Camping in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of France
When it comes to booking a camping trip, France is always a great idea. You’ll be spoilt for choice no matter where you go. That said, heading away to the southeastern part of the country holds even more special rewards for holidaymakers looking to unwind and relax in a spectacular setting.
We should know. Two of the Campsited team took their families camping in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur last summer. And their stories of what they saw and did while in this beautiful corner of the world has the rest of us green with envy.
Camping in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur : sun, sea and mountains just three hours from Paris
Although Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur can feel completely removed from a bustling city, it’s actually only a three hour TGV trip from Paris. But whether you travel via Paris, or make your way on another route, you’ll know you’re in a completely new world the minute you step into this part of the south of France.
During the summer months, temperatures range from 25 to 30 Celsius. The Mediterranean climate also means that the days are mostly free of rain.
Therefore you have all the elements necessary to explore the surrounding areas. Spoiler alert: it’s an embarrassment of riches.
Firstly, there’s the Med. The sea will surprise you with its many shades of blue. You’ve got the option to swim, canoe or white-water raft in these waters no matter where you are. From the Calanques of Marseille to the celebrity hotspot of Saint-Tropez, and Toulon harbour to the Hyères islands, you’ll suddenly understand what Gershwin was speaking about when he composed Rhapsody in Blue.
Just when you think you can get your head around the beauty of the Meditteranean, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur will throw another showstopper your way in the form of its national parks.
This region of France has three national parks. The Maures mountain range, the Queyras Natural Regional Park and the Ecrins National Park are in easy-to-reach locations. They offer great paths and tracks for hiking, walking and cycling.
Going camping in Côte d’Azur
This part of France is exceptionally well kitted out for families. A quick glance through our many campsites from Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur will show you all of the facilities you can enjoy.
Although you have the Mediterranean on your doorstep, just about all of the campsites come with spectacular, and large, swimming pools. Some resorts even have more than one pool.
Many campsites also have playgrounds for younger holidaymakers. And on-site shops and restaurants to keep the parents happy.
Our two Campsited team members stayed at two separate campsites with their families. We share more details about each of these campsites below to illustrate just how much fun camping in the shadow of the Alps in France is.
Domaine de la Bergerie
If you’re after a five star camping experience, where green Alpine forests grow on your doorstep, then you’ll definitely want to check out the campsite that Fin and his family went to.
This campsite’s location is the stuff of dreams. It is situated in a forest of oak and pine trees, with the sea nearby on one side and hills on the other. You’ll be in a prime position to enjoy all the rejuvenating benefits that nature has to offer.
No matter whether your preference is a mobile home or a pitch to set up your own tent, Domaine de la Bergerie will deliver. And once you’re settled in you’ll have access to the 1400m² water park, a wellness area, indoor pool, kids’ club, entertainment and fitness room facilities.
There’s also a restaurant located in the centre of the campsite. Not only does it provide you with sumptuous food and drink and stunning views over the bay of Saint-Raphaël, but the restaurant is also built in a Provençal sheep pen. How’s that for an authentic French experience!
Fin’s family flew to Nice and then got a transfer to Domaine de la Bergerie with JamTransfer. The airport is approximately 70 kilometres from the campsite and the return journey cost €220.
Half of the units in the campsite are static units that are “owner occupied”. This means that the owners spend a few months of the year living in the campsite. This contributes to a warm and welcoming village feel.
Domaine de la Bergerie’s facilities and activities
Once settled into their chalet, Fin’s children (ranging in ages from 2 to 8) had just one thing on their mind. SWIMMING! And they were spoilt for choice, with four pools and a water slide at their disposal. There is also plenty of lifeguards on hand to keep everyone safe and sound.
Occasionally other activities did get a show in! A full list of the activities the campsite offers can be seen here.
These activities included archery, visits to the petting zoo, pony riding, hip-hop dancing, soccer, volleyball, basketball and a lot of hiking on the mountain trails right behind the campsite. A family disco one evening a week saw Fin, his wife and their little ones busting some shapes on the dance floor – and having a lot of fun while at it!
A supermarket is situated in the campsite and it had everything the family needed, including barbecue rental. The campsite also offers a little bakery next door to the supermarket that provides a daily supply of freshly baked bread and pastries. Fin’s youngsters quickly claimed the task of walking to the bakery every day to buy the bread for breakfast. And a few sneaky pretzels! (We like their thinking 😀.)
