Are you looking to venture out of the UK for a campervan trip of a lifetime? Motorhome Protect shares the best routes to head across Europe in your home on wheels.
The UK is full of incredible destinations to take your camper, but sometimes you want to explore somewhere new. Venturing to Europe in your vehicle gives you the choice of hundreds more holiday spots to visit for the perfect getaway on wheels.
With such an array of places to see and things to do in the continent, you might have a hard time deciding where to go. Don’t fret!
We’ve narrowed it down to the 12 best routes to drive your camper through Europe. Whether you’re looking for a chilled surfing holiday or prefer hiking in the mountains, you’ll find it here.
Before you set off, don’t forget to arm yourself with campervan insurance in the UK that covers you across Europe. Not only is it required by law, but coverage protects your vehicle in case of an accident, damage, or theft.
Which route will you choose?
WILD ATLANTIC WAY, IRELAND
- Distance: 1,600 miles
- Time: 2 weeks (Short version in 5-7 days)
- Highlight: Driving along the atmospheric coastal road and watching the waves crash against the rocks.
If you want your first European trip to be closer to home, you can’t get much more picturesque than this famous driving route across Ireland.
For those with less time, you can do a shorter version starting in Dublin in 5-7 days. If you want to take it slow and spend a night at each spot along the way, it’s best to do it over a leisurely 2 weeks.
The full trip is 1,600 miles long and takes you all the way from County Donegal to County Cork. Expect to see some of the most beautiful sights the Irish coast has to offer, including Slea Head, the Cliffs of Moher, King John’s Castle, and Skellig’s View.
TRANSFĂGĂRĂȘAN HIGHWAY, ROMANIA
- Distance: 94 miles
- Time: 1-7 days
- Highlight: Watching and listening to the Balea Waterfall cascade down the mountain.
This epic highway takes you twisting and turning through luscious green landscapes and rolling Carpathian Mountains, providing some of the most picturesque views imaginable along the way.
You can drive the length in a day, but if you have the time, we recommend stopping off on route to enjoy the sights and go for hikes through the stunning scenery.
Make sure you have time to stop at the Balea Waterfall and Lake, Vidraru Dam, and Poenari Citadel. Be careful when driving through the Capra Tunnel if it’s raining as it can get slippery. Take the road slowly or you could be claiming on your campervan insurance in the UK upon your return.
THE RING ROAD, ICELAND
- Distance: 828 miles
- Time: 7-14 days
- Highlight: The variety of terrain and natural beauty in the Land of Fire and Ice.
One of the most incredible ways to see Iceland is on its ring road in your camper. The route takes you around the entire perimeter of the country in as little as a week while you witness some of the most breath-taking natural sights you can imagine.
There are so many places to stop along the way, but we recommend making time for Skogafoss, Diamond Beach, and Vatnajokull Glacier.
The speed limit is 55mph along most of the Ring Road, and the surface can become snowy and icy in colder months, making it harder to drive. If you’re going to travel at this time of year, give yourself more time to avoid accidents and claiming on your campervan insurance in the UK.
THE FRENCH RIVIERA, FRANCE
- Distance: 550 miles
- Time: 1 week
- Highlight: Wandering barefoot along the glistening sand as the sun goes down on any one of the French Riviera’s stunning beaches.
From the chilliness of Iceland, we head to the warm and sunny French Riviera in the South of France. Travelling through the romantic scenery is one of the best ways to see some of Europe's prettiest cities on a budget.
In a jam packed 7 days on the road, you can visit Nice, Cannes, Monaco, Antibes, and Côte d'Azur, stopping off at some incredibly picturesque lookouts over the beautiful blue sea and sandy beaches.
Art and culture fanatics will feel at home here, and campers who love to explore will delight in the charming villages and towns dotted about.
AMSTERDAM TO BRUGES, NETHERLANDS AND BELGIUM
- Distance: 206 miles
- Time: 3 days
- Highlight: Touring the Hague by boat on the canal.
Why stick to one gorgeous country in Europe when you can do two in just a few days? The beauty of EU countries being so close together gives campers this luxury, and there aren’t many more stunning routes than Amsterdam to Bruges.
Along the way you can make stops at The Hague, Scheveningen Beach, and Brussels to see the best of both nations. Tour the canals in The Netherlands and explore mediaeval architecture in Bruges.
Don’t forget to check your campervan insurance in the UK covers you across Europe if you’re visiting a variety of places. Motorhome Protect can help find you a policy with unlimited cover across the EU.
