Despite winter’s frosty return just around the corner, you shouldn’t be thinking about quiet nights with your feet up in front of the TV and fire blazing.
Yes, the Christmas films will soon be doing the rounds, and there’s much to plan and get excited about over the festive period. However, this time of year is perfect for a camping retreat both at home and abroad.
Whether you’re into winter sports such as skiing, ice climbing and rambling or would prefer wrapping up warm for a guided tour of beautiful scenery and culture, winter camping offers a wealth of opportunities.
What’s more, there are some fantastic destinations to visit all over Europe. Let’s look at five regions perfect for your Christmas and New Year camping this winter.
The Swiss Alps
The Swiss Alps
The Swiss Alps have long been a beloved destination for winter campers, and their allure is enduring. This breathtaking region beckons visitors with abundant experiences, catering to various interests and preferences.
For adventure seekers, the Swiss Alps offer an adrenaline-packed playground. Skiers and snowboarders can carve their way down the pristine slopes, experiencing the exhilaration of speed and skill. Ice climbing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling are just a few of the thrilling options available for those who crave excitement in the crisp mountain air.
Yet, the Swiss Alps are not solely for the thrill-seekers. The tranquil beauty of the snow-covered landscapes provides a serene backdrop for those looking for a more relaxing vacation. Picture yourself sipping a cup of hot chocolate by a cosy fireplace in a picturesque chalet or taking a leisurely stroll through the charming alpine villages, each a postcard-perfect gem. The mesmerizing views of snow-capped peaks and frozen lakes create an idyllic atmosphere for unwinding and reconnecting with nature.
Austria is a year-round paradise for campers. However, it's during the winter season when the nation truly comes alive with tourism, casting a captivating spell on visitors. With its enchanting landscapes and world-renowned ski slopes, Austria provides a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the Christmas and New Year period.
The winter wonderland of Austria is a realm of scenic beauty that seems straight out of a fairy tale. Majestic snow-covered peaks, dense alpine forests, and pristine lakes create a picturesque backdrop that's nothing short of breathtaking. The crisp, cold air promises adventure and a sense of serenity that is a welcome respite from the urban chaos.
What truly sets Austria apart during the winter season is its legendary ski culture. The country is celebrated for its exceptional ski resorts, where visitors can enjoy the joy of gliding down immaculate slopes. From beginners to seasoned experts, there's a run for everyone. Austria's well-groomed pistes and state-of-the-art facilities make it an ideal destination for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts.
The small and charming principality of Liechtenstein lies nestled between Switzerland and Austria. It may not be as renowned as its larger neighbours, but it offers a unique and delightful winter experience for those seeking a more intimate and less crowded destination.
Winter in Liechtenstein transforms this tiny country into a picturesque wonderland. The snow-draped landscapes, framed by the Rhine Valley and the dramatic Alps, create a postcard-perfect setting that will captivate your heart.
While Liechtenstein may not have the extensive ski resorts of its neighbouring countries, it makes up for it with its cross-country skiing trails, snowshoeing paths, and winter hiking routes. These activities allow you to explore the pristine alpine scenery at your own pace, away from the bustling crowds often found at larger ski destinations.
The Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in southwestern France is a region that offers a captivating winter experience with a distinct blend of coastal beauty, mountain landscapes, and Basque culture. While it might not be as well-known as some other winter destinations, it has its own unique charm and a variety of activities to enjoy during the colder months.
The coastal areas of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, including St. Jean de Luz, are known for their rugged beauty. Even in winter, the dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches, and picturesque harbours offer a serene backdrop for coastal walks and taking in the crisp sea air. The region's mild winter climate allows for pleasant seaside strolls.
The nearby Pyrénées Mountains provide excellent opportunities for winter sports and outdoor activities. Whether you enjoy skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing, there are resorts and trails in the area to accommodate winter sports enthusiasts.
While Norfolk may not be known for extreme winter sports or dramatic snowscapes, Norfolk offers a unique and cosy experience perfect for those seeking a more relaxed and tranquil winter getaway. When the colder months arrive, Norfolk transforms into a serene and enchanting winter destination.
One of the highlights of winter in Norfolk is its stunning coastline. The North Norfolk coast is known for its expansive sandy beaches, salt marshes, and impressive coastal dunes. During the winter season, these natural wonders take on a different charm as they are often less crowded. Bracing walks along the beach, with the sound of waves crashing and the brisk sea breeze, can be refreshing and rejuvenating.
Norfolk's countryside is a patchwork of fields, woodlands, and quaint villages, which are particularly charming during the winter season. The region's historic market towns, such as Norwich and King's Lynn, offer a delightful atmosphere for exploring the local culture, shopping for unique gifts, and enjoying traditional British pubs.
Rob has been involved in the leisure industry since completing a BTEC in Travel & Tourism in 1993. Previous roles have included the promotion of tourism in Yorkshire and running a motorcycle touring company in the Australian Outback.
He is the General Manager at Alan Rogers Travel Group, responsible for the ongoing development of the Alan Rogers website and the publication of the Alan Rogers Guides and 'Destinations' magazine.
He regularly travels with his wife and young daughter in their Dethleffs 'Campy' caravan. A keen cycling fan, Rob can often be found in a field in Belgium during the 'Spring Classics' season or riding his Royal Enfield Himalayan motorcycle.
Can you point to Europe’s only desert on a map? Do you know where you can stand with your feet in the snow while looking at Africa? Guess where you can find castle-crusted crags, stranded in time, yet only an hour’s drive from bustling seaside resorts? Fancy skiing this morning, followed by a dip in the sea this afternoon?