Cheap French Holidays: Take 5 Budget Breaks

A cheap holiday in France may seem as likely as England supporting France in the World Cup, but France offers great value for holidaymakers as long as you know where to go. Staying in a hotel the heart of Paris is bound to be expensive, but if you choose a location with a lower profile and are prepared to use alternative accommodation, you can enjoy a great break on a limited budget.

And one aspect of your holiday you can really save money on is your car rental. Hiring a car with Nova is the surest way to save money to enjoy la bonne vie in France.

cheap car hire franceCap de la Hague, Normandy

Why Cap de la Hague is not more famous, we will never know, but it does make it a wonderful location to take a low-cost holiday in France. Poised on a northwestern corner of the country on the Cotentin Peninsula, the Cap de la Hague is a haven for wildlife and beautiful plants. If you love nature, you’ll be in heaven, surrounded by diverse migratory birds and stunning coastal scenery.

Rent a car in Cherbourg and get ready to explore Cap de la Hague, just 30km away. Hike or stroll through the wild moors, along spectacular cliff tops and across pristine beaches. Cliffs such as le Nez Jobourg rank among the highest cliffs in continental Europe.

It’s cheap to rent a bike and cycle along the designated path the 24km to Querqueville, a beautiful route along quiet country lanes. The scenery here is truly stunning and scattered with fine beaches. You can book a cheap B&B in Auderville and enjoy seafood at the almost impossibly picturesque port of Goury.

Luz-Saint-Saveur, Hautes Pyrénées

Hire a car at Tarbes/Lourdes Airport and you are just 43km away from possibly your best holiday ever. In the village of Luz-Saint-Saveur, perched on the edge of the French Pyrenees, you’ll find four tipis – but these are very different to the kind of tents you constructed from bed sheets as a child.

These are luxury tipis, sleeping four to six people, that offer simply unforgettable  views of the Cirque de Gavarnie. Each tent is equipped with beds, tables, and chairs and comes with electric lights and sockets. Kitchen facilities and bathrooms are in a central, fully-equipped cottage.

Unwind in an idyllic setting surrounded by forests, roe deer, hares, and pet goats. Look forward to incredible walks, evenings around the campfire, and memories of your best holiday ever. Rates for the tipis are surprisingly reasonable.

cheap car rental franceLe Port de Limeuil, Dordogne

Camping is obviously a great budget option for holidays, but it can conjure up images of dripping canvas and grim block toilets. Camping in France is different, and camping at Le Port de Limeuil in the beautiful Dordogne region is on another level again. The site nestles at the confluence of the Dordogne and the Vezere rivers next to the exceptionally picturesque village of Limeuil.

Whether you are here with the family, as part of a couple or in a group of friends, you’ll have plenty of space and will never feel deprived. There’s a heated swimming pool and a wonderful beach, so if you like swimming, fishing, or just lounging, you won’t be disappointed.

Unlike many other campsites, Le Port de Limeuil permits barbecues, but if that seems like hard work, there is a fantastic restaurant on the site and an abundance of great restaurants and bars nearby. Hire a car in Bordeaux (179km) or Bergerac (43km) and make the most of this wonderful part of France.

Ebreuil, the Auvergne

Continuing our camping theme, the Auvergne is another outdoors paradise best appreciated if your accommodation is outdoors too.  A beautiful but largely undiscovered part of France, the Auvergne is basically a landscape of mountains and valleys, with some peaks towering above 1,800 metres, and large swathes of virtually unpopulated uplands.

A rich historic heritage means you can enjoy ancient towns and villages, and there are abundant opportunities for cycling, fishing, outdoor swimming, and hiking. The perfect campsite for this kind of outdoors holiday is Camping de la Filature in Ebreuil, a small, quiet and economically priced site nestled in an orchard next to the tranquil Sioule river. Car rental in Vichy puts you just 30km east of Ebreuil, a great base for exploring the Auvergne region.

cheap car hire FranceSaint-Coulomb, Brittany

Who hasn’t dreamed of sleeping in a treehouse? Well, now  you can. Rent a car in Saint-Malo and drive 12km to Camping des Chevrets, where you’ll find a 40-metre-high treehouse that looks like something from an island paradise but comes with all the facilities of a family-friendly campsite, including cafe, bar, restaurant, and evening entertainment.

The treehouse has capacity for two people, but the campsite also provides yurts, which sleep families of four or five. The 21-hectare site incorporates conventional pitches for tents, caravans or campervans, as well as mobile homes, some of which have terraces with panoramic beach views.

The beach in question is the sandy, sweeping Plage des Chevrets, one of the finest on Brittany’s Emerald Coast. It extends from a headland called Pointe du Meinga to the Ile Besnard in the west. When the tide is out, you can stroll out to the nature reserve islands of Petit and Grand Chevret. It doesn’t get better than this…