Is wild camping allowed in Europe?

Close your laptop, lock the front door, get into your camper or motorhome, and leave the stress behind. But camping sites are out of the question for you, you want to become one with nature, and not stand between other campers, listen to birds chirping, instead of camp neighbors music. You want to camp in the wild or stand free with your camper, but you are not sure, what the rules are in the country you want to visit, and of course, you have some questions.

Can I pitch my tent wherever I want?

Can I stand free with my camper or motorhome?

What happens if I get caught?

Are there loopholes and grey areas?

Where can I find places for wild camping?

What else can I expect in this country?

The answers to these questions depend on where you want to travel. There are three possibilities when it comes to wild camping: forbidden, tolerated, or allowed. Every country has exceptions and peculiarities. But don't worry, pick your country, and you'll get all the answers.

Camping with the van
Camping with the van
Wild camping in Europe
Wild camping in Europe

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Breaking news and information about wild camping and free camping in Europe

Here you get the latest news about wild camping in Europe. We try to provide you with the most relevant information in a short and concise way so that you know what you have to prepare for when traveling.

Tips and tricks for wild camping

On the country pages, you can find out whether wild camping and standing free is allowed in your country, or which loopholes you can use to spend a night in the great outdoors, without getting in trouble. But no matter which country you travel to, two things are always valid: Be considerate of other campers and nature, and there are easy ways to see if a new unlisted pitch is suitable for you. Since you are of course environmentally aware, and always take your garbage with you, we won't talk about the first point here and rather give you tips on how to recognize a suitable pitch.

Cleanliness of the pitch
The best sign of a good pitch is its cleanliness. If you are considering whether the pitch you have just discovered is suitable for wild camping, look at the ground. A lot of cigarette butts, empty bottles, or shards can be an indication that the place is visited by other people, and you are not as alone, as you might think.

Look out for traces on the pitch
If you have found a pitch with several tire tracks, the place is probably visited by teenagers for various driving exercises. If you are in the forest and see tire tracks in the mud or something similar, you may be visited by friendly cyclists or motorcyclists in the morning.

Look in the trash can if there is one nearby
A trash can near your pitch is a sign that people stop here now and then to use it. But that is not a problem in itself. If you look in the trash can and only find things like diapers or tissues, that's a good sign, because it suggests that the place is visited during the day. However, finding a lot of alcohol bottles or fast food packaging is an indication that the place is visited more often.

Take a look at the surrounding area
Park your car and stretch your legs first. Take a little walk and take a look at the surroundings of your potential pitch. Make sure whether one of the points already mentioned applies to the surroundings. If there are signs of people visiting the area five or ten meters away from your pitch, they will probably see you.

By the way: If you are not sure whether you can drive your vehicle in your target country without problems, or if you need an environmental sticker, you should check the App Green-Zones. You can find information about green zones in many different countries. You can get more information at www.green-zones.eu.

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10 interesting, bizarre and funny facts about Europe

Everyone who paid attention in school, and has a good memory, knows the highest mountain in Europe. Mont Blanc, of course. The longest river? The Volga. But which campsite is the highest? Which site has the largest beach? We have the answers and eight more interesting facts about camping in Europe.

Fact #1 - High up
The highest campsite in Europe is Camping Pont Breuil, in the Italian Valle d'Aosta, at 2,000 meters above sea level.

Fact #2 - Hygiene
The nudist camping Valalta in Croatia has the most sanitary buildings for a campsite, with 19 facilities.

Fact #3 - Beach
Camping Marina di Venezia on the Adriatic Sea has the largest beach with about 240,000 square meters.

Fact #4 - Pool
Thermál Camping (Hajdúszoboszló) in Hungary has the largest pool and thermal spa area, with almost 64,000 square meters of water area.

Fact #5 - Camper
In 2017, Europeans camped for almost 410 million nights, so 4 out of 5 camped for one night last year.

Fact #6 - Coast
Europe has a coastline of 37,000 kilometers, sufficient distance to travel, camp, and jump into the water.

Fact #7 - Registrations
Almost 200,000 new motorhomes and caravans registered in Europe in 2017. This does not include converted vehicles.

Fact #8 - Fair
The world's largest fair for camping and caravanning is the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, with over 250,000 visitors from 75 countries.

Fact #9 - Luxury
The most expensive mass-produced motorhome in the world is the eleMMent PALAZZO. It is manufactured in Austria and costs 2.2 million €.

Fact #10 - Speed
The fastest motorhome in the world comes from Germany. It is a converted VW T5 and reaches about 270 km/h.

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