Gypsy-style caravan holidays in France ()



Caravan Holidays

Horse-drawn through the French countryside – it is like camping but with a twist. Meet the locals and discover unique landscapes as you go from one camping area to the next. Whether alone with the kids or under the wing of a wagoner, our caravan tours offer just that in six different regions in France. Book an unforgettable getaway for the whole family.

We offer eco-friendly trips in Gyspy-style wagons in the following 6 regions in France: Jura, Franche-Comté, Périgord, Southern Burgundy, Gers (Gascogny) and Brittany.

FAQs – frequently asked questions:

Our offers for caravan holidays in France

Where can we spend holidays in France?

We offer these family holidays in six different regions:
Eastern France: In Jura and Franche-Comté, both near Switzerland, also to the south in Southern Burgundy.
Southwest France: in the well-known „White Périgord“ and in the Département Gers in Gascogny –not far from Montauban and Toulouse.
Western France: In Brittany, „Côtes d’Armor“ near the English Channel, approximately 16 kilometers from the sea.

What makes it so special?

Understand the free-wagon-style spirit:

Your trip is all about travelling light, basic comfort, shared sanitary facilities and mosquitoes – but also a unique camping experience with horses and an escape from everyday life. Cruise through unspoiled landscapes, on paved roads but also in plain nature. The best travellers keep their phones off during the journey to get the most out of a natural holiday! Take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to let go and reconnect with yourself and your family!
Be sure not to underestimate both the joys and pains of handling your horse and wagon!

How can I make the most of the trip with my family?

A holiday is the opportunity to escape from everyday life and to fully concentrate on the shared family experience. Our Roulottiers often tell us that parents collect all smartphones and tablets from the whole family on the day of arrival and leave them with the horse breeders. Ideally, just keep one for emergency purposes. Stressed managers become more relaxed (forgetting to check their e-mails).

What distinguishes the local horse breeders and how were they chosen?

We work exclusively with local horse breeders. When selecting our local partners, we ensure that they are micro-entrepreneurs who work with few wagons and offer personalized tours instead of mass tourism. All of them are horse breeders rank-and-file, who know their animals very well, love them, and would genuinely like to offer a unique experience with horses.

Handling the horses and the Gypsy caravan

Do I need previous experience with horses when I book a journey in a Gypsy wagon with you?

You do not need any special experience with horses or Gypsy caravan. On our tours, you will be accompanied either by an experienced horse driver or will receive extensive information (in English) and a detailed practical briefing on the spot (in French) before departure. That way, you are well prepared for your family vacation in the horse-drawn wagon. Please keep in mind that your hosts are French horse farmers who may not speak English very well. Basic French skills may come in handy in following instructions on handling your horse and wagon

Getting around with the horse-drawn wagon – how and with whom ?

How and with whom are we traveling?

You decide: depending on the region, you can go in a single horse-drawn carriage with your family or in a convoy of 3-5 families max. You have the option of accompaniment by the local horse breeder, who shares his experience and passion for horses with you. You can also swim, catch fish, paddle in rivers and streams and enjoy a carefree break from everyday life with your family on the way!

How many adults should be there?

For safety reasons, 2 adults per wagon are required.

How old should the children be if we opt for this kind of holiday?

There is actually no age limit. A trip in the horse-drawn carriage is suitable for parents with babies or small children just as it is for families with school children and teenagers. While babies will have their fun in the gentle rocking in those wagons, older children will find theirs in grooming and feeding the horses, fishing and swimming.

If your children are a little older (teenagers), we recommend you include them in the holiday planning to clarify whether or not a holiday in the horse-drawn wagon is right for them. This way, all family members will get the most out of the holiday. Draft horses are imposing in size but very peaceful and docile animals. However, they are not computers, but beings who possess their own character, just as we humans do our own.

Are we allowed to take our dog with us?

Yes, in principle, dogs are welcome on all of our routes provided that he/she is well-behaved, obeys you, and is not afraid of horses. If you wish to bring more than two dogs, please let us know in advance.

We would like to go in a convoy with other families. Where is this possible?

Rides in a convoy are possible in the Franche-Comté. But if you want to travel together with another family i.e. convoy with two cars, you can also do so in the Jura and in the Brittany region in Gers.

We would like to go alone, without a convoy, but have no experience driving wagons. What advice can you give?

