Joys of European Caravanning



Visiting:-  France, Italy, Austria, Germany and Belgium. -  Outfit Citreon Synergie and Coachman Amara 520/4

Site No. 1

CAMPING DE LA FORGE, Ampilly-Le-Sec, France.    Listed in CC Europe 1.

This was like a large CC CL British owned.  Would have been nicer if the weather had not been so wet.  Never mind did a bit of the area over the 2 days we were here. These are two of the pretty places we visited.




Site No. 2.

CAMPING MUCICIPAL DE LA BUTTE, Leneveu/St. Marcel, France.   This site was situated on the banks of the River Seinne but not pretty.  We were not impressed with the site as it had lots of itinerants on it that made us feel very uncomfortable.  The guy in the office was not friendly and overcharged us for the electric hook up.  We only stopped 2 nights as we wanted to visit Beaunne and the beautiful Hospital and it was well worth the visit.  The inside was lovely and the outside, with the multi coloured tiled roof was beautiful.


                              Outside the Hospital-note the beautiful roof.  


                                                       Inside Hospital.

Site No. 3.

CAMPING FLORAL, Montelimar,  Listed in the CC Europe 1.  Website :-   Situated in easy reach to visit the Adeche and visit the Nougat making town of Montelimar where you can make a tour around the factory.  The Belgium owners of the site are very friendly and offer a welcome drink on arrival.  They also have a small restaurant serving ready made meals.  The only downside is the closely situated Nuclear Power station opposite.  



                                                                  Views of the Adeche. 

Site No. 4.

CAMPING LE DEVANCON,  Peynier, Provence, France.  Listed in CC Europe Volume 1.   This site was very pleasant just out side the village it was all hard ground, no grass, at all.  Toilets and Showers here were quite good.  Places to visit nearby are Marseilles, St Sousset les Pins, Aix en Provence,  Trets, Cesanne's and Picasso's villages. 


                    St. Sousset les Pins.                                                           Aix in Provence.

Site No. 5.

CAMPING CLUB HOLIDAY MARINA, Port Grimaud.  Listed in CC Europe.1. Website Here   situated to visit both Port Grimaud and Grimaud Village, further afield Frejus, St. Maxim's, and of course the famous St Tropez.  Site owned by Brits and a very clean and organised.   Each pitch has its own toilet, shower and sink compartment which is a corner of a large static caravan, all heated too.  Not grassy pitches but may have been altered since we were last there in 2004.



                     Grimaud Village.                                             Grimaud Port.  

Site no. 6.

LE VALLE DE CAGNES, Cagnes Sur Mer.  Listed in CC Europe 1.  A pleasant site situated well to visit the coast and hills to visit Grasse a nice little town in the hills where the perfumes are made.  You can tour around the Fragonard perfume factory which is very interesting.  A pleasant ride along the coast to Menton, Monaco and Monte Carlo.   



               Monaco view of Palace.                              Monte Carlo Shopping Center.                 

Site No. 7.

CAMPING LA SFINGE, Diva Marina, Cinque Terre, Italy.   Site takes ACSI Camping Card, Listed CC Europe 2.  This was the first site we have visited which is ACSI there were only nearly 200 listed in that 1st year of its existance. Nice site, unmarked grassy pitches.  Owner very friendly as the Italian's generally are.  Ideal for visiting the Cinque Terre, just drive to the station, park the car and catch the train to visit all five villages, which can only be got to by foot or train.  You can get on and off the trains at will so you can spend a nice day visiting each one they are very attractive and must be even prettier with a view from the sea.  Diva Marina was very pleasant too.  You can also visit Lucca a lovely little town in Tuscany and Pisa to see the leaning tower for, the day by car.     




                         Pisa                                                   Diva Marina Station.                                                                          .                                                       

Site No. 8.

