Touring France in a caravan, motorhome or campervan
France is a large country so touring here in a caravan, campervan or motorhome is a great way to see the country.
The French also love the outdoors life, meaning there is no shortage of campsites to stay overnight in your campervan or caravan. Indeed motorhomes of all sizes are very popular themselves in France.
There really aren't too many differences between touring in France and, say, the UK, apart of course from the obvious fact that vehicles drive on the right hand side of the road here!
There is also the language barrier; more and more campsites are providing information in English, but don't bet on it! Bring a good dictionary with you as part of your essential kit. Moreover, making even a little bit of effort in French will pay dividends with local people.
Other important items to bring with you when caravanning or touring in a campervan in France are:
- socket adapters for electricity supply at campsites
- long cables in case the electricity supply is some distance away
- toilet paper; it's not always where you'd expect to find it!
Where to travel?
A destination growing in popularity for people touring by caravan or motorhome is the Poitou-Charentes region in southwest France.
Sandwiched between the Bordeaux wine region and the Loire Valley, this region has sometimes been overlooked by touring holidaymakers, who have just driven through.
But in fact there are plenty of things to see and do, beautiful towns, villages and unspoilt countryside to visit, plus rivers, lakes, islands and of course great beaches.
The Poitou-Charentes is divided into four departments – the Charente, Charente-Maritime, Vienne and Deux-Sèvres.
The Charente-Maritime has many fine coastal resorts including La Rochelle and Royan. There are also two fine holiday islands, the Île-de-Ré and the Île d'Oléron. Both are great places to visit in a campervan or caravan but be aware that there is a toll on the bridge to the Île-de-Ré. Further inland there are the beautiful Romanesque churches of the area around Saintes.
One of the main attractions of the Deux-Sèvres is the beautiful marshland and canals of the Marais Poitevin. Here you can park up your motorhome and take a boat trip to explore the area on water.
Last but not least there is the Vienne, which has some fine vineyards to the north, and some stunning countryside to the east and south, around the old abbey of Saint Savin and the town of Montmorillon.