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Camping holidays in France

When it comes to camping holidays there are definitely two types of families; those who love to sleep under canvas and those who prefer to sleep in a bed. If you fall into the latter camp then you can book a chalet camping holiday with Brittany Ferries. Or, if you prefer to camp in the truest sense of the word, then you can pack your camping gear into your car and set sail, potentially for a wild camping adventure.

Camping is one of the most popular holidays for families in France and there are hundreds of campsites dotted around the country. These range from simple municipal sites and wild camping spots to family resorts with kids’ activities, swimming pools, sports, entertainment and more. 

Boy at a campsite with a tent and campervan

Getting to a camping holiday in France is easy 

With camping holidays, the adventure often starts before you have even arrived. Pack up your car, drive on board one of the many France-bound ferries, and set sail for Europe.

Travelling to France from Britain you can sail from PortsmouthPoole and Plymouth to one of five ports in Northern France. With regular sailings you can be in BrittanyNormandythe Loire and Western France in no time.

Family going to beach in Brittany

Family beach holidays in Brittany

If you’re planning to explore Southern France then you can take one of the Spanish routes and save on driving at the other end. There are both daytime and overnight sailings to choose from including a choice of comfortable on board accommodation.

One of the best things about a family camping holiday in France is how affordable it is. You may even find that you can have a two-week camping holiday in France for less than a similar trip in the UK. Throw in consistently better weather, the cultural experience and endless croissants, and you have even more reasons to choose France for your next camping holiday destination. 

A photo of the cliffs at Etretat surrounded by the sea and a beach

The dramatic cliffs at Etretat

Where to camp in France  

The only question now is where to pitch your tent first. The good news is that you really can’t go wrong camping in France as every region has much to offer and many family camping site options. If arriving in Le Havre, you are perfectly positioned for journeys to the Alabaster Coast, 130km of majestic white cliffs lined with pebble beaches.

You can also travel onwards to Nord Picardy, the setting for major historic battles including Agincourt and the Somme. Today it offers families wide swathes of sandy beaches, pretty historic cities and fun family attractions such as Parc Astérix. If you feel like visiting the capital, then Paris is also just a two-hour drive away. 

Longues-sur-Mer gun battery

From Portsmouth you can also sail to Ouistreham, the port of Caen, located in the heart of the coastline that was made famous by the Normandy Landings. Today the coast offers white sandy beaches scattered with rock pools and hidden coves that are ideal for families. Regular ferries sail from both Portsmouth and Poole to Cherbourg, a town on the western edge of the D-Day Landings.

From here you can set off and explore the Cotentin Peninsula, home to pretty villages, charming fishing ports, delicious food and some excellent family chalet campsites. The magical island of Mont-Saint-Michel and the ancient walled town of St Malo are also not far away. 

UNESCO world heritage site, Mont St Michel

The first ever Brittany Ferries route was between Plymouth and Roscoff in Brittany and it remains popular today. Famous for its mythical sights, medieval castles and stunning sunsets, this area of France is always a winner with families. After all, what could be better than beaches, boats and a never-ending supply of crêpe? 

If you’re looking to camp in the Loire Valley then St Malo is your best port of call. From Britain there are overnight sailings from Portsmouth, arriving in France just in time for coffee and croissants.

The Great Elephant of the Machines de l'Ile in Nantes © Shutterstock

The Great Elephant of the Machines de l'Ile in Nantes

As well as some classy campsites, the area is home to the brilliant historical theme park, Puy du Fou. Kids will also love Terra Botanica, a plant-life theme park, and the fantastical giant mechanical animals at Machines de l’Ile. 

The Atlantic coastline is a wonderful place to camp in France too; long sandy beaches bordered by pine forests and the occasional seaside resort. Make sure you visit La Baule when here, an elegant resort famous for its 9km-long beach often regarded as one of the best in Europe.

La Baule Escoublac beach © Shutterstock

La Baule Escoublac beach

When you want a break from water sports and building sandcastles then the region hides fun activities including the amazing aquarium in La Rochelle and a splash park and zoo in Bordeaux. 

The flexibility of a camping holiday with Brittany Ferries…

When it’s finally time to go home, the only things that you need to do is dismantle your tent and pack up the car for the return journey. Of course, if you do decide to extend your holiday, then that is possible too.

Brittany Ferries offers a range of ticket options including flexible fares that gives you the freedom to make amendments to your booking. And, let’s be honest, if the sun is shining and the kids are having fun, then a couple of extra days might be a brilliant idea. 

After the strange year we have had, a family camping holiday to France couldn’t be more perfect in 2021. Feel inspired? Holiday with confidence with Brittany Ferries. Our 2021 selection of ferry-inclusive package holidays come with free Covid-19 cover and free amendments too.