01 Jul 2014
Cornwall, The Peak District, The Lakes, Yorkshire, The Cotswolds… Britain is well blessed with beautiful caravan-friendly destinations. But there are plenty of rewarding experiences when you take your caravan or motorhome even further afield too. Here are 6 destinations we think it’s well worth heading abroad for.
There’s much to enjoy for caravanners and motorhomers prepared to make the journey to Sweden. The inland lakes, the scenic coastline and its many fishing villages, for a start. There are also bridges that connect Sweden to Denmark, which are worth taking for dramatic views. And of course, there’s the capital city, Stockholm. Like the rest of the country it has a very easy-going vibe to it, and a nice mix of both bold contemporary and classic architecture, including the magnificent Royal Palace. Leave the big city behind and there’s much to explore too: to the west, Lake Mälaren, with its wooded coves and picture-book castles, while to the east, the town of Gustavsberg, famous for its porcelain. The roads are nice and wide, too, so you’ll enjoy the drive nearly as much as the scenery.
It will take you a while to get there, but when you do you’ll know it was worth it. Croatia boasts some of Europe’s most beautiful landscapes. You’re unlikely to see a more crystalline sea as the Adriatic, while the quaint fishing villages and serene forests are virtually unspoilt. And that’s just the coast. Head further south and you’ll discover the Krka National Park and its famous waterfalls. Keep going and you’ll enjoy a flavour of Croatia’s impressive culture. The City of Split boasts beautiful beaches, old Roman ruins and a lively summer festival. Meanwhile, in Dubrovnik you can walk the walls, a remnant of the city’s past as a famous trading port. The cuisine is great too: fresh fish, pizza and some of the finest wines you never knew existed.
There’s more to Switzerland than chocolate and snow-capped peaks. There are its famous lakes, Geneva, Lucerne and Zurich to name but three. And the tiny capital city, Bern, once home to Albert Einstein, now a picturesque hotchpotch of cobbled streets, sparkling fountains and gently undulating woodland. It’s worth visiting if only for the views of the Bernese Alps, and the Rosengarten, where in summer the scent of it 200 roses is inescapable. Head north-east meanwhile and you’ll reach Zurich, Switzerland’s largest and most lively city, lapped by Lake Zurich and framed by mountains. The service stations are worth a stop too: great food and even better scenery.
Bulgaria has a warm and pleasant climate, a coastal location perched on the edge of the Black Sea, and an inland landscape that’s second to none. The country boasts seven mountain ranges, each one surrounded by a mixture of grand forests, tranquil lakes and rolling valleys. If you’re a bird-watcher or have a interest in wildlife, you’ll be in your element. History-buffs on the other hand will surely prefer Bulgaria’s cities, with their ancient ruins, magnificent religious architecture and fabulous art collections. In Veliko Tarnovo, the City of the Tsars, you’ll find freshly repainted frescoes and an old drawbridge.
If you’re looking for a holiday to remember, how about the birthplace of Western philosophy? Greece’s sun-soaked islands and sparkling coastlines will be familiar to package-holiday goers. But the real jewels in Greece’s crown relate to its past. There’s Olympia, home of the Olympic Game, which dates back to the 10th century BC. And Athens of course, 2,500 years old and overlooked by the magnificent Acropolis. But for us, the pick of the bunch is Meteora, an ancient complex of monasteries, seemingly suspended in the air on thin rock columns. It can get busy during the peak months, but this Unesco World Heritage Site is well worth waiting to see. Look out for the extraordinary variety of butterflies whenever you stop off for a photo opportunity.
Morocco is an exotic country of deserts, grand mosques and bustling bazaars, perfect for exploring in your caravan or motorhome. You could start in Marrakech, where mazy alleyways and ancient ruins lead you into spicy tearooms and aromatic markets. Then there’s Casablanca, famous for the film but not a lot like it, today the contemporary, cosmopolitan side of the country. The Royal Palace in Fez is a famous spot that’s well worth a visit, while the Kasbah des Oudaïa is a nice place to wander and take in the tranquillity. And finally, no trip to Morocco would be complete without watching the sun set over the rose gold sand dunes of Erg Chebbi. As a guide, it will take you roughly four days to reach Morrocco from London or the South East. If you and your motorhome and coming from Scotland and Ireland, allow and extra couple of days.