Home > Motorhomes > Following the Tour de France in a motorhome: 2024 Planning tips and advice

Following the Tour de France in a motorhome: 2024 Planning tips and advice

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**Updated to include Tour de France 2024 route. Note that July in France will be even busier in 2024 as Paris is hosting the Olympics. Any bookings should be made well in advance.**

Each year, the Tour de France makes its grand départ – usually from France, Belgium or Spain – in July. It signals the start of the largest and most well-known cycling race in the world. While cycling fans from all over the world descend upon France in their thousands, ready to watch their favourite riders, following the Tour de France in a motorhome has become one of the coolest ways to see the event. Mixing the slow pace of motorhome travel with the fast and furious – sometimes crazy – pace of the road races creates a vibe around the event like no other.

Follow our guide, which is full of great tips and hints, so you can make the most of your motorhome trip and see the best the Tour de France has to offer.

Our tip: If you are considering hiring a motorhome to follow the tour, you must get in very early. This is the peak summer season in Europe, and motorhome hire books out well in advance. We use and recommend Anywhere Campers.

General information about the tour

Apart from the two world wars, it has run each year, predominantly in France since 1903. The race continued, even through the pandemic years of 2020-2021, although it took place in August, not July, for the first time since World War Two. The world’s best cyclists come to the Tour de France to show their skills and plenty of grit, determination and stamina over a torrid course covering several weeks.

From time trials to tortuous mountain climbs and brutal sprints, the riders participate in 21 stages across 23 days.  Those who make it to the end at the Champs-Élysées, the jewel in the crown of the Tour de France, will have ridden around 3,404 kilometres (2,115 miles).  In anyone’s language, that is a herculean effort. 

Taking place mostly in July each year, the various stages weave through the beautiful French countryside, small villages and towns.  Occasionally, they are in or close to some big cities, but the beauty of regional France is usually at the forefront. 

The tour sometimes pops into other countries, with six out of the last ten years commencing in countries such as Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and even the United Kingdom. In 2023, the tour started in Spain and in 2024, it is heading to Italy.

The event

Even if you aren’t a Tour de France or cycling fan, seeing the event unfold on television can make you want to visit France in a heartbeat. Aside from the country’s pure beauty, the tour creates a carnival atmosphere in the towns it passes through.  The towns celebrate the tour, encouraging visitors to come and spend time with them.  Sometimes, depending on the area, it shuts the town down for a while when the Tour de France rolls through.  

watching the tour de france on the big screen
Watching the tour on the big screen in one of the stage towns © Image by Dino – used with permission

The Tour de France publicity caravan is quite a spectacle to behold. Its entourage includes many decorated vehicles, and it runs ahead of the tour, whipping the crowd into a party mood and handing out promotional material. You can only truly witness it if you are there.  We loved seeing it come through Paris and up the Champs-Élysées.

Following the tour in a motorhome – tips and hints

One of the best ways to follow the Tour de France is by hiring a motorhome and creating your own itinerary that follows the stages of the race that you are interested in.  There is plenty to think about, but at the same time, it also doesn’t need to be over-planned.  Following the tour can still allow you to travel slowly and go where the road takes you, as those who love motorhoming know and love.

I spoke to Dino, a motorhome and tour fan, to get some insight into life on the road following the Tour de France.  His journey in saw him hit the French roads with two of his friends, keen to enjoy the race and see some of what France had to offer.

So, don’t just take it from me. These are his reasons why you should hire a motorhome in France (or tag along in your own) and follow the tour.  Each year, approximately 10,000 motorhomes participate in this event, and over ten million spectators watch along the way, so we’ve also included some great tips for making the most of your motorhome holiday.

©Image by Dino – used with permission  

What made you decide to hire a motorhome and follow the Tour de France?

“We were three middle-aged men in a motorhome, only one of whom (Peter) had done some camping, let alone motorhoming.  It was Peter’s suggestion we do this, principally to see the French countryside because every year he’d watch the tour on television and drool at its beauty.

