A little way inland from the summertime buzz of France’s Atlantic coast, camping in Bordeaux is an ideal way to experience warmer months in France’s Southwest. Just a day’s drive down from the ferry terminals in the northwest, it’s ideal in so many ways; for its weather, natural setting, gastronomy, culture, and idyllic rural areas steeped in history and a rich, wine-making tradition.
Starting with the larger motorhome-friendly campsites in Bordeaux and then looking at the smaller sites, we have compiled a list of our top picks for pitching up in the gorgeous Aquitaine region of France.
Before you go
Campsites in France receive their star ratings on a few different criteria. The sites with 3 or 4 may be more geared towards family holidays with a high entertainment factor. If you want a chilled-out experience of camping in Bordeaux, picking a site with fewer stars may mean it's more subdued, but not necessarily lower quality!
Before heading to your pick of these campsites, whilst near Bordeaux, you should visit this lovely city and experience some of its cultural, visual, and historical delights. You can get a regional train there, too, from more rural or coastal areas Arachon, which take less than an hour. Put aside a few hours or a day, at least, to see the Cite du Vin, the Water mirror, the Port Cailhau and the Musee Mer Marine, located in the city’s 19th-century fort.
The Water Mirror, Bordeaux
Stock up on Aquitaine’s sweet treats for longer stretches of driving: canales, macarons and - completing the trio of Bordeaux patisseries - dunes blanches de Bordeaux. These last delights are named after the mighty Dune du Pilat, which towers over the Atlantic coast on the southern tip of Arcachon Bay. You should check that out too - it’s located in Cap Ferret.
Holiday Parks Near Bordeaux
1. There are a couple of holiday parks near Bordeaux, and the Camping Yelloh! Village in Bruges, Gironde is definitely the best-rated. Under 10km away from the city centre, it’s a great place to start a road trip in this magical region. It is nestled in the famous vineyards of the Dordogne region, and very close to the idyllic towns of Monbazillac and Bergerac. This 4* site has a swimming lake, waterpark, sandy beach and waterslides, heated indoor pool, tennis court, mini-golf, pedal boats and fishing. In other words, everything you could possibly need for a fun holiday! But - it’s not as hectic as it sounds. Pitches are spread throughout a wooded, 13-hectare area by the waterside, so you’ll find plenty of space to chill out in peace.
There’s a bar and pizzeria on-site, as well as a restaurant offering regional dishes, a grocery store and a bakery. There’s an on-site launderette, waste disposal for campervans, WiFi, and various rental services. Just 1km away, you’ll find any other local amenities you might need.
Motorhome pitches for 2 adults with electricity are 27eur per night.
Opening Dates this year: 04/05/2021 to 08/09/2021
Boulevard Jacques Chaban-Delmas, 33520 Bruges.
2. A little further afield, but still under 1hr30mins drive, is the smaller Camping La Dordogne Verte. This is one of the more serene holiday parks near Bordeaux, thanks to its idyllic rural setting on the Dronne riverside in a relatively unknown corner of the Dordogne, called La Double. This 3*, family site is perfect for recharging your batteries by enjoying the Dronne and its beaches, the local castle in Saint-Aulaye, or enjoying moments with your companions by the barbeques, swimming pool and bar/restaurant areas. Located between the Charente, the Gironde and the Perigord, an ideal base to discover the hiking trails in some of the most beautiful forests of the Dordogne, or visiting beautiful Romanesque churches nearby. There are plenty of other physical activities to get involved in, including cycling, river swimming, the nearby Accrobranche course, canoeing, and fishing.
The onsite garden is a sweet place to pick fruit and veg, available to all campers, or you can pick up local supplies from the weekly market in Saint-Aulaye. The site has free WiFi, a grocery store, fully equipped laundry room, and they offer various rentals (sheets, refrigerators, safes and bicycles).
Motorhome pitches for 2 adults, with water, electricity and pool access are 15eur per night in the low season, 17 in midseason and 20 in high season.
Opening Dates this year: 01/05/2021 to 30/09/2021.
Camping la Dordogne Verte, Avenue Francois Mitterand, 22410 Saint-Aulaye.
Campsites Near Bordeaux
1. Camping de La Bastide is a small, family-run site with 38 pitches on the banks of the Dordogne. Due East of Bordeaux, situated between Bergerac and St Emilion, it’s a great place to be based for touring the vineyards, chateaux and bastide towns of the area. Sainte Foy, which is within walking distance, is one of these sweet, fortified Roman towns. St Emillion is definitely one to visit whilst camping in Bordeaux - it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, and a classically stunning French village with cobbled streets and pretty churches. Pick up some local semillion wine whilst you’re there! Other activities nearer to the campsite include a golf course, kayak centre, fishing, cycling, and boat tripping down the river.
