We may live in a technological age, but the great outdoors are as popular a holiday choice as ever. Maybe even more so, since there’s nothing quite like getting outside our growing cities to remind us what came before. So, if you’re looking to spend some time in nature, allow us to present some wild experiences still available within Europe.
1. Camping Lindenhof, Seeland, Switzerland
The waterways, vineyards and wooded mountains around this family-run site in Switzerland offer a chance to experience its landscape before it became so popular with tourists.
And, set in a unique lakeside spot, Camping Lindenhof is a perfect base to meander with the rivers and hike the hills. The natural, national treasure, the Creux du Van – a stunning canyon – is also within walking distance. Closer to home, adjoining the site (and under the same management) is a farm with its own cherry orchard.
The whole enterprise is one of only five locations in the country certified as an eco-camping destination.
2. Campsite Nature Ferie, Hals, Denmark
Boasting a private beach for its guests, this small but largely self-sufficient site is geared toward travellers of all types – but especially cyclists, since it’s stationed on the Danish National Cycle Route Number 5. For those without wheels, hiking maps of the local area are also available, and even canoes can be hired nearby for coastal exploration.
Or, to connect with the locals, fishing villages, markets and even a former Bishop’s castle are dotted through the area. Back at base, the camp offers fresh bread each morning, plus produce from both their kitchen garden and resident hens.
3. Campingplatz Hopfensee, Bavaria, Germany
Pitched closer to the edge of civilisation, what this five-star camp lacks in wilderness, it makes up for with facilities and convenience. There are pools for adults and children, and a huge indoor games centre for football, basketball and table tennis – it even has a climbing wall!
But it really comes into its own as a site for winter camping – offering sleigh rides, a ski academy, and cleared winter hiking trails through snow-covered forests. Back indoors, saunas and a spa will get you warm again. If you want to go on a road trip, it’s well worth seeing the beautiful town of Füssen and the magnificent Neuschwanstein Castle – both are very close by.
4. Vampire Camping, Bran, Romania
For a very different – and possibly unique – experience, head into Transylvania, the heart of Europe mythologised by generations of horror writers. You’ll find all the Gothic hallmarks you need to stir your imagination – with forbidding mountains, creepy caves, a monastery, a castle and the imposing Black Church of Brasov.
All this surrounded by virgin forests, bountiful wildlife and a nearby bear sanctuary set in an oak and hazel forest. The onsite bar even offers specially-branded Vampire Wine, for those who like a glass of red…
Wherever you wander, it’s worth spending a little time online before setting off. In the modern world, no campsite is an island, and knowing what else is in the region will provide options for rainy days, especially. Because nature’s great, but a trip to a well-reviewed restaurant might prove preferable to being immersed in a storm. Any which way – happy trails!