LA ROUTE DES GRANDE ALPES, SWITZERLAND
- Distance: 383 miles
- Time: 7-8 days
- Highlight: Watching the scenery change as you head from the mountains to the coast.
This route is officially called D902 and is a wonderful way to observe the contrast in lifestyles of those who live in the mountains compared to by the coast. You begin in Thonon-les-Bains and end up by the Mediterranean in Menton.
You can do the trip in 7 days, but if you have the time, we recommend taking your bike and doing a few more. You’ll encounter various mountain passes that make up the Tour de France, and get the chance to enjoy a host of activities on your trip like skiing and water sports.
There are plenty of historical sites, national parks, and UNESCO World Heritage sites to keep you busy along the way. If you like action-packed campervanning holidays, this is the route for you.
THE ALGARVE COAST, PORTUGAL
- Distance: 56 miles
- Time: 1-7 days
- Highlight: Swimming in the crystal-clear waters off the coast.
One of the most budget-friendly but equally spectacular places to visit in your campervan is The Algarve in Portugal. There are so many glorious beaches to stop at along the way, each with an excellent array of local cuisine to try some delicious seafood and spice.
The best route to travel along takes you from Lagos to Faro, but if you have more time, head on over to Seville in Spain to make the most of your Euro camping trip.
The trip might be short, but with so much relaxing to be had, you can easily spend a week lying on the beaches or swimming in the sea. Don’t forget to make sure your campervan insurance in the UK and Europe includes cover for your personal effects, especially if you’re taking a lot with you.
THE FAIRYTALE ROAD, GERMANY
- Distance: 373 miles
- Time: 6 days
- Highlight: Visiting the sites of many classic fairytales and seeing the Brothers Grimm’s inspiration.
Travelling along this quiet countryside road is the best way to see Germany’s natural beauty, which is often missed when visiting the larger cities. The tour starts in Hanau, the Brothers Grimm’s birthplace, near Frankfurt and takes you to Bremen.
There are so many mystical places to stop along the way, including Steinau, Hamelin, and Gottingen that hold abundant charm and intrigue, enticing you in to explore every nook and cranny. You really will feel like you’re in a fairytale full of goblins, fairies, and other mythical creatures!
If you have longer and want to head even further in your home on wheels, it’s easy to keep going to Hamburg or even into Denmark.
BILBAO TO BORDEAUX, SPAIN AND FRANCE
- Distance: 209 miles
- Time: 1 week
- Highlight: Spending an evening at a restaurant in the Bay of Biscay, enjoying some spectacular seafood and wine.
For surfing and water sports year-round, this is the ideal campervan route. Start in Bilbao and head to San Sebastian to enjoy all the action on the water before heading up into the Pyrenees or continue along the Bay of Biscay to savour some of the best seafood around.
Spend some time in Biarritz and hang out with fellow surfers in Hossegor. Towards the end of the week, make your way to Bordeaux for boulevards laden with quaint French cafes and restaurants for a well-deserved coffee or glass of world class wine.
Although you’ll be visiting some swanky places along the way, there are plenty of budget coastal campsites to spend the evenings basking in the warmth after a day at the beach.
ATHENS TO DELPHI, GREECE
- Distance: 214 miles
- Time: 5-10 days
- Highlight: Witnessing centuries-old history amidst the hustle and bustle of the modern world.
For the perfect blend of mythical history and white sandy beaches, we recommend this classic route in Greece. Fans of the action-packed films 300 and Troy will love the coastal scenery, and sun-worshippers will enjoy the warm rays beating down throughout the day.
Drive through mystical mountains to visit Kórinthos and Mycenae before heading to the seaside resort of Nafplio. Visit ancient sporting grounds in Olympia and ruins in Delphi before looping back to Athens.
If you have the time, take 10 days to enjoy relaxing, eating delicious Greek cuisine, and visiting the historical sites. The trip can be done over a long weekend, if necessary, but you’ll be yearning to come back and do it all again in no time.
ATLANTIC ROADWAY, NORWAY
- Distance: 190 miles
- Time: 4 days
- Highlight: Looking out at the 222 mountain peaks from Molde Panorama.
The Atlantic Roadway itself is only 5 miles long, but that hasn't stopped it from earning the title, ‘the world’s most beautiful drive’. To stretch out your road trip and turn it into a holiday, we suggest driving from Åndalsnes to Oppdal to enjoy all that this incredible country has to offer.
Along this route, you’ll witness some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet, stopping at lookouts, museums, churches, and dedicated hiking trails. You can even try to spot some reindeer on a chilly safari when your journey comes to an end.
