From the sunny shores of the Mediterranean to the cool Northern reaches of Sweden, here are our choices for the best and most beautiful places to camp in Europe (in no particular order)…
Hillend Campsite, Swansea, Wales – best campsite in Europe for the lack of crowds
Swansea is a top surfing destination and Hillend, located on the Gower Peninsula of Wales is Britain’s first designated area of outstanding natural beauty. Surprisingly this area is not overrun with tourists even though the beach was mentioned as one of the best 25 beaches in the world (Sunday Times). Expect scenery including ancient villages, castle ruins and 40km of gorgeous coastline and pristine beaches. You can even camp right on the beach – nestled between sand dunes at Llangennith. Check out this guide on the best beach tents before you go!
Le Val de Cantobre in Aveyron, France – best for gorgeous rustic scenery
Located within the grounds of a medieval farmhouse, the pitches at this campsite are attractively arranged on original terraces, looking down into a picturesque valley. Close to many small local villages, such as Nant, don’t be fooled by Le Val’s rustic atmosphere! They’ve just finished construction on a new pool complex, and new campsite facilities. A great site for all ages, the surrounding region encompasses some of France’s most beautiful natural landscapes. Check out their site here.
Cala Llevado, Spain – best beachside camping
Named one of the top travel destinations of 2012 by National Geographic, Cala Llevado is less than an hour away from cities like Barcelona, Figueres and Girona. Cala Llevado is remote and peaceful, with private pitches that overlook the bays. Camp right beside one of the world-renowned four beaches, and enjoy the views of the glimmering transparent waters from the shade provided by age-old pine trees on the shore.
Mala Milna in Hvar, Croatia – best for beautiful up and coming campsite
With crystal clear seas, rolling green hills, ancient stonework and fresh air- Hvar is Croatia’s answer to the French Riviera. An up and coming destination in the Adriatic, the beaches here are exclusive and clean surrounded by cosmopolitan cafes, bars and designer boutiques. Cradelled by two gorgeous pebble beaches, the Mala Milna coast is dotted with winding paths and ancient villages. If a sea view is important to you – don’t worry there’s no other option here!
Château de Lacomté Country Club, Lot and Dordogne Valley, France – best adults-only campsite in Europe
Found deep within one of the most picturesque regions of France, the Château de Lacomté Country Club is an adults only site. You can choose from one of their 88 fully serviced pitches, a rustic log cabin, or bring your caravan or mobile home. It’s located just 12 kms south of the Medieval Pilgramage Village of Rocamadour – Frances second most visited tourist site. Filled with wildlife, the Château is a great choice for anyone with an interest in bird watching, botany or astrology – this area experiences virtually no noise, air or light pollution. The Château is beautiful, and our favorite for a peaceful European campsite.
Wild Camping in Douro Valley, Portugal – best for camper vans
One of the most underrated wine countries in the world; the Douro Valley region is beautiful, spacious, and best experienced by hiring a camper van. “Free” or “Wild Camping” is tolerated here, so just pack your camping equipment and head off into the valley. While exploring the area, make sure to visit Pinhão and São João da Pesqueira, pretty regions located right at the epicenter of Port wine country.
Gasthof Camping, Latsch, North Italy – best for mountain views
Tucked away in affluent North Italy and near the borders of Switzerland and Austria is this beautifully located campsite. The campsite is based almost 640 meters above sea level and right on the banks River Etsch. The views of the surrounding Southern Alps are pretty hard to beat.
Unkervatnet, Ørnes, Norway – best for lakeside camping
Unkervatnet is a gorgeous remote lake in the municipality of Hattfjelldal in Nordland county. This lake offers two popular campsites, both on the shore side. Ørnes camping is available on the eastern end of the lake, and Tjolmen, on the north side of the lake, near the middle. This is outdoor living at its best and you can also enjoy rafting, swimming and bathing here. Easily one of the most beautiful campsites in Europe!
Tartaruga, Zakynthos, Greece – best beaches
Often called “The Venice of the East”, Zakynthos is one of the most sought after islands in the Ionian Sea. It also offers some of the most dramatic camping locations in the world. Run by well-known locals, the clifftop pitches offered at Tartaruga offer clear views across the ocean and typical Greek scenery consisting of olive groves, pure white beaches and turtle filled waters – camping bliss!
Domaine Riva Bella, Corsica – best for the open-minded!
A French island in the Mediterranean Sea, Corsica is home to many beautiful beaches and also unrivaled camping spots. This naturalist (or nudist) campsite is located on a stretch of unspoiled, peaceful beach. Quiet and away from it all, the site offers a private beach perfect for open-minded relaxing or wildlife watching. Don’t forget to pay a visit to their excellent Thalassotherapy centre also located here.