This week we came across some of the top European scenic camping picks from The UK’s Observer. After all, not everything has to be five star digs and a butler when you’re becoming one with nature. Extracted from Cool Camping Europe (£18.95) and Cool Camping France (£14.95), this book is a veritable wealth of information if gorgeous views and camping among exotic locales is your thing.
By Keith Didcock
Les Romarins, Cote d’Azur – France
This is as dramatic a campsite as you’ll find anywhere in France, and not one for those who don’t like heights. A few kilometres up from the village of Eze, you can pitch under olive and rosemary trees in a hillside setting on the French Riviera between Monaco and Nice. With fabulous views across the sea from the steeply raking site, Les Romarins is the perfect place to live the high life without breaking the bank.
• +33 4 9301 8164; campingromarins.com; from €17 to €20 for two people, tent and car plus €5.50 to €7 for each extra person and €3 to €4 for under-fives.
Cala Llevado, Costa Brava – Spain
Set among ragged cliffs in Spain’s Costa Brava, four beaches run along the stunning coastline. With everything from hidden camps to coves, there’s large bay, but keep in mind, some campsites are removed while others are on top of one of the beaches, giving you a bird’s eye view.
• +34 9 7234 0314; calallevado.com; from €16.50 to €27 for a person, tent and car plus €5.50 to €9 for each extra person and €3 to €5 per child.
Costiolu, Sardinia – Italy
This is a working organic farm – un’azienda biologica- in the island’s hilly heart. There aren’t beaches right on your doorstep, but the gorgeous waters of the Costa Smeralda are within striking distance. Run by the colourful Giovanni, the farm is a proper retreat from the trappings of modern life. Sardinia’s cultural capital, Nuoro, is visible from the azienda but the land around is mainly olive groves, fields of cereal and grazing land full of goats. To top it all, Giovanni does the cooking, too.
• +39 0784 260088; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; from €15 a night for two people, tent and car. Dinner €25 a head.
Mala Milna, Hvar – Croatia
Hvar is Croatia’s answer to the French Riviera, with exclusive beaches, designer hotels, cafes, bars and boutiques, so if you’ve brought your glad-rags you can always rub shoulders with the moneyed glamour on this island for an evening or two. Thankfully, you won’t be disturbed by Dalmatian WAGs and their designer poodles at Mala Milna, though, as it’s the budget option. There are two pebble beaches (the Croatian coast is notoriously rocky) on either side of the site and the coast is dotted with paths and ancient villages alike, so there’s everything you need.
• +38 521 643531; hvar.hr/mala-milna; about 140kn (£16) for two people, tent and car
Nicolas, Peleponnese – Greece
This southern region is the epitome of ancient Greece, a fancy mix of ruins, myths and classic tales. Nicolas campsite is a 10-minute stroll from the town of Tiryns, which hosts an annual classic Greek theatre festival, staged in its two ancient amphitheatres. So you might be sharing the site with actors rehearsing their lines between mouthfuls of moussaka. The camp is set in a former orange and mulberry grove with pitches in the hollows and under the canopy of the flowering trees and it’s all just a ripe orange’s throw from the waters of the bay.
• +30 275 304 1218; nicolasgikas.gr; from €16 to €20 for a tent and two people.