France our favourite campervan country – what isn’t there to love above it?
Wherever we’ve been to in France – our favourite campervan country – there’s never been much in the way of disappointment .
France is a country three times bigger than the UK, so it’s no surprise that there’s plenty to keep pulling us back year after year.
In fact, we’ve been visiting now for over 20 years and we never seem to tire of the variations of climate and landscapes.
There’s always somewhere in France that fits the bill, whatever the mood takes. As a result, we’d go as far as to say that it’s probably our favourite campervan country and here’s why!
France our favourite campervan country
France is so campervan-friendly, mainly because it’s the big French hobby alongside Vin Blanc and Fromage.
Le Camping Car – the French term for a Campervan or Motorhome is king! Authorities also have the utter most respect for those that take to the road in a motorhome.
Speaking of Le Camping Car
Next has to big the envy of us British Campervan fanatics – the Aire de Camping Car or Aire for short. It’s simply, an incredibly big draw for us to cross that Channel every year.
Visiting a town or village, we’re able to empty the motorhome waste and fill up the fresh water whilst also being provided with a place to park overnight.
Hopefully spending a few Euro in the town in the process – all for the good of their local economy!!
There are 95 of them in total – 96 if we were to include Corsica. Each one has an appeal all of its own and represents an image of what landscape, produce or landmark they represent.
Don’t ask us to name them all!
This would prove a little too difficult, but they include well known favourites such as The Dordogne, Haute-Savoie, Calvados and Var.
We have tried to get to see as many as possible and have come close to visiting all except Corsica. Of course – we love them all!
An easy, efficient and generally gridlock-free road network.
We may need to pay tolls on many motorways, but they are such a delight. Being well maintained, quiet, offering good services and lovely artistic signage, displaying sketches of the approaching town.
All to tempt us drivers to take a detour to explore more. It’s almost a treat waiting for the next sign to see what the next sketch is about.
The D roads are just as good
These long, quiet, often tree-lined sleepy minor roads that wind through villages and towns are delightful.
Locals seem more content on staying behind closed doors. We always wonder where everyone is!
It’s a country of epic proportions
Don’t underestimate France in terms of size. There’s also such diverse andscapes, vast history and incredible produce on offer. France is equal to any other on the world stage.
From the Normandy beaches with historical WW2 sites to the trenches of the Somme. Then the Chateaux of The Loire.
Not forgetting those unusual Troglodyte Cave dwellings around the Dordogne and remarkable Roman structures further South, such the Pont Du Gard Aqueduct.
Next is the simply awe-inspiring and the incredibly intact Amphitheatre’s at Nimes and Arles.
That’s without the superb natural environment of Mont Blanc glaciers, skiing in the Alps and the Pyrenees. Those immense gorges of turquoise blue lakes and the glistening Mediterranean or the big surf beaches of the Atlantic coast are all amazing.
We could stop there, however, we’re not wanting to miss out those fabulous Canals. The Canal du Midi running just South of Bordeaux all the way down to Beziers at The Mediterranean is one fine example.
Then there’s engineering with the totally impressive expanse of the Millau viaduct. That’s before we mention the vineyards that cover vast swathes of the country.
Coupled with food such as cheese, cold meats and incredible patisserie or olives. Then those lavender and fields of sunflowers. An intricate variety of landscapes bring an endless mix of everything that we love about life.
Just when we think we’ve covered the lot (pardon the pun!), we realise we can’t not mention just the sheer rustic, crumbly, rawness of the place.
It’s so homely, with nothing more simplistic and welcoming than the buildings. Beautiful and effortlessly inviting, oozing charm from every angle and rarely a boundary fence in sight!
It’s the language and the people, those chic French folk who are loyal to their country roots and no doubt full of character!
Entranced by the dialect for some time, we’ve even attended French classes back in Britain. In the process attempting to engage in polite conversation – Un vin rouge s’il vous plait!!
Easily Reached from the UK
Remembering why we went to France in the first place. It’s so easy to get to, accessible in just over 30 minutes on the Eurotunnel and we’re free to explore an incredible array of regions with just the one question to ask…..Which direction?
Never ones to plan, feeling a complete mix of seeing how we feel, knowing that France just lends itself to this kind of campervan freedom.
It’s no wonder that we still find each trip a revelation. Somehow we don’t think we’ll ever tire of visiting it!
Essential Guide to Crossing the Channel
- Canfranc Station SpainFrom its long since abandoned past comes the most incredible restoration project imaginable, bringing this mesmerising former railway station back to its former glory.
- Around the Spanish PyreneesA delightful region where old meets new, amongst the most dramatic mountain scenery and incredible historic sights, this is the region that keeps on giving.
- Los Mallos de Riglos SpainThese rocky pinnacles are a rock climbing paradise providing eye-watering climber-watching and an incredible sight amongst the almost wild-like landscapes of Aragon.
- Castillo de Loarre Aragon SpainAmid the arid landscapes of Aragon lies one of the most important castles in all of Spain, where we’re intrigued to wonder through this historic stone masterpiece and marvel at the incredible views from it’s dominant hilltop location.
- Janovas Abandoned VillageA captivating location, where the destruction of this once thriving village still bears the scars forced upon it, but amongst the ruins lies hope for a new future amongst the derelict remains and surprising turn of events.
- Alquézar and Ruta de las PasarelasLandscapes resembling the Wild West bring incredible drives and astonishing walks amongst some mesmerising scenery and picturesque hilltop towns in this fascinating corner of Spain