Taking A Camper Van Trip To The South Of France

The Southern coast of France is renowned for its breath-taking landscapes, beautiful coastline, and lively small towns.

If you’re thinking of taking your camper van conversion on a road trip to the South of France, here are some tips and suggestions for planning well and enjoying the ride.

1) Take Plenty Of Time To Plan Your Route Carefully: Decide upon which places you want to visit by researching online or using a travel guide, then plan your itinerary accordingly. The South of France has many amazing destinations to stop off at.

The main cities are Nice, Cannes, Marseille, Saint-Tropez, and then you have all the charming small towns and villages that make up the French Riviera. Carcassonne, Rennes-les- Bains and Rennes-le-Chateau all have a wealth of very interesting historical points of reference and some intriguing stories and mysteries to investigate. Do some research on the local attractions, the all-important campsites and the driving distances between each point of interest to establish a well-organized route that best suits your camper van.

Camper Van Trip South Of France

2) Choose The Right Kit For Your Camper Van: Ensure your camper van is suitably kitted out for your needs and the type of terrain you’ll encounter. You’ll need to take into consideration details such as the length of time you’ll be away, amenities required if you’re not using established campsites, and refuelling stops and the cost involved. It’s also extremely important to make sure your camper van meets the legal requirements for driving on the roads and motorways of France, such as insurance, registration documents and headlight adjustments for driving on the right hand side of the road.

3) Check Camper Van Rules And Regulations For Each Campsite You Plan To Use: Make sure that you are familiar with the camping regulations in the areas your planning on visiting. The South Of France has a great many designated campgrounds and Aires de Service (service areas) specifically for camper vans, as the South of France is such a popular tourist destination. Many of these sites, but not all, will provide amenities like electricity hook-up, water, and waste disposal. But, be aware that it’s very often necessary to book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.

Camper Van in South Of France

4) Pack The Essentials Into Your Campervan: Make a comprehensive list and pack all the necessary equipment and supplies required for your holiday. Don’t forget bed clothes or sleeping bags, kitchen utensils, toiletries, a complete first aid kit, camping chairs/table, portable barbecue etc. Remember to take an electrical adapter to suit French power sockets if your van has different plug types. Buy groceries and essentials before you get on the road to ensure you have all that you need to get you to your initial destination in the South of France.

5) Driving and parking in France: Be aware of the local traffic rules and regulations. As you’ll know, France drives on the right side of the road, and just like the UK, speed limits vary depending on the type of road. Speed and distance signs are in Kph. Parking spaces can be tough to find or expensive to use in popular tourist areas, so it’s wise to research and reserve parking in advance. It might also be a good idea to explore your routes before you go using Google Maps.

6) Explore the points of interest: Visiting world famous cities and towns with their abundant and vibrant history is undoubtedly exciting, but don’t forget to also investigate the beautiful natural surroundings of the South of France. The French Riviera has some truly amazing beaches and the picturesque countryside of the Provencal and Languedoc regions provides some breath-taking views. There are also plenty of opportunities to take part in various outdoor activities like hiking, canoeing, and cycling.

7) Indulge in the local cuisine and culture: France is famous for its food! Enjoy the delicious regional cuisine of the South of France. Sample local specialties like bouillabaisse (fish stew), ratatouille, socca (chickpea pancake), and the plethora of Mediterranean seafood dishes. Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting farmer’s markets, local craft fairs, exploring museums, and engaging with the locals who are generally incredibly friendly and generous.

8) Keep yourselves and your camper van safe and be respectful: Make sure to keep an eye on safety measures while traveling, such as securing possessions and locking up the camper van when you leave it for any length of time. Be mindful of the local customs and environment, and be sure to try to follow any specific guidelines or restrictions that may be in place due to local regulations or conservation projects.
It’s always a good idea to keep a close eye on the latest travel advisories and guidelines from reliable sources before embarking on your journey. Check the queueing or possible delay times on the Ferry or the Channel Tunnel, depending on your chosen method of crossing the English Channel.

Most importantly, have a wonderful time exploring the amazing South of France in your camper van!

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