Washing in the wild or relaxing round the campsite pool?

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Where you chose to go and stay has a great impact on your holidays. A motorhome is an excellent tool as it allows you to get out in the wild, off the tourist routes.

Even if you want to stay in touch with civilisation a motorhome gives you the opportunity to stay in some fantastic locations.

Campsites vary widely some are in the most amazing situations, whether you want a beach holiday, mountain retreat, city break or even a Spa holiday, there is something to suit everyone.

With over 30,000 European campsites to choose from or put another way enough to sleep in a different one every night for the next 82 years, there really are campsites to suit every budget and taste. Large commercial campsites can have swimming pools, fitness centres, bars and restaurants with plenty of organised activities. There are even campsites that allow you to walk around with no clothes on.

At the opposite end of the scale there are thousands small farm camping sites, very similar to CL's in the UK.

Spain is Europe's most popular winter destination for both caravaners and motorhomers, this is mainly due to it being the warmest place to spend the winter. There are plenty of campsites open all year, those in the north tend to be around Barcelona, but there are plenty in Southern Spain. These campsites cater well for the long stay visitor. Villanova Park just south of Barcelona is one of our favourites, offering plenty of evening entertainment to ensure everyone gets to know each other (you're invited whether you stay one or one hundred nights). The facilities are excellent, both clean and modern. A bus leaves from reception to the local town and from there a train can be taken to Barcelona. All in all, very easy and convenient.

There is no need to limit yourself to campsites as there are over 6,000 camper-stops in Europe. You may have heard of 'aire de service' camper-stops in France, these are special places where motorhomes can stop for a few nights, dump and replenish water tanks often for free. There are also camper-stops in other European countries, a brilliant resource often in fantastic locations, but only available to motorhomes and camper vans.

Camper-stops vary from parking areas to gardens, farms, and sometimes even inside campsites. We have spent a very enjoyable tour through Tuscany staying in camper-stops completely for free. Many farms and vineyards offer this facility and some very enjoyable experiences can be had sampling local produce.

Finally the motorhome offers the chance to free-park, also known as 'free camping' or 'wild camping'. This is legal or tolerated in many European countries and can be liberating and truly identifies with the essence of motorhoming. Sometimes when you are in a rush, or awaiting a ferry, it gives an opportunity to stop without paying a campsite EUR20 to do so. In Norway we spent three days by a fjord enjoying the scenery and wildlife, the silence was deafening and only broken by sheep bells and the seven vehicles that drove past. In Spain and Sicily there are some excellent free-parking opportunities right on the beach. These are well known and widely used by motorhomers and tolerated by the police. Porto Paulo in Sicily is a favourite and one we never get bored of. You park in the harbour, and there is a bar, restaurant and shop is just a short walk away. There is a sandy beach one side and a rugged nature reserve to enjoy on the other, it doesn't get much better than this.

It can be very difficult to find the right campsite, camper-stop or know which countries allow or tolerate free-parking. The correct information is essential, although this can be difficult to find. When we first started we found it very hard, and even now we are constantly coming across new information. Chapter 6 of Go Motorhoming and Campervanning completely explains all the accommodation options, and provides contact details of the best campsite and camper-stop guide books, as well as information on how and where to free-park. Chapter 9 provides essential information on all European countries, where and when to visit and detailed information on campsites, camper stops and free-parking in that country. When new information is found it will be undated on the website. We would appreciate readers updating any information on the website too. If you have any questions please contact us.