CAMPING RESIDENCE AMIATA.  Castel del Piano, Tuscany, Italy. Listed CC Europe 2.    Website:-      This was a lovely rural site and as you can see by the picture below all very green.  Nice, clean heated toilets and clothes washing facilities.  Nice Tuscan Restaurant on site.  Owners were a lovley older couple and they were so helpful and friendly.    We visited Sienna from here it is a marvellous city, one you cannot afford to miss.  The Duomo is a beautiful building and the Piazzo del Campo is exquisite, have a pizza sitting outside of the one of the many cafes and view the buildings and people going by.  The beautiful village of Pienza is just a bit further on but, another not to be missed.  A trip can be made by car part way up Mount Amiata and then you can walk to the summit. Cafe up there and breath taking views over Tuscany.  Multipulchiano, wine town, and Castiglione d'Orcia the old village is worth a visit too.  All in all a wonderful place to visit Tuscany.



              Amiata Site                                                                    Castiglione d'Orcia



                  Summit Mount Amiata.                 Sienna  Piazzo del Camco.                                 

Site No. 9.

CAMPING PORTICCIOLO, Lake Bracciano, Roma. ACSI Camping Card taken, Listed CC Europe. 2.  Website:-    Ideally situated for visiting Rome and site on the lovely lakeside.  Owners are really helpful and friendly and run you to the station by car or bus to catch the train in to visit Rome only a few stops away. You can get off the train at the Vatican or go further into the city.  There is a very nice drive around the lake visiting the little towns and the Sutri Amphitheatre. 


                               The Forum.                                                    Colosseum.



                .. .                                              Pope's Appartments.

Site No. 10.

CAMPING SANT ANTONIO, Vico Equense, Napoli, Italy.  ACSI Camping Card. Listed CC Europe 2.  Webstie:-    On the way down the motorway we passed Montecassino high on the hills to our left an awesome sight which we would loved to have visited but with a caravan on our back we could possibly do.  But later on, another year, we did go back and stay with the caravan in Montecassino town at the foot of the hills, well mountain.  See this in later year. There are so many wonderful places to visit from Vico Equense a few being Pompeii, if over 60, show your passport and you get in free 10 euros for a guide.  If you go to the Isle of Capri for the day, Giovanni the owner of the site will take you up to the station to catch train and bus into Sorrento and the Port to catch the boat.  It is a wounderful day out riding up on the funicular, walking around the narrow streets and looking at the shops.  Look at some of the vehicles on the island, all made especially narrow to get through the narrow streets.   Lots to do for the day here.   A trip by car down the Amalfi coast is a must to look around the beautiful little villages such as Amalfi and Positano. Difficult to park but where there is a will there is a way.   Giovanni has a typical Restaurant on site which is very good and he will order in Pizza, from his brother in the village if anybody wants one.  The approach to this site is a bit hairy, asas you come off the main street and turn down to the harbour there is an s bend on steepish hill which is narrow too.  At the bottom there is a sharp right hand bend to drive along the harbour and then another sharp left hand turn up a small incline, in a short tunnel and then hey presto! you are there at the site office.  We had a 520 Coachman Amara and managed but I do not think we would attempt it with a long twin axle van.  I would like to add we did not visit Naples, we are not really city people but understand it is interesting.


                            Capri Pottery Shop.                             Carpri Narrow Ambulance.



               .                                               Vesuvious and Pompeii.

Site No. 11.  SITE NOW CLOSED.

CAMPING VILLAGE EUROPA, Passignano sul Trasimeno, Perugia, Umbria. ACSI Camping Card taken.  Listed CC Europe 2.  Website:-  This site is beautifully situated on the shore of the lake with lovely views.  It is a flat grassy field, only a few light trees with unmarked pitches.  Down by the lake is a swimming pool and play area for the kids.  The owners are very helpful and friendly, have a small shop and a restaurant.  Places to visit are Perugia 30 kms. Assisi which should not be missed,  45 kms. Cortona 2 km. Arezzo 45 km. Near to home Passignano is a nice little town where you can catch a boat to Isola Maggiore in the middle of the lake. It is a lovely half day trip.   A ride all the way around the lake visiting all the villages and towns will keep you busy for a day too.



                                  Assisi.                                           View from the caravan.on Site.



                                Isola  Maggiore.                               View to the lake from Cortona. 

Site No. 13.

