The drama and beauty of Normandy’s landscape - white cliffs, wide beaches and island outcrops - pose some serious competition to that across the channel. As arguably the most accessible place to head for camping in France, a journey to Normandy should definitely be on your 2021 to-do list.
Why take your motorhome to Normandy?
Home to some of the country’s finest cheeses and other rich gastronomic delights, steeped in history, and scattered with idyllic towns that have inspired artists for centuries, this department of France makes the perfect seaside escape.
It contains within it 4 national parks and well-signposted coastal walking and biking routes. In fact, the Normandy Tourist Board highly encourages exploring the region by foot or bike, and offer free route maps available for download on their website. One such route is the 40km Cider Route weaves through the Pays D’Auge, dotted with local producers happy to share the fruits of their labour. Unmissable attractions include the iconic monastery of Mont-Saint-Michel, the most visited monument in Normandy, and the historical D-Day Landing beaches. And, of course, the Channel Islands are easily reached by ferry, via the towns of Granville or Dielette, and we recommend making the most of camping near Normandy by exploring this proudly independent and dramatic archipelago.
Below, we’ve collected the very best campsites in Normandy and grouped them by department, so you can navigate your way around the region’s delights and find the most ideal place to stay according to your own itinerary.
1. The first campsite we recommend is in the eastern department of the Seine-Maritime, where the Seine river meets the cost. The Camping Aguielle Creuse is 5km away from Étretat and its gorgeously unusual cliffs, carved into the chalk by the channel sea. Walking the coast path, you’ll be in the front row to witness the spectacular overhang. At low tide, you can even walk to the legendary ‘man-hole.’ Just over 30km from the campsite are the coastal towns of Honfleur and Le Havre. The former is an idyllic fishing port that has inspired many master painters, which has the Museum of Ethnography and Popular Art Normand, and a Marine Museum. The latter is France’s second-largest port, but still has peaceful gems within it, such as the hanging gardens. A little further afield, many sweet villages nestle in the loops of the Seine, waiting to be discovered in the Boucles de la Seine regional natural park, ideally by foot along various walking tracks.
The campsite offers bike rental from €9, heated toilet facilities in the low season, disabled toilet facilities and baby changing, washing machines and dryer. There’s wifi available, fresh bread made to order on the campsite every morning, waste disposal, and every other amenity you could possibly need within a 500m walk.
Daily rate for a pitch for two people (+ electricity) ranges from €22 to €34 depending on the time of year.
2. The second lies right in the wooded heart of the Boucles national park and is aptly named the Camping La Foret. It’s cyclist’s dream, as many routes are etched along this river valley. It’s one of the best campsites near Rouen, just 17 miles from the city. The attractions that you won’t want to miss there include the Rouen Cathedral, the museum of fine arts, and the Place du Vieux Marché, where Joan of Arc met her fiery end.
The site has a drying room, toilet block, showers, washbasins, washing machines, bike hire, shop, wifi, sports facilities and other on-site entertainment. It’s endorsed by the UK camping and caravanning club.
Prices range from £18.75 to £38.45 per pitch depending on services required and time of year.
Camping La Foret, Jumieges, Normandy, 76480 Manche
3. If you want to camp near the Cherbourg ferry terminals for convenience, Camping La Gallouette offers that and so much more. It’s the only campsite in Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue, named 2019’s favourite French village (or ‘Le village préféré des Français’). It’s 200m from the beach, and a stone’s throw from the shops and port. It’s on the west of the Cotentin peninsula, which is surrounded by the English channel and sparkles with unique panoramic coastal views. From the site, you can hike to Nez de Jobourg, an impressive promontory in the northwest of the peninsula, or set off from the campsite along the GR223 to Barfleur, which is a great way to make the most of the east Cotentin coast. If history is more your thing, let yourself be charmed by the half-timber houses and outstanding cathedral at Bayeux, and spy the 900-year old Bayeux tapestry, or immerse yourself in the deep poignance of Utah beach, a famous D-Day landing site.
Daily rates for campervan pitches for 2 people (+ electricity) range from €16.50 to €21.30 depending on the time of year.
