South of France- cheap holidays

#1
Hello all

Has anyone camped in the south of france.

I'm considering flying to the South of France, hiring a car and just driving around and pitching up a tent at campsites that are where we are for that night. If in doubt sleeping the car.
Has anyone done something similar or advise me on how you can rent a pitch for a evening.
I've had a look on the internet, however pretty much all of the searches come up with 1-2 week stays and I'm more interested in basically wandering around for 2 weeks then being stuck in one area.


Many thanks.
 
#2
It's a long time since I did it (early 80's) but the bible I used was the ADAC Camping Caravaning Führer. It's still available at bookshops or direct from ADAC (German AA).

I joined the ADAC at the time because membership gave discounts on many of the site fees which covered the cost of joining. Don't know if this is still the case.

Some details can be taken off the ADAC website - example below:

http://campingfuehrer.adac.de/campi...php?guid=856f2483-ab43-4ad2-ab8b-36646ff36d84 (and click on the red bit at the bottom)

Of course, you need to be able to understand German to use the website but I think the book works in several languages.
 
#3
Do NOT get a camper van and park out of way places, there have been several night raids by the pikeys dropping sleeping gas in them and stealing everything.

If you go to Cannes, pop on the ferry over to the island of Ile Sainte-Marguerite, very peaceful.
 
#4
^^^

I was thinking about just pitching up a tent at a specific place. Thanks for the heads up though.

Mr_Deputy said:
Yes. This is one of my specialist areas. I can give you some pointers.

Fly to Nice on Easyjet and pick up a car at Nice (book at time of flight or take chances there)
Head west along the coast. Simple as that. Around areas of Cap D'Antibes there are some nice camp sites. All have their own websites these days so go on line and have a look. You can park up and walk in and have wander about first if you prefer (wrap a towel around your shoulders and wander in casually to avoid looking suspicous or else ask to go in and have a look) either way if you wish to stay you can tell them which pitch you want. Mots pitches will have a reference number on a small metal plate or something similar.
If you really want to experience a nice quiet, nateurally blessed French town go to Agay on L'Esterel (again its just a case of heading west from Nice until you get there) they have one or two sites -both small but very nice quiet town. Or stay in St Raphael and visit towns like Agay via the excellent train which runs along the coast from Nice to Marseille.

Agay : http://www.karbosguide.com/agay/index.htm

unfortunately named in English but a real treasure. Limited places of rooms and campsites (which is half the charm - like Cornwall etc) so book ahead. Its all pretty cheap there too. some of Cote D'Azur can be pricey 'these days.'

Check out also :

Biot (not as far from Nice, stoney beach but loads of campsites and lots of 18-30 types there as well as families has a fun fair etc)

Frejus

Juan Les Pins

St Raphael (as mentioned)


do all the flashy towns* as they are worth seeing. But it really is girls in gold trainers with gold phones swanning about trying to look cool while cafes charge you 159867 euros for a beer or a coke.

Monaco (we used to sleep in some bushes there when I was about 15)
Cannes
St Tropez ( small town, flash yachts by the million probably was great in the 60/70s but with bus loads of tourists and so many boats it can be unbearably busy and tedious)
Marseille - be careful is my eadvice. Not really been but go into so many fights / avoided theft etc with so many guys from here over the years! Nice natural areas near by but so is the case with Nice.
Excellent. I'll print this out and use it's suggestions.
With some of the camp sites, can you just turn up and get a pitch for a night or two, or will they want you to book in advance and potentially stay a lot longer?
 
#5
Did I forget to mention that the ADAC Camping Caravaning Führer is a campsite guide?

It's bordering on essential to take a list of sites with you if you're intending not to follow a strict itinerary. Most sites are booked well in advance and will be full, so you need to have a list of fall-back options.

It's best to phone ahead, preferably at least the evening before, to save you spending half of your holiday trying to find somewhere to stay. Also, you may find that if you turn up late and unannounced, you could end up paying premium rates because the owner knows that you have no other option.

If a campsite has space - and be aware that when a foreign campsite is full, it often means Glastonbury-style crowded - they'll take you for as long or as short a period as you want.
 
