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Motorhome Travel In France

Motorhome Travel in France

If you enjoy getting away from it all in a motor home and feel like branching out a little and going a bit further a field, there’s no better place than across the channel to France.  This beautiful and very diverse country has more or less the same population as the UK, give or take a few hundred thousand, but three times the territory.  All of this space means that you can easily loose yourself, despite your sat. nav., and find yourself in many and varied landscapes - coastal locations from the wilderness of Finistère at the western most point of Brittany to the Mediterranean coast of the south of France; in the vineyards of Bordeaux or Champagne; pass the afternoon on the beach in Nice and find yourself at over 0 meters  above sea level in the French Alps on the border of Italy the next morning.  The possibilities are endless and there’s always a wealth of choice for the next stop off point along the way.

That’s not all.  Motorhoming in France you’ll be amongst friends!  The French have adopted ‘le camping-car’ in a big way.  Since the 1990’s there’s been a steady and continual increase in the number of motorhomes in France.  An increase of 10% per year between 2000 and 2007 which has led France to the head of the motorhome stakes in Europe with 180,000 motorhomes on the road, a number which doubles in the summer months.  The over 50’s and retired people represent 35% of sales of new motorhomes in France and play an important role in the dynamism of this market sector.

This rise in popularity hasn’t been without consequence however.  There are some very basic rules which it’s best to follow if you don’t want to risk being verbalised by the local police or at worst see your mobile home being towed away.  Coastal towns and sea front areas have suffered the ‘white out’ of motorhome invasions and are now very choosy about where you can go with and park your motorhome.  On the flip side of this however, there have been huge efforts made by many of the smaller ‘communes’ to welcome the motorhome with specially designated and very good facilities.  Situated away from the heaving masses they often offer free pitches or pitches for a fee which is equivalent to maintenance costs (5-10€) with access to all amenities. France is the European country with the best equipped ‘aires de service’, overnight facilities and parking for motorhomes.  More and more French motorhomers use designated camping sites, making the most of their facilities such as the swimming pool and toilet block.
A map is available showing all of the private and municipale ‘aires de service’ in France 40% of which double up as ‘aires d’étape’ where you can stop over.  You can buy this in the French newsagencies.

So if you’re tempted and fancy tasting all that France has to offer, take a look at our features on hiring your motorhome ‘sur place’ in France, the best places to eat and stay and our suggestions for the best routes to ensure a memorable trip in France.