Het Hurktoilet

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You can sleep just everywhere

Don't expect us to point to this small, yet comfortable campground with nice shadow. We used to tell friends and family about these sites. Nowadays, al these campgrounds are full before we arrive ourselves. Because we like neither to make reservations, nor to find a sign complet (full), we don't tell anybody anymore.

Foto camper-plaats in Dieppe

A growing lot of towns welcome camping-cars on parkingplaces with all needed equipment, like here in Dieppe (Normandy)

Nevertheless, you shouldn't have any trouble to find a place to sleep in France. Th country has well over 11,000 campgrounds, not to mention hotels, holiday rental houses and mountain cabins. In case you do see the sign complet (full), at the entrance of a campground and you've got just a little tent, it might pay to behave very polite to the campground owner. In exchange for the revenues of an extra overnight, he often finds a small place that just fits your petite toile (tiny tent).

There's mostly room enough at the less luxurious municipal campgrounds (they're mostly even called Municipal) , especially outside the main tourist areas. To find the right campground for your family, camping guides are edited by both Michelin and FFCC.
Camping in the wild is permitted, as long as the owner of the ground agrees. No wild camping however on the borders of roads, on beaches and lots of tourist areas. In national parks wild camping is allowed for one night at the same place, as long as you're further then a one hour walk from the park limits or paved roads.

You will find hotels of all kinds and prices. Being Dutch, I certainly must mention the very, very cheap motel-chains along motorways, often at industrial areas. Don't expect any cosiness or great luxury in these hotels, but you will get a decent place to sleep.
Most known is Formule 1, with rooms for two priced at 25 euro, but they don't offer toilets at your room. Others do and don't ask much more. You will be able to find a room for four and pay only 40 euro. These hotels are only attended till about nine o'clock in the evening. Later arrivals can get an automatic key by inserting their credit-card into a machine. You will also need a credit card if you make a reservation.

If you're looking for something more cosy, you might look for a bead-and-breakfast (chambres d'hotes). There tend to be more of them every year.
Mountain cabins (gites d'etappe) are especially usefull for hikers. They get a bed in a sleeping hall for about 13. In summer, reservations are needed for mountain cabins in and around national parks. If it's late in the evening, the warden will not send away a hiker. He refers him to a place on the cold ground in the open air.

Links to budget hotels, hotel and camping-guides

The cheap hotels do have websites, but are hard to find on the internet. That's why, after lots of requests, we decided to link to these commercial sites. For other hotels, cabins and campgrounds, we link to specialized web guides. For bead-and-breakfast you should ask the local tourist office..

Formule 1
Nuits d'Hotel
Premiere Classe
Hotel guide
Camping guide FFCC
Sleeping in the country
Youth hostels
Tourist offices
Sleeping for hikers
Gites de France


I'm sorry, I guess this is not very beautiful English but it's the best I can do. I translated this page on special request. Language improvements are really welcome. Most of this site is in Dutch only . Again I'm sorry. I made this site as a virtual guide to France for those Dutch who use to complain about everything in France (there are lots of them every summer). I plan to translate some more pages, so please be patient and come back someday.

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