Best French campsites: 6 green getaways to play the modern Swiss Family Robinson


EcolabelNature and Outdoor ActivitiesSummer

Nos adresses pour dormir en plein coeur de la nature.
© berlizov / Adobe Stock - Nos adresses pour dormir en plein coeur de la nature.

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 14 September 2023, updated on 20 April 2024

Fancy a day in the fresh air and long, starry evenings? This summer, French campsites are rolling out their green carpet for nature lovers. At the foot of the mountains or in the middle of the countryside, in the heart of a forest or with your feet in the water, here are six spots to play the trapper for two, with your family or your friends, from Brittany to the French Riviera.

Between pine forest and sea in Provence

Want to soak your feet in the Mediterranean under the shade of Aleppo pines, cork oaks and eucalyptus trees? Set a course for the canvas and wood tents, trailers and chalets of the Huttopia Campsite "La forêt de Janas" between Toulon and Bandol! On the land side, kilometres of marked paths are available for hiking, from the 1,600 hectares (40,000 acres) of the Cap Sicie massif to the Six-Fours coastal path on the cliffside. And on the sea side, you'll enjoy an endless series of water sports - windsurfing, paddleboarding, sea kayaking, and more before embarking on a trip to the islands. Ile du Gaou, in the heart of a nature reserve, or Ile des Embiez and Bendor, this is the best spot for island hopping!
Camping Huttopia Janas Woods

Like a trapper in the Alsatian forest

Who hasn't dreamed of playing trapper in the deep woods? Between "cahuttes," half-cabins, half-tents, trailers and chalets, the pioneer soul is awakened in the 17 hectares (42 acres) of Alsatian forest of the Huttopia de Watwiller campsite! Hikes, treasure hunts, survival training with nature challenge and hut competitions or archery lessons; with the family, young and old alike get a breath of fresh air before setting off to discover Alsace. As for the region, it's difficult to pick between flowered villages, wine tours and Ballons des Vosges regional natural park. And let's play a game: who will be the first to spot the big Ball (1,427 metres/4,621 feet)?

Huttopia camping of Watwiller

Living the good life on the banks of the Loire River

While better known for the stately châteaux, the gentle banks of the Loire River is incredible to live in Swiss Family Robinson mode. At the Slow Village Loire Vallée, on the Ile du Château, live on river time from morning to evening. Tents, canvas lodges and wooden huts are spread over the three hectares (seven acres) of the estate, featuring a large lagoon swimming pool, for nights as tender as the weather. Here, everything is prepared to enjoy the River of the Kings to its fullest. Cycle along the banks of the river to discover the castles and vineyards, paddle on the water in canoes and kayaks and settle down under the oaks of the "En Rouge & Loire" restaurant to gaze at the play of lights on the river. It's a royal retreat to nature!

Slow Village Loire Valley

Feet in the Big Blue on the French Riviera

Luxury bungalows or cabins on stilts? At the Ecolodge L'Etoile d'Argens in Fréjus-Saint Aygulf, the campsite has been awarded 5 stars while keeping its natural soul: its wooded domain spreads over 11 hectares (27 acres) between fine sandy beaches, discreet creeks and a lagoon populated by more than 200 species of birds! Gentle kayak trips on the Argens river or boat trips from the marina to Porquerolles or the Lérins islands: between the Maures and Esterel massifs, you can choose from the whole range of colors of on the Côte d'Azur.

Ecolodge L'Etoile d'Argens

Perched on a menhir in Brittany

Here you'll find a campsite perched on a menhir, where the Stone Age monolith looks like an ancient approximation of a tent! In the middle of the countryside just a stone's throw from the Gulf of Morbihan, this amazing place was born from the imagination of nature-loving epicurean Bretons. Craving some excitement as well as a return to nature? You can look forward to concerts, exhibitions, dances, circus and yoga classes before meeting up in the greenhouses to savor the market cuisine. And to recharge your batteries under the starry night space, you can splash around with your partner or family in the Nordic bath, a large barrel of water heated to 39°C (102.2°F)! Then it's time for sweet dreams in the heart of the forest.

La Belle Folie

Head to the summits in the Chartreuse Massif

Fancy a breath of fresh air and mountain views? At an altitude of 900 meters (3,000 feet) in the heart of the Chartreuse Regional Nature Park, you can enjoy a nature holiday at the Martinière campsite. Or, rather, at Céline and Brice's, the owners of this former farm who make it a point of honor to preserve a family atmosphere. Soap sculpture workshops for children, strolls in the botanical garden in search of the plants of the massif or a visit to the nearby Arcabas museum of sacred art: between two hikes in the mountain pastures, you'll have fun, learn and enjoy the small dishes of the restaurant, in the heart of nature!

Martinière camping

By Redazione

The magazine of the destination unravels an unexpected France that revisits tradition and cultivates creativity. A France far beyond what you can imagine…