Don’t worry! Our “ Roulottiers “, i.e. the horse breeders on-site, will pass by your wagon every day to make sure that the horses are well and check your handling of the harness and wagon. That way, you can safely ride alone and can always ask your hosts for advice if you encounter difficulties.

We are very familiar with horses and gypsy wagons. Does the “Roulottier” still need to come by every day?

Good question! Whether and how many times a day the breeder passes, you can clarify on the spot with him.

We are a big family of 6. Is this feasable?

Our wagons are designed for max. 5 people. The equipment of the car is extremely well thought through so as to create just enough accommodation space for two adults (queen double bed, 190 × 140 or 130 cm) and up to three children. If you travel with six people or more, you should bring extra camping equipment.

We are a couple and want to have the holiday to ourselves without convoy or driver. Where is this possible?

Journeys on your own, without convoy or driver are offered in Gers, in the Jura and in Brittany.

I am a single parent and would like to spend my holiday with my child or children. Is this possible?

Sure is! In this case, we recommend one of our escorted tours with a driver, either in southern Burgundy with François or in Périgord with Pascal. You will receive the necessary support whilst maneuvering the wagon and looking after of the horses and still being able to enjoy a relaxing vacation with your children.

I'm a grandmother and want to spend time with my 3 grandchildren holidaying in a wagon. Can I do this?

Sure! In this case, we recommend one of our escorted tours with a driver, either in southern Burgundy with François or in Périgord with Pascal. You will receive the necessary support whilst maneuvering the wagon and looking after of the horses and still being able to enjoy a relaxing holiday with your grandchildren.

Guided tours with a driver: how does this work?

What does the driver do exactly ?

The driver accompanies your family throughout the journey and helps in the handling of the wagon and the horse. The nights are spent undisturbed amongst your family in the wagon. The driver will meet you in the morning at the time indicated on your respective parking space to accompany you on your next segment. The driver reserves the right to change the itinerary at short notice depending on weather conditions.

Which travel companion would you recommend?

François (Burgundy) or Pascal (Périgord) – you 'll be spoiled for choice!

With François you will wander along wild paths and the overnight stops are outside in the fresh air, at the lakeside for example. François has been breeding horses for 30 years and will share his love and passion for horses and his region with you. Horse riding on Suzette and Névé are possible for both adults and children. His horse-drawn wagon has turned into a real adventure playground for children.

François gives guidelines on the handling of the wagon and the horses so that you learn the maneuvering quickly and will be able to drive yourself. François will fast become the “ Nounou “ (nanny) and best friend of your children. He’ll show them treasures of nature, teach them to build a pipe or watermill whilst splashing around in the water together with Suzette and Névé.

The tours with horse breeder and carpenter Pascal also offer lots of fun in nature, but with a bit more comfort. His “ Roulotte “(horse-drawn wagon) consists entirely of environment-friendly materials. In addition, one tent with dry toilets and another with solar-powered showers, transported with the support vehicle, are also available. Horse and nature lover, Pascal takes you deep into the forests of the “White Périgord “ and tells you all about the trees and the flora and fauna of the region. Thereafter, you drive through picturesque villages, swim in rivers and lakes and enjoy sweet idleness – be it on the horse-drawn wagon or on the back of a horse. On farms and plots on the outskirts of villages and at lakes, you will find an original camp setup with hospitable hosts.

Equipment on board

How much space do you have?

Our caravans are designed for 4 to max. 5 people. The exact configuration varies from one region to another and can be adjusted depending on occupancy. Thus, e.g. a 4 – passenger wagon can be retrofitted with a small mattress for an extra child. Just ask us for the exact equipment you require and we will re-organize the wagon in the region you have selected to your wishes…

Can we bring our bicycles?

This depends on where you want to spend your gypsy wagon holiday. It is possible to attach one or two bicycles at the back of the horse-drawn wagon. Certain Roulottiers offer rental bikes that are even partly included in the price:
• Périgord : Rental bikes included in the price .
• Jura and Franche-Comté : Rental bikes available (purchase on-site) .
• Burgundy: No bikes ; bicycle transportation is not recommended due to the rough terrain .
• Brittany and Gers : No bike rental on-site; Entrainment of max. 2 Self- wheels (1 adult bike + 1 child) possible.

What breed of horses are used?