#6
putteesinmyhands said:
Did I forget to mention that the ADAC Camping Caravaning Führer is a campsite guide?

It's bordering on essential to take a list of sites with you if you're intending not to follow a strict itinerary. Most sites are booked well in advance and will be full, so you need to have a list of fall-back options.

It's best to phone ahead, preferably at least the evening before, to save you spending half of your holiday trying to find somewhere to stay. Also, you may find that if you turn up late and unannounced, you could end up paying premium rates because the owner knows that you have no other option.

If a campsite has space - and be aware that when a foreign campsite is full, it often means Glastonbury-style crowded - they'll take you for as long or as short a period as you want.
Many thanks for the input. I'll pick up a copy of ADAC Camping Caravaning Führer.
For some reason I thought it would cover mainly germany. From the looks of it (and I say looks because I don't speak german so trying to navigate the website at the moment).
 
#7
Mr_Deputy said:
Bonjour Monsieur/Madame

Je voudrais savoir s'il vous reste un emplacement pour les dates du: ……………… au ……………. (have u got a pitch left for dates......)
J’ai une tente et une voiture. (I have a tent and car) Je n’ai pas besoin d’électricité. (I dont need electricity)
Je voudrais de l'électricité, si disponible. (I would like leccy if available.)

Repondez-moi rapidement en anglais si possible! Je ne parle pas le français couramment. (reply asap in English pls - my french is fcking crap)

Cordialement / best wishes (Meilleurs voeux is for Christmas!)
Cher Monsieur le Député,

Je me suis permis d'effectuer qqs modifications.

Bisous,

la jolie fille de Perth :lol:
 
#8
I'd strongly advise finding places where English is spoken. Our polyglot posters above have reminded me of one of the hazards of camping in France.

The French for "I would like to pitch a tent" is "Je voudrais monter une tente".

Monter = to mount, to put up, to erect.

Unfortunately, tente is pronounced the same as tante, which as any schoolboy knows, is French for aunt.

It would be bad enough saying that you'd like to mount an aunt, but tante is also slang for a male homosexual. :omg:

At least if you camp in Germany, your opening words to the site warden won't be "I want to f*ck a queer".
 
#10
Mr_Deputy said:
Don't be later ever EVER in France either or you'll have to aplogise for being a retard.
"Desolé, je suis un peu en retard."

Maid of Perth - merci beacoup. Bisous pour toi aussi x


Ian - that's good but does she DO French? Mind you it'll be so hot in a tent now that sex will be slippery and wet and ....oh I want to go to the S of France.
I've already set my watch 5 minutes fast, I'll put it a bit more.


Slippery and wet in a tent, better make sure everythings wipe clean then :twisted:
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#11
I was down there last week between St Tropez and Hyeres, temps in the low 40's (10 above what the forecast was saying) and occasional storms. Aircon was a must - a tent would have been hell.

If you go after the August rush it will be much nicer, quieter and cheaper.
2** double rooms should run you to about Euro 80 for a good location in Sept. Campsites are not cheap unless they are well off the map, but then expect Euro 30, more if you want to use a "chalet" (=shed) - you may want to weight the cost of tent/kit hire against that.

If you want to eat reasonably, do activities etc, I would not class it as a cheap holiday destination.

Is there anything you want to do in particular?
 
#13
Cher Monsieur/Madame

Je voudrais savoir si il vous reste un emplacement pour une tente et une voiture avec/sans électricté du ……………… au ……………. (I would like to know if you have a spot for tent + car with/without leccy from.....to....)

Merci de me repondre rapidement, si possible en Anglais car je ne parle pas Français couramment. (reply asap in English pls - my french is fcking crap)

Cordialement / best wishes (Meilleurs voeux is for Christmas!)
Ma chère m'selle de Perth, je m'excuse mais je n'ai pas pu résister qqs modifs supplementaires :*

Totally agree with visiting the Frejus/St Raphaël/Agay/Ste Maxime area. Spent many happy summers of as a lad in that area (including the hot slippery fornication :hump: )
 
#16
Mr_Deputy said:
Agree with Alsacien I try and stick to June and September for the Med.
France has 'le vague' (the wave) in August where everyone washes down south to get a few days in the sun.
But I know you want to go - I've done the same. When you need to go - sometimes you just go.

