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A I R E T O D A Y . C O . U K

"Aire today, gone tomorrow..", your free multimedia guide to low cost motorhome and camper van touring in France

St Guenole Aire



On the Ile d'Oleron in Poitou-Charentes there is a quiet, grassy Aire Camping-Car that offers 7 nights' motorhome parking for only 30 Euros, along with a service point.
It's a short walk or bike ride from the town centre, which is linked to a network of cycle tracks that run the length and breadth of the island.
It is just one of a network of over 2500 French Aires Camping-Car.
So why pay a fortune to park your van overnight when on holiday in France?

'Aire Today, Gone Tomorrow' (4 mins)
(click title below to view on full page)

Since the age of 15 (back in 1974) there has been only one year when I haven't been camping for my main holiday. Ridge tent, bell tent, trailer tent, dome tent, classic VW Kombi, and (since 2005) a coachbuilt motorhome have all played host to our family on holiday.

It's fair to say that we are used to the camping lifestyle.

We have however grown weary of campsites. We no longer feel the need to pay large sums for the privilege of having a neat suburban privet hedge between our pitch and the next one. We don't want to be tied to a minimum 7 day booking, or surrounded in every direction by our fellow Britons. We no longer wish to be bombarded day and night by the inane cacophony emanating from the Kids' Club, and we don't feel any need to buy provisions at the overpriced campsite shop, or take out a second mortgage to enjoy the convivial atmosphere of the campsite bar. We don't need to be served by English-speaking staff, nor to avail ourselves of the huge range of entertainments, coach tours and activities on offer at four star Camping Trop Cher. We've tried it in the past, mainly to keep the kids happy when they were younger, but we don't want to do it any more.

We simply want somewhere inexpensive to park our van at night, explore the area by foot, bike, or public transport, spend some money in the local shops, empty the waste, refill the water, then move on when it suits us. Or stay a while, if it suits us.

Aires Camping-Car provide that low cost flexibility, and are the main reason for our crossing the Channel to Europe every year for our main holiday. During our summer 2010 trip, the average nightly accommodation cost was around 5 Euros. How many places in the UK can you park a camper van overnight with basic services for less than a fiver? has been created to offer free advice and information about how to make the most of Aires Camping-Car when touring France in a motorhome or camper van. We cannot cover every single French Aire in detail, and that is not our intention. Instead we have included detailed coverage of a selection of Aires that we have visited personally, as an indicator of the variety of provision you can find. We have also included links to more comprehensive guides both in print and online

The purpose of this site is to whet your appetite, dispel one or two myths, offer some advice based on our own experiences, and to encourage you to try Aires out. It is not here to overwhelm you with information.

This website is an independent web-publishing venture and the views contained herein are solely those of the site's authors. It is not controlled by, affiliated to or connected with any external organisation, media company or publication. Any items, publications or products we endorse or link to are a matter of personal choice, and not a contractual obligation(!)

It goes without saying that we have done our best to provide accurate and up to date information based on personal visits to the Aires covered by this website. We cannot however accept responsibility for any consequences of how you choose to use the information provided. In particular, please note that whilst our SatNav files have been road-tested, we have not approached each Aire from every possible direction, so please use your discretion and common sense with SatNavs when driving a larger vehicle like a camper van - they are navigation aids, not auto-pilots!

Anyway, that's what it's all about, and we hope you find this site helpful - if so, please tell others about it.

Bon Voyage

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All text, code, video, POIs & images copyright 2010 & magic surf bus