The horses

Your wagon is often drawn by a Comtois horse, they are strong but quiet and the ideal companion for your trip. Not only from a culinary aspect but also a regional one, the region plays a major role. The Comtois is originally from the Jura and is therefore native to eastern France, e.g. used in the Jura and in the Franche-Comté. In Brittany, on the other hand, you find mainly Cob Breton and the Périgord Percheron horses in Burgundy.

The horses are specially trained for the tours and are used directly by the breeder. The horses know the route by heart – if in doubt, you can rely solely on the animal when it comes to turning either left or right.

Can we ride on-site as well?

Yes, all our wagons providers have riding horses. The hiring is done directly at the horse breeder's on-site.

What distinguishes our draft horses from riding horses?

Draft and riding horses have a very different character. They are sturdily built and robust and are particularly suitable for the leisurely plod on side roads. Riding horses are faster and more agile and are particularly suitable for a ride in the open country. So if you prefer to go fast, you are certainly better off on a farm.

What else should we know about the horses?

Previous experience in dealing with horses is useful but by no means necessary, in particular, when you are driving accompanied by a horse breeder. Please come with light equipment so as not to unnecessarily overload the caravans.

Duration and procedure

How long is the trip?

A tour can take 7 to max. 8 days depending on the region. In Perigord 2 tours can be combined to extend the stay to 2 weeks.

Can you shorten the caravan vacation?

Unfortunately not, a shortening of the duration is not possible for organizational purposes. The routes were set by the respective horse breeders based on the copulate condition of the horses and the existing rest areas. In addition, a week is just right to get the team into the swing of things, to relax and to enjoy a break from everyday life together with your family .

Is accommodation for the day before our trip possible?

That depends on where you want to spend your holiday in the horse-drawn wagon. This option is possible in Brittany, Gers and Périgord.

How long are the segments?

The daily segments are max. 15 km long. Each leg of the journey is around 10 miles long, so you spend 4 to 5 hours on the road per day with the horses.

How does a Gypsy wagon tour work?

You go along secondary roads and spend your nights at specially equipped stopovers, exploring the different regions of France. Depending on the area, you pass through nature reserves or picturesque villages, drive through forests or along canals and rivers. You can make use of short breaks to dabble in lakes and streams or to go fishing or swimming.

Lodging and food

Where do we stay?

Stay overnight in the wagon on specially prepared places. These are partly on farms, on campsites, in private homes or outside. Bonfires are sometimes allowed.

When do we get our itinerary if we go alone without a horse breeder and convoy?

Your exact travel plan together with all the necessary addresses and telephone numbers are available only on the day of arrival as some organizational changes may arise due to the weather and utilization of the plots. Along the way, you will meet other French, English or German families depending on the region, occupancy and route…

How do we fend for ourselves on the road?

We recommend bringing a small supply of non-perishable food items such as salt, pepper, vinegar and oil as well as eco-friendly cleaning products, a sponge and dish towels. Do stock up on food on arrival in a French supermarket on-site for the first 2 to 3 days. Depending on the route, you will have another opportunity to make purchases in supermarkets, on farms or in corner shops (épiceries de village).

Is it possible to eat out every day?

In summer, it is possible almost everywhere to eat at the respective host's in the evenings. Try the so-called B&B meal or eat out in a village restaurant. For breakfast and lunch on the go, enquiry is necessary as this depends on the region. Sometimes a reservation for dinner needs to be made a day in advance. Check with your horse breeders on-site.

Getting around

We will travel by train. Is it possible to have someone pick us up?

The initial stages of our holidays are generally rather isolated. The nearest train station is often 30-40 kilometers away and the horse breeders themselves usually have no way of picking up guests there. In three regions, a pick-up service is possible (Gers ,Perigord and Burgundy – payable on-site) . Otherwise, you need to take a taxi at the station. However, please note that arrival by car is also convenient to make purchases locally in any case.

We are getting there by car. Can we park safely on-site?

Yes, you can park your car safely and free of charge!

How to get more information?

If you are interested, we can send you a detailed info sheet. You can also find this on the relevant travel page on our website. Prices vary by region, date and terms and conditions of the wagon. We will gladly send you an individual, non-binding offer incl. a price quote. Please use the inquiry form for the respective journey, stating the number of guests and the desired travel dates.