If not camping (I think u have decided on that tho non?) There are loads of B&Bs, hotels and so on just need to internet search or call Syndicat D'Initiative (tourist info) to look for you. will speak English just be slow, clear and patient.

It will be busy now yes - which is why I was suggesting Agay/L'Esterel as its comparitively quite quiet - its numbers are limited.
If you do go there aside from camping I can recommend Le Relais D'Agay (although its a close kept secret of mine - dont want any old riff raff going there - be honoured all of you :D :D ) its cheap, friendly and cheerful and has a shaded patio for breakfast and evening drinks etc Room prices will just have gone up around 1st week of July but still not too bad.

http://www.relaisdagay.com/

Otherwise go on to IBIS / B&B hotels (in this case I mean a brand name not bed and breakfast) / Formule 1 etc - all very very cheap all owned by Accor Hotels as well funnily enough - big chain - cheaper ones are a bit like hostel standard rooms but safe and ...I wouldnt quite say clean but cleaner than a tent maybe ...and if you have a car you could go that route. B&B and Formule 1 rooms can be as low as 30 euros per night. Their websites are all very good and you can search by region. I think there is a cheap IBIS in Antibes for example on western edge of the town - somewhere like that. IBIS is prob about 50 euros per night.
Yeah I'm set on camping, but that's really due to the price over 2 weeks of B&B's.
Unfortunately the only time I can get off due to work is August, as I organise conferences and there are 3 in September, 1 in the middle of October and 3 in November.

Thanks for all the advice, and sorry about my slow reply turn around.
 
#17
Alsacien said:
I was down there last week between St Tropez and Hyeres, temps in the low 40's (10 above what the forecast was saying) and occasional storms. Aircon was a must - a tent would have been hell.

If you go after the August rush it will be much nicer, quieter and cheaper.
2** double rooms should run you to about Euro 80 for a good location in Sept. Campsites are not cheap unless they are well off the map, but then expect Euro 30, more if you want to use a "chalet" (=shed) - you may want to weight the cost of tent/kit hire against that.

If you want to eat reasonably, do activities etc, I would not class it as a cheap holiday destination.

Is there anything you want to do in particular?
I was not expecting them to be 30 euros, that's what, about 25 real money these days isn't it?
The reason I'm looking at the South of France is because the gf's nan had somewhere there, but she has since sold it (skuppering a lot of the cheapness). We're looking to go there to see the area and have a complete 180 (for her) holiday. Plus, I haven't spent more then 3 days in france, and that was paris (3 days was long enough IMO).
 
#18
personally i'd drive there...flights at this time of year are rarely a bargain, that combined with the hassle of flying, baggage restrictions, extra costs for excess weight, car parking, hire car etc your own motor gives you the added flexibility.

If you leave Calais at 7 am you'll be in Nice for late afternoon
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#19
Danny_Dravot said:
personally i'd drive there...flights at this time of year are rarely a bargain, that combined with the hassle of flying, baggage restrictions, extra costs for excess weight, car parking, hire car etc your own motor gives you the added flexibility.

If you leave Calais at 7 am you'll be in Nice for late afternoon
Motorway juice is about Euro 115-120/105-110 benz/derv at the moment - 10% less if you go to a supermarket. About Euro 150 in tolls return - lovely long queues to pay them aswell if you have not got a Sanef "t" payment doofer.
In August its a much of a 'mare as flying.....
 
#20
Just a small word of advice ,

car hire at the moment is HORRIBLY expensive in Nice at the moment. we have just payed €700+ for a family car for 2 weeks . even a hatch-back is €600+, and that is with the Forces Discount directory thingy..

So if you can face the drive do it from GB and save the cost of the car hire.

My family and I go there every year and it is MUCH more expensive this year. and yes don't do August as every Frog, his family and his Dog will be camped on every available patch of grass including the side of the road....... :lol:

G4eddie