French Pyrenees, Parque National des Calanques and Western France: itinerary in camper

Looking for quick tips to plan your next trip to France? Check out our Itinerary in West of France, Pyrenees and Parque National des Calanques and some practical info that can be useful to inspire you in organize your travel!

Aerial view from Forte San Filippo, Feniglia coast in background
 

Our Itinerary


Day 1: Île de Re

night in the Aire de Service de Saint Clément des Baleines


Day 2: 290km - Dune Pilat

P night in Cazères sur l'Adour on the Place de L’Ancienne Bastide


Day 3: 280 km - Pic du Midi de Bigorre observatory by cable car from La Mongie - panoramic road of the Col de Tourmalet direction Cauterets - 50km - Cauterets

Night in the Aire de Service Cauterets


Day 4: 10km - Pont d’Espagne (trekking to Lac de Gaube and the Pont d’Espagne waterfall) - 50km - Gavarnie

Night in the P also for campers in the center of the village of Gavarnie


Day 5: Trekking to the Cirque de Gavarnie

Night in the P also for campers in the center of the village of Gavarnie


Day 6: 300km - Carcassonne

night in Aire de Service de la Citée in Carcassonne


Day 7: 300km Gorges de l’Ardeche (Panoramic road over the Ardeche Gorges and Vallon Pont d’Arc)

night at the Aire Camping-car park in Montclus


Day 8: 300km - Cassis (city center and sunset walk on the Calanque du Petit Prince)

Night at Camping Les Cigales in Cassis


Day 9: trekking to the Calanques of Port Pin and En Veau (4 / 5h)

Night at the camping Les Cigales in Cassis


Day 10: return to Italy


 

INFO ON EACH PLACE


île de Ré (Phare des Baleins) ... spend the day wandering around the island by bike on the many cycle paths and do not miss to visit the Phare des Baleins .... and to finish the day? enjoy the sunset and the blue hour on the side beach to the left of the lighthouse! Practical info: -Toll Parking at the Phare des Baleines also for camper -night in Aire de Services de Saint Clement des Baleines in Rue de la Foret at 10min by bike from the lighthouse! Dune du Pilat

the highest sandy dune in Europe! From the top (115m) of the Dune a spectacular view: on one side the sandy shoals and Cap Ferret, on the other side ,as far as the eye can see, the pine forest ! Practical info: there is Toll Parking at the Dune du Pilat (P la Teste de Buch in Avenue de Biscarosse) also for camper (not for the night): 8euro for 4h Pyrenees - Pic du Midi de Bigorre

For a breathtaking panorama on the Pyrenees,do not miss the view from the Pic du Midi de Bigorre Observatory (2877m), accessible by the cableway from La Mongie. From here there are numerous panoramic terraces overlooking the mountains: enjoi the spectacular views!


Practical info:

-Cableway from La Mongie to Pic du Midi de Bigorre Observatory costs 45euro per person rountrip but you can save some money, if you visit also the nearby Pont d’Espagne in the days after. In fact the pass including the cableway to Pic du Midi and the 2 cableways to Lac de Gaube in Pont d’Espagne (and parking in Pont d’Espagne) costs 56,50 euro per person

-P in La Mongie in front of the Cableway is free

-Cableway in La Mongie is closed for lunch (12.30-14):sic!


Pyrenees - PONT D’ESPAGNE ( Lac de Gaube and PONT D’ESPAGNE Waterfall)


From the Pont d’Espagne Parking we take the 2 cableways and then with an easy path in 20 min will arrive to the Lac de Gaube, an emerald mountain lake surrounded by mountains ... like a postcard!


We suggest to visit the lac in the morning to see the reflections!


Coming back from the Lac de Gaube take only one of the two cableways and then walking on the downhill path until the Parking (approx 20min) you will encounter a series of falls … the perfect way to end this wonderful day in Pont d’Espagne!


Practical info:

-Pont d’Espagne : if you visit also the nearby Observatory du Pic du Midi in the days after, we suggest you to buy the convenient pass including the cableway to Pic du Midi and the 2 cableways to Lac de Gaube in Pont d’Espagne (and the toll parking in Pont d’Espagne) at the costs of 56,50 euro per person. In fact, without the pass only the cableway to Pic du Midi costs 45 euro per person!