JODL CAMPING, Alt Ossiach 6, Karnten, Austria.  ACSI CC taken.  Listed CC Europe 2.  website:- situated in Southern Austria amongst the lakes and mountains this is a perfect site to us.  The Family Thaler are very friendly and helpful.  Facilities are 5 star.  The Ossiachersee on which this site is situated is a large lake at the north western end there are 3 food shops Aldi, Lidl and Billa.   The other end is the town of Feldkirchen which has good town centre with 2 large supermarkets, Superspar and Mercure and numerous other shops selling everything you need.  The garages sell very cheap fuel as Austria is one of the cheapest countries for fuel after Luxemburg and sometimes Belgium.  There is so much to do in the area that we have not seen everything and now in 2009 have been there 6 times for 1 to 5 weeks.  In 2010 we will be there for  6 weeks.  A few of the prime places to visit are the Nochalm Strasse, the Gerlitzen, up by cable car and chair lift,  Worthersee, Weisensee, Malta Pass, at Gmund on the way to the pass, is the Porche Museum and you pass the first factory where Porche were made.  Be careful not to miss it, it is a small hut at the left hand side of the road outside Gmund up to the Malta Pass.  Villach is the nearest largest town with old town center and huge new indoor shopping center called Atrio.  Klagenfurt is the capital of Karnten and not many kms away at the end of the Worthersee it is a very attractive city and well worth a walk around especially the "old town".  We met up with a German couple this visit who live in Frankfurt and to this day we meet up with them every year.  This first year they invited us to visit them at their country cottage in a village near Neustadt on our way home.  We did and you will see about this later on in the trip.


                  View of the Jodl Buildings.                          View of caravan towards the lake.


                         Ladies Shower Room                                                 Cindy the Jodl Westie.

Site No. 14.

DONAUPARK CAMPING TULLN.  Tull and der Drau, Vienna. website:-  ACSI CC taken. Listed CC Europe 2.   This site is very good and convenient to get into Vienna by train and metro,  you go to the railway station, park your car free in P+R then catch the train and metro into the city centre.  Getting off the tube at the Opera House stop will bring you up into the square to catch the City Tour Bus which is very good here and gives you a very good overveiw of the City. You can catch the metro to the Schonbrunn Palace, which is a must. You can visit the Hofburg Palace and the Spanish Riding School in the centre and St Stephen's Cathedral with its beautiful roof.  Go to the Sacher Hotel and spoil yourself with a hot chocolate and piece of the famous Sacher Torte.  Tickets can be bought outside the Opera House for various concerts, the evening one in the Orangery at the Schonnbrunn is very good, with music by Strauss and Mozart.  We found this truly magical. Tulln is a very nice little town by the Danube and you can catch a Hotel Padel Boat on a Sunday and spend the day on board cruising up to Melk and back.  The Restaurant on board is excellent all Waiter/Waitress service,  where ever you sit in the restaurant or on the decks, light meals are served.  Before leaving for your next destination take a half day trip through the Vienna Woods.  



                                          Vienna                     St. Stephen's.


                       Famous Sacher Torte.                                        Camping Tulln.

Site No. 15.

CAMPING MUHLLEITEN, Konigsee, Nr.Bertchesgaden, Germany. Website  Here   Listed in CC Europe 2. Situated just outside Bertchesgaden this is a very attractive area  with the lovely Konigsee just down the road.  You can park your car in the carpark at the top and walk down the winding, shop lined, road  to the lake.  Trips on the lake are available in electric boats.  The town of Bertchesgaden is worth a walk around with easy parking in an underground carpark in the centre of the town.  There are some very attractive buildings and shops in the town and a very nice Gasthaus Bier Adam where you can have coffee and apfel strudel mit sahne or a nice lunch or later a very good dinner. After this you can take a ride up onto the Obersalzburg to visit the Eagles Nest in (May to October) which is a must, further up the road Hitlers Bunkers at the Turken, and take a leisurely drive up the Rossfeld Pass.  You pay a small toll for this but the views over to Salzburg and around are wonderful.  There are many places to get drinks and food all over the Obersalzburg.  From the Kehlstein Haus (Eagles Nest) you get a wonderful view all around especially over the Konigsee.  You can only go up to the Kehlstein Haus by bus from carpark at the bottom and then you get a ticket for the length of time you intend stopping up there, before you walk along an underground passage (quite eerie) to catch the brass lined leather seated lift up to the haus which is a restaurant with a large outside area for the nice weather.  From Mullheiten you can visit the chocolate box village, of Ramsau with the church in a fairy tale setting.  Salzburg is within easy reach by car and parking is easy not too expensive either.  Take a Sound of Music Tour it is lovely.  Another short trip is to Obernsdorf  to visit the Silent Night Chapel and Museum (this is where the vicar first wrote the Christmas Carole "Silent Night, Holy Night") and is situated just into Austria.