The restaurant was a hit with Fin’s family. In fact, they ended up eating there six of the nights they were away. The food delighted, from youngest to oldest, and eating out provided a lovely, relaxing close to each day.
The family also made use of the poolside cafe for drinks, snacks and lunch during the days. Evenings were often spent on the open and welcoming terrace bar.
Fin’s family chose a three-bedroomed chalet as their accommodation. The chalet came with air conditioning and had a very modern fit-out. The family enjoyed a great deal of privacy, and Fin noted that this was true for many of the chalets on the site.
Thanks to their chalet being on a hill, Fin and his family enjoyed a great view from their big patio (partly covered for shade). Outdoor furniture made al fresco dining and lounging in the sun mandatory activities.
The closest town to Domaine de la Bergerie is Fréjus, approximately six kilometres away. This town has pretty much everything a family needs in the way of utilities, i.e. restaurants, supermarkets… There is also a brilliant waterpark called Acqualand.
Exploring Fréjus and its surroundings
The little town also has a strong medieval background that visitors can explore at their leisure. The Fréjus Cathedral dates back to the earliest days of Christianity in France. You’ll see Romanesque architecture that includes a 5th century baptismal basin when you visit.
There’s also a Musée Archéologique, where treasures from the past are displayed. A walk around the exhibits provides a captivating insight to the past of this beautiful town.
Fréjus also offers time-travellers an opportunity to step back in time with a 40 kilometre aqueduct that transported water from the Foux and Siagnole Rivers to the ancient Roman Forum Julii.
With all these activities in the campsite itself, and the surrounding areas, Fin’s family had a wonderful holiday. Camping holidays are the ideal holidays to bring loved ones closer – and this trip certainly did that. Fin’s only additional recommendation is for visitors to hire a car if they stay at Domaine de la Bergerie. There’s so much to explore!
Camping Les Cigales
Our fellow Campsited colleague, James travelled with his extended family to a campsite in the heart of Provence called Camping Les Cigales.
Their transfer company called Get Transfer met them at Nice airport. The campsite is approximately 70 kilometres from the airport and the cost was €200 return.
The family booked cabins that were close to each other, as well as to the swimming pools and restaurant areas. The standard of the cabins is very high, with lots of shade to counteract the midday heat. However they were really only used for sleeping in and enjoying a meal or snack on each other’s comfortable verandas.
After all, with eight pools, a lazy river and four slides on the campsite, this was always going to be a camping holiday spent in the outdoors. Swimming was the order of the day! The campsite also has plenty of lifeguards stationed around each pool. This greatly reassures parents and provides kids with loads of freedom to enjoy the water.
James’ family also shared stories of the fun and energetic entertainment team that set up activities for the campsite’s guests everyday. These activities were run in French but a special effort was made to include English speakers.
Every morning, an exercise class was held at 10am. Pool games commenced at 12pm, and sports activities, including football, were held for the kids in the evenings.
The site’s excellent facilities also meant that James and his family could arrange their own family activities. Thanks to camping in a large group, they had the numbers to play basketball and tennis games.
Camping Les Cigales is set in picturesque grounds. And, as if there could be any doubt about the beauty of camping in the south of France, this campsite is surrounded by rows and rows of vineyards. This majestic scenery provides a stunning view and a variety of walking and jogging paths.
Saint Tropez and Cannes are both accessible from the campsite via bus, train and ferry routes. They’re close enough to make ideal day trips.
Due to the number of young children and babies in the family group, and the extensive variety of facilities in the campsite, James’ family spent most of their time there.
The on-site ship sold all the essentials, which ensured that the families could prepare food and eat on their verandas. Alfresco dining in the sun is always a holiday highlight!
One or two evening meals were also enjoyed at the camp restaurant, which provided a menu suitable for all the ages. A large supermarket is located 10 minutes away from the campsite, and is easy to get to by taxi, for larger shopping trips.
Overall, James’ family stayed for two weeks at Camping Les Cigales. The consensus from each person in the group, from youngest to oldest was: F.A.N.T.A.S.T.I.C. holiday!
Thanks to Fin and James, we know where we would like to go the moment we can travel again. But it might be for a bit longer than two weeks… #justsaying.