I have been a cycling fan for a long time, having been a very competitive cyclist until recently, and I would watch Le Tour with my daughter.   She too, competed at a very high level, having raced for Australia. So naturally, I jumped at the chance to go.

Our third member was Frank, who was neither a cyclist nor a Le Tour fan, but he is one of those great guys you love to have around who loves life.  He’s also a great cook and would create magic meals even within the confines of the motorhome.”

the three stooges on tour de france
©Image by Dino – used with permission  

Did you stay in the campgrounds every night? 

“No, we didn’t stay in any campgrounds.  We wanted the flexibility of staying wherever we wanted, whenever we wanted.  We didn’t want to be tied into being at a certain pre-booked campground on a certain day. We wild camped and made use of the France Passion network.”

More reading >> Read our guide to learn more about the France Passion network for motorhome stopovers

Did you have time for other sightseeing?

“We only caught 5-6 stages of the tour, which is plenty.  For the mountain stages, you need to get there 2-3 days beforehand anyway. We did plenty of sightseeing.”

Were you often stuck in traffic jams on the roads?

“Never. It’s amazing how quickly it clears out after the last bike passes.  The mountain stages with only one road up and down are busier. On Mt Tourmelat we stayed the extra night and drove off the mountain the next morning.”

What’s the atmosphere like?

“I cannot describe the atmosphere. Whatever I say would not do it justice.  It’s simply amazing. Everybody is very welcoming and friendly.  People will help you in any way they can, such as suggesting where to park and where to see the race.”

Can you set up outside your motorhome to watch the event?

“It depends on where you are.  The high mountains have very narrow roads, so you can’t park roadside.  We parked in a paddock and then walked to the roadside with our picnic chairs and table.”

parking in a paddock at tour de france
Parking along the TdF route for motorhomes in a dedicated paddock ©Image by Dino – used with permission  

Did anything surprise you about the trip?

“It exceeded my expectations and then some.”

Would you follow the Tour de France in a motorhome again?

“Yes, absolutely.”

Travelling in a motorhome in France for the first time?

Doing a road trip in a motorhome for the first time? Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your road trip, provided by Dino.

  • Just do it!
  • Check whether your motorhome has an inverter and decide whether you want one.  We didn’t have one and needed it since we wild camped so much and couldn’t plug into mains power.  The battery only lasts so long when you are stopped for long periods of time.
  • Have some spare hose connector fittings for the motorhome’s water inlet hose.  They are such an easy thing to leave connected to the water tap after you have finished filling up.  Also, we found that at different locations, the sizes of the taps were different which made things a little tricky as well.  Fortunately, there were often fellow motorhome travellers around us who were more than happy to help out.
  • Paper maps are good to have as well as GPS and Google Maps.
  • The backroads and scenic routes are the way to go and we tried to incorporate as many of these into our trip, even if it meant driving in the wrong direction to where we would ultimately want to be.  The Back Roads France is a great book to buy and have with you. It’s not the most current but it’s still worthwhile.
  • Learn some basic French; it helps but is not essential.  I speak French at an intermediate level, which is helpful.
  • Get a portable BBQ or grill with a bag of charcoal.
  • If you are precious about the coffee you drink, buy a stove-top espresso coffee machine and make your own.
  • In my opinion, the food in cafes and restaurants in France is overrated.  Go to the markets, buy fresh and cook it yourself.  It’s a great experience and saves you money.
resting along the way in france
©Image by Dino – used with permission  

Editors note – Lots of great tips in there, thanks Dino. We certainly agree with the need for an inverter.  We’ve been using one for many years when we hire a motorhome in Europe and couldn’t do without it. We also have a huge one in our motorhome back home in Australia.

Love the portable BBQ idea.  We cook onboard a lot, but it does get a bit messy sometimes.  We have a small portable gas stove for use outside when we travel. They are great also.  If you don’t like gas, induction cooktops come in a portable version too.

