The Best Campsites in Europe

It is a known fact that backpackers may at times, when hostels are fully occupied, stay in campsites. Many people, backpackers and non backpackers alike, have pre-conceived images of what a campsite may look like. Tents pitched in grassy knolls, bonfires, and campers being bitten by gargantuan mosquitoes and bugs are what usually come to mind.

However, contrary to popular belief European campsites are in fact not dark, desolate and rustic places devoid of any fun and laughter. Modern campsites have facilities that can rival even the most modern hotels in any country. Situated beside beaches, near lakes, at the slopes of mountains or within splendid grounds, these campsites boast of having bars, restaurants and novelty shops, among others. It’s surprising that backpackers manage to tear themselves away from these comfortable resting places and forge through unfamiliar terrain just to reach their next destination.

What makes a specific campsite stand out from the rest? It depends really, on the clients’ tastes and preferences, but generally, the quality of European campsites are judged based on basic standards. The camps should always run smoothly and efficiently. The grounds and the facilities should be well maintained and the management should always make sure that the sanitation and washing facilities or equipment are functioning properly.

It would matter too if the campsite had its own outdoor and indoor swimming pools, waterslides, and jacuzzis. Other more upscale camps even have recreation areas not just for adults but for kids as well. Some camps have game rooms, tennis courts, and kiddie play areas. In addition to these, some even have bars, shops and restaurants (complete with waiters and full course menus) located within the confines of their compound.

Good campsites should also be versatile. Clients and guests vary depending on the season. During the peak season, they should be able to address the needs of their teenage guests. When it’s the non-peak season, the same campsites should be able to provide for the needs of families and toddlers too. Naturally, there are some sites which target only a specific age group. If you come across one, don’t just brush them off. These campsites are no less desirable than campsites that reach out to a larger market. Since they are market specific, they may have more facilities that would meet your needs.

It would be difficult to actually recommend one specific campsite for backpackers as these sites have different facilities, amenities and cater to different clientele. The quality and “star rating” of a campsite will depend entirely on you. Know what you want first and identify the facilities you need. Once you have determined these, it would be easier to pinpoint a campsite for you to stay in.

If you decide that you refuse to rough it out and opt to stay at one of these campsites during your backpacking adventure, you are more than welcome to do so. You can search for a listing of Europe’s top campsites over the internet.

Though you may come up with several camps and you may glean information from the camp directors or administrators themselves, don’t rely on these alone. Do additional research. Ask around, talk to friends, or visit backpacking forums and ask for advice. Remember that nothing beats the testimonials of those who have, at least once in their lives, stayed at these places. Because at the end of the day, the best campsite is not the one that has the most facilities or the most expensive rates — it is the one which makes you feel most comfortable and safe, and one that meets all your needs.