Readers’ favorite campsites in Europe

Istrian dreams, Croatia

After almost two months of cycling around Europe, we had become camping connoisseurs. Natura Camp Karli stands out as an oasis of tranquility on the Istrian peninsula in Croatia. We were delighted to pitch our tent in an olive grove, as we were welcomed with a gift of handmade goods. The facilities were basic but excellent, with a covered area and stoves for cooking, as well as plenty of seating with a view. It is a peaceful location, with the coast about ten kilometres away. After a wonderful night’s sleep, drifting away to the gentle hum of insects, we set off with an extra spring in our step.
Pitch from €25

Solar energy in the Portuguese Alentejo

We only stayed at Bubulcus & Bolotas for one night during our camper trip through Portugal last summer, but I will never forget it. The light, the landscape (huge boulders, savannah-like landscape with holm oaks here and there) and the sounds of the birds and insects give you the feeling that you are really in the middle of nowhere. The couple who run the campsite are passionate about nature and sustainability. All electricity comes from solar energy, rainwater is collected and the beautiful swimming pool is chemical-free. The best part was the stargazing – the Milky Way so bright to the naked eye – mesmerizing. The place is about a two-hour drive east of Lisbon, north of Évora.
Adult €6, standing places from €10

Tips from Guardian Travel readers

Every week we ask our readers for recommendations from their travels. A selection of the tips will be displayed online and may also appear in print. To enter the latest competition, visit the Readers’ Tips homepage

Ideal for a morning dive, Austria

The beautiful family-run Inselcamp Unterach on the edge of Austria’s Attersee, in the heart of the Salzkammergut lake district, is a serene place. It’s the perfect place for an early morning swim, with the surrounding mountains providing a beautiful backdrop for a peaceful retreat.
Adult €2.40, standing places from €10.50

Cascade beauty, Switzerland

Without hesitation we choose Camping Jungfrau in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. With great facilities including a swimming pool and fantastic views of spectacular waterfalls cascading hundreds of metres from the mountains, walkers and families will find it perfectly situated. There are easy, medium and difficult walking routes in all directions, up and down mountains and through alpine meadows. Basic tent pitch from 31.60CHF

Boules, seafood and sunsets, France

Huttopia Noirmoutier is our favorite campsite for the first few days of longer camper holidays in Europe. It is the perfect place to relax and enjoy your holiday. On the island of Noirmoutier, just off the coast of the northern Vendée, it’s all about long beaches, gentle seas, sun and an abundance of seafood. The local market, about a 20-minute cycle along the sea wall from the site, is bursting with the freshest produce, and the white-painted town wouldn’t look out of place on the Mediterranean. The site is on the beach – perfect for days of paddle boarding and swimming – and the boules court, pizzas and bar make for enjoyable evenings as the sun sets over the sea.
Pitch from €29.50

Tents and turtles, Zakynthos, Greece

Camping Tartaruga on Zante (Zakynthos) has a peaceful, heavenly setting that somehow took me back thousands of years to the days of Greek mythology. Set against a backdrop of olive trees and sparkling turquoise water, the tents overlook Laganas Bay. The snorkeling here is excellent and sometimes loggerhead turtles can be spotted on the sand.
Adult €7, pitches from €5

Fresh air and fresh bread, Switzerland

The pouring rain announced our arrival at Camping Eienwäldli in Engelberg, central Switzerland. Any doubts about the location disappeared as the clouds lifted to reveal a beautiful backdrop of snow-capped peaks above alpine meadows. The combination of impeccable functionality and breathtaking mountain scenery was pleasantly Swiss. When the rain started again, we took cover in the extremely clean shared kitchen facilities. There was no chance to try the spa and heated indoor pool as the blue sky and sunshine lured us to the mountains, fueled by freshly baked bread from the on-site shop.
Pitch for caravan/camper and up to 6 people 500CHF for 7 nights
Helen Mewar

Sounds of the river, Dordogne, France

Below Bergerac, there are several campsites on the wide, slow-moving Dordogne River. We loved the wooded campsite called Camping La Pelouse, where we woke up enchanted by the sound of running water lapping at the banks. Croissants from the campsite bakery and other treats included the much-praised dishes of this part of the Périgord, such as truffles, rich, dark Bergerac wines, juicy strawberries, walnuts and porcini mushrooms. We had a romantic oyster lunch at a restaurant near the campsite. After paddling upstream past a chateau, we came to a white cliff, where we swam naked and unseen in a shallow pool.
Adult €4.80, pitches from €2.10
David Innes-Wilkin

Refreshing swimming, Austria

From the door of your tent at Camping Mexico, on Lake Constance, which borders Austria, Germany and Switzerland, you can look out over two countries. The campsite is located in Bregenz, right next to the Mehrerauer Seeufer and Bregenzerachmündung nature reserves. I enjoyed wild swimming in the refreshing water after days of hiking and sightseeing, and also followed an easy, flat cycle route that followed the shoreline. Grilled sausages and beer awaited me in the communal kitchen on my return.
Adult €11.50, pitch from €9

Winning tip: pine tree and wine, Piedmont, Italy

Last August we stayed just a few days at Yolki Palki near Domodossola, a small campsite in the northwestern Italian region of Piedmont. I wish it could have lasted longer. The staff were welcoming, the food and drink sublime and the view to die for. If you are a hiker, this is the perfect campsite for you. Marked routes through the pristine pine forests; cool, sparkling springs and charming villages, hidden between the Alpine slopes. I would go there again in a heartbeat.
Adult €8, standing places from €25
Helen Doel

Tell us in the comments about your own favorite campsites in Europe

Leave a Comment