Beginners guide to camping in Europe

Beginners guide to camping in Europe

European countries are well-known for their rich history and stirring cultural amenities. But just as beautiful as Europe’s many castles, museums, and cities are the gorgeous landscapes found plentifully across the continent.

Europe’s beautiful outdoors make it an ideal place to camp. European citizens and tourists take to the continent’s great outdoors in the millions every year. Learn how to camp across Europe and the continent’s most killer campsites to get the most out of your European camping holiday.

What Are the Best Ways To Camp in Europe?

Europe has a wide range of natural features and campsites serving them. How you camp on the continent is just as varied as the European landscape.

The best part about camping in Europe is the accommodation options. Here are some of the best ways you can camp year-round in Europe.

  • Camping by tent in Europe
  • Camping by campervan in Europe
  • Camping by RV in Europe
  • Camping by cabin in Europe

Camping By Tent in Europe

The classic way to camp, tent camping in Europe is among the most popular means to enjoy the outdoors.

Camping in a tent gets you as close as you can get to nature; there’s nothing quite like sleeping under the stars while comfortably sequestered in your tent. For campers who prefer to camp by tent, you are almost guaranteed to find adequate accommodations in Europe’s many campsites.

Whether you enjoy the lavender fields of Provence, France, or the beaches of Barcelona, Spain, the vast majority of European campsites will have plenty of available lots for tent campers.

Camping in a tent is one of the most affordable ways to camp in Europe. Most tent sites average 20 to 30 euros a night, making it the best-priced option for campers.

Wild Camping Is Prohibited Across Much of Europe

Intrepid campers may be familiar with wild camping: setting up camp in the wilderness, outside of a designated campsite. While nature lovers may enjoy the intimate experience of wild camping, prospective European campers should know that wild camping is generally prohibited in most regions of Europe.

Wild camping poses risks to campers and the environment. Inconsiderate wild campers may damage the environment by littering at their makeshift campsite; wild campers may disturb or provoke wildlife; camping in the wilderness increases your risk of getting lost and facing injury or worse.

For these reasons and more, wild camping is rarely allowed in Europe. If you’re interested in wild camping in Europe, look into regional laws regarding this off-grid camping method; otherwise, campsites are your best option for setting up your pitch.

Camping by Campervan in Europe

A singularly European method of camping is in a campervan. Iconic campervans and caravans from Volkswagen and other European car manufacturers hit the road when warm weather rolls in for a summer of camping.

Campervans are a great way to camp in Europe. Not only can you comfortably set up camp at host campsites, but the mobility of the van also allows you to see more of the continent.

When traveling by campervan, you can easily cross borders and explore fascinating sights. For instance, you can explore the alps from Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Slovenia, and Germany. This type of travel can also allow you to try new things, like mountain biking and rafting.

Because campervans are so popular in Europe, you’re more than likely to find adequate accommodations for these camping vehicles at most campsites you visit.

Renting a campervan may run you about 100 to 150 euros a day. You’ll also need to pay for petrol and the campsite lot.

Camping by RV in Europe

RVs are a great way to camp in Europe while also enjoying spacious accommodations and modern amenities. You can also enjoy long road trips to your favorite destinations with your own vehicle. For instance, you can take your RV canyoning from Sweden to Croatia.

RVs generally come equipped with alluring features like kitchens, refrigerators, and bathrooms. RVs are common on European campsites; most will have dedicated RV lots with accompanying hookups that service them.

RVs can give you comfort while camping at a premium price. You can expect to pay upwards of 200 euros daily to rent an RV, not including petrol and campsite lot fees.

Camping by Cabin in Europe

Some European campsites connect campers to the outdoors by hosting them in cabins. As a tourist, it can be burdensome to pack a tent and camping supplies for your journey to Europe.

Cabins on European campsites are an accessible opportunity for tourists to enjoy the great outdoors without requiring them to bring a tent or rent a motorhome.

Onsite cabins can range in character. Some cabins embrace the minimalism of a country campsite; glamping, a portmanteau of glamor camping, treats campers to fully furnished accommodations with luxury amenities.

The exterior of the cabins can range from rustic log construction to woodland bungalows or cottages. As an added benefit, many of these larger campgrounds include access to luxuries such as swimming pools, volleyball courts, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Cabins can range in price depending on the style of the cabin you choose; they can range anywhere from 40 to 120 euros a night.

Campsites to check out in Europe

Now that you know all the ways you can camp in the European outdoors, here are some of the continents most alluring campsites to check out:

Camping Catinaccio Rosengarten — The Dolomites, Italy

The Dolomites are a mountain range in northern Italy with a view; jagged, gray mountain peaks leap into the sky, towering above the green hills beneath.

There are many campsites in the shadows of the Dolomites, but they are not quite as luxurious as Camping Catniaccio Rosengarten. This campsite hosts several amenities that highlight the staggering natural beauty of the Dolomites above: a hotel chalet with plenty of amenities, RV camping parks, off-site cabins for a more intimate experience, or tent pitches for campers who want to get closer to nature.

Camping Catinaccio Rosengarten is the full package, offering campers a complete range of camping options in a beautiful location.

Camping Vrachos Kastraki — Meteora, Greece

Greece is home to some of Europe’s most beautiful landscapes. While millions flock to the country’s sandy beaches, campers looking for solitude should explore the stone structures of Meteora.

Located in the heart of Greece, Meteora hosts a spectacular geological formation: tall, stone spires perched on rolling mediterranean hillsides create a cavernous valley — it’s even a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Meteora has a centuries long legacy; it’s home to a number of Eastern Orthodox monasteries, speaking to the power of its contemplative feel.

Camping Vrachos Kastraki is located just off-site from the formation itself. It’s one of Greece’s most popular camping getaways, famous for its peaceful setting and gorgeous vistas.

Geiranger Camping — The Fjords of Norway

Norway is defined by its gorgeous fjords. These seawater inlets are a hallmark to the Norwegian landscape. They’re the perfect place to set up camp and enjoy the Scandinavian outdoors.

Geiranger Camping is tucked away at the very end of a deep, inland fjord. This Norwegian campsite offers plenty of options for campers to choose from — RV lots, campervan sites, and tent pitching sites. The surrounding area spots a number of outdoor activities to keep campers entertained: boat tours on the fjord; hiking trails in the fjord walls; kayaking and canoeing adventures.

Norway’s natural beauty is unlike anywhere else on the European continent. One way to take in the spectacle of Norway’s fjords is from campsites like those found at Geiranger Camping.

Camping-Resort Allweglehen — The Bavarian Alps, Germany

Germans love to camp. Few locations in Germany are more popular amongst local campers and campers from around the world than the Bavarian Alps. The natural beauty of this southern German state reaches its apex the closer one gets to its mountainous border.

Home to Berchtesgadener National Park, this landscape is one of Germany’s most beloved parks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Views of alpine peaks and the forests beneath them make this mountain retreat one of Europe’s outdoor havens.

Camping-Resort Allweglehen offers visitors every possible accommodation, from glamping cabins to rustic tent sites. With views of the mountains everywhere you look, Camping-Resort Allweglehen isn’t just among the best campsites in Germany, it’s among the best in Europe.

Get ETIAS Approval Before Embarking on Your European Camping Trip

Before you can sleep under Europe’s stars, make sure you can enter the continent in the first place. In 2024, the ETIAS will come online. This pan European travel security system may affect the travel requirements you may face before you can travel to Europe.

To ensure you’re fully prepared for your camping trip to Europe, learn more about how ETIAS may affect your travel plans.