The campsite at Ferme Noemie. Courtesy of Cool Camping: France
If you're planning a camping holiday across the Channel this summer, don't go without picking up a few tips from the second edition of Cool Camping: France.
The latest book shares all the secrets of 100 exceptional campsites in France, from secluded spots in the countryside to treehouse and mountain top camping. Even if you're an old hat at picking the best locations to pitch your tent, it's good to know that this edition also includes 60 new discoveries for camping enthusiasts to choose from.
If you like to plan ahead, the editor, Jonathan Knight has given us a sneak peek at what's in store by picking his top five sites from the book. Find out where is cool to camp below. Bon vacances!
Location: Haut des Bluches, 5 route des Planches, 88250 La Bresse
The lowdown: Nestled in one of the Vosges mountain range's most outstanding valleys, Haut des Bluches is a small site trapped in a big site's body. A sprawl of 140 pitches are criss-crossed by a burbling mountain river and cleverly terraced to feel like much fewer. You have the space to breathe in that fresh mountain air just in time for the stunning views take it away again. The site is the perfect base for the more energetic (but still equally breath-taking) activities of biking, hiking, skiing, fishing and orienteering.
Contact: 00 33 3 29 25 64 80, www.domainehautdesbluches.labresse.fr
Open: Mid December - 1 November.
Cost:Tent plus 2 adults, €13 per night.
Loaction: Kota Cabana, 2 ave de la Libération, 72350 Brûlon
The lowdown: Tree houses aren't just for kids – in fact, kids are banned at this romantic hideaway. Suspended by a perfect equilateral triangle of pine trees, the double-decked construction at Kota Cabana has a cosy bedroom in the canopy and an open terrace below. It's just perfect for kicking back with a book and gazing out across the landscape to the Vallée de le Vègre, awaiting the ding of the captain's bell and the arrival of your basket of breakfast goodies.
Contact: 00 33 2 43 92 17 85, www.chateau-enclos.co
Open: All year.
Cost: Cabana plus breakfast, €160 per night.
Kota Cabana. Photo courtesy of Cool Camping: France
Location: Terre Ferme, La Petit Condal, 71480 Condal
The lowdown: This charming aire naturelle site ticks all the boxes, from the fully restored farmhouse, to the traditional-style facilities block and spring-fed pond. With just 14 pitches over two and a half acres - space is bounteous, and if you are so inclined there are bikes (including a tandem) available for hire.
Contact: 00 33 3 85 76 62 57, www.terreferme.eu
Open: May - October.
Cost: Tent plus 2 adults, €13 per night.
Location: Panorama du Pyla, Grande Dune du Pyla, route de Biscarosse
The lowdown: The Grande Dune du Pyla is, as the name suggests, a mammoth sand dune, deposited on France's Atlantic Coast like a chunk of the Sahara trying to escape. At Panorama du Pyla, you can camp right on the beach, away from the bustle of the main campsite, where the fantastic amenities are located. Make sure you sample the famous Arcachon oysters - steamed over a bed of pine needles is how the locals do it.
Open: 15 April - 5 October.
Cost: Tent plus 2 adults, €17-43 per night.
Location: Ferme Noemie, Les Sables, 38520 Bourg d'Oisans 00 33 4 76 11 06 14, www.fermenoemie.com
The lowdown: The hills are alive with the sound of bike gears, ski lifts and all manner of other outdoorsy noises at this high-altitude camping haven. With the lycra-clad brigade snaking up the 21 hairpins of the Alpe d'Huez, and intrepid skiers speckling the snow-capped peaks all around, the very scenery here hums with activity. If however, the sun lounger exerts more of a pull than the unitard, just grab a glass of homemade cider and soak up those alpine rays.
Contact: 00 33 4 76 11 06 14, www.fermenoemie.com
Open: April - October.
Cost: Tent plus 2 adults, €15-24 per night.
Cool Camping: France (2nd edition) will be on sale Thursday 7th April (Punk Publishing; £16.95). For more information, go to www.coolcamping.co.uk.