There are plenty of awful campsites across Europe – more about them later – but for now, here is a list of the quality ones we found.
Chosen by virtue of their setting, value-for-money and, yes, the state of the showers. I will post website links where I can find them.
1 – After crossing the Col d’Izoard mountain pass we dropped down into Arvieux and stumbled across a campsite called Le Planet. It’s nestled at the foot of some big, steep sided crags and boasts its own man-made lake which you can take a dip in. The ground is uneven and even rocky in places but there are some cool, shaded spots among the trees. It cost us just under 13 euros for the night. Beer, though a bit pricey, is available from a fridge in the admin hut.
2 – Location is everything when camper-vanning. It doesn’t get much better than a spot right next to Lake Garda in northern Italy. There are lots of sites which dot the lakeside but we plumped for a campsite called Villaggio Vo in Desenzano. It’s a hotspot for tourism and so it ain’t cheap – we paid just under 30 euros for the night. Probably best to avoid August.
3 – Do you like your campsites as cheap as chips? Then head to France and seek out the municipal sites. Our favourite was at Ribeauville on the Alsace wine route. The site, called Camping de 3 Chateaux, cost us less than five euro a night – no wonder we stayed for five nights! It costs another euro for a shower and the block is basic but you will have forgotten this when you see the town, just a 10 minute walk away.
4 – A Dutch lady sculptor called Barbara, whom we met on a dusty campsite near Milan, urged us to visit Punta Sabbioni, near Venice. It’s a bit off the beaten track but was worth it thanks to a great little site called Camping Mose. The shower block gets 10/10. The beach is a walk away. The on-site bar serves wine at one euro for a big ‘un; maybe the barman has been fired for this over-generous offer. The area is studded with pillboxes from the last war and is a wildlife haven. Cost us about 15 euro a night and we stopped 3 nights.