Europe used to be known as a slightly expensive destination years ago and that’s one of the reasons so many people hitchhiked or backpacked through the continent. Another reason is because of its magnificent cultural mix, history, and natural beauty. Backpacking and camping is still considered to be one of the best and most enjoyable ways of exploring Europe and it’s more popular now than ever before.
Some of the countries enjoy pretty mild weather all year round which makes camping quite popular during all four seasons. Most of the campgrounds are also quite accessible since there are so many of them located close to some of Europe’s major cities. This means you can use your campsites as a base point to explore these sites and take in the many activities and festivals they have to offer. These include famous events such as Oktoberfest in Germany and the running of the bulls and La Tomatina in Spain. Whether it’s Spain, or the UK, it’s never too hard to find premium camping locations close enough to use as your base. It offers the best of both world’s as you get to experience the nature and still have the option to experience popular city attractions. Many people will do a camping hotel hybrid too, camping outside famous tourist destinations in Spain or the UK, and then taking an extended London or Barcelona city break in a hotel for a night or two.
You can find yourself out in the middle of the gorgeous countryside, which will be only a 20-minute ride away from the city. There are thousands of excellent campgrounds to choose from in Europe, especially the nations that welcome a large number of tourists each year. For example, in Italy you’ll find there are close to 800 registered campgrounds while Holland has about 1,000 and Germany offers up over 11000 of them. However, France is easily the most popular when it comes to campgrounds as there are over 2500 registered options.
Wherever you travel throughout the continent you shouldn’t have any problem finding campsites that are suitable for tents, recreational vehicles and the ever-popular caravans. You usually have to pay for each vehicle, person, and/or tent at most sites. Compared to hotel prices it’s still a great deal and you’ll be able to enjoy the scenery the way Mother Nature intended. You can also cut the costs in most countries by joining one of the continent’s camping organizations and receiving a membership card. Some of these cards offer accident insurance.
Just about all of the registered campgrounds in Europe come with bathrooms, showers, laundry services, a convenience store, a bank machine, restaurant, kitchen, guides, maps, and postal services. The camping gear needed is basically the same as in North America, such as a tent, air mattress, sleeping bag, and headlamp etc. Cooking equipment is also a good idea if you plan to eat on site and a lawn chair could be handy. Even though most of the grounds have first aid kits it’s a good idea to take your own along.
If the country you are visiting gets cold during the winters you may want to consider taking a camping and hiking adventure between April and October. If the country enjoys hot summers, you may want to think twice about camping out during the hottest months as the temperatures can get quite high. One of the most popular camping destinations is close to the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea, especially in the spring and fall.
There are also many group camping tours available throughout Europe where everything is taken care of for you. Just make sure that you know all of the rules at each campground you visit as many of them don’t allow campfires.