While the “Vanlife” craze is taking off in North America, campervan journeys around Europe have been a popular way to see the continent at a low cost for years. Spend 1-2 weeks or a couple of months roaming Europe in a cozy campervan while taking in the beautiful landscapes that travelers often miss when sticking to the city streets.
10 Slovenia & Croatia
Slovenia is overlooked by many travelers in Europe in favor of nearby Croatia or Austria. However, Slovenia and Croatia together are the perfect route for a European road trip that offers beautiful historic cities and beaches on the Adriatic Sea. For a 10-14 campervan journey, pick up a vehicle in Dubrovnik and spend three days on the coast, appreciating the scenery and exploring filming locations for Game of Thrones. Then, drive north to Split and Zadar before continuing on to the scenic Plitvice Lakes National Park.
Cross the border into Slovenia and explore the Julian Alps and scenic Lake Bled. Rent a canoe in the early morning and paddle out to the center of the lake for the best views. Finally, explore the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana.
9 Transfăgărășan Highway, Romania
Romania doesn’t get a lot of attention from international travelers, but it should. This vast Eastern European country has a beautiful capital city but also expansive, lush green landscapes and highways that are easy to travel to. Rent a campervan for pickup at the Bucharest airport before embarking on the epic Transfăgărășan highway drive. This road takes travelers through the Carpathian Mountains. The road is nearly 100 km long and is one of the most iconic in Europe, twisting and turning through the rolling terrain of Romania. Along the way, plan to make stops at Balea Lake, Capra Tunnel, Vidraru Dam, and Poenari Citadel.
8 Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland
The Wild Atlantic Way is Ireland’s most famous driving route and can easily be driven in 5 days to 1 week, starting from Dublin. However, for travelers who want to take their time and spend more than one night at a destination along the way, turning this into a 2-week adventure is a more relaxing choice. The route is 2500 km from County Donegal to County Cork and takes travelers along the best sights of Ireland’s West Coast, including the Cliffs of Moher, Kylemore Abbey, and Slea Head.
7 The Fairy Tale Road, Germany
Germany is one of the largest countries by area in Western Europe, so exploring it in a campervan is a great way to see the natural beauty you’ll miss when sticking to cities like Berlin or Munich. Rent a campervan and drive the Fairy Tale Road in Germany, which starts in Frankfurt. The quiet road runs through the countryside and charming German towns like Steinau, Marburg, Kassel, Gottingen, Hamelin, and Bremen. From Bremen, travelers can easily continue onto Hamburg and venture north to Denmark.
6 The Ring Road, Iceland
Iceland’s Ring Road is the best drive in the country, taking travelers around the island’s perimeter in just 7-10 days. While it’s possible to do this trip in a rental car and book Airbnbs or hotels, choosing to do the journey in a campervan offers the flexibility to stop at any campsite along the way and stay immersed in the otherworldly landscapes of the Land of Fire and Ice. Top sights to see along the way include Skogafoss, Jökulsárlón Lagoon, and Diamond Beach.
5 The French Riviera, France
Get away from the busyness of Paris and embark on a romantic campervan journey through the South of France on the French Riviera. In just one week, travelers can easily stop at beautiful cities like Nice, Eze, Cannes, Cote d'Azur, Monaco, and Antibes while spending the night in their campervans to save money on accommodation. This is a fantastic way to see the South of France on a budget and with the freedom to wake up in a new spot every morning.
4 The North Coast 500, Scotland
The North Coast 500 is named for the 516-mile route around the Northern coast of Scotland. It’s possible to drive this route in just five days but lengthening the trip permits travelers to make more stops and appreciate the scenery in various parts of the country. Some top spots to stop along the way are Falls of Shin, Coldbackie Sands, Smoo Cave, and Handa Island. The route is so popular it has attracted more than 29,000 visitors since its inception, but there’s still plenty of room for everyone on the road.
3 Algarve Coast, Portugal
Travelers looking for a budget-friendly campervan trip in Western Europe can skip Italy’s coast and head to the South of Portugal instead. Most international travelers will arrive in Lisbon, where it’s easy to pick up a rental van from the airport. Then, drive south on the E1 to Lagos, which takes between 2.5 to 3 hours. From Lagos, travelers can choose to spend time camping and swimming along the Algarve Coast for a few days before continuing the drive to Faro. If time permits, cross into Spain and spend a few days in Seville before returning to the campervan and heading home.
2 La Route Des Grande Alpes, Switzerland
This route takes travelers through the French Alps between the French Riviera and Lake Geneva. Visitors will drive their campervan through the Alps from North to South or South to North, depending on which side they start the route from. The road has 16 passes that are some of the highest in the Alps and spans 684 km from Thonon-Les-Bains to Menton. The journey takes at least 2-3 days by car, but travelers can spend much longer exploring the historical monuments and Alpine villages along the way.
1 Whitehaven To Silloth, The Lake District, United Kingdom
There are plenty of scenic road trip routes through The Lake District in the UK, but travelers who want to drive their campervan along the coast will fall in love with the journey from Whitehaven to Silloth. The drive is 26.7 miles long and follows the A595 and A596 along the Solway Coast from Whitehaven. Travelers will pass through the quaint town of Maryport and can stop off at the picturesque Allonby's Beach before arriving in Silloth.