France is one of the most classic destinations, perfect for a romantic getaway, family trip or a holiday with friends. Whether you’re looking for Michelin rated meals, dozens of touristic sites, or just a beach to plant yourself on with a good book, France has it all. But because of this, deciding where to go in France can be an extremely daunting task. So many options, and so little holiday days left! We’ll go through our list of the 7 best places to go in France, providing you with some lesser known options as well. We’ll mention good campsites and things to do in the area, so that you can make an informed decision for what would suit you best. Let’s get started!
Not many are aware that Marseille is the second largest city in France, and is one of Europe’s oldest cities! This major Mediterranean seaport is located off the southeast coast of France, and its’ age and size ensure that there is plenty to do and see. If you’re looking for cultural places to go in France, then Marseille will be the perfect fit. You can visit Vielle Charité, the 17th century almshouse turned barracks. It is now home to the Museum of Archaeology and the Museum of Art of Africa, Oceania and Amerindia. Pass by the Cathedrale de la Major and be awed by the immense beauty of this Catholic church, with its high ceilings and fabulous mosaics. This French national monument is the oldest church in the city, yet not the most famous, as that title belongs to Notre Dame de la Garde, which is also worth a visit. Pull on your walking shoes and explore Le Panier, the old town district of Marseille which was founded by the Greeks in 600BC. Much of the area was destroyed during World War II, but has since begun to be rebuilt and revitalized. Another blast from the past is the Old Port of Marseille, a natural harbour that has been used since Ancient Greece. Stroll around, with a beautiful view of the boats and stop for a glass of vin at a wonderful sidewalk cafe. Marseille is also the ideal beach holiday destination, with miles of clean beaches for you to lounge on with the latest romance paperback. At these beaches, there is a variety of watersports and activities offered, and lots of lovely beachside cafes to enjoy some fruit de mer! A Goboony favourite is to visit the Parc National des Calanques, a gorgeous rock formation to be hiked through, in order to reach the hidden pebbled beach. This gorgeous blue ocean will be the perfect reward for your journey.
Accommodation will be made both simple and wonderful with your campervan. There are numerous campsites for you to pitch at, such as Camping du Garlaban. This site is in a pine forest with close access to a sandy beach. It is the closest campsite to the Old Port of Marseille, with a bus stop right next to it. There are sports facilities by the site, as well as a riding centre 800 metres away.
Home to the European Parliament, this city has always been favoured by politics and history fans. But aside from their involvement in parliament and government, this city is incredibly beautiful! Strasbourg is the capital of Alsace, and looks like it has just crawled out the pages of a Black Forest fairytale, making it one of the most fascinating places to see in France. The medieval half-timbered houses, covered in flowers and surrounded by cobbled squares, will take you back by centuries. The fusion of French and German design and culture is what truly sets this place apart, and makes it a must for your road trip. Climb up the 332 steps to the magnificent Romanesque-Gothic Cathédrale de Notre Dame, and gaze across the Black Forest and Vosges mountains. Visit the Palais Rohan, an 18th century Parisian-style palace which is filled with the fine arts, decorative arts and archaeological museums. Once you leave it, you can walk down the Rue des Merciére which is absolutely brimming with cafés and places to enjoy a lovely drink in the sunshine.
Strasbourg has numerous campsites, including one which is only 3km from the city centre. Camping Indigo Strasbourg is in the Green Mountain district national urban park of the city. This ensures the perfect location to explore the surrounding area, whilst having a more tranquil location for the evenings and mornings. The site has a leisure area with a pool, a bar and restaurant, and a playground for kids. You’ll never have to even leave Strasbourg!
#3 Loire Valley
The Loire Valley is a lesser known region, but certainly not for the quality of this area. If you’re searching for French splendour, style and gastronomy, this is the place for you. The Loire Valley is poised between northern and southern France, and is only a short ride away from Paris, making it the perfect stop on your French road trip. The Loire Valley is filled with things to do, so it may be best to take either a walking, biking or driving tour around the area to get your bearings. Visit the Chateau de Chenonceau, a beautiful country villa inspired by the Italian Renaissance. It is surrounded by a moat, with beautiful gardens. Visitors recommend getting the audio tour, to provide the full experience. Ensure you visit one of the many vineyards in the area, such as Chateau du Petit Thouars. It is an award-winning and family-run vineyard located right in the heart of the Loire Valley wine country. You can tour the area and then sample their delicacies with a delicious wine tasting. It also offers a Picnic in the Vines package, where you can follow the tour and wine tasting by choosing your favourite wine to accompany a romantic picnic lunch on the vineyards.
Domaine de l’Etang is a gorgeous campsite, complete with a fishing lake and vineyard on site. You can truly relax and unwind here, on one of the spread out spacious pitches. The site sells their own wine, so a good bottle is never far away! There is also La Mignardiѐre campsite, which is a great base for discovering the Loire chateaux and central Loire valley. There is a bus stop just 50m from the site entrance, ensuring you can get anywhere you’d like. The site is great for children, and will keep them entertained through the leisure park opposite. While you sit back and start the BBQ, your young ones can go on pony rides, pedal cars and more.
