Camping and the South of France go together like wine and cheese. Almost guaranteed sunshine, a sparkling Mediterranean sea and a backdrop of mighty maritime mountains make this an unsurprisingly popular camping destination. From Provence to the Pyrénées, the south of France is a veritable camping haven and we've uncovered the very best places to pitch your tent.
Amazing destinations in the South of France The South of France, or Midi as the French know it, includes the regions of Aquitaine, Midi-Pyrénées, Provence, the Hautes Alpes and the Côte d’Azure: stretching from the border with Spain to the border with Italy including the Mediterranean coast and its hinterland. It can be difficult to choose where to head for on a camping or glamping holiday in the South of France so we’ve done some of the hard work for you and summarised the highlights of each region here…
The far south of France’s Atlantic coast is considered part of the Midi region and it has some fantastic destinations including cool Biarritz. This elegant seaside resort on the Bay of Biscay is just 35km (22miles) from the border with Spain and is known as a surfing hotspot. In fact, the whole south west coast is a great place to try watersports and there are plenty of people to help you do it. This region also includes the wine-growing region of Bordeaux, touches on the Dordogne and offers easy access to the mountains of the Pyrénées. We think the south west of France is so special that it deserves a separate guide which is why the Hipcamp team have put one together for you: check it out if you’re planning on glamping or camping in South West France.
The Pyrénées form France’s border with Spain and are the country’s second highest mountain range with many peaks over 3,000 metres. The French region in the shadows of these summits is known as the Midi-Pyrénées, though administratively it is now part of Occitanie. It is a great place for camping and glamping amid spectacular mountain scenery, particularly for those who like to combine their camping with a healthy dose of adventurous activity. If you’re camping in or near the mountains, hiking, climbing, canoeing and white-water rafting are all easily accessible.
Camping in Languedoc-Rousillon offers a huge variety of experiences as the region, now officially part of Occitanie along with Midi-Pyrénées, stretches from the mountainous Spanish border to the Côte d’Azure. You can camp on the south west Mediterranean coast here, inland with views of the mountains, among vineyards and by river valleys. The medieval hilltop town of Caracassone, bustling Montpellier, the impressive Roman Pont du Gard, Cévennes Parc Naturel and the wetlands of the Camargue all are within this region.
It’s the Camargue, the delta around the River Rhône, that separates Languedoc from Provence. This beautiful region has always attracted artists with Van Gogh, Cezanne, Picasso and Matisse all having immortalised aspects of the area. It’s easy to see why, as this landscape of lavender fields, olive groves and vineyards in the shadow of the Alps provides a feast for the senses. It follows that camping in Provence is pretty special too. You can walk and hike in beautiful countryside, visit the elegant city of Aix en Provence and have easy access to the Alps and the beaches of the Côte d’Azure. On the coast, you can visit bustling Nice, marvel at the money in St Tropez or try to find a quiet spot for sunbathing or eating seafood.
Camping or glamping in the Alps offers a complete contrast to the bustling Mediterranean coast. This is the place for adventure all year round. Outside of ski season, activities include hiking, climbing, running, mountain biking and white-water rafting. But even if an adrenaline-fuelled holiday is not on the agenda, the Alps still make a great destination with incredible views of snow-capped peaks, crystal-clear lakes and Alpine wildflowers as a delightful backdrop. You can visit the Vanoise National Park in this region for the chance of seeing ibex and other wildlife or head to the spa town of Evian for relaxation.
Whether it's sunning yourself on the beach in the French Riviera or hiking in the hills of the Maritime Alps, you can't beat a camping holiday in the south of France. The south has long been a favourite with holiday makers and there are heaps of excellent campsites for tents, campervans and caravans along with glamping locations. Discover the best of them now with this hand-picked selection of the very best campsites in the South of France, all chosen by the award-winning team at Hipcamp