Camping in Europe – Things to Remember when Camping in Europe
It’s been a long hard year. Work has been strenuous and you’re looking for that perfect summer getaway, but you’re restricted by your budget. How do you combat this? By camping of course. Camping offers some of the most versatile accommodation possible; it can be as cheap or as expensive as you desire. For the cost conscious, camping combats the high price of staying in hotels, freeing up more money to be spent on what really matters: you. Heed the following advice when planning your camping in Europe and your visit will pass without a hitch.
Ensure you are familiar with the laws of the country you are visiting. When it comes to camping policy there is no ‘universal code’. Differences may arrive when you travel from region to region, so it is always best to check before you travel, especially if you are not staying in a camp site. Here are just a few examples of what certain countries do and do not tolerate:
Scotland – Camping in areas that are not designated camp sites is legal in Scotland. Due to the Land Reform Act 2003 camping on unenclosed land is allowed. Essentially this means non-privately owned land is fair game for campers to pitch their tent on. However certain rules must be abided by, which predominantly have the safety of the camper and the preservation of land at their core. These include:
ñ You must camp a minimum of 100 metres away from roads.
ñ You must be responsible with waste and litter. Human waste should be buried. Any urination or excretion should take place away from water supplies. All litter should be taken with you.
ñ Camping stoves should be used, or alternatively, a well maintained camp-fire that does not leave any remains or traces.
France – France is a popular destination for European campers, it has breathtaking views and desirable weather in the summer months. To cater for the camping market, France has many camp sites, such as le Domaine de la Brèche, which boasts many attractive features and entertainment facilities. However, France is not as liberal as Scotland in regards to camping outside of designated areas. You must ensure you have the permission of the landowner and refrain from lighting fires. It is also a good idea to pack up your belongings and move on as swiftly as possible the next morning. This means no loitering around until midday, else you may annoy the authorities; not a position a foreign camper wants to be in.
Greece – In contrast to Scotland and France, camping outside of designated camp sites in Greece is illegal. If you choose to ignore this law (as many do), so be it, you do so at your own risk. However, Greece does have a wide variety of camp sites to choose from, many situated on picturesque beaches. These designated camp sites offer a safer, law-abiding alternative to going it alone. It is better to be safe than sorry, after all.
These are just a few examples of European camping destinations, but the main purpose was to show the differences in laws and customs between each region. It is wise to familiarise yourself with the country’s camping laws before your trip; an altercation with foreign authorities can be a tricky situation to find yourself in. As always with camping, ensure you have the permission of landowners (if required) and make sure you thoroughly research your destination. In addition to this, always be respectful of your surroundings: be responsible with litter and fire. As a rule, you should leave your destination in the condition that you found it.
Glamping – camping with a bigger budget
For the European camper with a more extensive budget ‘glamping’ – glamorous camping – is a good option. These include ready pitched tents, teepees and yurts, which guarantee a a sense of luxury to your outdoor endeavours. Glamping offers an alternative camping getaway, with it being taken up by a growing portion of campers, from the casual holiday-maker to the festival-goer. For more information on glamping, see this article. (hyperlink needed when other article is finished)
Whatever your budget, whatever your style, camping on the continent is an achievable and rewarding experience. For those who have become bored with package holidays, it is an ideal, exciting substitute. There are many effective websites that cater to the needs of the European camper, which include reviews and advice including Eurocamp. Consulting sites such as these when planning your trip will be extremely informative and will help promote a successful visit.