The France Motorhome Depot makes a great starting point for a two week campervan trip through two of France’s most stunning regions. Here are our tips on exploring our neighbouring regions of Burgundy and The Loire Valley.
It does not matter whether you head West to The Loire Valley or South into Burgundy first, you can create a circular route either way.
For a first night, if you are heading south into Burgundy, the campsite at St Julien du Sault (about 20 mins from our depot) is a good place to stay, overlooking the River Yonne (there is a swimming beach at the campsite for heavenly dips in the river) with lots of interesting architecture in the village.
If you don’t want to stay on campsites, there is also a free motorhome halt in the village too (and a France Passion site at a winemaker nearby too in Paroy-sur-Tholon).
There is a supermarket between our depot and St Julien so you can stop off for provisions on the way. If you are heading west towards The Loire Valley first, we’d suggest you head for the campsite at Charny, another pretty village about 30 mins away. The campsite is well-run with a pool and the village has a couple of very nice bistro-style restaurants and supermarkets. Both would make good places to stay on your first or last night but there aremany other options locally and you can view them on our site: Campsites
We think the beauty of a motorhome trip is that you don’t have to plan more than a day ahead and if you find somewhere that you want to linger, you can.
However, it is nice to have a “wish list” of things to do and see and following a recent trip, our list would include:
Auxerre and wine villages/regions of the area (Chablis, Irancy).
We’d aim to spend an afternoon in Auxerre, it’s a lovely town on the river with two cathedrals and there is a campsite in the town. Perhaps then explore the wine regions for a day and stay on a vineyard in the area (using your free membership of “France Passion” which we provide). We’d then head south and explore The Abbey de Fontenay and the stunning medieval village of Vezelay. Heading south again you could fit in a visit to Chateauneuf (medieval castle on a hill near Dijon), the town of Beaune and the wine regions of the Cote d’Or.
If then heading for The Loire Valley you could now head west through the beautiful Morvan National Park, stopping somewhere around Chateau Chinon. From there you could head to either Bourges, Sancerre or Blois (all lovely gateway towns to The Loire Valley).
The Loire Valley
Once you get to the section of The Loire Valley between Blois and Angers you cannot really go wrong! There are spectacular Chateaux galore and as long as you follow the river you will see them. There are also lots of France Passion sites and heaps of vineyards to stay at/taste wine.
We particularly enjoyed:
Blois town and chateau (and there is very good motorhome halt there with facilities right in the town).
Amboise town and chateau
Chinon town and fortress (plus a wonderful restaurant called “Au Chapeau Rouge”).
Saumur town and chateau
Angers town and chateau
We also enjoyed pretty much everything in between these chateau towns from troglodyte caves (we saw the ones at Vouvray) to goat’s cheese tastings. There was bags to do and see here and we struggled to fit it all in.
We strongly recommend setting off and seeing how good your progress is before you make any firm plans. Less is definitely more in a campervan trip through France as there is so much to see here, any time you spend covering big distances on motorways means you will miss seeing wonderful things.
You have to allow time to prepare your van for travel, empty tanks, find places to stay, shop for food etc.
Even if you only travel 20 kms per day you will see something totally different each day (there are 32,500 villages in France so that’s one every couple of kms!).
We also recommend contacting both regional tourist boards and ask them to send you brochures or simply having a look at their websites. They are a mine of information and will give you details of any events that are on during your stay, tourist maps plus detailed information about campsites, restaurants etc.
Our list of highlights are genuinely on the tip of the iceberg for interesting places to see and things to do and you could very easily spend a couple of weeks in just one of these large regions so don’t try and fit it all just because you can! See how the mood takes you and make spontaneous decisions as you go, enjoying the freedom of a campervan trip to the full.