It’s a shame French cafe food hasn’t inspired you, as it’s one of our favourite world cuisines.  However, we do agree that not all cafes and restaurants are created equal, and you need to sift through them all and do your research to find the good ones.  Sometimes, in really small locations, it’s not always possible.  We love the markets and we buy from local markets every day when we are on the road.

Click on the links below for our videos and recipes for easy motorhome meals we’ve made and you can make yourself

How to make quiche lorraine in a motorhome

Our version of potato dauphinoise – easy to make in a motorhome

motorhome tour de france
©Image by Dino – used with permission  

Tips for first-timers following the Tour de France in a motorhome

  • Download the official Tour de France app to help you plan.
  • Decide early which stages you want to see and where they are located.
  • Do your research to work out if you need a crit air sticker for your vehicle. The TdF route might take you into cities that have requirements for their low-emission zones. Read our comprehensive guide on crit air stickers here.
  • Plan your route well in advance and choose locations you are comfortable with. For example, if you are worried about driving in the mountains, these stages might not be right for you.
  • Expect there to be crowds everywhere. Plan your arrival and departure times well.
  • For a different perspective, try to see at least one starting and finishing stage and don’t forget the mountain climbs and finishes.
  • Do not attempt to drive right into the towns at the centre of the stages, or you might get stuck.  Park out from the towns and walk/ride in.
  • You will need clothing for all types of weather. 
  • The time to travel on French roads, particularly the back roads or the mountains, should not be underestimated.   Roads can be narrow, not well sealed, winding, and in a large motorhome, travel is always much slower.  Allow time to drive, stop in at places along the way and appreciate the scenery. Read our guide on French driving tips and road rules.
  • Before pulling up, stock the motorhome with fresh water and food/beverages. Once you are parked, you can’t move (or it’s not easy to move) until the stage has passed.
  • Keep an eye on your waste and know where the dump stations are so you won’t get caught while parked.
  • Always be mindful of other drivers on the roads and when you are looking for somewhere to park to watch the tour.
  • Remember to look after your motorhome when parking, especially when reversing or parking in a tight spot.  There are bound to be areas where you park that will be offroad, so also watch out for rocks and low banks.  Use a spotter to be on the safe side.  Read how to keep you and your motorhome safe.
  • Keep your motorhome locked up and secure when you are not in attendance. Even though you might think you are safe in a crowd, it’s also the perfect diversion for someone to get into your vehicle.
  • The Tour de France rest days are a great opportunity to park up and spend more time in one place.  
  • Spend money locally; they will love you for it.
  • Have some wet weather equipment available, as well as a hat and sunscreen.
  • If you are hiring a motorhome, especially for the first time, plan to pick it up before the tour starts in order to acquaint yourself with the vehicle and the roads.  If you have flown in on a long-haul flight, it’s also good advice to give yourself time to re-adjust to your new surroundings and time zone.
  • Hire or have bicycles.  They are a must on our list of things to have in a motorhome.  When following the tour, you can trace the cyclists’ paths or use them to get into the smaller towns.
  • If you are staying at campgrounds, especially at the start and finish, booking early is a must.

Extra tip for the mountain stages

Watching the mountain stages is a must-do!  These are very popular, especially the signature climbs like Alpes-D’Huez, Ventoux and Tourmalet, and they often have these stages on the weekend, so the locals aren’t working and join all the tourists, making it very, very crowded.

