Europe is a treasure trove of stunning landscapes, rich history, and diverse cultures. While many travellers flock to popular destinations like France, Italy, and Spain, there are countless lesser-known spots that offer unique camping experiences.
Choosing to camp in lesser-known destinations has several advantages. These areas often offer a more authentic experience, away from the tourist crowds. You'll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in local culture, enjoy untouched natural beauty, and discover unique attractions. Additionally, camping in these areas can often be more cost-effective, as campsite fees and local prices are generally lower than in more popular areas.
Nestled on the eastern Baltic coast, it is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts with activities ranging from tranquil walks and boating to thrilling skiing and wakeboarding. The capital, Riga, is a delightful fusion of medieval and art nouveau architectural styles. For campers, Latvia offers several enticing options:
Lithuania, relatively untouched by mass tourism, boasts undulating landscapes interspersed with mixed forests, wetlands, and many lakes, making it a paradise for walking and cycling. The renowned Curonian Spit, with its mesmerising dunes and beautiful waters, is a must-visit for beach lovers. Some of the notable campsites include:
Estonia seamlessly blends the urban grandeur and vibrant nightlife of cities like Tallinn and Tartu with the untamed beauty of national parks such as Lahemaa. With meteorite craters to explore, ancient limestone cliffs to marvel at, and the opportunity to canoe through the forests of Soomaa National Park during the springtime thaw, Estonia is a camper's dream. Some of the standout campsites include:
A hidden gem among holiday destinations offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. Known as the "green heart of Europe," Slovenia offers stunning landscapes, including Lake Bled and Triglav National Park. Over half of the country is forested, making it a paradise for campers seeking a wild and authentic experience. Slovenia's diverse range of plant and animal life, extensive woodlands, and mountain areas create a stunning backdrop for various outdoor activities, including walking, cycling, rafting, and kayaking.
The country's karst cave systems, particularly the Postojna and Škocjan Caves, are a must-visit. These sprawling labyrinths of echoing chambers and passageways feature remarkable stalactite formations and are a testament to the country's geological wonders. Towns like Piran and Kobarid offer insights into Slovenia's long history, and the vibrant capital, Ljubljana, is known for its colourful central market, beautiful architecture, and impressive castle.
When it comes to camping in Hungary, two sites stand out for their unique offerings: Koppany Pines Camping and Balatontourist Camping Berény Naturist. Each provides a distinct camping experience, catering to different preferences and interests.
Bulgaria, a country renowned for its affordable and exciting adventures, offers a stunning blend of scenic landscapes, delectable cuisine, and a wealth of cultural attractions. The country is an ideal destination for a caravan or motorhome holiday, allowing you to explore its diverse offerings at your own pace.
From the sun-kissed beaches of the Black Sea coast to the snow-capped peaks of the Balkan Mountains, Bulgaria has something for every traveller. The capital city, Sofia, is a popular tourist destination teeming with rich history and culture. Visitors can explore the ancient Roman ruins of Serdica, marvel at the stunning St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, or stroll through the beautiful Vitosha Mountain National Park, located just outside the city.
Food enthusiasts will be delighted by Sofia's vibrant food scene, which offers traditional Bulgarian dishes such as banitsa (a cheese-filled pastry), kyufte (meatballs), and tarator (a refreshing cold soup).
Steeped in history and folklore, Romania is a captivating destination for campers. From the legendary Transylvanian region, home to the infamous Dracula's Castle, to the bustling capital city of Bucharest, Romania offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness.
The country's diverse landscape, with its fertile plains, meandering rivers, and majestic mountains, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Bucharest, known for its impressive architecture, visual arts, and music, is a must-visit for cultural vultures.
Research: Research the area, local customs, and regulations before you go.
Respect Nature: These areas are often less touched by tourism, so it's important to respect nature and leave no trace.
Be Flexible: Lesser-known areas may have different amenities than popular tourist spots, so be prepared to be flexible and adaptable.
Learn Basic Local Phrases: Knowing how to say "hello," "thank you," and "where is the campsite" can go a long way. Take a look at our Guide to Learning Language Basics.
Duolingo offers language courses in Romanian and Hungarian. For other languages, why not pick up a phrase book?
Embrace the Unknown: Part of the charm of these destinations is their lack of fame, so embrace the adventure and enjoy discovering something new.
Camping in Europe's lesser-known destinations offers the chance to escape the crowds and experience a different side of Europe. Whether you're drawn to the untouched nature of the Baltic States, Slovenia's green landscapes, or Eastern Europe's cultural richness, these destinations offer unique experiences that will enrich your camping adventures. So why not take the road less travelled on your next camping trip?
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We will be covering 452 of Europe's UNESCO sites over four blogs; sorted into northern, southern, western and central/eastern Europe starting with the northern states. We hope to inspire more people to visit more UNESCO sites when travelling.