Holidays abroad have been increasing in popularity every year and Europe accounts for 80% of foreign travel.
With 18.13 million visitors from the UK in 2019, it’s no surprise that sunny Spain has been the top holiday destination since 1994. France comes second, with 10.35 million and then Italy with 5.11 million visitors.
Why Visit A Holiday Park In Europe?
The Eurotunnel has broadened our holiday horizons and made taking your car, caravan, or trailer tent to Europe much easier.
It’s 528 miles to La Pointe, a 3-star campsite in a beautiful historic location in southern Brittany, and it’s 541 to Deeside Holiday Park in the spectacular Cairngorms, North East Scotland. You can go hiking and salmon fishing in both places.
It seems that apart from the weather, we like to venture abroad now just because we can!
A European camping holiday is an adventure, exploring new terrain, learning about new cultures, and sampling continental food and wines.
From Folkestone to Calais in 35 minutes with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, crossing the Channel has never been easier. With no fuel supplements or baggage restrictions, 1 ticket covers up to 9 passengers Eurotunnel Le Shuttle accepts motorhomes, caravans and other recreational vehicles which are fitted with LPG tanks used for powering domestic services only (e.g., refrigeration, cooking, heating).
Alternative options for travelling to Europe are via the Channel ports or the Eurotunnel, a drive of around 90 minutes, or by ferry from Portsmouth or Poole to the Brittany ports which takes about 5 hours.
If you´re heading for Spain, the ferry from Portsmouth or Plymouth to Santander or Bilbao on the north coast of Spain takes 24 hours.
Post Brexit, you do not need a visa for travelling to Europe for up to 90 days.
Each country has its own traffic and driving regulations, so check your destination requirements before you set off. When driving in Europe, there are a few compulsory items to take with you:
- Emergency pack to include a breathalyser
- GB stickers or EU number plates
- Headlight converters
- Warning triangle
- High visibility vests
- Car/motorhome/caravan insurance certificates
- Car/motorhome/caravan V5C (logbook)
- Driving licence and passport (and visa if required)
Insurance For Caravans In Europe
Make sure you are covered for the trip by a reputable insurer who understands the type of protection caravanners require both at home and abroad. Read the small print and shop around for the best European holiday cover.
As a starting point, check out the award-winning 5 Star Defaqto-rated Touring Caravan Insurance from Club Care.
Taking Pets To Europe
To travel within the European Union, dogs and cats must have a microchip, passport, and anti-rabies vaccination, and comply with the laws of each individual country. Most vets will be happy to assist in the process to obtain a pet passport and will be able to guide you through the steps necessary.
Now, lets head for Spain, the top European holiday destination.
Among the many reasons why people love camping and caravanning is the opportunity to spend time outdoors, in beautiful natural surroundings. While Brits never let a drop of rain get in the way of a good time, a country like Spain with 3000 hours of sunshine each year is very appealing.
Although holidaymakers flock to Spain for the sun, it’s worth bearing in mind that relentless heat with temperatures rising above 40C is not everyone’s idea of fun, especially if you’re heading south to the Costa Del Sol.
If you want to go exploring, cycling or on an activity holiday, you might consider spring and autumn for the mildest temperatures. You’ll still need your sunglasses in October in Spain.
More than sun, sand, and sangria
A staggering 12 million Brits head to Spain every year, second only to France as the European holiday destination of choice. One of the main advantages of camping and caravanning in Spain is that your experience of this extraordinary country is not limited to a week or two on a beautiful, but usually crowded beach at a resort which is often more English than Spanish in terms of food and entertainment.
British holidaymakers tend to opt for a traditional resort- based holiday soaking up the sun in places like Benidorm, rather than visiting Spain’s glorious national parks or exploring the diverse coastline, rugged and wild rocky shores in the north, secluded pristine beaches and nature reserves in the south-west, or fabulous, beautiful historic cities such as Seville, Granada, or Valencia. Camping gives you the freedom to get to know Spain.
For wild unspoilt natural beauty, incredible landscapes, Spain’s national parks such as the Parque Nacional de Monfrague and Sierra de Aracena in Aragon, close to the French border is home to Monte Perdido, the Lost Mountain which looms over dramatic glacial valleys. There is 156 sq km of incredible views, rivers and waterfalls with canoeing and rafting, in spectacular hiking country.
In the south, the Sierra Nevada, Spain’s largest park stretches 850sq km from Granada to the gorgeous valleys of the Alpujarras offering a huge range of activities including horse-riding, mountain biking and often skiing from late November.
In the south-west of Andalusia, you’ll find miles of pristine, empty beaches along a 75-mile coastline between historic Cadiz and Portugal, known as the Costa de Luz, the coast of light. The fabulous shores lie at the edge of Donana, one of Europe’s most beautiful and important national parks.
Find out more about holiday parks in Spain.
France has around 3,500km of coastline with vast stretches of sandy beaches, hidden bays, and charming fishing ports. Inland you’ll find mountains and alpine resorts, beautiful, scenic countryside, charming, unspoilt villages, and vibrant towns.
It’s easy to get there and the French love camping so there are more campsites than there are in the UK, fully equipped with a wider range of facilities.
Off-season prices can be as low as half price and the weather is often glorious in spring and autumn.
Although Spain and France top the list of holiday destinations for campers and caravanners, other European countries are growing in popularity:
Holland offers everything from a city break to an activity holiday, with high standard facilities.
There’s much more to camping in the Netherlands than tulips, clogs, and windmills, in fact, the whole country is crossed with canals and the mainly flat terrain is a haven for cyclists and walkers. There is a lot to see and do, from the stunning bulb fields and Keukenhof Gardens to the magical world of Efteling theme park, not to mention wonderful Amsterdam.
When camping in Belgium you can fill your days exploring castles and gardens, taking part in festivals and pageants, exploring enchanting villages and historic towns, or people watching a pavement café or by the pool. Famous for waffles, chocolate and beer, Belgium has some of Europe’s finest and most picturesque towns, villages, and countryside. Campsites in Belgium are the ideal base for visiting the cities of Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, and Brussels, famous for their art, architecture, and culture.
From the dramatic Alps and rolling vineyard-covered hills to the Mediterranean and Adriatic beaches, the Italian landscape is exquisitely beautiful and diverse. Caravan sites provide their own brand of regional hospitality and are famously family-friendly. Enjoy fabulous food on the idyllic shores of Lake Garda, soak up the romance in Venice or go sightseeing in Rome.
The main beach area is the sun-kissed Algarve with long stretches of golden sand, rocky coves for your perfect beach holiday. The lively capital, Lisbon is a must day out. Walkthrough the 16th-century Bairro Alto and explore St George’s Castle. Porto and Braga are well worth a visit too.
Germany is bordered by nine countries and has a wealth of culture for all tastes. Sweet treats, delicious cold meats and world-famous German lager and wine are all things to look forward to.
From vibrant cities and quaint towns to the peaceful countryside and towering mountain peaks, there are a host of high-quality campsites and reasons to go camping in Germany.
More than 2 million people visit Croatia each year to spend their camping holiday drawn by clean beaches, clear blue Adriatic seas, unspoilt natural surroundings, and of course, the sun.
Modern, well equipped, welcoming campsites, usually with their own beaches vary from small family-friendly locations to larger holiday parks boasting their own chalet apartments and mobile home facilities.
Off to Europe this year? Have a wonderful time. Don´t forget the teabags and remember to drive on the left!