What are the swimming pool rules in France?

September, 18 2017 | Update: 31/03/2021

You may have found yourself walking to a campsite swimming pool in your swimming trunks to be called back by a lifeguard just before jumping in. Why? It was probably because you were wearing loose-fitting swimming trunks, something that is not allowed in many French swimming pools. That is why we have made a list of the swimming pool rules in France.

Before going on holiday to France it’s worth knowing the various rules about swim wear that apply in (campsite) swimming pools in France. For example, boys and men are not usually allowed to wear loose-fitting or long swimming trunks. When that is the case, a pair of tight-fitting trunks or swim briefs are compulsory. You can wear long swimming trunks at some campsites, but you are not allowed to wear a pair of boxer shorts under your swimming trunks.

Many French campsite swimming pools do not allow loose-fitting swimming trunks. So, check before you go or make sure you always take tight-fitting swimming trunks with you just in case.

Many French campsite swimming pools do not allow loose-fitting swimming trunks. So, check before you go or make sure you always take tight-fitting swimming trunks with you just in case.

Please be aware that these rules do not apply at every campsite. So, if you are going to France, it’s a good idea to consult the website of the campsite in question before you go. Or just make sure you always pack a pair of tight-fitting trunks in your suitcase. Should you forget to take them, you can usually buy a suitable pair of swimming trunks at the campsite itself. These swimming trunk restrictions do not apply if you go swimming in the sea or in a river.

Besides the rules about swimming trunks, many campsite swimming pools also have other rules. For example, in some swimming pools, you are not allowed to dive bomb or play with inflatable animals or airbeds in the water, or swim in a T-shirt or other clothing. A compulsory swim cap is not always required in France, although it often is in Italy.

Why is it compulsory to wear tight-fitting swimming trunks in France?

The French actually have two reasons for this swimming pool policy: hygiene and the environment. People often wear long swimming trunks as a pair of shorts. For example, you wear them to the beach or while walking through the city. If you then swim in the swimming pool in the same shorts, you will pollute the water. A pair of tight-fitting swimming trunks holds on to less dirt and people don’t usually wear them when wandering around the city for the day.

The French do not like long swimming trunks in the water. Short swimming trunks are considered more hygienic and environmentally friendlier than long trunks.

The French do not like long swimming trunks in the water. Short swimming trunks are considered more hygienic and environmentally friendlier than long trunks.

A second reason for choosing tight-fitting trunks is the environment. Loose swimming trunks hold on to a lot more water than the tight-fitting versions. When you get in and out of the water a few times, that can save many litres of water.

Campsites in France with an outdoor pool

If you will soon be going on holiday to France and the campsite has a swimming pool, have a look in your wardrobe or see if you can buy a suitable pair of swimming trunks. It’s worth trying them on so that you know whether the swimming trunks will be comfortable enough to wear in the pool. Get over any swimming trunk embarrassment and remember that you won’t be the only one wearing them at the campsite. If you are really uncomfortable with the idea, take a pair of looser trunks with you that you can put on over your tight-fitting trunks when you get out of the water.

If you are still looking for a French campsite with an outdoor pool, I have a few suggestions for you:

Esther Schaap
  • Auteur: Esther Schaap
  • Esther is a huge travel enthusiast, whether it's a city trip or a camping holiday. She has just one requirement – the area must have enough museums and ancient architecture for her to get her 'dose' of culture. She loves to go to France, Spain and Italy.

    9 Reacties

  1. Avatar

    We’re planning a trip to Italy with 2 kids, swimming will make up a large part of our days. Please can I ask, as a completely bald man, would a swimming cap still be required of me? Only I don’t want to end up with a two tone head…!

    • Esther Schaap

      Hi Andy,

      Good question! Unfortunately even bald men have to wear a swimming cap in Italy 😉
      Have a good trip.

      Esther

      • Avatar

        Funny, since this has absolutely nothing to do with corona. I just left my caps at home and have to buy new ones on the way to holidays. Strange rule, what is the logic ?

        • Marieke Krämer

          Hi Lorenz,

          No this has nothing to do with corona. These are simply the hygiene regulations in Iltay. However, they are not mandatory on all campsites. So maybe you can inform at your plannend accommodation.

          Kind regards,
          Marieke

  2. Avatar

    We are going to campsite Bella Italia in lake Garda ..are the children & babies aloud floats in the pools ?
    Thanks in advance

    • Avatar

      Hello Hayley,

      It is allowed to use floats in the pools for children & Babies 🙂
      Have a great holiday!

      Lucia

  3. Avatar

    Great blog. Swimming is a favorite hobby. I am reading your blog and I am happy with your info. Great info you share on this blog. Thanks!

  4. Avatar

    Do you have a list of campsites where you don’t have to wear trunks?
    When i was in france last year the swimming pool that we went to made it mandatory for men to wear speedos.

    • Marieke Krämer

      Hi Liam,

      We don’t have a complete list, but if you are considering staying on a Suncamp campsite, you can contact our Customer Service in advance. Our colleagues can inform you.

      Kind regards,
      Marieke

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