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Rent a motorhome on the French Atlantic Coast

Explore sandy beaches and spellbinding cities

The French Atlantic Coast is one of the country's unsung campervan treasures. Vast expanses of sandy shores, pretty islands and laid-back towns dot a scenic coast of over 500 miles. This beauty is matched by quiet country roads meandering through farmer’s fields and vineyards to tranquil, sea-view campsite pitches. The Atlantic Coast offers some of the best surfing spots for waterborne fun, with paddle-boarding excursions among sea caves and estuaries. Pick the perfect camper to explore this delightful coast with motorhomebookers.com.

The French Atlantic Coast is home to some of France’s show-stopping cities and towns. From Quimper to Vannes through Nantes, La Rochelle and Bordeaux, this has been a strong trading and fishing region for much of French history. While each offers a different flavour for a campervan tour, detours through each offer a wealth of fascinating attractions, from medieval forts and fine chateaux to spectacular dining on Atlantic oysters, langoustines and cod.

In this guide, you’ll discover why the French Atlantic Coast makes a beautiful campervan destination. Learn about special routes for when you rent a campervan in France.

Top 5 facts about the French Atlantic Coast

  1. La Rochelle: Once a major French seaport and defensive fortification, La Rochelle contains a delightful old marina, medieval towers and bustling retail avenues.
  2. Dune du Pilat: The largest sand dune in Europe occupies 2.7 kilometres of coastline near Arcachon.
  3. Campsites on the French Atlantic Coast come in designations from one to four stars, with the latter offering the most luxurious facilities.
  4. The coastal road from La Rochelle to Île de Ré includes scenic views from a connecting bridge.
  5. Médoc Natural Regional Park is located on the southwestern coast and offers ancient dunes, wetlands and wildlife watching.

These highlights await you when you visit the French Atlantic Coast with a motorhome

The French Atlantic Coast is a varied landscape of rich regional parks, sandy dunes and picture-postcard towns. Taking in everything from Brittany to the French Basque Country, highlights include the historic city of Nantes and its many museums tucked away from the coast by the Loire River. Towards the northwest coast, Vannes delivers old-time charm with its medieval ramparts. Deeper into Brittany, Quimper delights with its rickety timber beam facades. La Rochelle rests halfway down the length of France as the gateway to the sleepy islands of Oléron and Ré.

The southwest coast from Gironde to the Pyrénées-Atlantiques boasts the spectacular regional parks of Médoc and Gascogne. Detours via Bordeaux and the prestigious wine-growing commune of Saint-Emilion are a highlight for oenophiles. The Basque Country is particularly scenic for camper excursions, boasting beaches favoured by Napoleon III with remnants of 19th-century opulence across the seafront. Just south of the city, the atmospheric St-Jean de Luz provides traditional Basque charm, bobbing fishing boats, and a 17th-century pirating heritage.

These camper routes through the French Atlantic Coast are a must

The coastal route from Biarritz to Bordeaux offers relaxing beach vistas across some of France’s quieter country roads. Take in the Basque Country as you travel north into Landes, where you'll find tranquil beachfront pitches and sandy shores without the crowds. The route passes via Dunes du Pilat, Europe’s largest sand dune, before heading through the pine-laden Gascogne natural park for the wine centre of Bordeaux.

The Île de Ré, just off the coast of La Rochelle, makes a fine campervan route. This is the sunniest place in France and a popular summer hotspot for Parisians. Take the connecting bridge to the island from La Rochelle through Rivedoux-Plage, Sainte-Marie-de-Ré and Le Bois-Plage-en-Ré. Ré has strict campervan parking laws as a protected site but offers plenty of motorhome pitches. Extend your trip by continuing down to Rochefort, a small town with a significant maritime heritage.

Camper van hire: Useful information for a trip through the French Atlantic Coast

Exploring the French Atlantic Coast in a campervan rental is a great way to sit back and indulge in the region’s beautiful beaches. Here are some useful tips, whether you choose a sleepy week in Biarritz or a whistlestop tour of the Pays de la Loire. First, France is among the best destinations for camper trips. Parking spots, called aires, are found in most towns, villages and even chateau grounds. These overnight stops are often free to use, but seek out three-to-four-star campsites for more luxury services.

Compact to mid-sized campers are the best way to explore the French Atlantic Coast, giving you plenty of freedom for day trips to vineyards and natural parks. A campervan fitted with a bicycle rack is beneficial for visits to the local boulangerie. The French Atlantic Coast is best visited when sites are open from April to September, but off-season trips can be rewarding for tranquil stays. The minimum age for camper hire with our partners in France is 21 years.

Rent a motorhome now and discover the French Atlantic Coast

A campervan hire is the best way to explore the French Atlantic Coast with absolute freedom. From vibrant cities like Nantes and La Rochelle, you can explore wild and sandy coastlines flanked by pine forests and rugged cliffs. Experience bucolic, time-capsule fishing towns in Les Landes or enjoy the sleepy island life of Charente-Maritime. You can pick up your vehicle from our partners in Paris, Nantes or Naintré to get started. Book a sensational road trip along France’s west coast; contact motorhomebookers.com today.