Why & Where You NEED to Go Camping in the South of France

 Read on to discover why and where you need to go camping in the South of France!

Read on to discover why and where you need to go camping in the South of France!

I love France.

And I’ve been lucky enough to see a fair amount of the country over the last few years (a perk of having a French girlfriend!)!

The south of France is particularly special.

There’s constant sunshine, azure Mediterranean waters, an abundance of pretty little towns to explore and a general laid-back European vibe that’s hard to beat.

I also love camping.

There’s something about being outdoors, sleeping under canvas, lighting fires and waking up in beautiful places that captures my imagination. I reckon it’s one of the best (and cheapest!) ways to explore a new place.

So, loving France and camping as I do, I highly encourage anyone thinking about camping in the south of France to go ahead and indulge!

Keep reading to discover some of the best campsites in this beautiful part of the world. 

The Top Campsites South of France

I’ve scoured the web to find some of the top campsites in the South of France. Here’s a selection of the best.

South of France Campsites by the Beach

Let’s start with a few of the many beachside campsites.

 La Tour Fondue is the first option for an awesome South of France campsite by the beach.

La Tour Fondue is the first option for an awesome South of France campsite by the beach.

1. La Tour Fondue

If you’re looking for peace and quiet next to the sea, then La Tour Fondue campsite will be a good bet.

It sounds pretty ideal!

It’s located in La Cote D’Azur, far to the south of Presqu’île de Giens. This area is renowned for the beauty of its weather and landscapes.

The campsite is on the doorstep of the Porquerolles Island too. This little place is known as ‘The Golden Island’ and you can access it from the ferry port, which is only 200m away from where you’ll be staying.

Part of the reason it’s so peaceful here is that there are no organised activities on site.

However, in the summer months of July and August, there’s entertainment and activities available a couple of kilometres away at a Camping Presqu’île de Gien- another local campsite.

But you can explore the area by foot all year round, with masses of hiking trails to tackle.

Another bonus is the diving club that’s next door.

Learn to dive and/or head out on an organised diving or snorkelling trip around the area. If you’re hoping to explore the waters around the campsite and beyond then this will be a major perk.

Services: nursery, food, restaurant, bar, motorhome parking area, diving club, wifi, launderette, dogs welcome.

Book via their website.

 Another awesome site by the beach in France. Having a tent or a mobile home on the sand is an awesome thing!

Another awesome site by the beach in France. Having a tent or a mobile home on the sand is an awesome thing!

2. Camping Cote Vermeille

This campsite seems to be the perfect family destination.

It’s located in the Languedoc Roussillon region of Southern France, in Port-La-Nouvelle. From all accounts, it’s a beautiful part of the country with a lot to do.

There are abbeys, a wind farm, chateaux and a famous fortified city called Carcassonne to explore.

It’s also a mere 250m to golden sand beaches, with all the water sports you’d expect to see. There’s also windsurfing, diving, and horse riding if you’re feeling adventurous.

If that’s not enough, there’s a 400m^2 water park with heated pools on site too. The kids (and adults) will love it.

Services: Restaurant, Bar, Mini-market, Laundry, Free Wi-Fi, Games room, Water park, Cinema, Multisport area, Pets welcome.

Book via their website.

 Beaches, sand, sea and campsite...it doesn't get much better than Campsite Martigues Provence.

Beaches, sand, sea and campsite...it doesn't get much better than Campsite Martigues Provence.

3. Campsite Martigues Provence

Say hello to another slice of paradise.

Set in the La Couronne area of Martigues, along the Mediterranean coast (not far from Marseille), this is another quieter campsite, with a chilled out family vibe.

Situated between the Camargue National Park and Marseille, it’s in the heart of the ‘Cote Bleue’ (the Blue Coast). There’s countryside all round and you’re literally 200m from the nearest beach.

The campsite continues its relaxed vibes with its very own wellness centre. And there are plenty of other activities around too, including boat trips, canoeing, diving, nearby markets and walking in the area.

Services: a wellness centre, restaurant, paid Wi-Fi, chalets, petanque area, bikes, kid’s play area, free canoes and bikes, launderette, dogs welcome.

Book via their website.

Camping Slightly Further from the Sea

Now let's look at a couple of campsite options a little further from the sea (you're never too far away in the South of France!)

 Camping a little further from the beach isn't necessarily a bad thing. Especially when there are such cool things to do on site.

Camping a little further from the beach isn't necessarily a bad thing. Especially when there are such cool things to do on site.

4. Camping des Aubrèdes

Camping des Aubrèdes is situated in Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur, in the village of Puget-sur-Argens. This looks like another option for families looking for fun in a beautiful location.

This place is picture perfect, set in a pine forest between Cannes and St.Tropez. You can expect constant sunshine set to the sound of cicadas in the background.

The stunning medieval village of Puget-sur-Argens is quintessentially European, with narrow streets and squares galore.

And it isn’t far from the sandy beaches of Fréjus/St Raphaël either, which are 7km away. These offer the usual water-sports, but you may choose to remain in the heated waters of the waterpark on site.

There are fully equipped mobile homes and furnished tents, alongside the usual pitching options too.

Services: Restaurant, Bar, Laundry, Free Wi-Fi, Games room, Water park, Cinema, Multisport area, Pets welcome.

Book via their website.

 A chilled out campsite in a forest. Camping Du Bourg sounds incredible.

A chilled out campsite in a forest. Camping Du Bourg sounds incredible.

5. Camping Du Bourg

Located in les Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, near Dignes-les-Bains, Camping Du Bourg is a cheaper alternative to the options above.

But it’s no less impressive. It seems ideal, both in terms of the beauty of its natural surroundings and the activities available (on site and in the local area).