-Toll Parking in Pont d’Espagne in front of the Cableways (7 euro or included in the pass)

-night in Aere de Services Cauterets (11,50 euro with electricity, 3 min walking from the Center of Cauterets and 10km from the Parking in Pont d’Espagne )


Pyrenees: trekking al Cirque de Gavarnie


We dedicate the day to the trekking to the Cirque de Gavarnie where you can admire one of the most famous views of the Pyrenees, a frame of mountains from which a series of natural waterfalls descend, including the Fall of Gavarnie, the highest one in Europe with its 400mt


The trail starts from the Gavarnie Village; it is of medium difficulty and lasts about 4 hours round trip


Practical info:

-Parking for camper near the Tourisme Office in the center of Gavarnie: 8 euro for 24h and 10min walking from the start of the trail to the Cirque de Gavarnie


Carcassonne


Carcassonne: a fairytale medieval town/castle perched on a hill..Do not miss the walk on the bastions!!


Practical info:

Free Parking in Carcassonne, in 450, Rue Michel Maurette just 5-10min walking from

the fortress/medieval village or for the night Aire de Service de la Citée in Carcassonne


Gorges de l’Ardeche


A spectacular canyon that can be visited stop and driving on a panoramic road with several viewpoints… the most beautiful ones are those of Vallon Pont d’Arc and of Les Templiers!


-Practical info

-Apart from the Panoramic Route, Gorges de l’Ardeche are a pleasant place to try the kayak and also to visit some of the most ancient cave paintings (the famous Chauvet Cave in Vallon Pont D’Arc but to be booked in advance online to be sure to find the ticket on https://www.grottechauvet2ardeche.com/)


Cassis


A colorful chic seaside village and the perfect base to visit the awesome Parque des Calanques ... several suggestive cliffs / fjords crossed by various scenic paths!


After visiting the picturesque center of Cassis, to perfectly ending your day, take the short walk at sunset on the Calanque du Petit Prince, the closest to the town!


Practical info

-our base in Cassis: Camping Les Cigales (free camping is not allowed in this area and this is the closest camping to the Parque des Calanques)

-the camping is 30/40min walking (downhill on the outward journey and uphill on the return journey) from Cassis and the Parque des Calanques but in front of the camping there is the bus stop (in pic season there is also a shuttle bus every 30min for the Parque des Calanques)


Parque des Calanques


Today let’s explore the Calanque park: cliffs / fjords bathed by a sea of ​​a thousand shades of blue.


The park is visitable by trekking or by sea (by renting a dinghy or taking part in one of the various boat trips from the port of Cassis)


We have opted for the trekking to the Calanques of Port Pin and to d’En Veau : it is quite long (4/5h roundtrip) but this is the most scenic one.


This trail is of medium difficulty and you have to wear trek shoes.


Do not forget to bring with you water and food as three are no bars or kiosks.


We advise you to take the longest panoramic variant on the outward journey from Calanque de Port Pin to Calanque d'En Veau and on the way back the direct path from Calanque d 'En Veau to Calanque di Port Pin and not the contrary: otherwise the path is more difficult and even less spectacular!


Practical info

-our base in Cassis: Camping Les Cigales (free camping is not allowed and this is the closest camping to Cassis and the Parque des Calanques)

-the entrance of the Parque des Calanques is 40 min walking from the camping (downhill on the outward journey and uphill on the return journey) or 20/30min walking from Cassis harbour.

In front of the camping there is a bus quite frequent to Cassis harbour (in pic season there is also a shuttle bus every 30min for the entrance of Parque des Calanques)

-along the street to arrive to the Parque des Calanques there are several toll parking (but not for camper)

-the entrance in the Parque des Calanques is free


 

Other stops in France


Here below our complete 24-days itinerary made in 2021 ... let yourself be inspired to for others stops if you have more time!


Additionally or alternatively you can also evaluate a stop in Paris and Versailles or in the Gorges du Verdon or in the Camargue.


Of course also Provence (Antibes and especially the coastal promenade in Cap d'Antibes), Aix-en Provence, Arles, Nimes, Orange ...) or the French Riviera (Nice, Cannes, Principality of Monaco, Menton) !

here's our ontheroad of 2021!


