Some countries are simply made for a campervan holiday. Wide open spaces, epic landscapes, and plenty of welcoming campsites where you can rock up to take a shower, meet fellow roadtrippers and give the van a much-needed clean.
While you can take a campervan holiday pretty much anywhere in the world, there are some places that just demand you take to the road. Here’s our guide to the best of them.
The Highlands of Scotland are unimaginably beautiful – during nice weather anyway. Imagine driving along vast stretches of open road, with spectacular panoramas of snow-capped mountains, islands, forests and lochs on the horizon. During the days, you can hike a munro or two, do a spot of whisky-tasting, and then look forward to overnight camping in the wilderness, with an invigorating swim in the loch awaiting you in the morning.
Tip: There are so many idyllic lochs to choose from in Scotland that you needn’t stay at the busiest, such as Loch Ness.Portugal
Campervans with surfboards strapped to the roof are a familiar sight along the coastline of Portugal – this is after all one of the finest destinations in Europe for surfing. You can wild camp next to rugged seascapes, with pristine beaches just a few steps away, safe in the knowledge that the weather is going to be fine the whole way through.
Tip: Ensure you have plenty of cooking equipment with you, as fresh-caught Portuguese seafood is both delicious and inexpensive.France
France, or specifically its many wine regions such as Bordeaux and the Loire Valley, is perfect for campervan holidays. You’ll enjoy beautiful scenery composed of rolling vines, historic towns and villages, and plenty of scope for wine-tasting. Plus, if you pack well, you’ll have lots of space to carry wine back home with you too.
Tip: Road tolls are commonplace on major roads in France, so make sure you budget for them.Australia
With a landscape like nowhere else, Australia is perhaps the quintessential campervan holiday destination. While the more adventurous will head into the country’s red and dusty interior, always carrying plenty of water with them, those who prefer sticking to the edges will find that the coastal scenery can be just as dramatic.
Tip: If you do want to drive into the Outback, then you’ll need to be fairly self-sufficient and be sure to let someone else know your route.New Zealand
Another iconic campervan route is New Zealand. Small enough that you can see the best of it in a month, New Zealand has a wealth of stunning locales, from glaciers to beaches, mountain ranges to sparkling blue lakes. The country is very well set-up for campervans, and you’ll often find yourself bumping into like-minded travellers following similar routes.
Tip: If visiting the Franz Josef Glacier, you’ll probably encounter the cheeky kea birds. These mountain parrots are notorious for scratching up paintwork and damaging wing mirrors, so be sure to close your windows.USA
The United States is where campervans get super-sized. It’s not unusual to see a gigantic motorhome towing a 4-wheel drive vehicle behind it. But there’s still plenty of room for smaller campers, and so much to see with an astonishing breadth of landscapes. You can park up in most national parks with ease, or stay at a campsite just outside, and of course fuel is (relatively) inexpensive, making the USA a campervanner’s paradise.
Tip: You’ll often find an authentic slice of small town American life if you take the longer scenic route avoiding the major highways.Botswana
Botswana is home to some of Africa’s most diverse wildlife populations, making it an immensely popular safari destination. But while most people associate safaris with high-cost luxury, in fact you can do it on a budget, and one of the best ways is by campervan. Your transport and accommodation are rolled into one, you can self-cater, and many of the smaller parks are open to self-drive safaris.
Tip: June to September is the best time of year for a Botswana safari, and you’ll need to have a 4-wheel drive to cope with some of the terrain.