Get there early. The Mt Tourmalet stage was on Saturday afternoon. We got onto the mountain Thursday afternoon, and it was already busy with all roadside spots taken.  By Friday, the whole mountain was full. By Saturday, the mountain was closed.

tour de france mountains
Setting up early in the mountains  ©Image by Dino – used with permission  

Additional tips for following the Tour de France

Planning a motorhome European itinerary?  Read our planning tips

Motorhome stopovers in France

Motorhome touring in France is openly welcomed, and finding a stopover is easy. Motorhome travellers are spoiled for choice in France, with a range of options for overnight parking spots.

drinks near the motorhome
©Image by Dino – used with permission  


There are thousands of official campgrounds found all over France.  They offer a safe place to stay with facilities such as electricity, showers/toilets, water and dump stations.  Ranging from one-star to five-star, additional services can include washing and drying facilities, wifi, convenience stores, playgrounds, inclusion for pets, etc.  All will charge commercial rates for these sites and will vary depending on the time of year, location and facilities offered.

If you plan on staying in campgrounds during the Tour de France period, it is highly recommended to book well in advance.  Campground sites book up early and fast with so many motorhomes following the tour.  This is particularly true for the areas around the starting and finishing stages immediately.

Tip: If you plan to be in Paris for the final stage on the Champs-Élysées, we recommend the campground, Camping de Paris, at Bois de Boulogne.  We’ve been staying here when we visit Paris since 1997, and while it has changed owners a few times, it’s the best campground near Paris for motorhomes, and it has excellent connections to public transport.

Key features:

  • Extensive motorhome site and campground very close to the centre of Paris
  • Open 365 days a year 
  • Located in a huge expanse of natural parkland with campsite access to the River Seine
  • Many facilities blocks are scattered throughout the campground to cater for large numbers of visitors.  Facilities include hairdryers, family bathrooms and heating.
  • Wifi in reception and bar
  • Convenience store (includes delivery of fresh bread and croissants if ordered the day before) *
  • Bar and cafe on site
  • Bikes and barbeques for hire during the summer period
  • Free shuttle to Porte Maillot in Paris centre.

Location: 2 Allée du Bord de l’Eau 75016 Paris

For a list of almost 10,000 campgrounds, go to Camping France.

Aires de Service

Aires de Service locations in France provide some basic services for motorhomes, like electricity, water and dump stations.  Not all aires have all the facilities. For example, some may only have electricity and water, but no waste dumping is possible.  Others provide a small number of spaces for motorhome parking during the day, while some allow overnight stays for up to 24 hours.  Services will attract a small fee.  Parking and overnight parking may also attract a fee but are usually offered free of charge.

More reading >> Read our detailed guide on Aires de Service in France

France Passion

This is our favourite part of driving through France in a motorhome.  We love staying as local as possible and buying directly from the owners and farmers.  We’ve always managed to find some incredible spots to stay.  If you love camping a little more freely, love mixing with locals and even want to save some money, France Passion is the perfect option when looking for somewhere to stay in a motorhome. 

Staying at a France Passion location is free and without obligation. Bookings are not required.

More reading >> Read our comprehensive guide on France Passion and why we highly recommend wild camping for motorhomes and using the France Passion network in the south-west of France.

stirling at france passion
Stirling kicking back at a France Passion olive grove


HomeCamper is a little similar to France Passion.  Here, anyone can put their piece of land that they have available up for rent.  A homeowner might have a spot in their back yard or a  farmer might have space on their property, for example.  The key difference here is that they will usually have some services on offer (water, electricity) but will also charge a nominal fee to cover the use of such services.  Bookings must also be made online.

Wild camping

This is also one of our favourite things to do.  Wild camping, or staying somewhere that is not a dedicated campground or area to stay is legal in most parts of France.  It’s not possible in large cities, and in some, like the French Riviera, it’s expressly forbidden, but elsewhere in France, opportunities abound.

Find a nice spot on the side of a road near a lake or river and pull up for the night.  Just be respectful of the area around you, always take your rubbish, don’t drop your waste, and ensure it is in a secure location.  We don’t recommend staying at the major highway service stations as they can be unsafe.

Tour de France timeline 2024

The 2024 Tour de France starts in Florence, Italy, on Saturday, June 29. The final stage ends in Nice on the Champs-Élysées on Sunday, July 21. 