10b Rue de la Gallouette, 50550, Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue
4. On the west side of the Cotentin Peninsula, Camping Château des Lez Eaux is the perfect place to camp to discover Mont Saint Michel. This abbey, perched on a rocky outcrop at the mouth of the Couesnon river, is an unmissable wonder, classified as a UNESCO world heritage site since 1979. You can buy tickets for a crossing and guide around the abbey from the campsite reception (for just €3). The nearby town of Granville, nicknamed the ‘Monaco of the North,’ is a historic seaside gem. It experiences the highest tides in Europe, and has exciting attractions like the Christian Dior museum. You can also embark from Granville for the Channel Islands.
The 5-star campsite is located in the sanctuary of a château’s grounds. The pitches are interspersed with the renovated buildings and its pond. It’s a huge area, ideal for small caravans and motorhomes. The sanitary facilities are high quality, and all the necessary comforts are there; hot water, sinks, showers, WC (heated in the low season), dishwashers, hairdryers, and baby-changing facilities.
All standard pitches include electricity, and range from €26 to €42 depending on the time of year (fully serviced pitches are also available).
Camping Château des Lez Eaux, 240 Avenue de Lez Eaux, 50380, St Aubin des Preaux
The Channel Islands
You can even stay on Jersey in your motorhome, provided you obtain a permit prior to arrival. This is the best way to make the most of the unique little world off the French coast, where two cultures collide. Its rich, varied landscape is astonishingly easy to explore, with sweeping dunes and picturesque patchworks of green fields interspersed with fishing villages, towering cliffs, and unspoilt beaches. Jersey’s heritage also makes it an exciting option for camping near Normandy.
5. We recommend the Beuvelande Campsite. The standard pitches come with electric hook up and are divided by willow hedging for extra privacy, though simple or ‘super’ fully serviced pitches are also available. It’s an award-winning site with upstanding facilities, including wifi around the on-site bar and restaurant and reception, an on-site shop stocked with fresh Jersey produce and camping essentials, and a swimming pool. There’s a laundry with two washing machines, 3 tumble dryers, two ironing boards with irons, and chemical and grey waste disposal point. The large toilet block has 12 showers with hot water, and two disability-accessible family rooms and baby changing area.
Standard pitches range from £20 to £32 depending on time of year.
Beuvelande Campsite, Rue de Beuvelande, St Martins, Jersey JE3 6EZ.
6. You can also holiday in Guernsey in your motorhome (just check it complies with these conditions). The site at Beaucette Marina is designed specifically with campervans in mind, but only accommodates eight vehicles at once, so it’s worth getting in touch to reserve your spot. It is one of the most charming spots for motorhome camping in the country, let alone for camping near Normandy. The site overlooks the marina, and its views stretch out towards Guernsey’s sister islands. The restaurant at the marina is a great place for enjoying these views whilst eating local, seasonal seafood and dairy. Other attractions within walking distance include some of the oldest monuments in Europe, such as a Neolithic grave and Fort Doyle, as well as the long sandy beaches of L’Ancresse Bay. This has to be one of the most unique opportunities you’ll find for camping in France and is undoubtedly worth the extra ferry trips.
Each pitch has its own picnic area, electric hook up, and water point. During your stay, you can access the marine facilities, including more showers, laundry and wifi. You can hire bikes from the Harbour office, and there are plenty of walking trails to be discovered nearby. The site has a washing up area with hot water, grey water disposal, a shower block, and laundry facilities. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information about their 2021 tariffs and open dates.
Beaucette Campervans, Beaucette Marina, Vale, Guernsey, channel Islands GY3 5BQ.
7. A slightly cheaper option than the Camping La Foret regarding campsites near Rouen is Le Brevedent. This stellar site is set in the surrounds of an idyllic rural chateau, has a quality restaurant on-site, a lake which you can hire canoes to paddle on go fishing, and truly charming owners with an eco-tourism ethic. They organise acoustic music nights amongst the holidaymakers and staff, visits to the local cider farm, and eco-friendly washing products free of charge. Whilst staying here, be sure to visit the nearby cathedral city of Lisieux and its basilica, walk along the Route du Cidre, or visit Calvados distilleries to sample this local brandy-style liqueur, or head to Trouville for the weekly Marché aux Poissons to grab some fresh local seafood. You can eat cooked mussels, shrimp, scallops or fresh oysters on a table out the front, just 250m from the waterfront.