Day 0: departure from Pietrasanta direction Moncenisio (400km)


Night in one of the P for campers overlooking the Lac du Mont Cenis


DAY 1 : Lac du Mont Cenis - 170km - Gorges du Fier - 10km – Annecy


Night in Camping de L’Aloua a Sevrier


DAY 2 : 500 km - Route de Champagne in the Champagne region: Cramant (giant bottle of Champagne and view on the Moët &Chandon vineyards)- Avenue de Champagne a Epernay - Moulin de Verzenay - sunset at the Phare de Verzenay overlooking the vineyards night in the P in front of Phare de Verzenay


DAY 3 - 170km Chateau de Fontainebleau – 110km Chateau de Chantilly -80km direction Amiens

Night in Parking in front of the church in Nampty


DAY 4 : 20km –Amiens (cathedral and historical center) – 160km - Côte D’Alabaitre in Normandy (Fécamp/Cap Fegnet/Yport)

night in Camping Le Rivage in Yport.

DAY 5 : 15km – Étretat Cliff and coastal paths night in Aire de Service de Étretat

DAY 6 : 50km - Honfleur– 100km – D-Day Beaches and memorials part 1 ( Arromanches and Longues sur Mer, Omaha Beach) night in the Aire de Service de Concarneau near Grandcamp- Maisy


DAY 7 : D-Day Beaches and main memorial sites part 2 (Pointe du Hoc and Coleville sir Mer) - 145km - Mont Saint Michel night in Camping du Mont Saint Michel


DAY 8: 55km – Cancale - Saint Malo night in Camping de la citè d’Alet DAY 9: 150 km - Ploumanach (Côte de Granites Rose -Sentier des Douaniers)- 75km Roscoff – 90km-sunset at the Phare de Kermorvan night in the Parking at the end of the Rue de Presqu’île de Kermorvan


DAY 10: 100km –Pointe de Pen Hir (coastal walking and memorial of the 2World War) – 80km – sunset at Pointe du Raz


Night in the Toll Parking at the Point du Raz DAY 11: 75km – Presqu'île de Crozon: Cap de la Chévre and Pointe de Dinan - 190km Quiberon


night in Camping Municipal de Goviro in Quiberon


DAY 12: 50km - Vannes– 40km – Rochefort-en-Terre - 150 km in direction Loira Castles


night in Aire de Service di Angers

DAY 13: 140km – Loire Valley: Chateau de Villandry - Chateau de Chenonceau night in Aire de Service de Montrichard DAY 14: Loire Valley : Chateau de Rigny-Ussé - 270km – île de Ré: Phare des Baleins

night in Aire de Services de Saint Clement des Baleines


DAY 15 -240km – Dune du Pilat - 140km direction Pirenee


night in P in the square of Cazeres sur l’Adour DAY 16: – 130km –Pic du Midi de Bigorre Observatory (cableway from La Mongie) – panoramic Route of Col de Tourmalet from La Mongie to Cauterets (approx 50km)

night in Aere de Services Cauterets


DAY 17: 7km - Pont d’Espagne: Lac de Gaube and Pont d’Espagne’s Falls (Pyrenees) - 50 km


night in P for camper near the Tourisme Office in the center of Gavarnie


DAY 18: trekking al Cirque de Gavarnie (Pyrenees) - 200km direction Carcassonne


night in Auterive in the free Parking for camper in Rue des Docteurs Basset


DAY 19: 90 km – Carcassonne – 300km Gorges de l’Ardeche


night in Aire de Service in Montclus


DAY 20 – 25 km – drive and stop on the several viewpoints on the Route Touristique des Gorges de l’Ardeche – 300km Cassis


night in Camping Les Cigales


DAY 21 - Cassis center and easy walking of 1h at sunset on the Calanque du Petit Prince


night in Camping Les Cigales


DAY 22: Parques des Calanques: trekking at the Calanque of Port Pin and Calanque d’En Veau


night in Camping Les Cigales


DAY 23 – driving back home 600 km through Monginevro


For more info on these places take a look also at the other articles dedicated to France here on the blog and the posts in 2018 and 2021 on our IG page @2intour


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