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EUROPEAN TOURING

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2016 tour  Just around France to the Pyrenees and back

2015 tour A circuit of Germany, Austria, Northern Italy and France

2014 tour Through Spain to the coast and back through France

2013 tour  South of France via Belgium and Luxembourg

2012 tour the Netherlands Northern Germany and Denmark

2011 tour  France Spain and Portugal

Tour des Grandes Alpes 2010 - an interesting diary of a six week trip across the Alps
contributed by Jenny Vowden

2010 tour  Just around France - to the Med and Brittany

2009 tour   France Switzerland and Italian Lakes

2008 tour
  Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and Hungary

2007 tour   Western France, the Pyrenees and Northern Spain 

2006 tour   Slovenia via Bavaria, Germany, Dolomites and Lakes in Italy and French Alps

2005 tour   Auvergne, Jura and Alsace in France, Tuscany, Umbria, Marche and Lakes in Italy 

2002 tour   France to the Cote d'Azur and back

2001 tour
   Bourgogne, Alps and Drôme regions in France

Our Yearly Holiday Costs  and recent trips and Tips for newcomers touring in Europe 


European Aires
  
Aires 2005     Aires 2006    Aires 2007  Stellplatz 2008  Aires 2009  Aires 2010 

Aires 2011 Stellplatz 2012   Aires 2013   Aires  2014   Aires 2015    Aires 2016


We have travelled quite extensively across Europe in recent years mostly in our motorhome but occasionally taking shorter fly-drive holidays. From reading our travel logs it can be seen that we prefer to tour the open countryside and discover small towns and villages rather than the larger cities. We feel that we see more of each country's everyday lifestyle and like to visit local shops and markets rather than restaurants. Although we study maps and guide books before we set off we frequently change our plans and end up in the more remote places away from the main tourist traps. That is the beauty of extended holidays which we can now take since we have both retired!


Cirque de Garvarnie Pyrenees France
 Cirque de Gavarnie Pyrenees 

France is Camping-Car heaven with about eleven thousand sites both municipal and privately owned ranging from basic to luxury and also plenty of "Aires" where you can usually park overnight, normally with a small charge for the water and waste supply points and even electric hookups. In some places you can stay for one night free in a town or village square. The Autoroutes around the cities (generally toll free) can be busy and overnighting on autoroute aires is not recommended for security reasons, but we found that the most interesting journeys are along the N and especially the D roads which are generally quieter. 

See here for more about French regions and guidebooks


Piano Grande Umbria Italy
Piano Grande Umbria
Italy is an interesting mix of old and new, smart and scruffy (both people and buildings!). The areas we have visited include Tuscany, Umbria and the Marches, Venice and the Lakes. We also passed through the Dolomites. Organised campsites are generally large and expensive but there are lots of Arees di Sosta. The autostrada (tolls) and main roads are busy with many lorries but there are plenty of small towns and villages and good countryside off the beaten track. 

Lake Bled Slovenia
Lake Bled, Slovenia
Slovenia newly in the EU is a mix of old and new. The capital Ljubljana is a bustling city. To the north west there are the Julian Alps and picturesque Lake Bled. Elsewhere there are caves, castles and old and modern spa resorts. There are large forests and agricultural and wine producing areas. Apiculture (bee-keeping) is also widespread. There are a few dozen campsites all privately run varying from large resort  sites to a few basic farm sites. We are only aware of three official motorhome stopovers. English is spoken widely

Lake Brienz Switzerland
 Brienzersee near Interlaken

Switzerland is expensive for touring with high site fees and fuel costs. There are few lay-bys especially on the minor roads up the valleys. We found the campsites in the main tourist areas to be mostly large and crowded with very small pitches. For the best views and access to the mountains a Swiss pass for use on the railways and cable-cars is essential 

Neiderau Austria
Neiderau Austria

Austria has a mix of small and large sites depending on the popularity of the area as a tourist destination. Pitch sizes are usually similar to in Switzerland but some sites have larger marked pitches.  We have recently stayed at some lakeside sites that have luxurious amenities. The main roads are generally good and parking in towns not usually a problem.

 

Cordoba Patio Festival
Cordoba Patio Festival

page updated 10 feb 2017

Spain we found to be a country of contrasts ranging from the mountainous Pyrenees, the green (and often damp) North Atlantic coast and dry high level plains. The architecture is very mixed with magnificent old churches and monasteries and drab industrial towns but sometimes with hidden gems such as old hilltop castles. We have toured North and Southern Spain in our motorhomes and have visited the Costas on short fly-drive holidays when even in a couple of weeks we have explored the more rugged countryside just a few miles inland from the coast. We found the Spanish side of the Pyrenees less accessible with very long north-south valleys make touring off the beaten track more difficult. Our stand-out places are the Cordoba Patio Festival and an amazing Romeria in the nearby town of Villefranca de Cordoba visited in 2014. 

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