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Honfleur motorhome Aire – heaven or hell?

The French love motorhomes. They offer freedom and flexibility, the chance to stay in fantastic places relatively cheaply and in reasonable comfort. France realised decades ago that if overnight parking was provided then motorhome owners would spend their money in not just tourist hotspots but in small towns and villages. The Honfleur motorhome Aire is a fantastic example of the amazing way motorhomes are welcomed in France.

About the Honfleur motorhome aire

As I write this blog I have literally seen hundreds of motorhomes today, of all sizes and age. Honfleur must be the centre of the motorhome universe, because it offers not just a very pretty seaside town but a huge overnight parking place for motorhomes. Officially the Honfleur aire holds 240 motorhomes and it is just about full. Motorhomers love it here.

The Honfleur motorhome aire
Our motorhome parked for the night at Honfleur.

Some motorhome owners would not entertain staying overnight at a place like this, preferring instead, to have the space offered by a more expensive campsite. As I look out of our front windscreen, however, I can see boats in the harbour right in front of where we are parked, and it’s only 5 minutes walk to all the restaurants, shops and tourist attractions in beautiful Honfleur. It costs €11 to park for 24 hours. Are the parked motorhomes too close together? Maybe they are but I think it’s all part of the experience.

By way of comparison, not all motorhome aires in France are this busy. Here is a photo of our motorhome parked at Broglie aire, just north of Le Mans, the day before we arrived in Honfleur. This cost €6, although nobody came around to collect the money.

Broglie motorhome aire
Broglie motorhome aire in France.

What to see in Honfleur

Honfleur is a beautiful harbour town located where the River Seine meets the English Channel. It’s famous 16th to18th century townhouses have been the subject of artists such as Claude Monet and the town has many shops selling art from the area.

Boat in Honfleur harbour
One of the fishing boats in Honfleur harbour.

Wandering around the town with its narrow streets, many harbourside restaurants and fishing boats is a joy. All of this has a downside as Honfleur is a magnet for tourists arriving in coaches and on river boats, in their hundreds.

Honfleur timber church
Inside the timber church at Honfleur.

A visit to France’s largest timber church is a must. Built in the 15th century and built by shipbuilders, St Catherine’s church is in the centre of the town. The last time we saw a church built entirely of wood was on our motorhome tour of Norway.

Honfleur harbour France
Beautiful Honfleur

There are several boat trips available including a trip to see the Normandy bridge that spans the River Seine. Honfleur is great for drinking coffee and people watching or having a seafood lunch in one of the many restaurants on the harbour side. By chance, we found a hidden gem – Le Jardin du Tripot – is a beautiful garden built between houses where you will find water features and a photography exhibition.

The Maritime Museum is located on the Vieux Basin, in Honfleur’s oldest church, St Etienne (14th century). The museum houses an important collection of model ships, carvings, engravings and other maritime memorabilia, all evoking Honfleur’s sea-faring history.

The Ethnography Museum is located in Honfleur’s old prison and in houses from the 16th century. The museum re-creates life in old Normandy and in its 9 rooms you will find traditional furniture, costumes and household objects as seen in typical Normandy homes in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Where to stay in Honfleur with a motorhome

La Briquerie campsite Honfleur
Our motorhome at Honfleur camping. It was 35c!

Well, apart from the large motorhome parking area near the port I can also recommend a 5 star campsite called La Briquerie. 3km from Honfleur and next to a large Intermarchè supermarket, the pitches are large and well looked after. There are 2 heated swimming pools, a restaurant, gym and the shower/toilet facilities are immaculate. There is water, electric and a waste water point on every pitch and I would say that it’s one of the best campsites we have stayed on. At only €19 a night (with an ACSI discount card) it is a bargain. There is also free wifi although it is slow and not good enough for video streaming.

Honfleur timber house
Beautiful house in Honfleur
Timber house in Honfleur
Honfleur, France
Restaurant in Honfleur
One of the many restaurants in Honfleur
Honfleur motorhome parking
€11 for 24 hours motorhome parking at the Honfleur aire. Enough space for 240 motorhomes.


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6 responses to “Honfleur motorhome Aire – heaven or hell?”

  1. Richard lascelles avatar
    Richard lascelles

    Hi Never been to France Honfleur looks great is access easy in 6.3 metre MH ? We have a dog wondered if that city centre Aire is suitable? Much appreciate any advice
    cheers Richard

    1. davidbrice avatar

      Hi Richard. Access to the Honfleur aire is very easy in any motorhome. Ours is just over 7 metres and we saw many other much larger motorhomes on the aire. It’s a very large aire and the access roads are no problem. Best wishes – David

  2. ann avatar
    ann

    can you pre book the motorhome aire in honfleur. does it ever get full

    1. davidbrice avatar

      Hi Ann. I’m pretty certain that you can’t book the aire at Honfleur. It’s a big aire and it can get very busy in high season. Always best to arrive early afternoon. Happy travels! David

  3. Charlie Mansfield avatar

    Very useful write-up, thank you. Which ports did you use for this crossing, please? EN – FR. Have you been over via Ouistreham, yet?

    1. davidbrice avatar

      Hi Charlie. Thanks for your question. We used Portsmouth to St Malo for this crossing but we have also used the tunnel and Dover ferry crossing. We have also used Caen to Portsmouth but not with our motorhome. We find the St Malo crossing is good for visiting the Brittany area and Normandy. We always check prices for different routes though before deciding which crossing to take. Happy travels – David

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