Before you head here on a camping trip of a lifetime, check the roads are open. As it’s so cold during many months of the year, they do close to prevent accidents. The last thing you want on holiday is to be returning home and claiming on your campervan insurance in the UK.
PARIS TO BERLIN, FRANCE, LUXEMBOURG, AND GERMANY
- Distance: 655 miles
- Time: 1-2 weeks
- Highlight: Enjoying an exquisite glass of wine in mediaeval Bacharach in the heart of Riesling country.
If you love visiting famous cities buzzing with locals and tourists alike, take the road from Paris to Berlin. Start in the romantic capital of France before heading through the country’s hills into quaint Luxembourg City.
You’ll soon be in Germany where you can stop off in Heidelberg, Nuremberg, Leipzig, and Dresden, before arriving at your destination in Berlin, one of Europe’s coolest cities.
Along the way you can expect to come across Roman baths, winding riverside streets, industrial heritage sites, impressive palaces, glorious gardens, and historical town centres. There’s certainly plenty to keep you busy on this route!
4 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF WHEN TOURING EUROPE IN A CAMPERVAN
If you’re still unsure where to head on your European road trip, we have a few questions to ask yourself that might help you decide.
Which countries will you visit?
You need to carefully consider where you’re travelling as many countries have different regulations when it comes to what needs to be on board your camper. If you’re hoping for less holiday prep before you go, choose destinations with similar laws for campervanning.
Will you be wild camping?
While wild camping in the UK is not so common, it’s a little different with our European neighbours. In most places you can wild camp in many spots, and Norway and Sweden even encourage it. Just check the local rules before you decide.
How long will you go for?
The longer you travel for, the more stuff you’ll need to take with you. You also need to make sure your campervan insurance in the UK and Europe covers you for the duration of your trip and that you have enough gas and water to last you for each leg of the journey that doesn’t have them readily available to top up.
You’ll notice some of our top routes can be done in as little as a day, while others require over a week to complete, which can affect your final decision. You’ll also need to consider how much each day on the road is going to cost you, which leads us nicely onto our last question.
What’s your budget?
If you’re hoping to tour the best of Europe on as small a budget as possible, look for places to wild camp and consider cooking in your camper most evenings. There are also some destinations that generally cost a lot less to visit than others, with Portugal being one of the most budget-friendly on our list.
Don’t forget to factor in ferries, days out, and campervan insurance in the UK that includes unlimited cover across the EU.
CHECKLIST FOR DRIVING YOUR CAMPERVAN IN EUROPE
You’ve decided where you want to take your campervan across Europe and are ready to get planning. It’s not only the route you need to take care of, though. There’s a bit of paperwork and things you need to have in place before crossing the sea into the EU.
Spend a day checking you have everything you need in the few weeks before you leave. It might seem dull, but it could save you a headache if you ever need to produce paperwork when you’re away.
Use our handy checklist below to tick things off as you go:
- Up-to-date campervan insurance in the UK that covers your vehicle and personal effects across the EU. Make sure you have evidence of this to show if necessary.
- A passport with at least three months remaining validity on your intended date of return to the UK. UK citizens do not need a passport for travelling to Ireland.
- A valid UK driver’s licence. This allows you to drive across the EU. If you only have a paper licence, you need to get an International Driving Permit. You can check if you need one on the Gov.uk site.
- A UK sticker displayed on the rear of your campervan unless you have a new UK number plate with the Union Flag on it. If you’re going to Spain, you will need the UK sticker even if you have the new style number plate.
- Headlights that have been adapted to drive on the right.
- A Global or European Health Insurance Card (GHIC or EHIC), which you can get from the NHS This isn’t a necessity but it’s free and could come in handy in an emergency.
- Travel insurance that can cover you for any disruptions to travel plans, visits to the hospital, and personal effects.
- Any specific items that the countries you are visiting require you to carry.
- An Animal Health Certificate if you’re taking your pet with you. You can also apply for this on Gov.uk.
PROTECTION FOR YOUR HOME ON WHEELS ACROSS EUROPE
At Motorhome Protect, we understand what a big investment your campervan is and that you want to protect it against damage and theft here in the UK and while overseas in Europe.
That’s why our dedicated team can help you find the right policy based on your personal preferences, including:
- Cover for your home on wheels up to £120,000
- Cover for your personal effects up to £3,500
- Unlimited EU cover
- Special offers if you’re a club member
For campervan insurance in the UK and unlimited cover across Europe, contact the team at Motorhome Protect today for a quick quote.