Does anyone know what the rules of wild camping are in France?
  • ElliotElliot March 2011
    What are the rules for wild camping in France? In England I know that I can stay anywhere out of sight, for no more than two nights, provided it's more than 100metres from the road. Are the rules similar in France?

    It would make a good cycling holiday, I think.
  • LynLyn March 2011
    Hi Elliot

    Thanks for checking out Freewheeling France!

    Free (or wild) camping is technically illegal in France, though it's still commonly done and we've heard no reports of problems from cyclists who have found isolated spots, have been respectful of their surrounds and have tidied up after themselves.

    If in doubt, you can always ask a farmer or local landholder if you don't think you'll go unnoticed.

    See our camping overview for general 'camping in France' stuff:
    http://www.freewheelingfrance.com/planning-a-trip/guide-to-cycle-camping.html

    Note though in some areas free camping is frowned upon (Corsica seems to be one such example owing to summer temperatures/fire risks and the high proportion of national parks on the island - see http://www.freewheelingfrance.com/where-to-go/cycling-corsica.html)

    Hope that helps - keep in touch and let us know how you get on.

    Cheers
    Lyn

    PS IF anyone out there has had any problems freecamping in France, we'd be keen to hear from you.
  • vernonvernon March 2011
    Elliot - it is not legal anywhere in England to wild camp.  There's general acceptance of it with back packers in out of the way places but in general, without the landowners permission wild camping is not allowed. 

    In France wild camping is not officially condoned but I have done it in places out of direct lnes of sight of occupied buildings and the road.  I pitched my tent at dusk and left at dawn.  In some places in northern France it was difficult to find a secluded spot as there were no trees, hedges or walls to mask me from the road.

    There are lots of cheap camp sites though especially municipal camp sites where I have paid as little as 4€ for a pitch.
  • LynLyn April 2011
    Hi guys

    I've just read this excellent blog by Tom Allen, one of our contributors.
    The title, 'How to WiId Camp Anywhere and Not Get Busted', pretty much sums it up – it's a good, practical overview of free camping.

    Cheers
    Lyn.
  • ElliotElliot April 2011
    Hi Lyn and Vernon. Thanks very much for the feedback. To clarify, I'm talking right off of the beaten track, not in someone's garden.

    The blog you mentioned there, Lyn, is an excellent guide. I'll read it all through thoroughly when I've got some time to myself.

    E.
  • Hi, we wild camped a few times in France and never had a problem. As Lyn says, be discreet and respectful and you're not likely to have any issues.

    We've also written a few tips on Wild Camping:

  • LynLyn September 2011
    Hi guys

    We now have a wild camping/free camping article on the site:
    http://www.freewheelingfrance.com/cycle-camping/wild-camping-in-france.html

    Cheers
    Lyn.

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