This place would be great for people and families hoping to escape the noise of resort type campsites.

Situated in nature and between two well-known lakes. The town of Dignes is only a 1km walk from away too, where there are many places of cultural and historic interest (museums, cathedrals, cultural centres…).

And on site, there are tennis courts and access to all manner of outdoor adventures. There’s hiking, thermal pools nearby, mountain biking, and a Via Ferrata, among many other activities available.

Head to Camping Du Bourg for real camping, at a reasonable price, in a beautiful place, and with masses to do.

Services: internet access, laundry facilities, a bakery, tennis courts, common room, pets allowed, outdoor activities and organised nights out.

Book via their website.


What About Glamping South of France?

If traditional camping isn’t your thing, you might consider going glamping instead.

It’s camping with a luxury twist (glamping is literally glamorous camping) and it’s an increasingly popular holiday trend. It comes with a heftier price tag but combines the essence of camping with the comfort of far fancier accommodation.

The South of France offers a bunch of glamping options. Here are a couple:

 Pagel looks like an amazing option for families hoping to experience glamping South of France.

Pagel looks like an amazing option for families hoping to experience glamping South of France.

1. Pagel Glamping at Moomba Lodge

Child-friendly glamping doesn’t get much better than at Pagel, located in Lot, Midi-Pyrenees.

It’s specifically designed with young families in mind.

In fact, the whole point of the Pagel site is to offer families a place to explore Southern France and make friends in a safe environment, in the thick of nature.

There are two pools (a normal one and another for toddlers) as well as a bunch of kid-friendly activities (climbing frames, sand pit table tennis, trampolines…). And all books, toys and baby equipment are provided too.

It’s not just for kids though! With local villages to explore and an area that’s renowned for its red wine, grownups are sure to enjoy themselves too.

Lac Vert is nearby too where you can swim and sunbathe around the lake until your heart’s content!

Services: laundry, wifi, kid’s playground, pools, showers, fully furnished and equipped accommodation.

Book via their website.

 Glamping in the South of France doesn't get much better than at Dreamsea.

Glamping in the South of France doesn't get much better than at Dreamsea.

2. Dreamsea France

Dreamsea France is another perfectly positioned Glampsite in Moliets-Les-Cigales, in the southwest of the country.

It’s a nature lover’s paradise.

The campsite’s only a 5-minute walk to the beach. And it’s even closer to the pristine Moliets Lake. The protected forest of the Landes area is nearby too. You’ll be in your element if you enjoy the outdoors.

A lively atmosphere is meant to be another bonus of Dreamsea. People come from all around for an energetic environment where you can skate, surf, listen to music and generally have a great time.

But don’t be put off if you’d prefer some quiet. The glamping accommodation is positioned in calmer spots on the camp, giving you the peace you’re after outside of the surf camp parties!

You stay in luxurious looking tents, kitted out with all the amenities you’ll need.

Services: airport transfers, basketball court, BBQ areas, bikes for hire, bar/lounge, fitness centre, volleyball, yoga, surfing, camp chef, table tennis.

Book via their website.


5 Star Camping South France

Here is a 5* camping option if camping and glamping just won’t cut it!

 There's a lot of 5 star camping South France. Nouvelle Floride is one such site for you to explore!

There's a lot of 5 star camping South France. Nouvelle Floride is one such site for you to explore!

1. Camping Nouvelle Floride

This 5* campsite in Marseillan-Plage, Languedoc-Roussillon, looks pretty amazing.

It’s not cheap by camping standards. But that’s to be expected for a 5* site with such an array of attractions, in such a perfect location.

There’s an impressive range of things to do (see below for a full list), starting with the beach, which is only 300m away. But then you’ve got a swimming pool complex with slides, heated water, and covered pools available.

And a bunch of sporting activities to get involved in, as well as a spa centre, bars, restaurants, and shops too.

The accommodation itself is effectively glamping with extra cherries on top! There are either deluxe mobile homes or lodge-tents with everything you need for a luxurious time away.

Services: restaurant/bar, swimming pool complex, jacuzzis and fountains, internet, playground, volleyball, table tennis, basketball, tennis courts, TV room, supermarket, bakery, football pitch, bike hire, BBQs, mini golf, sandy beach, entertainment programme & laundry service.

Book via their website.


 Free camping South France is also an option! It'll allow you to wake up to views like this!

Free camping South France is also an option! It'll allow you to wake up to views like this!

Free Camping South France

A final note on free camping in southern France (and France in general).

If you don’t fancy paying to stay at an official campsite in France then consider doing it the old fashioned way: free camp.

Free camping is actually my personal preference for camping in the South of France. It’s (obviously) cheaper, less restrictive and allows you to sleep in mind-blowingly stunning places.

There’s nothing better (in my opinion) than waking up to a beautiful view, feeling like you have the entire space to yourself, having not paid a penny for the experience.

You’ll hear mixed things about the legality of free camping in France though. And I honestly don’t know whether it is or isn’t allowed.

What I do know is that it’s widely done and generally tolerated.

But there are certain rules to follow:

  • Choose somewhere out of the way.
  • Respect the land you’re on.
  • Clean up after yourselves.
  • And don’t light fires (unless you can absolutely guarantee it won’t spread- wildfires cause problems every year in France).

Time to Wrap Up...

As you can see, there are some truly beautiful places to go camping in the South of France.

Camp by the beach. Camp with the family. Glamp if you want extra luxury. Or simply free camp wherever you fancy!

However you choose to camp in this beautiful part of the world, you’ll be sure to love the experience.

Now I’d love to hear from you! Which site sounded the best to you? The 5* option at the end, or somewhere quiet next to the beach, like La Tour Fondue?

Let me know in the comments!

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