Are you thinking about heading back to nature for your next adventure?
Whether you're looking for a low-budget break or just fancy going back to basics, wild camping won't disappoint. In a digital-heavy world where we're rarely off our phones, some quality time in the great outdoors is a great healer for the mind, body and soul!
But if you've not been wild camping before, knowing where's best to head can be tricky. So we've compiled a list of our favourite European countries to pitch a tent, light a fire and enjoy the peace of the great outdoors!
1. The Nordic and Scandinavian countries: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland
Packed with natural beauty, these countries welcome wild campers. Access to nature is guaranteed by the famous "right of all men", or - for the Scrabble fans - Allemansrätten in Swedish.
This right allows you to set up camp wherever you want, including on private land (so long as you stay more than 150m from the house). Perfect, right? Just don't scrimp on your thermals...
In Estonia, wild camping is permitted by law - yay! However, you will still need to ask the landowner permission before camping on private land.
While the rules are a little tighter in Estonia, wild camping is a great opportunity to explore this little-known country. There's still an abundance of lush, green land to roam without needing to ask permission!
Make a quick trip over the channel to camp where the law guarantees the freedom to do so!
However, a multitude of rules can make things a little more complicated. Camping in private lands is strictly prohibited, as well as at the edges of roads. So before pitching up your tent, it's best to check a few things:
- You are not on a registered site - saved or classified
- You are not by the sea - this should be easy enough to check...
- You are more than 200m from a water point used for consumption.
Finally, town halls can enforce a formal ban on camping nearby. It's best to check with them or the tourist office to get the scoop.
4. Scotland (UK)
In bonnie Scotland, campers are still allowed to set up tents in private fields. But beware - this rule does not apply to the rest of the UK!
The country is a great choice for wild campers looking for activities. In Scotland, you can enjoy striking castles and whiskey distilleries - ideal for warming up in the famously brisk Scottish climate...
Spain is an ideal location for camping with a spot of sunshine!
Whether wild camping is allowed depends on the individual region, but it is almost always prohibited in national parks and urban areas.
Make sure to do your research before heading on your adventures, but be assured that it is possible to camp legally in much of Spain. Perfect for saving money for those all important tapas!
In Poland, wild campers are entirely welcome! The only places to watch out for is National Parks, where you won't be allowed to pitch up.
If you're not sure where to head, we recommend checking here - thank goodness for Google Translate!
Unless a small fine is part of your budget (!) here is a list of European countries where wild camping is highly discouraged:
- UK (excluding Scotland)
Happy camping, pirates!