Due to the Paris Olympics in 2024, this will be the first year in the history of the Tour de France in which the final stage does not end in Paris on the Champs-Élysées. Instead, it will end in the south on the Cotes d’Azur in Nice. The route cuts through two countries, one republic and one principality: Italy, France, the Republic of San Marino and the Principality of Monaco.

Of the 39 locations that will be visited throughout the race, 12 of them have never had the tour pass through before. We have spent a lot of time in many of the locations along the route, in the motorhome, so we are excited to see them included.

Tour de France route 2024

  • 29 June – Stage 1: Florence > Rimini (Italy)
  • 30 June – Stage 2: Cesenatico > Bologna (Italy)
  • 1 July – Stage 3: Plaisance > Turin (Italy)
  • 2 July – Stage 4: Pinerolo >Valloire (re-entry into France)
  • 3 July – Stage 5: Saint-Jean-Maurienne > Saint-Vulbas
  • 4 July – Stage 6: Macon > Dijon
  • 5 July – Stage 7: Nuits-Saint-Georges > Gevrey-Chambertin
  • 6 July – Stage 8: Semur-En-Auxois > Colombey-Les-Deux-Eglises
  • 7 July – Stage 9: Troyes
  • 8 July – Rest day (Orleans)
  • 9 July – Stage 10: Orleans > Saint-Amand-Montrond
  • 10 July – Stage 11: Evaux Les Bains > Le Lioran
  • 11 July – Stage 12: Aurillac > Villeneure-sur-Lot
  • 12 July – Stage 13: Agen > Pau
  • 13 July – Stage 14: Pau > Saint-Lary-Soulan Pla D’Adet
  • 14 July – Stage 15: Loudenvielle > Plateau de Bielle
  • 15 July – Rest day (Gruissan)
  • 16 July – Stage 16: Gruissan > Nimes
  • 17 July – Stage 17: Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux > Superdevoluy
  • 18 July – Stage 18: Gap > Barcelonnette
  • 19 July – Stage 19: Embrun > Isola 2000
  • 20 July – Stage 20: Nice > Col de la Couillole
  • 21 July – Stage 21: Monaco > Nice

You can find the map of the Tour de France cities here.

tour de france paris
Watching the final stage of the Tour de France along the Champs-Élysées

Tour de France stages 2024

  • Flat – Stages 3,5,6,8,10,12,13,16
  • Hills – Stages 1,2,9,18
  • Mountains – Stages 4,11,14,15,17,19,20
  • Time trials – Stage 7,21
  • Rest days – 8 and 15 July

Tour de France tours and packages

Finally, if you aren’t in a motorhome or plan to leave it behind at some stage to pick up more of the tour in another way, it’s best to use one of the official tour operators accredited by the Tour de France.  That way, you can be sure you are dealing with authentic tour groups with a history of working with the tour.  There are cycling tours, packages that include grandstand access on final day (which I must say look amazing!)  and other related sightseeing tours.

The list of official travel agents for the Tour de France can be found here.

Where can I find a motorhome in France?

So you’ve decided to take this great journey to see the Tour de France, but you don’t own a motorhome. Several options are available to those who want to take a motorhome road trip.  These are the options we recommend based on personal experience and knowledge of these providers.

Hiring a motorhome in France

We use and recommend Anywhere Campers.  Other providers are around – and we have used many of them over the years – but we have hired from this company and use them exclusively when we return to France and Europe.  Why?  They are easy to work with, we know what we are going to get when we pick up the vehicle, and their one-way hire model is excellent. Their pricing is also transparent.

For this year’s Tour de France, the one-way hiring option is perfect. You can pick it up from Italy, follow the tour for as long as you like, and return it to France, for example.

More reading >> Read more about how one-way motorhome hire works and renting a one-way motorhome from Anywhere Campers.

Buying a motorhome in France

Alternatively, if you are looking to buy a motorhome in France to travel before, during and/or after the Tour de France for an extended period of time, we also have a solution for you.  Travellers who are not residents of the EU find it hard to locate reputable sellers of motorhomes.  Buying motorhomes in France legally is also a major factor to consider.