It’s well-equipped for a smaller campsite, with disabled facilities, 10 amp electric hookups, WiFi, swimming pool, day room & play area, hardstanding or grass pitches, hot showers and chemical disposal. All the other amenities you’ll need are about 1km away, in Sainte Foy.
Roomy motorhome pitches for 2 adults with electric hook up are 29.20eur a night.
Opening Dates this year: 01/04/2021 to 31/10/2021.
Allée Du Camping, 2 Les Tuileries, Pineuilh, Sainte Foy La Grande, 33220 Aquitaine
2. Campsite Municipal Gabarry’s is a quiet, ‘human-sized’ campsite with 51 spacious pitches for motorhomes and tents. It faces out over the Gironde estuary, in the heart of the prestigious Médoc vineyards. It’s shady, which is a plus for campsites in Bordeaux, where the summer temperatures soar in the late afternoon. There’s a large, clean dining room with several fridges and a TV in the unlikely event of adverse weather. The local village of Pauillac is pretty and the locals are amenable to visitors from all over. Nearby activities include golf, kayaking, fishing, cycling and boat trips.
Facilities include 10Amp electric hookup, WiFi, a swimming pool, and clean washrooms and disabled toilet facilities.
Opening Dates this year: 01/04/2021 to 31/10/2021
Visit their website to get a quote for your desired pitch.
Route de la Riviere, 33250 Pauillac
3. Camping Pasteur is where you should head if you’re after a more traditional experience of holiday campsites near Bordeaux. It’s about 45 minutes west, in Arès, on the northern fringe of the Bassin d’Arcachon. Traditionally an oyster-farming town, it’s now a popular little resort where you can surrender to the rhythm of the Arachon Basin’s tides and taste it’s delicacies. Sunsets by the waterside are this site’s wow-factor, and panoramic views from the Cap Ferret peninsula to Arcachon.
It’s another small site with an extended season offering just 17 touring pitches that are well shaded and all with 6A electrical hookup, but it also has 35 pitches that are occupied by mobile homes and chalets. 300m away you’ll find the village centre, and it’s just 200m to the nearest beach.
On-site amenities include a small swimming pool, small bar, and snack bar for takeaways in high season. It’s a good area for cycling, with a number of trails running close by, and bike hire onsite. Watersports are also very popular on the Bassin and equipment hire is available in Arès.
The facilities include a single, clean toilet block near the site entrance, washbasins in individual cabins, washrooms for disabled visitors, and washing machines and dryers. The reception stocks basic provisions, and there’s a local market on Tuesdays.
Opening dates this year: 1/3/21 to 10/10/21
Standard, motorhome friendly grass pitches come with electric hookup, and cost 50eur a night for 2 adults.
Camping Pasteur, 1 Rue du Pilote, 33740 Arès.
4. Camping La Motte is another one of the smaller campsites near Bordeaux. It’s about an hour’s drive northeast of the city, and has just 45 pitches spread over about 8.5 acres. It’s in the extreme south of the Charente-Maritime region, just on the border of Aquitaine, where the Charente, Gironde and Dordogne departments meet. It’s also ideally located a few miles off the Route National 10, which is the toll free dual carriageway between Poitiers and Bordeaux, which could be useful if you are planning on heading further south after stopping in the Charente-Maritime region.
The site is rated 1*, and if you want more, the staff encourage you just to look up at the clear skies at night! This is the kind of peaceful vibe they’re going for. For more diversion, there are vineyards and wine-tasting tours all around in this area, including one in nearby Montguyon. Between April and October, you can book to go up in a hot air balloon after sunrise or a good hour before sunset. There are more than 30 good local places for flight departures, including one just 1km from the campsite. That experience would definitely make this one of the more memorable campsites in Bordeaux!
The site has a sanitary block where you’ll find washing up sinks, chemical waste disposal, lockable washrooms with hot water, coinless hot water showers and toilets (including accessible washroom).
Opening dates this year: from 11/01/21 to 11/12/2021.
Pitches are 6eur per night in high season, adults pay 4eur50 each, and electricity is 4eur25.
21 Route de la Genetouze, Lieu-dit LA Motte, 17 270 Le Fouilloux.
Make sure you’ve got the right wheels that will get you everywhere you want to go in Bordeaux; up to the Bastide towns, right down to the water’s edges, and back to your pitch for a barbecue with some local wine! After arranging your motorhome hire in France, all that is left is to hit the road! Maybe you'll embark on the Napoleon road trip, the best way to explore the south of France.