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France’s camping season grows longer

The camping season in France traditionally gets under way in April when the weather is hot enough to enjoy an aperitif before sunset, at least in the south. Now, however, tents are being unfolded, motorhomes dusted down and static caravans booked in mid-winter as the French change their holiday habits.

Only about 9 per cent of France’s campsites are open all year round, but those that are say they have registered a significant rise in custom, both at Christmas and during the half-term holidays, which began in the Paris region last week.

The two-week February break is traditionally the busiest period of the year for ski resorts, but with many hit by a lack of snow, some tourists are heading to the Mediterranean coast instead.

The French Riviera’s campsites recorded a 20 per cent increase in bookings in February 2023 compared with the same month in 2022, and expect a further rise this year.

Olivier Lachenaud, the chairman of Camping Paradis, which runs 90 campsites in France said campsites open in the winter, which once had only a smattering of the hardiest campers, were now half-full.

At the Paradis des Campeurs campsite on the Côte d’Azur, three-quarters of the pitches for tents were occupied and half of its static caravans, a spokesman told Le Parisien newspaper. At Christmas, it was full and had to turn people away, the spokesman added.

With temperatures of up to 20C forecast in the region this week, French campers said it was warm enough to eat outside, although few are willing to risk a dip in the Mediterranean.

July and August still account for 62 per cent of French camping holidays, but a growing number of tourists seem keen to avoid the south in the summer following a succession of heatwaves in recent years.

“Some people say that the intolerable temperatures in the south in July and August will balance things out, with campsites frequented before and after the summer and even in winter,” said Frédéric Dayot, chairman of the French Camping Federation.

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Index : General Articles : France’s camping season grows longer - by UKCampsite.co.uk

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