Five Favorite Off-Season Campgrounds Open for Travel
Stars and Stripes November 8, 2023
The kids are back in school, the pool has closed for the season and Halloween decorations are out. You want to try campgrounds for a budget-friendly travel alternative, but is that an exclusively summer activity? Absolutely not! The cooler months can be a wonderful time to take advantage of campground travel, albeit with a few things to keep in mind.
First, you’ll want to find a campground that is open. This sounds obvious, but many campgrounds in Europe are only open April 30 - October 1, or what is considered the “high season”. However, more and more campgrounds are taking advantage of off-season travel and have started opening up their pitches all year round. The easiest way to find campground availability is via apps, such as Camperguru, Road Surfer, and Park4Night. Park4Night is the one we use most often due to its user-friendly interface, huge platform in Europe, and the ability to search by type of campground and seasonal availability.
With that in mind, here are some of our favorite campgrounds that are available all year long:
CityKamp: Strasbourg and Paris locations
Strasbourg CityKamp is one of our favorite campgrounds in France. Open year-round, it is well laid out with plenty of cabins, glamping tents and camper spots. In addition to lodging, the campground has an outdoor pool, bocce court, large sandbox-style playground and ping-pong tables to keep the campers entertained. A pizza parlor and full-service bar are at the center of the campground adjacent to the playground, and fresh bread service is also available in the mornings for your baguette fix. We plan to book a cabin at CityKamp Strasbourg in December and spend a weekend exploring its famous Christmas Market.
Its sister site in Paris (Camping de Paris) is in the 16th arrondissement and offers many of the same amenities. The camping chain is known for being situated close to major cities and for being easily accessible via public transportation.
Info: citykamp.com for both Strasbourg and Paris locations.
Camping Vliegenbos, Amsterdam
This campground is located just across the Het IJ canal north of the main center of Amsterdam. As a bonus, Camping Vliegenbos is nestled inside a nature park. The trails are perfect for riding the bicycles that the campground rents out (after all, this is the Netherlands!), or you can ride the bicycles to the metro station, about a half mile from the campground. The campground has spots for campers, personal tents and several Frank Lloyd Wright-esque cabins that make you feel more like you’re in a boutique hotel rather than a campground. On-site coffee shop and even laundry facilities make this an easy place to spend a week of leave.
Camping Marbusch, Luxembourg
Okay, but what if you’re going to a campground to…camp? For the nature lovers who really want to commune with the great outdoors, Luxembourg has a campground nestled in the magical
Müllerthal region. This area boasts trails through the sandstone rock formations that make it a UNESCO World Heritage site. That alone is reason enough to make the trek, but the campground doesn’t leave its customers without the European basics, boasting a full-service restaurant for the appetite you’ve worked up during your hikes.
Camping Jungfrau, Switzerland
The Jungfrau region of Switzerland is one of the most sought-after locations for a holiday, be it hiking in the summer or skiing in winter. Camping Jungfrau is situated in Lauterbrunnen, a town in the valley of the Jungfrau known for its dramatic views of the mountains lining it. The Camping Jungfrau campsite is only a short bus ride away from the Schilthorn Bahn, the cable car that can take you to the higher mountain towns of Mürren, Gimmelwald, and eventually up to the Piz Gloria of James Bond fame! After your time as a Bond villain, you can come back to the campground to enjoy a full Swiss restaurant or shop for your own campsite cookout in the fully stocked mini market. A two-level outdoor playground with a bounce house helps the kids work off any spare energy. If you’re camping in winter, book early to ensure a place in one of their heated cabins.
Camping Allweglehen, Bavaria
Located in the scenic area of Bertchesgarten, Camping Allweglehen is one of the best-rated campgrounds in Germany. Not only is it an excellent spot to enjoy the region, it boasts an on-site full-service spa so that after a long day hiking or skiing, you can enjoy a massage, sauna, or dip in their pool. After that, you can cap off your evening with a traditional Bavarian dinner at their full-service restaurant. Prost!