If you plan on buying a motorhome in France, you can’t afford to miss our comprehensive guide on buying one legally. We use and recommend a reputable, French-based motorhome company owned by someone we have worked with for many years – and met! Read this before making any of the necessary decisions and before you hand over your cash!

Read now >> Buying a motorhome legally in France

Motorhome guides and advice

Motorhome itineraries for locations on the 2024 route

As mentioned, we have covered much of the ‘immediate’ ground of the locations where the Tour de France cyclists will ride in 2024. To We’ve put all of our related guides and itineraries below. to save you time searching. There are still many more on our site, so if you are spending more time in these countries, just keep searching under the ‘Motorhome’, ‘ France’, or ‘Italy’ on the main menu.



San Marin


Book your flight: Flights are an important part of travel and we’re always looking for the best deals. If you can travel mid-week and be flexible, you’ll often find great deals on flights. We also use Skyscanner and Expedia for flight bookings. Dollar Flight Club is a great resource for getting special advance offers and even error fares directly to your inbox.

Book your accommodation: We all love to stay in different places, from the comfort of a self-contained apartment or house to a resort or luxury hotel. Sometimes we need something quick, easy and comfortable for an overnight stay. 

We use all of the following online booking portals depending on where we want to stay and the type of accommodation we are looking for.

  • VRBO and Stayz (in Australia) – great for holiday rentals of more than seven days and often have discounts for longer periods.
  • Booking.com and Expedia – two of our favourites due to their cancellation and refund policies.
  • Trip Advisor – perfect for getting reviews, checking availability and pricing comparisons all in one place.

Book your rental car or motorhome: We always use Discover Rental Cars anywhere in the world for car hire. Anywhere Campers is our preferred motorhome hiring company in Europe, especially if you want to be able to pickup and drop off at different locations (even countries) in Europe. If you’d like to buy your own motorhome in France, we use and recommend France Motorhome Sales. Use our code FMS1022 or tell John we sent you!

Book a tour:  We travel independently, but when we do book we book them with reputable companies who have a great cancellation and refund policy. If you are looking for advance tickets to an attraction, group or private tours, we use and recommend Get Your Guide and Viator. Both have a great range of tours and flexible cancellation policies. If you are looking to do a food tour in Europe, we also recommend Eating Europe Tours.

Be covered: We always travel with travel insurance. We did it before the pandemic and it’s even more important for us to do so now. We use Cover-More in Australia. SafetyWing has great rates for travellers who are away from home for extended periods. 

Be ready: Make sure you pack a few essentials: universal adaptorpower bank and noise-cancelling headphones

motorhomes in paddock in france

Many thanks to Dino for taking the time to share his experiences with us as he followed the Tour de France for the first time in a motorhome!  A special thank you to him for giving us access to his personal photos.  All images provided by Dino have been noted accordingly and are used with his permission.

4 thoughts on “Following the Tour de France in a motorhome: 2024 Planning tips and advice”

  1. Take all the guess work and hassle out and we just come along with you as passengers! Can you make this happen? for the 2025 Touré de France. It will be our 25th wedding anniversary!!
    Mr & Mrs. Bikers
    Manassas Virginia USA

  2. Hi Paul and Nikki, now that definitely sounds like the life. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and for your comments. We have driven extensively through Eastern Europe in a motorhome, bypassed Croatia as it was too hard to stay overnight at the time (but came back later under our own steam). Have a great summer!

  3. Hi Kerri & Stirling

    A fabulously interesting and informative post guys. A really great read.

    We toured part of Europe in our motorhome last summer and have discussed joining the Tour de France ‘throng’ so this is so incredibly helpful. We’re heading to Croatia, Montenegro and Eastern Europe this summer so definitely one to consider for next year.

    Thanks so much

    Paul & Nicki

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