                                  Konigsee.                                                      Ramsau. 


                   Hitlers Bunker.                                                      Camping-Muhllheiten.       


                           Silent Night Chapel.                                View from the Rossfeld. 

Site No. 16.

CAMPINGPLATZ AM SONNENBACH****, Ellwangen, Romantishe Strasse.   Situated in the rolling countryside near the Romantishe Strasse.  The towns on this famous road are all wonderful to visit, Dinkelsbuhl, Nordlingen and of course the famous Rothenburg.  The latter being one of the oldest walled cities in Germany,  full of wonderful buildings especially the entrance gates, of which there are many.  The shops are a wonderland especially Kathe Wohlfahrt's Christmas Shop, the one with the old van outside, just off the main square which is the original shop a real aladins cave where Kathy started.  For food try the Baumeisterhaus, cafe, restaurant and konditorei. The inside is more beautiful than the outside I think.  For info on this, must go to town, go to    Below you will see everyone on site putting up the Maypole as they do all over Germany on May 1st.  Here the site puts one up and there is an area competition, which they have won, several years they told us.


                       The Christmas Shop. and view in Rothenburg an der Tauber.


                    Raising the Maypole on site.                              Finishing off beneath.

Site No. 17.

ESTHAL IN THE PFALZ. Sorry though I can recommend this site it is only for the Thompson's, and it is FREE.  It is in the field at the side of a friends house in this lovely village on the edge of the Forest.  Electricity and Water free run from the house.  All food served in an old cottage down the road by the couple we met at Jodl.  The couple who own the house, where the caravan is, are their friends who they asked if we could park there as their cottage has no garden you can get a caravan onto. What wonderful hospitality! typical German though we find.  Neustadt is an interesting town and the big church in the centre is unusual as one side of it is Roman Catholic and the other side another religious demonination, not sure which.  Hambach Castle is nearby and worth a visit.  This is where the Federation of Germany was formed.  Plenty of good wine in this area as it is on the Deutsche Weinstrasse.


              Surprise in the Forest.                                          Hambach Castle. 


                                  Free Site.                        John right,fitting a light with his German Pals. 

Site No. 18.

WALDCAMPING PRUM****  Prum, Rheinland-Pfalz.   ACSI Camping Card taken. Listed CC Europe 2.  Nice site just off the main road back up to Belgium.  Grassy but lots of trees TV virtually impossible. The town of Prum is worth a walk around as is the countryside if staying for 2 or 3 days.  It was just a one night stop for us.



                                              River running through the site.

Site No. 19.

CAMPIN YPRA, Kemmel-Heuvelland, Belgium.  No Longer takes ACSI CC. Listed CC Europe 2.   If you want to visit the Flanders War Memorials and Graveyards this is a good place to stay.  In the evening you can drive into Ypra to witness the 8 pm ceremony carried out every night before and after the 2nd World War.  It is at the Menai Gate and is a very moving ceremony with always crowds there.  From here you can get your cheap fuel before going into France.  Tunnel is just 50 miles from here for departure to the UK.


                     Trumpeters at Menaei Gate.         .                           Ypres. 


Well onto home now by the time we get home to Suffolk we and the Car will have covered 6,550 Miles, the Caravan not quite so many, over 62 Days 4th March to the 4th May 2004.   We can recommend all of the sites we stopped on except the one near Beaunne in France.  On the whole I think that the sites in Austria and Germany are better than either France, Belgium or Italy though there were one or two excellent ones in Italy.  What a wonderful trip.  No problems at all with us, the car or caravan.  Hurry on next year, 2005, for the next adventure..