Our pick of the best European camping spots

22/03/2010

Camping in Britain is not without its perils. Unexpected rain and icy cold winds can sometimes force even the hardiest of us to pack up our camping equipment and head indoors to the land of central heating and cups of tea. So it’s no wonder that many of us look further afield to complete our fantasies of al fresco frolics; with an array of exotic and more importantly, warm destinations to be found in the warmer plains of Europe, we’re discovering the merits of jumping on a plane and getting to grips with nature on sunnier shores. Here is the Mountain Warehouse guide to the 10 best campsites in Europe.

1. Les Romarins – France

Effortlessly slotted into the cavernous hills between Monaco and Nice, Les Romarins is a Room With A View with bells on. Overlooking the glittering Med, with sunlit mornings turning into lazy evening sunsets and shade provided by rosemary and olive trees, it is an ideal getaway for any adventurous camper. Stroll through the medieval castle in the tiny village of Eze, or visit nearby Monaco for a dose of noisily ostentatious wealth if all the rustic tranquillity gets too much!

2. Ilha Da Berlenga – Portugal

This quaint hillside campsite takes effort to reach (a notoriously bumpy sea crossing from Peniche) but is worth the journey. With exclusive access to the clear waters of its own cove, the island itself is a protected nature reserve and as such, is scenically stunning and extroadinarily well kept. Guaranteed wonderful weather and friendly locals makes it an ideal camping destination for families or friends. Make sure you include some sun cream in with your tent and sleeping bag, because the sun’s rays are notoriously powerful in mid-summer Portugal!

3. La Fresnada – Spain

Neighboured by Catalonia, this is an environmentally sound Finca with 19 acres to its name, but only 28 pitches; so plenty of space! All food and drinks, alcoholic and other are the produce of local farmers and the scenery is stunning – a first rate camping experience on many different levels. Using lanterns and torches instead of electricity will make you feel like you’re truly embracing the eco-friendly environment that La Fresnada is known for.

4. Tentstation – Germany

Urban campsites are underrated; often still surrounded by natural beauty, they also benefit from a close proximity to all those amenities that a bustling city has to offer. Tentstation is a former outdoor swimming pool park in Berlin populated by admittedly a younger crowd, with music, guest DJ’s, beach volleyball and graffiti art adding to a creative, youth-led vibe. Why not take a cool, festival friendly tent to stand out in this colourful crowd, like our Festival Patterned Dome tent?

5. Koren - Slovenia

Lapping at the edges of this tranquil campsite is Slovenia’s crystalline Soca River, which provides a tranquil addition to the area of trees, terraces and walkways that comprises it. With enough facilities and amenities to keep you in touch with the real world, but sufficient bucolic charm to give you a sense of freedom, Kamp Koren is the ideal hybrid of the old and the new.

6. Mala Milna, Croatia

Perfect weather, pebble beaches and colourful locals explain the increasing popularity of the island of Hvar in Croatia. With a great nightlife, casually chilled out days and some great places to eat, this campsite is right in the centre of a uniquely paradoxical community. Laze by day, party by night; enjoy the gentle buzz of cicadas and watch the sun go down; all in a days’ work on this must-visit island.

7. Fernsteinsee - Austria

Fancy a bit of history with your al fresco fun? The Fernsteinsee campsite is located within the grounds of Schloss Fernsteinsee, and was built by the Bavarian King, Ludwig II. It is now a four star hotel, but surrounding this are 125 secluded and sheltered camping pitches with access to all the luxury facilities. The King built his ‘palace’ here because of its proximity to the quaint mirror lake situated before the Tyrolean Mountains, and as well as having a wealth of natural beauty to explore, there are also some charming neighbouring market towns to discover. Make sure you pack some hiking boots for your exploring as the terrain here can be rocky.

8. Gondrin - France

For those who like their food delicious and their wine authentic, nowhere will suit more perfectly than the six pitch campsite La Brouquere in Gondrin. This campsite used to be a winery, and the owner loves nothing more than to feed his guests with the finest fois gras and flavoursome liquors, before sending them off to their own personal bubbling hot tub. It’s pure indulgence, and makes a great contrast to the simple food you’ll be cooking on your camping stove!

9. Camping Des Glaciers – Switzerland

Camping Des Glaciers is a compact yet panoramic campsite situated within an alpine valley near La Fouly in Switzerland. It boasts great views of the glacier, orchid fields and a simplistic, rural environment where you and your 25 fellow campers will soon relax into the languid frame of mind embraced by the locals.

10. Il Falcone – Italy

Saturated with authentic Umbrian charm, campers watch over a lake from terraces, with breathtaking historical buildings on every corner; Il Falcone is well known for its medieval cathedrals and quaint villages. Nowhere is the great outdoors so revered, and with good reason; the gentle, rolling landscape is a treat for the eyes and the campsite itself is extraordinarily well kept and the perfect antidote to bustling city life.

So go forth and camp! To truly embrace your camping trip, make sure you’re prepared by getting kitted out with everything you’ll need for an outdoors jaunt, like walking boots, zip off trousers, fleeces and outdoor clothing, waterproof jackets available, including, outdoor cooking utensils, daypacks and rucksacks, walking poles, walking socks, and wellies, as well as those obvious necessary items like a tent, sleeping bag and a ground sheet.