The Brevedent campsite has three toilet blocks, spacious, heated shower cubicles, sinks with large mirrors, and washing-up areas with a panoramic view of the gardens. There’s a laundry room with washing machines and a dryer, a heated pool, and a shop with fresh-baked pastries and baguettes each morning. Normandy’s campsites don’t get much more delightful than this!
Prices range from €17.60 to €35.60 per night depending on the services required at your pitch.
Camping Le Brevedent, Route du Pin, Pont-L’Eveque, Normandy, 14130.
8. Camping des Capucines is one of the best motorhome campsites near Caen, just 12km from the city and conveniently near to the ferry terminal for Portsmouth crossings. Caen is so much more than just a ferry port. It has William the Conqueror’s former castle, which today houses the Museum of Fine Arts and the Normandy Museum. The former displays words by prominent artists including Claude Monet, who’s oil paintings capture various parts of Normandy’ the cliffs of Étretat, the cathedral of Rouen, and the famous Nymphéas (Water Lilies) in Giverny. The latter displays the history and culture of the region in its collections. The campsite itself is located in Ranville, the first village to be liberated by French allies in WWII. It’s only 200m from the Landing Beaches road, between Ouistreham and Cabourg. Omaha beach, one of the most famous among the 5 landing beaches, is nearby in Saint-Laurent-Sur-Mer. This campsite is also ideally located for visiting the towns of Deauville, Bayeux, Falaise and Suisse Normande.
The campsite is open all year round and has 212 pitches though only 14 are hardstanding, so a reservation is recommended if you need one of those. They also offer an electric hook up. There are 3 disability accessible toilets areas, one of which is heated in winter, and hot water at all water stations. There are showers and sinks with hot and cold water, chemical disposal, washing machine and dryer, wifi access, mini-golf, and games room. It’s a bit more subdued than the other holiday parks, but the owners are nonetheless used to welcoming visitors from all over, and speak English, Spanish, and Dutch.
The price per adult per night is €6.60, and for a pitch with electric hook up is also €6.60.
Camping des Capucines, Rue de la Fleurie, 14860 Ranville, France.
9. If you’re after a sense of remoteness and tranquillity, but need campsites near Caen and handy ferry links then Normandy View Camping is perfect. It’s just 10-minutes walk from the village of Pont-d’Ouilly and 45-minutes walk from the Normandy beaches. There are only five pitches available, but the French-speaking English couple who own it have lived in the area for over a decade, attracted to the area’s cultural richness and slower pace of life. They’re happy to give you extensive advice and recommendations from enjoying your holiday in the area, as well as making your stay as comfortable as possible. As the name suggests, the site boasts great views over Normandy’s rolling green hinterland.
The site has a new toilet and shower block with washing up area, chemical waste disposal point, wifi, bike hire, and there are no hidden charges. Every pitch comes with electric hook-up, water, and waste disposal for €18 per night.
L’Ozier, 61430, Menil-Hubert-sur-Orne, France.
Some tips before you go
As with most small towns in France, plan your visits for between Tuesday through Saturday to avoid the disappointment of restaurant and shop closures. If you’re interested in visiting museums and art galleries, these places often offer free entry on particular days of the month, so you can save some money by finding out when these are on their websites. When buying your groceries, we’d recommend visiting a weekly outdoor market in your nearest village, such as the Saturday market in Dieppe. They’re good for inexpensive and quality lunches, too, as some vendors often sell prepared foods. For extra entertainment, plan your trip to coincide with one of Normandy’s free summer festivals.
Be aware that campsites in Normandy get very busy in the summer months. The French are renowned staycationers, though more than welcoming and willing to share their campsites with tourists from further afield. However, if you want a more tranquil experience, it may be worth visiting Normandy’s campsites in the quieter months or picking one of the smaller sites above.
Thinking about when the best time is to take a motorhome trip? Fortunately, this part of France makes the perfect destination for motorhome travellers all year round. There isn’t a better time to plan a new experience than the run-up to the new year, so check out our website for the camper you’ll take with you on your first adventure of 2021!