Camping in French Alps – Wild Camping Tips & Campsites

French Alps are one of the best camping places. The weather varies a lot, from hot summer months in the southern parts of the alps to very cold winter months in the northern area. You can go camping in French Alps year-round.

You can visit the French Alps all year round and have a great time. Generally, most people will go during the winter months but you should definitely visit during the summer months as you can take a swim in crystal clear lakes.

We have made a list of the 5 best official campsites in the French Alps, so make sure you keep on reading.

Weather in French Alps

When you are camping in the mountains, you must take extra care since the weather can get pretty bad. It’s not any different in the French Alps as the Weather during winter can be pretty harsh and cold.

The best weather is mostly in the southern parts of the French Alps. These parts can have up to 300 days of sunshine, which is quite a lot if compared to approximately 150 days in the northern parts of the French Alps.

Huez commune in southeastern French Alps
Huez, France

During the summer months, some parts of the Southern French Alps can reach temperatures up to 35 degrees Celsius (95F). If you combine this temperature with plenty of crystal clear lakes, you might even get a suntan.

During the beginning of November, it usually snows and stays that way until the beginning of May. If you don’t like very cold temperatures, avoid January and February as they are the coldest. However, if you love skiing, these two are the best months to enjoy such activities.

Official campsites in French Alps

As we have previously mentioned, we have decided to create a list of the 5 best official campsites in French Alps for you. They are in different price ranges, so everyone should be able to find something on the list that fits them.

1) Camping Les Marmottes

Les Marmottes is an awesome camp to stay at if you are visiting the French Alps. It doesn’t matter if you are camping with a motorhome or a tent, Les Marmottes got you covered.

The prices are affordable for everyone and the facilities include:

  • Picnic & BBQ tables
  • Table tennis, table football & bunch of different games for children
  • WiFi
  • Washing & Dryer machine
  • Sanitary room with access for disabled people

You can also check out the campsite map on their website.

2) Camping Bellevue

Sitting right in the middle of Chamonix Mont-Blanc valley, this campsite is an awesome spot for hikers since it’s approx. 100m away from the start of the gr5 tour that goes through Mont-Blanc.

The prices are more than affordable, and there are plenty of facilities available:

  • Restaurant
  • Sports shop
  • Tobacconist
  • Bakery
  • Cheese and Charcuterie
  • Toilets

When you arrive you’ll get a guest card which allows you to use the bus through the valley for free.

3) Camping Les Arolles

If you are looking for an ideal official camping spot with plenty of different facilities, take a look at Les Arolles. It’s 450 meters from a bus stop, 600 meters from different shops and you can start hiking right outside of the campsite.

The prices are very affordable, but it’s not possible to reserve your stay upfront.

Facilities included are:

  • WiFi
  • Hot water
  • Telephone box
  • Electrical energy
  • Paid luggage storage
  • Customized access for disabled people
  • Guest cards with plenty of discounts

4) Camping Aiguille-Noire

Aiguille-Noire is a great campsite both when you are visiting with your family or when you are going along with a tent in your backpack. It offers everything, from apartments, caravans, furnished tents, bungalows to tent sites.

It’s one of the most reviewed places and we can totally see why. It has a lot to offer and some of the facilities are:

  • Playground for the children
  • Wellness
  • Foods shop
  • Volleyball court
  • Table Tennis
  • Swimming pool
  • Sauna
  • Toilets
  • Washing & Drying machine
  • WiFi
  • Ice freezer

Do you think they have more than enough facilities? Well, there are plenty more.

5) Camping le Pontet

Finally, the fifth official campsite on our list is available both in the summer and winter months. It’s located at the foot of the French Alps ski slopes and at the edge of the Nordic base.

There are over 140 tent camping spots available on completely flat ground. The facilities included are:

  • Heated sanitary facilities
  • Laundry
  • Catering
  • Free shuttles
  • Restaurant (During summer)
  • Nordic park
  • Ski lifts

If you would rather stay inside, it’s also possible to book dormitories that even come with breakfasts in the offer. This is an ideal campsite both in the summer where you can swim in a lake or in the winter when you can ski.

Is it legal to camp in French Alps?

Generally, it is illegal to camp outside official campsites in the French Alps, however, if you get the land’s owner permit then it’s okay.

That being said, the practice of the law is not like that. Camping in the wild is generally well-tolerated, but only if you follow certain rules:

  • Do not stay at the same place for several nights, move as soon as you wake up.
  • Do not camp near buildings, villages, or roads. Try to keep a “low profile”.
  • If you decide to camp in the wild, do not pitch your tent before dusk and take it down as soon as it’s dawn.
  • Do not make campfires, use portable cookers like this one.

To conclude this question, it’s illegal to camp in the wild by the law, but if you keep a low profile and avoid crowded areas, you are good to go.

Don’t leave any trash behind you and do not use the rivers as your private toilet. Treat nature well and it will reward you with the most beautiful scenes you have ever experienced.

camping gear

Wild camping tips & gear

Make sure you at least bring the basic camping equipment with you. Since it can get very cold in the French Alps, take some warm clothes and a sleeping bag if you plan on staying in a tent.

It’s not uncommon to experience heavy rains and thunderstorms, so make sure that you have the proper equipment with you.

There are plenty of water sources all around the French Alps, but you should bring some water with you. Also, if you plan on keeping the cooking minimal, make sure you check easy camping meals that don’t require cooking.

Make sure you don’t climb the mountains without proper climbing equipment. The terrain in French Alps can be really tricky to navigate through, both for you and the rescue services so keep that in mind.

In case you are looking for more amazing camping spots around Europe, we’ve already covered places like South Downs, Pyrenees, Sardinia, Andalucia, Algarve, North York Moors, Peak District, and Brecon Beacons.

About Krešimir

Hello! I’m Krešimir, an IT student that’s trying to become an expert Android programmer. During my studying days, I’ve discovered a secret passion which is content writing. My first camping trips were when I was a young boy. Dad and I would mostly go fishing and stay a couple of days, but I didn't fell in love with camping right away. When I went to study in another city I could feel that something is missing, and those were the camping trips and the whole feeling of being in nature.