Camping Europe in a Motorhome RV: 5 Best Sites!

May 04, 2010

camping Europe roadtrip motorhome RV 5 Best sites Sweden Beach

International family travel at it's best! One of the very best ways to explore Europe is by camping and a motorhome, campingvan or RV is ideal for family travel on a budget. Few Americans seem to be aware of  how cheap and easy this is and what a great way it is to meet Europeans and friends from around the world. Unlike American camping, it is not roughing it, but usually very luxurious despite the very frugal price.

Barcelona camping Europe view Mediterranean sea soultravelers3

Many are like 5 star resorts with every amenity from pools to restaurants to zoos and top of the line exercise rooms with saunas, steam rooms, jacuzzi's and often free wifi. There is not a city or site in Europe that does not have a campground near by and almost all of them also have rental cabins for those who don't have a motorhome, caravan or tent. Our lead photo is our RV in our campsite right on the beach  in beautiful Grisslehamn, Sweden and the view above is from our campsite in Barcelona.Some are as cheap as 8 euros a night and it's possible to camp for free in many places.

I will be doing more posts on camping in Europe and will be making an e-book with all the great places we have discovered and the secrets we have learned along the way about camping in Europe. Many people even spend the winter lux-camping in warm places like Nice, Portugal and Marbella. Yes, you can camp right in Paris, London, Vienna, Rome, Prague, Satorini and more. There are sooo many amazing places that it's very hard to choose the top 5, but here are  5 favorites:


Tuscany Camping Europe Beautiful 5 star Chianti Hills

This was my pick when the UK Guardian asked us as a "travel guru" what we suggested for family travel in 2010. This is an ideal place to base in Chianti hills, perfect for families and every age range. It's easy to get to Florence from here, ride horses, taste wine or discover the countryside from a lux base. The water parks here were big hits and quite addictive fun for the whole family.


Camping Europe France Bordeaux St Emilion wine country road trip

We loved this charming place in St. Emilion,  the prettiest town in Bordeaux and surrounded by vineyards that are easy to bike even with kids! The ducks, tennis, two pools, playgrounds, lake, tennis & restaurant add to the special enchantment!


Camping Europe Dubrovnik Family travel Croatia girl view wall

 It feels like half of Italy moves here in August, but we still loved this huge Dubrovnik resort that included beaches, pools, hotel, kid's clubs and anything you could want. This was Mozart's favorite, perhaps because of the daily free ice-cream parties and our large  campsite.We stayed a month, found it hard to leave and it clears out to few campers in September. Just a fun daytrip from Montenegro too!


  Family travel Venice camping Europe gondola violin mask soultravelers3

Camping is actually the very best way to see Venice and most Europeans know this. They have beaches, pools, every possible convenience and a lovely boat ride over to St Marco's square.There are a ton of 5 star camping resorts here to choose from.


Family travel camping Barcelona holiday vacation get away pool

We have been to this Barcelona resort campsite 8 times since our world tour began in 2006, often staying a month or more, so you know it is a favorite as it feels like one of our homes now. We even get our groceries delivered there and know many of the Northern Europeans who winter there year after year. It's easy to take the ferry to Italy nearby, is full of luxuries at bargain prices & best croissants in Europe! 

Have you camped in Europe or are you interested? Let me know what you'd like to read about in our ebook!

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Jay Horowitz - OurTakeOnFreedom

We actually just bought our first RV. While we're not in Europe, we're looking forward to following in your virtual footsteps in the US starting this summer!


great tips - and PLACES. oh, it is just lovely, reading of your adventures.


Great post! We are planning on doing a lot of camping in Europe and it's great to read your travel tips on great sites!


Jay- That sounds like great fun! I once did a 6month tour of the US in my 20's with a tent & tiny red fiat. It was one of the seeds for this trip...had a ball! You will too! ;)

Jessie- Aw, thanks! You are always so sweet! Hope we get to connect when you get to this side of the pond!


Bethany- Thanks so much! We've listed every place that we have stayed so you can look them up here if you are wondering about a certain area. We try to always stay at the best ones. ;) Have an awesome time! Maybe we will run into each other! ;)

John Gerbracht

Looking forward to the book. Very curious to see how you afford to do this and how others can profit from your methods.


Great post today! I think I want to stay in ALL the campgrounds you listed :-)

Do you have a link to the campground in Dubrovnik? We are going to be in Croatia later this year and this sounds like a great place, so close to town.


Another great post - thanks! Do you book ahead at the camping grounds, or do you turn up on the day and hope they have a vacancy? And if you do book ahead, how long before your stay do you book?
Best wishes for your continued travels.


We can't wait to visit those places you've shown and more. You're such an awesome resource! In your ebook, I'd like to read about insurance, both health and auto. Also, I'd like to know how long it takes to pack up the rv and leave a campground, how the rv buyback deal works, any tips for avoiding theft, and the best tour books or map suppliers. A list of childrens books that correspond with locations would be a cool ebook all its own.

