at 1,000 metres is one of the few on this list without a pool; no matter though, because the Camping Pyrénées Natura has its own mountain stream! You can also get a first-hand insights about the surrounding nature by setting off on a guided ramble to spot the native species of the Pyrenees National Park like marmots, chamois and eagles.
The campsite is relatively compact because of the demands of this precipitous landscape, but provides 19 mobile homes to rent and 47 pitches for caravans, tent trailers and tents.
You’ll pass soft summer evenings with a glass of wine watching the sun set behind the craggy peaks from the bar terrace.
15. Château de Lez Eaux, Manche
Normandy’s Manche department is blessed with some superb campsites, and of those near the base of the Cotentin Peninsula Chaateau de lez Eaux is the closest to Mont-Saint-Michel.
People travel a lot further than this to see one of the world’s treasured man-made landmarks.
If you require more comfort than a tent or caravan can afford, then this 12-acre site offers two or three-bedroom lodges with all the conveniences you deserve.
There’s an outdoor and indoor pool, a fishing lake and tennis courts in the lush, grassy grounds of an 18th-century château.
All of the amenities have evocative homes in the historic outbuildings of the manor.