Sorry. just posted this in the bike forum by mistake.....Reposted here......Camping in France in September (first two weeks). The wife and I are heading down to the Dordogne from Calais and taking 4 days to get down there. Do I need to books campsites? Never been camping in France before and don't really speak French - would you advice booking or should I just let the chips fall where they may?? (bear in mind the missus will blame me if we end up sleeping in the car)....or should I just MFTU.
Camping in France
1st 2 weeks in Sept you should be ok , the French holidays are usually the first couple of weeks and Italys the last couple of weeks in August.
you could try looking on tourist info websites for the areas you'll be passing through to find where campsites are, we used to contact them and they'd send it all through the post but that was with a couple of months notice.
Do get a phrase book and try to speak a little French , it will be appreciated even if it's as bad as the policeman on 'allo allo' ,just try the basics (hello,goodbye,please,thank you, can i have bread/beer/ect) ignore this if you ever go to Brittany as they'd rather you spoke English as most of them don't speak French but Breton(bit like a French Welsh)
No need to book in September, just roll up at the nearest municipal campsite.
Second what carlosg said though. Learn some basic French.
The BBC has some great resources for learning some easy stuff here...
Or/and get some Michel Thomas CDs/MP3s and put 'em on in the car.
If you're passing near me in the Haute Vienne, give me a shout, I'll buy the beers.
We usually go at the this time (new baby this year so a year off!). Never had any problems. If you're moving around, look out for Camping Municipale - cheap, clean, well maintained. Always prefer camping in France to here as it seems a genuine option for a holiday, rather than going camping as it's a cheap option - if that makes sense!!
Pick a route,and look for your sites online,the French are very good at online booking etc.+1 for UKcampsites too,a mine of information.
I'd never book ahead. Take a short list of campsites for the area you are going as this allows you the chance to choose what looks best on arrival. I've camped in many sites in France/Italy in the high season and never had trouble finding space, (but I was only using a tent/car so take up little space).
Definitely try to speak a little French as has been said. Its easy to pick up basic stuff and in my early experiences the fact that you made an attempt to start with then deteriorated into broken French still goes a long way.
As a student I used to roll around France and the rest of Europe with my old VW camper in September. We never used to book anything just roll up and ask if they had any spaces. The only place that was fully booked at that time of year was the Med coast in the larger tourist traps. Speaking a little French is a big help as even if some people can speak English they won't if you don't even try and speak a little French.
Doing the same route later this week....just take it as it comes, Municipale sites are the way to go for stop overs
Stayed there about 3 years ago, pre swimming pool cover!
Nice place with a stream running through it if I recall!
I also recall having slicks on my MTB and overtaking a group of fat French roadies, how they loved that. They took it in turns to race me over the next few miles until they all gave up in the end. What fun!
Very nice site and the canoeing around there is fantastic.
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