We came across France Passion for the first time back in 2017 and got
totally hooked! France Passion is a subscription to a camping organization of around 2.000 private sites. You pay around 25 euro for a membership that gives you a map of all campsites and access to all these for the present year. And Yeah, guess what; staying at the sites is free!
So how does it work? Besides putting a sticker in your windscreen, then the book is basically a compilation of maps and short description of the different campsites. To be honest, the map is not the best. At times the site location is not completely right and the page numbering is quite cumbersome: From the first map you find the relevant region in France, then you locate the desired municipality, and then yet a new page reference to the sites belonging to this munipality. However, once you get used to it then it can be managed.
Each site has a very short description (in french) with some common symbols describing the place. This could be an illustration for a wineyard, cheese maker, agriculture, etc. Without any picture and only the brief description then you never really know what to expect of the site. However, this is in fact also part of the charm. We have found the most fantastic places, in great surroundings, with extraordinary good local products and welcoming hosts. While there are also places less interesting like a parking lot in front of a local shop then for the most part it has been a great way to explore and get in contact with the french people. Often times it has been in a beautiful scenery, very much off-the-beaten-track and also led to some kind of experience such as a tour around their site / agriculture, welcome drink at their terrace or a tasting of their produce ranging from cheeses, meat, wine to snails!
As said it can easily be very much of the-beaten-track so be aware that it can be a good idea to check out a typographic (height) map as well as google maps time indication getting there. We have done the mistake of just heading away and while the place looked really close on the map then it ended up taking hours to reach it driving in difficult terrain by small steep windy roads!
The general France Passion guideline for staying overnight at one of the places can be found here: https://www.france-passion.com/en/motorhomers/golden-rules
While it says it is a 24 hrs stop-over then we have often been asked if we did like to stay another night. Also we have never tried that there was not room for our van. In fact even in high seasons (in particular away from the more popular areas) we have often times been the only van staying at the site.
We can really recommend a subscription of France Passion. For inspiration, see the the review of this site: http://campervanyourlife.com/?p=98
For more campsite recommendations see this site: http://campervanyourlife.com/?page_id=264.