Nadine Touzet

Great post. All these places are truly wonderful to visit.


John- Welcome to our blog! One secret is we live on very little so that makes things more affordable. ;) If you read our FAQ page you can get some of the answers & more will be coming with our book & e-book/information products.

Melissa- They are all great campsites that you'd love! All the campsites listed here have links which go to the original post that tells more details including name and address.

I did that for you here for Dubrovnik & will put the direct link here for you:

It's a fantastic base for Croatia..but it's not open all year, so check the dates.

Elizabeth- We have never booked ahead so far. That said, if we have any doubt because of high season, we may call ahead ( easy to do from every campsite, just have the desk do it, especially if it's in another language) just to make sure.So we might ask, how it looks next week or the next few days & always they say fine. We also arrive early if possible if it is high season or a popular place so that helps ( 10-12 is early enough as that's when many leave). Usually we have several possibilities as well, so there is never a worry even when we come in late.

Jo= Great questions! I can say packing up depends a lot on how much you get out. LOL. For long stays we unpack everything, but for a one nighter, we don't unpack much, so we can leave REALLY quickly.

I love your e-book idea as well!


Nadine- They are aren't they? I hope we can connect this year when we come to France! ;)

Trever J. Clark

I've actually been planning a project around a lifelong dream. I've always wanted to travel a long distance under my own power - either via bicycle or running (I'm a runner by nature, but cycling would allow me to cover more territory). I've been doing a seminar with Chris Guillebeau (Art of Non-Conformity blog), and some of the other participants convinced me to finally go for it and make a blog out of it! Now I'm just trying to decide exactly what my adventure should be - whether cycling across South America or running across China. Never really thought much about Europe, but as I've been following your blog recently, I'm starting to wonder if I should consider it. Any little known routes for long distance running or cycling that not everyone and their brother have done before that I should consider?


Trever- Sounds like a fantastic project! I use to run long ago ( became a distance runner after I decided to run a full marathon on whim without training!). We love to bike Europe too, but sorry, I really have no idea what route would be unique in special. I WOULD follow the weather as that can really make a difference no matter how you are traveling. Good luck!


Your pic are so pretty. Thanks for sharring with us these wonderful place.


So glad to read this post and can't wait to get our hands on your e-book.We are in the midst of planning our first European campervan trip this summer in England...have any favorite spots there you can recommend? Let us know if you are coming to Sicily...we'd love to show you some of our favorite places here. Thanks for the continual inspiration and advice on traveling in Europe with kids.


Kristy- Thanks!

Lucia- Thanks for your kind words & invite to Sicily. We'd love to connect!

Sorry to say, but we were a bit disappointed in the campsites in UK, so have none to rave about, though all were decent. The London ones are a bit of a schlep, sadly.

This one in Stratford Upon Avon was quite nice:

We also really liked a VERY rural one by a children's discovery museum called Eureka.

We enjoyed the great municipal campsite in Dublin if you go that way.

I haven't written yet about our tour of UK, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, so don't have that info handy right now. ( We are in packing up mode now).

There are TONS of campsites in the UK, so I'm sure you will be pleased. Be prepared for very cold, wet weather even in July & August there. It caught us by surprise although we had a few sunny days, most of it was much colder than winter in Spain.

Cottswolds & Lake District are two fabulous areas in the UK. Have fun!


wanted to write you a few lines to let you know that I have really enjoyed your website. So glad to read this post and can't wait to get our hands on your e-book. There are TONS of campsites in the UK, so I'm sure you will be pleased.
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Leslie Croft

Hello to you all. It is so much fun for me to be reading up on your family adventure. Our family of 4 (2 adults mid 50s and 2 children, a 10 year boy and a 7 year old girl) will be travelling to Europe this Aug. and camping about for 5 months. We are all pretty excited and enjoy the planning part. We are already having a great time. Whenever I start to worry about the kids schooling I just think of Mozart. There is so much to learn from how kids learn. Thanks so much for sharing so much with so many. I look forward to reading more. All the best.
The Croft family.


Great post! I’m very happy to say that I have finally found just what I was looking for. Thanks for sharing your family adventure and the wonderful places.Your story is very inspiring!Good luck!


oh, this is currently my biggest consideration! whether to invest in a motorhome and camp (i was not sure if there would be anywhere cheap to camp within the major cities) or to travel via regional trains and stay in hostels.
thank you! i'll be reading up. :)

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks David, Leslie, Emily, and Michelle! Glad it has been a help and inspiring. I know I sure wish there had been this kind of info when we were planning our world trip in 2005! ;)


I just thought you should know that you just made a dream possible for our young family...THANKS FOR THE ADVICE!!


We are planning a RTW starting in September 2014. I am considering camping for the European portion. I think the cost between camping (renting a small RV for the 3 of us) vs. car/hostel/hotel are relatively similar. Which would you do? This is the hardest decision I've had to make in our planning! Thanks!!

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Happy to hear that Diane!!

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