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Curious Camping Part 1: Things to do in Fascinating France

Are you planning your next camping trip? Considered France?

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This is a country that has everything. Whether you are looking for sun, sea and sand or a cultural trip full of historical interest you have your pick in the many regions of France. 

One thing we love about camping in France is just how many exciting things there are to see and do. If you are looking for the curious or interesting, then France is the place to be. From labyrinths to fascinating museums and everything in between, you can let your curiosity peak and learn something new all while camping in comfort on one of the fantastic campsites available. 

Catacombs of Paris

Delve into Paris' Murky Past in the Catacombs

When searching for the curious, it doesn't take long to stumble across the Catacombes de Paris. As you delve deep into this underground tourist attraction, it gets eerier and eerier, especially when you learn some of the stories of this fascinating place. 

Tunnels beneath cities are standard, but none are quite so macabre as the tunnels beneath Paris. These are lined with bones and skulls of ancient Parisians, some notorious and many ordinary citizens. In the 18th century, the cemeteries of Paris were overflowing, and with too little space for further burials, older bones were dug up and placed in the catacombs. Now, the bones of over six million former city inhabitants line these quarries and tunnels' walls. 

If you visit, you should expect a wait as these are one of the most popular tourist attractions that Paris has to offer. If you're camping in the area, then these are well worth a visit. Take a look at some of our fantastic campsites in the area and book your trip to Paris. 

The Abandoned Galleon, Deyme

Visit An Abandoned Pirate Ship

Situated near to the bustling city of Toulouse sits a sad sight. A once proud pirate ship that is now an abandoned vision of a ghostly galleon. This was once a pirate-themed restaurant where every meal was an adventure, but it has since closed and left to lie abandoned with nothing but the stories of it's past haunting it. 

This is an unofficial tourist attraction and one that can only be glimpsed from the road and even if you could get aboard, you probably shouldn't. The rust and decay have made the ship a dangerous place to be. However, if you are travelling and camping near Toulouse, why not stop off for a photo of this once mighty galleon, you will have to take your photo from afar as fences are blocking off the private property. Still, it is a curious story to take home and remember.

Fondation Monet in Giverny

Tour Monet's Inspirational Home

When it comes to art, one of the greats will always be Monet. It was his home in Giverny, France that was the source of much of his inspiration. You can still travel to and take a tour around the house and garden that Monet himself cultivated and designed. The house has been restored to Monet's vision and offers tours to any interested in walking in the footsteps of their favourite artist. 

Claude Monet spotted the beautiful house from the window of a train when on a journey. He rented the place and started his lifelong project of decorating and making the place as beautiful as his paintings. The gardens themselves were the inspiration behind some of Monet's most famous paintings, and you can still view the spots that are now so iconic throughout the world. 

Giverny is a village located in the Normandy region, a place packed full of exciting places to go and things to see. This is an excellent location for a camping base in France. So why not take a look at our campsites in the area?

Auberge Nicolas Flamel's house

Discover the Alchemists Secrets and Stay for Dinner

This house in Paris offers you a two for one when it comes to absorbing and curious stories. It is the oldest stone house in Paris and was home to famous alchemist Nicholas Flamel. It is thought that Flamel's wealth came about when he achieved the impossible and created the philosopher's stone, said to give the holder great wealth because it could turn metal into gold. 

The home where Flamel lived and possibly carried out his experiments is now a restaurant that has been aptly named Auberge Nicolas Flamel. While camping near Paris, you can take a trip into this beautiful city and book a meal in this restaurant steeped in history.

Chartres Cathedral labrynth

Walk in the Footsteps of Pilgrims in Chartres Cathedral

Labyrinths appear in mythology and architecture the world over, and there is a fantastic example of one in Chartres. Don't worry; this isn't a labyrinth you can easily get lost in. This is a labyrinth built into the floor of the Cathedral in Chartres, in a beautiful design. It is said to represent the spiritual quest of pilgrims travelling to Holy lands. 

At 42 foot in diameter, this is an impressive floor to behold, and no one quite knows the exact history, but the best guess is that it dates back to the 13th century. The labyrinth might be the cathedral's epicentre, but it is situated in a stunning UNESCO World Heritage cathedral with plenty of beautiful archetypal French architecture to enjoy. Take a trip to Chartres Cathedral and walk the ancient labyrinth path yourself. 

Rue Obscure, Villefranche-sur-Mer

Take a Walk Down a Hidden Medieval Street

If you know where to look, you can find yourself a secret hidden beneath a peaceful fishing village in Villefranche-sur-Mer. Rue Obscure is an underground medieval street that lives up to its name. The street now is more like a tunnel than a road and is around 430 foot long stretching deep through the hillside. It is now illuminated only by electric light.

It is thought that this historical street was built in 1260 by the military as a walkway for soldiers. It has now since become mostly disused and covered by other buildings. This is a street with a lot of history and is worth visiting. Just be careful, you can only reach the tunnel by the seafront, and it isn't well populated. 

Pont Valentré, also known as the Devil's Bridge

Walk Across the Devil's Bridge

Set in the beautiful scenery of Cahors is the Devil's bridge. Okay, it might not be the only Devil's bridge in the world. After all, these were a relatively common feature of the medieval times, but this is undoubtedly one of the most splendid you could visit. Striking in its architecture, this is the perfect place for a photo and to spend a little time exploring France's medieval history.

This bridge is more like a fortress than it is a bridge. With three towers for defence and an almost impossible bridge to get across, this would have been a fierce opponent in battle. Luckily for us, the bridge never saw any combat, which is why it stands in such excellent condition today. 

The story comes from the builder who is said to have worked on the bridge for so long that he eventually made a deal with the Devil to swap his soul for the bridge's completion. Whether this is a worthwhile exchange, it is impossible to say! However, this is a bridge that is worth a visit. You can even book some great campsites in the area and explore the best the Midi-Pyrenees has to offer during your holiday. 

Book Your Curious Camping Holiday

When it's time to book your curious camping holiday we are here to help. Our online campsite finder can help you search out the perfect campsite in France for you. Choose the region you want to stay in and then narrow down your choices by facilities and options. We also have some handy guides for you to read and make sure you check out our blog for all the latest camping information. 

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