The beauty of France beckons you to cruise through its winding roads, explore its beautiful countryside and beaches, and marvel at the wonderful architecture. Travelling in your motorhome gives you a unique chance to explore the places less visited and undiscovered and enjoy an exciting holiday adventure.
However, if you are concerned about the travelling costs piling up, you may want to look for ways to curtail your expenses, and free motorhome parking can be very helpful. Continue reading to learn about all the ways you can park your motorhome for free in France while complying with the requisite rules and regulations.
Free Motorhome Parking in France
Motorhomes and campervans follow the same traffic rules as other cars in France. Therefore, if you want to step out of your vehicle or park your motorhome on the side of the road, you can do so while adhering to the traffic and parking rules.
Public car parks are also open for motorhomes as these sites are not allowed to put up height restrictions. However, some supermarkets do not allow motorhomes in their parking lots.
It is important to note that while you can park your vehicle, you must keep yourself limited to the confines of the motorhome and are not allowed to put up camp even if you are in a car park. France has clear road signs which indicate whether motorhomes are prohibited or allowed. Even if you do not understand the language, you should have no trouble understanding the signs.
Wild camping in France
You can also opt for wild camping in France in areas that are not designated motorhome parking areas or campsites. However, you cannot camp in conserved natural sites, national parks, the perimeters of historic monuments, and the coast.
Some of the nicest wild camping spots in France may be found in these places.
- Auvergne-Rhone-Alpesin southeast-central France-It is known for its beautiful mountains, the Massif Central volcanos, and lakes, including Lac de Bourget, Lake Annecy, and Lake Geneva.
- Bourgogne-France-Comte in Eastern France is a historic region famous for its wine. Historic Burgundy is also present in this region.
- Brittany- a rugged peninsula in western France known for its beautiful gardens
- Central-Val de Loire– a landlocked area in the southwest of France known for its historic cities, the chateaux of the Loire Valley, and the La Brenne National Park.
Besides wild camping, you can also camp on owned land after seeking the owner’s permission, and if the area is not cultivated or has a proper boundary, you can go wild camping on it as long as there is no prohibiting sign.
However, do not extend your stay beyond one night, particularly if it is private property. Do not block a road entrance or park in front of someone’s home.
Overnight motorhome parking in France
Public car parks that allow motorhomes are open for overnight stayovers. You can refresh and regroup for the next leg of the journey after a night’s stay.
According to French Highway laws, you can park your motorhome beside the road or in designated parking places like other vehicles. It is also legal to park outside cities or in built-up areas on a quiet roadside.
You may come across various D roads where the turns have been straightened out, and there is an unofficial lay-by where you can park for the night.
Parking at a French Aires de Service
French “Aires de Service” are free or low-cost motorhome overnight stopovers. You may find many places near towns or villages where you can park for a night or several nights. Often they are managed by local councils and well-maintained and you may find bars or coffee shops at close distance.
At many sites, even the free ones, you may find toilet facilities, wastewater disposal facilities, and fresh drinking water. In most cases, booking is not entertained, and the first come, first serve rule is employed.
Finding motorhome parking via France Passion
If you are familiar with Britstops, you may also find France Passion useful. It is a scheme that offers free overnight parking information for campervans and motorhomes. You may find wonderful locations in natural reserves, snail farms, or vineyards. You can park for free but may have to buy a meal, a wine bottle, or any souvenir in return.
To benefit from the facility, you may have to join the scheme in advance and order the card, and book from the site before you can find free motorhome parking spots via the scheme.
Can I park a motorhome anywhere in France?
Motorhomes can park anywhere in France where other cars are allowed, including parking beside roads and designated parking places. You can also park outside cities and in built-up areas on the roadsides.
Is wild camping allowed in France?
Wild camping is allowed in France in many places, but you cannot park beside coasts, in national parks, or in natural conserved sites. There are strict laws in place, particularly in peak tourist season like the summers. Sometimes, you may park on the coast during the off-season.