Insider’s Guide to First-Time Camping in the South of France

If you’re like me, then you love the great outdoors. When summer arrives, camping in the South of France is one of the most superb holiday experiences on offer.


The weather is extremely reliable in the South of France – not like in Ol’ Blighty, where an August weekend in a sleeping bag under the stars has a 50/50 chance of being a wash out.


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The best months for camping in the South of France are between May and September. July and August are undoubtedly the hottest – but even then, temperatures rarely creep above 35 degrees centigrade, and average on the happy side of 30, so the heat is pleasant and bearable.



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How Many Stars?

Just like in the UK, campsites in France are classified according to a five-star rating system. Generally, prices reflect the number of stars the campsite is awarded – and the more stars it has, the more amenities it provides, and the greater the quality of its facilities. 


Here’s a quick breakdown of what you can expect from each:

  • One-star campsites are small campsites with very few facilities apart from cold water and shower cubicles. They are cheap – though how cheerful you find them will depend on whether you prefer to be pampered (you won’t be) or self-sufficient (you’ll have to be) on your camping trips. 
  • Two-star campsites have hot water, individual shower cubicles and washbasins, and a reception during the day. Your basics fully covered. 
  • Three-star campsites are required to have an English language reception, as well as a children’s play area, tiled floors in washing areas, and hot water. 24/7 warden attendance is also mandatory, and you can expect a wider range of services, such as internet access. 
  • Four-star campsites must have food stores onsite or close by (within walking distance). The site will also be paved with tarred roads, there will be private washing cubicles, hot water, and dish- and clothes-washing facilities. 
  • Five-star campsites have a swimming pool, internet access, and additional luxury facilities onsite – such as spas, massage parlours, tennis courts, etc. 

Appealing to families looking for plenty of activities to keep the children entertained, many four- and five-star campsites also offer more extravagant features like waterparks, kids’ clubs, discotheques, arcades, and full-service restaurants. 

Where to Go Camping in the South of France

There are literally hundreds of campsites all over the South of France – too many to list here. Instead, I refer you to some good websites – Cool Camping and Yelloh Village list many very decent ones – and suggest a couple of ideas to refine your search. 

Municipal Campsites

In French, camping municipal is what’s meant by lower budget yet beautiful and rustic camping experiences that bring you close to nature. Municipal campsites are usually found close to towns and villages, and, though they lack the bells, whistles, and noisy excitement of four- and five-star sites, you can still expect clean bathrooms, showers, and well-tended facilities. 

Farm and Vineyard Campsites

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in rural South of France farm life for a few days, the Bienvenue à la Ferme experience may be for you. About 600 farms across the country – including a large number in the South of France – offer camping along with farm-based activities, such picking grapes and other produce, milking cows, and making cheese. 

Charles Mackintosh South of France Property Surveyor

Camping is of course temporary – and gets very cold in the winter. If you’re looking for a property with stronger foundations than a canvass mat and tent pegs, chartered South of France Property Surveyor Charles Mackintosh is at your service. With over 30 years’ experience living and operating in the region, Charles delivers reputed English language property advice and surveys for British buyers. Get in touch today.