Free motorhome stopovers in France are as plentiful as baguettes and berets. No matter the season, you will find somewhere to stay in your motorhome or campervan.
They’re also generally free — although some have small charges or may require you to buy a food voucher. Thankfully, they’re almost universally green spaces with lots of trees and grass, so you don’t have to worry about being stuck in the middle of an industrial or residential area, and a lot of them come with services such as water and somewhere to empty your toilet.
Other countries with large numbers of free aires include Spain and Italy. Of all the countries we have been to in our motorhome in the UK and Europe, France is one of the very best for free motorhome stopovers.
What is an aire?
An aire (pronounced ‘air’) is a regulated stopping area for campervans and motorhomes in France. There are over 2000 aires in the country, of which 10% are free. If they’re not free, they generally come only at a small cost. They are certainly not as expensive as campsites.
You’ll often find an aire signposted from the nearby motorway or on the edge of towns and cities — especially during peak season.
They’re usually large areas of land with a parking space, plus facilities such as toilets, freshwater points, and waste disposal points. Some aires also have washing machines, supermarkets, and even swimming pools. Electricity points are also very common, but you’ll need to bring your own cable to connect up. Some aires have toilets too. Aires can vary from a carpark to having almost a campsite feel.
We found all of the aires that we stayed at in France on the Park4night app, as we do with pretty much every single place that we stay in everywhere we go all over the UK and Europe.
Paid motorhome stopovers in France
Aires that charge a small fee are mainly found around major cities in France, such as Paris, Lyon, and Marseille. They tend to operate on a pay-per-use basis, with rates ranging from €2 to €13 per night. Most aires charge for electricity but, at a few places, you can pay to fill up your freshwater tank or empty your toilet waste.
Our France Aire recommendations
- Mont Saint Michel – , Beauvoir, Le Bourg, Manche, France (park4night.com)
- Bordeaux – On the farm (Farm, vineyard …), Saint-Loubès, 39 Chemin de Bernes, , France (park4night.com)
- Calais – Aire CC stat. payant, Marck, Rue des Tourterelles, Pas-de-Calais, France (park4night.com)
- Cauterets – Area CC stat. paying, Cauterets, Avenue Charles Thierry, Hautes-Pyrénées, France (park4night.com)
Some of the most famous free motorhome stopovers in France are located at Strasbourg, Bordeaux, and Montpellier. A lot of paid aires also have free areas, so you should be able to find a stopping point no matter where you are in France. If you’re a member of an international motorhome association, such as ABTA or ATA, you’ll be able to get free or discounted stays at many motorhome parks across Europe.
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