Dordogne is situated in Southwestern France, and is the epitome of French holidays. With beautiful chateaux, traditional gastronomy, charming towns, all set on rolling hills filled with vineyards, forests and rivers. A lot of this regions allure is due to its limestone geology, insurmountable rocky cliffs surrounding a river valley. If you’re fit for a hike, climb up to Château de Beynac, which was built in the 12th century. This castle survived numerous attacks and is a true wonder of architecture. Climbing up will be a struggle, but the view on the top with make it more than worth it! Dordogne is also home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cathédrale Saint-Front Périgueux. This 12th century byzantine romanesque cathedral is unique in design, and filled with the history of the area. Under each of the five domes is a set of chandeliers from the marriage of Napoleon III and Eugénie de Montijo.
Camping Le Bois du Coderc is a family site situated in a forest on the banks of the Isle river. The site is so peaceful that you’d believe you’re in the middle of nowhere, instead of a 20 minute drive away from Périgueux. There are also restaurants and a supermarket at a mere few minutes walk away. The site is next to a river, where you can entertain yourselves with some fishing or paddling, and a lovely walking trail around the surrounding countryside. Children will love the playground and bouncy castle, while you enjoy a round of pool or table tennis. There are even fresh bread deliveries every morning!
Carcassonne is a French fortified city in Aude, the region of Occitanie. A small area, with a population of about 50,000, it is the largest walled city in Europe. The citadel, known as the Cité de Carcassonne, dates back to the Gallo-Roman period and was restored in the 19th century. It was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites in 1997. Enjoy afternoons cycling or walking alongside the Canal du Midi, and try to rent a boat to ride on it one day. You can bring a picnic of their delicious wine and cheese! There are numerous gorgeous cathedrals and castles to visit, but ensure you pack your walking shoes and a snack, as you’ll be burning a lot of extra calories with all the steep walking you’ll be doing around here.
Camping is possible close to Carcassonne, at Camping A l’Ombre des Micocouliers. The site is bordered by the Aude river, which you can fish from. The site has well-shaded pitches delineated for privacy and peace, with sporting fields around. A water park is on site, with a wide variety of different pools. There is also a huge leisure waterpark with games, swimming beaches and boating a mere 10 minutes drive away. Around the site there are numerous restaurants and bars, so you’ll never go hungry.
Steeped in history, Normandy is known mainly for its’ history. From the Norman invasion of England in 1066 to the D-Day landings of 1944, Normandy has played a vital role in shaping European history. This history is brought to life through their numerous attractions, making it one of the vital places to go in France. Visit the Bayeux Tapestry and gain a deeper insight into 11th century life through its cartoon like scenes. The transfixing cemeteries and memorials for D-Day are spread throughout those beaches, and whilst a solemn affair, will be worth the visit. Aside from this history, Normandy is a beautiful area with dramatic coastal landscapes and beaches. They are renowned for their camembert, so make sure to eat a slice or three of that! Their apples and cider are even more reasons to go, whilst their unbeatable seafood secures this as one of the best places to visit in France.
This gorgeous area is not a place you can stay cooped up in a hotel, it needs to be enjoyed close up, through a campsite! At Camping Le Colombier you’ll be parked on four and a half hectares of castle estate, a mere 10 minutes drive from Moyaux and 40 minutes from beaches at Deauville. The site has a creperie and restaurant on site, so delicious meals ahead! Alternatively, there is Camping de la Rouvre. This peaceful site is on a riverbank, providing good fishing spots nearby. It has a playground, pétanque court and food shop. But the ultimate selling point for this site is that it is extremely close to the fromageries of Camembert, cheese tour anyone?
On the northwest corner of France, you’ll find the great historic provinces of France. Brittany is steeped in Celtic heritage, which sets it apart from the rest of France. Brittany truly is where to go in France for great beaches, ranging from the tourist covered sands to the quiet hidden coves. Visitors say it is up to you how busy the beach you settle on is, as the further you explore, the quieter it will be. Be sure to visit the northern pink granite coast, for a sight that you simply will not believe! You can see their celtic past in the ancient standing stones and mysterious burial mounds at Carnac, Locmariaquer and Camaret. As for their Breton past, it is still highly visible through the citizens pride of it. The Breton language is still spoken, and there are numerous cultural festivals celebrating Celtic music and dance.But the main reason that this is one of the best places to visit in France? The delicious crepes and homemade cider. Once you’ve tasted those, you will forever remain a fan of this region.
Due to the vast size of the region, finding a campsite won’t be an issue. You could stay at Le Vieux Moulin, with it’s heated water park, multisports field and miniature golf course. Set by the cliffs and 900m from the fine sandy beaches of the Cap d’Erquy. The site also has a bar, restaurant and takeaway food. You’ll feel like you’re in paradise, and sleeping under the clear Brittany night sky will make it even harder to believe it is all real!
Knowing you want to go France is the easy part of the decision, but deciding where to go in France is far more difficult. We could name dozens of places to see in France, but there isn’t enough time and money to see them all at once. So hopefully this list can help, and using our site you can find a campervan to let you see as many places as possible. Only thing better than visiting France and enjoying delicious crepes and croissants? Doing it from the comfort of your motorhome!