With summer now officially over, many of us will be thinking of putting the van to rest, anticipating the arrival of the longer nights, darker mornings and colder days of autumn and winter. Although you may sigh at the thought of summer departing, autumn and winter are great seasons! So, instead of going into hibernation until spring, why not venture out and see what Europe has to offer?
For VW Campervan owners, it’s often not about the destination, but the journey. With Europe in the winter, you can have both. It is a beautiful destination and a magical journey; think festive shows, Christmas markets, and the chance of snow. In fact, we would argue that many areas of Europe are indeed more charming and more fascinating in the winter than in the summertime.
And, what better way to explore such wintry delights than by campervan? Once you are in mainland Europe, being in a campervan means you’re not confined to a single country – let alone a city or hotel room. On the open road you are free to travel to your heart’s content, visiting as many places as you wish on your winter wonderland adventure. Perfect!
Here are a few suggestions on where you can go:
Belgium is a country best explored in the winter. And, with both day campervan parking in the charming medieval city of Bruges and overnight parking just a stone’s throw from the city centre, it’s convenient too. Bruges is picture-perfect in the winter; during the Christmas Market (which starts mid-November), lights align the cobbled streets, while the main Market Square boasts an ice rink and stalls selling unique and authentic gifts. What’s more, it’s just a short drive from Calais if you get the ferry from Dover. From Bruges, you can go on to discover places such as Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels.
<VW Campervan finds itself in Bruges>
Just a half an hour drive from Le Havre in north western France, Honfleur is a quaint commune located on the southern bank of the Seine estuary. The centrepiece of Honfleur is the authentic, picturesque port, complete with fishing boats and surrounded by traditional cafes, galleries and eateries. Needless to say, Honfleur is a beautiful place to explore in the winter; just make sure you make a trip to the Sainte-Catherine church, France’s largest surviving wooden church. From Honfleur, you could go on to visit places such as St-Malo and even Le Mans.
The VW camper was unveiled in 1949 before going into full production in Wolfsburg the following year. If you are up for traveling a little further afield, why not visit Germany’s capital city, Berlin and you could pay homage to the VW Campervan’s spiritual home on your way through Wolfsburg.
There are numerous campervan sites located just outside the centre of Berlin (such as Hotel & City camping and WohnmobilPark), meaning you can pitch up and stroll into the town. You could spend the day visiting one of the city’s many museums, before stopping off at a Christmas market on your way to a warm, cosy restaurant.
For a more substantial road trip, Vienna is around seven hours from Berlin and is a beautiful place to explore in the winter. What’s more, the surrounding areas of Vienna are equally as stunning, so you could make this just one stop of a few Austrian destinations (check out Camping Wien’s three beautiful campsites). Think cosy coffee houses, contemporary museums, stunning architecture and some great jazz bars to while away a cold winter’s evening in Vienna.
Don’t own a VW Campervan?
No problem. There are plenty of comnpanies offering VW Campervan hire, so you can enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
One last thing
Before you set off on your winter European adventure, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got reliable campervan insurance that covers you in Europe. At Carole Nash, our campervan insurance policies feature up to 90 days’ European cover, as well as breakdown cover in the EU.