Top campsites for hikers in Nouvelle-Aquitaine

From Basque Country to Bordeaux—France’s biggest region packs in plenty of variety.

99% (22 reviews)
99% (22 reviews)

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Top campsites for hikers in Nouvelle-Aquitaine guide

Overview

With almost 720 kilometres of Atlantic coastline stretching from La Rochelle down to the Basque Country, and a whopping 12 departments, Nouvelle-Aquitaine is France’s largest region. Campers can take their pick of outdoor adventures. Pitch your tent amid the vineyards in the world-famous Bordeaux wine region, swim, and surf along miles of golden beaches, or rent a mobile home on the shores of a sun-kissed Atlantic island. Inland, the Dordogne and Lot rivers carve a scenic path through some of the country’s most idyllic landscapes, while to the south, the rambling forests of the Landes tumble down to the wild peaks of the Pyrenees.

Where to go

Poitou-Charentes

The maritime city of La Rochelle is the cultural hub of Poitou-Charentes, from where you can explore the beaches, oyster farms, and pine forests of Ré, d’Oléron, and Aix islands. Inland, this department is the ideal place to experience the simple pleasures of the French countryside, stopping off to sample the local liquor in Cognac and visit the historic cities of Poitiers and Angouleme along the way.

Limousin

The historic Limousin region, made up of the Corrèze, Creuse, and Haute-Vienne departments, is the road-less-travelled for most campers in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Bound by the mountains of the Massif Central and famous for its cattle farming, this hilly agricultural province is full of sleepy villages and farmland campsites. Limoges is the only sizable city, while the riverside town of Brive-la-Gaillarde makes the most picturesque base.

Dordogne & Lot

The region’s rural heartland is fed by the Dordogne, Lot, and Garonne rivers, affording miles of rambling river valleys, dense forests, and sweeping cliffs dotted with medieval villages and ancient caves. Campers will be in their element here, whether you want to escape to a tranquil campsite amid rolling hills, go glamping in a yurt, or take your campervan on an epic road trip to towns like Rocamadour, Sarlat-la-Canéda, and Villeneuve sur Lot.

Gironde & Landes

Nouvelle-Aquitaine’s regional capital, Bordeaux, and much of its coastline are contained with the huge Gironde and Landes departments, where you’ll find endless stretches of golden sand, billowing dunes (including Europe’s highest sand dune), and great surf and water sports. Coastal campers have endless options, whether you prefer the vine-flanked Gironde estuary in the north, the dreamy Silver Coast around Arcachon Bay, or the maritime pines of the immense Landes forest.

Pyrénées-Atlantiques

Summer sun-seekers and surfers make a beeline for the beaches of the French Basque Country, where Biarritz and Bayonne are the liveliest hubs. Away from the coast, the broad peaks and wildflower-speckled plateaus of the Pyrénées mountains tempt campers into the highlands. This is where you’ll find some of France’s best hiking, mountain biking, and camping, and true adventurers can even bivouac in the wild.

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