France is the largest country in western Europe, and also the most visited country in the world. France has a lot to offer any traveler. France has Atlantic, Mediterranean and English Channel coastlines. Paris is a gem of a city. France is one of the best countries in the world to camp in. Driving is easy, roads are good.



Recommended France

  • Paris – endless word class museums, The Eiffel Tower, fine bars and restaurants, Parisian street life, outstanding architecture.
  • Cote d’Azur – beautiful beaches, the warm Mediterranean sea, and the Principality of Monaco
  • Food – French food is worth the hype.
  • Wine – probably the worlds best
  • Dune de Pyla – Europe’s biggest sand dune in Gironde
  • Western and south western FranceBiarritz and endless beautiful beaches
  • Brittany – rugged coastline and Celtic connections
  • Normandy – pay your respects to the servicemen at the beaches and fine memorials

Campsites and free camping in France

French campsites and among the best in Europe, and free camping areas are provided. What more could a camper want? Read more.

Vehicle ferries to and from France

There are many ferries to chose from when getting a vehicle to and from France. See the ferry section.

Driving in France

Driving in France is generally safe and easy. Read more.


France is a relatively safe and crime-free country. Vehicle break-ins are amongst the biggest problems, so always secure your vehicle, and leave nothing on display. Sensible parking can also reduce you risk of a break-in.


France is an expensive country. Fuels is expensive, campsites can be expensive, but free camping is provided. Eating out can be expensive, but ingredients are great and cheap. See the country cost comparison.


CurrencyEuro (€)
Capital cityParis
Time zone+1hr GMT
ReligionCatholic and Muslim
Emergency numbersGeneral emergency 115
Police 17
Ambulance 15
International operator 1008
Electricity220v continental
Border crossingsFrance is a Schengen state



French food and drink

Food and drink is a highlight of France. Home of the baguette, Camembert, brie and some of the worlds best wines. Read more.

The French Language

English is understood in most tourist areas, but speaking French will get you further. If you learnt French at school it is worth trying to use it in France. It may be easier than you think. The French speak quite slowly (when compared to the Spanish) and having at least a few phrases is worthwhile. Try a French language CD for use in the car when driving, you can learn a lot from these.


Health care is excellent and generally free, but European residents need to get a E-111 card from your home country.

Surfing in France

France has thousands of kilometers of coastline, with hundreds of breaks to choose from. Biarritz, Hossegor, Lacanau-Ocean, and many other places to try.

  1. We’d like to do a two weeker in our van. Has anyone done a nice round trip? Ideally we would like a bit of sun, coats and some nice countryside.


    1. I personally love the coast of the north, exploring the beaches and WWII monuments, the coast of Brittany, the coast around Arcachon, especially in the woods and visiting the Dune De Plya. Bordeaux is a great day trip.
      Biarritz is great, as are the towns around it.
      I can’t offer much about exploring the centre, although the Limoges and Dordogne are lovely to visit in a campervan.


  2. What food can I take with me
    We are about to go on holiday in France in our camper van, what foods if any are we allowed to take with us, if you fly you cant take anything, is it any different, we would like to take bacon as its not freely available in France, and just other stuff such as milk and what we need for the first day or so till we get to a supermarket


    1. As far as I know, you can
      As far as I know, you can take any food you like on the ferry or Channel Tunnel with a campervan. However, French supermarkets sell everything (almost) than British one’s sell. I love french food, and so love stocking up at french supermarkets. I wouldn’t take too much with you.


  3. Buying a van in France
    Hi me and some friends are planning on touring around Europe in a van and are looking to buy a van in France.
    Does anybody know of some good web based (English speaking) sources specifically aimed at travellers like us for buying a vehicle (preferably in Calais or Paris.
    Thanks, Matt


    1. Hi Matt
      Where are you coming

      Hi Matt

      Where are you coming from (NZ)?
      Buying and insuring a van from the UK is way easier for you than one from France Unless you speak good French then it might be an option.


  4. Stopping for a sleep after Eurotunnel
    Hi folks,
    Was just wondering if anybody knows of anywhere i’d be able to stop for a kip after going through the Eurotunnel. I booked a late night crossing (as it was the cheapest option) and have to drive down to Folkstone from Dundee so will be totally knackered by the time i make it to France. Having never driven abroad before i’d like to have a kip as soon as possible after the tunnel so that i’m fresh as a daisy for the long drive down to Biarritz. It’s about 1250 miles so think it’s best to stop somewhere and do the trip over 2 days. 😀 Thanks, Brian.


    1. There will almost certainly
      There will almost certainly be an Aire near to where to surface in France. Where in France do you leave the train?


      1. Hi Darren. I get on at
        Hi Darren. I get on at Folkstone and get off at Calais. I’ll be driving down to Bergerac which is a fair bit down so will definately need a wee bit of shut eye first. Do you need to book a space at an Aire or do you just turn up and hope their is space?
        Thanks, Brian.


        1. Aires are car parks only for
          Aires are car parks only for motorhomes and campervans. Some charge a few Euro’s, most are free.
          There is one in Calais. See these pages


  5. Try just north of Audierne.
    Try just north of Audierne. We followed the coast road beyond the town and followed signs for La Plage. We found this empty car park, 5 minutes from the beach. No restrictions, no payment!


  6. free camping in Brittany
    Hi there, great site!

    Years ago I did a lot of free camping in France at picnic spots in the forests. There were lots of them, and we never got any hassle.

    Does anyone know if that’s still the case? I’m thinking of somewhere in the middle of Brittany


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