Page 1 of 1

Where to find free, legal bivouac & camp sites in Europe?

Posted: Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:53 am
by steven
I made a new post.

Because the coronavirus limited my travel options to Central Asia, I decided to cycle around Europe in the summer of 2020. I really enjoyed using these legal bivouac spots, so I thought I would round up as much information as I could about them and publish it here, somewhat off-topic, since I could not find a round-up like this anywhere else.

There are certainly more spots out there. If you know of resources that are missing here, please let me know! I am also happy to expand this article outside of Europe.

https://caravanistan.com/letter-from-th ... amp-sites/

Re: Where to find free, legal bivouac & camp sites in Europe?

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:02 am
by AreWeThereYet?
If you consider (at least geographically) Britain to be part of Europe, basically most of Scotland is OK for wild camping while in England it's not allowed.

Re: Where to find free, legal bivouac & camp sites in Europe?

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:00 am
by mazeno
so,
do we really live in a free world?

poland.
(of course national parks are excepted of the rules below - camping is prohibited and fined up to 500PLN=110EUR).
fortunately in central europe we don't take seriously many of the stupid eu regulations (water, food, heat and sleep are basic human needs), so even if it is formally prohibited you can camp almost everywhere, within reason limits of course - e.g. outside of human settlements, but if you ask some people will let you camp on their place or even invite to their home. i should emphazise - nowadays SOME, not many, but trying is worth. there is a proverb in poland, now not so up to date, i guess: a visitor at home - god at home.
it is not wise to camp in sight of rich-looking places, usually poor people are more hospitable if only because they are more inquiring and taking the official regulations more reasonable (liberal).
while freecamping don't make noise and don't leave trashes. one place - one night. setting a campfire too close to a forest could be fined - oficially 100m (concerns to state forest) but noone will check if it is 50m. during drought time it is wise not to make a camp in a forest even without a campfire (usually there are warnings in media and sometimes on the forest borders).
the map with periodical restrictions in forest areas in poland:
https://zakazywstepu.bdl.lasy.gov.pl/zakazy/
map legend:
forest litter humidity in %
periodical closing:
orange - fire danger
purple - protective treatment
yellow - other
administrative borders

some forest areas are private and people usually don't have objections.

in romania the situation is even better - in spite of the european regulations you can even drive you car for a picnic/camping into a forest.
ukraine is even better for free camping.
in slovakia there was similar to situation in poland, but recently - because of the high increase of the local tourstic movement (instead of abroad travels) - slovaks are more irritable as many of them hunt (legally or not) and claim camping startle the animals.

Re: Where to find free, legal bivouac & camp sites in Europe?

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:24 am
by murg
Free (or wild) camping is not allowed in most of Europe. An exemption are the Nordic States (Norway, Sweden, probably Finland).

Here's a link regarding rules and regulations.
Note that, although otherwise stated in the linked article, motor-vehicles (everything from motorbike to campervan) are not allowed to camp free bit are often tolerated besides the main routes/touristic regions)

https://www.we12travel.com/wild-camping-in-sweden/


In Germany, the Netherlands, France, Austria & Switzerland camping freely is not allowed and sometimes heavily fined.
There are, however, some regio s in Germany where you can camp 'free'(=outside a camping ground) for one night if you register and book in advance.
Couldn't find a homepage in English, so I cannot link.

We also made up our tent in eastern Hungary, besides a forest, without permission. No one was interested.

Same worked in the Austrian Alps, but in high altitudes no one will bother you anyway.

Hope that helps!
Dave

Re: Where to find free, legal bivouac & camp sites in Europe?

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:40 am
by JanDeAlleman
In Germany, the Netherlands, France, Austria & Switzerland camping freely is not allowed
Actually, that depends! For example, in France you are allowed to bivouac (with tent) in national parks for one night, between 7pm and 9am. And in some Austrian provinces, for example Salzburgerland, you are allowed to wild camp above the tree line, also one night. Obviously 'leave no trace' always applies.

There is a website (with a very similar name as this one) that has good info on wild camping in Europe: https://www.caravanya.com/en/wildcamping-in-europe/

Re: Where to find free, legal bivouac & camp sites in Europe?

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 10:58 am
by steven
Hi guys,

I guess I needed to clarify my point. There is a lot of info on wild camping on the internet. So I didn't write a post about that, since that is all very well explained in many other articles online.

What is difficult to find is the places that are specifically built and designated for bivouac. So if you know any more of those... :-)

Re: Where to find free, legal bivouac & camp sites in Europe?

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 5:55 pm
by mazeno
huh
it seems, the tendency to be free is hard ;)

Re: Where to find free, legal bivouac & camp sites in Europe?

Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 5:47 am
by AreWeThereYet?
I've been in these 3 places this summer in the North of Scotland:

Shegra honour camp. Basically it's a field off Kinlochbervie with a fence all around and a mailbox in which to put your fiver after you leave. In a sense it's not a real camp as there's no infrastructure. Would I stay there again? No. Why? You can camp elsewhere for free, there's too many people and if the wind's blowing from the sea you have ZERO protection.
https://goo.gl/maps/fawtn41pDujf5i336

Sandwood Bay beach. An hour or so of walk through the Highland meadowland (super easy) gives you access to this incredible beach. Lots of places to pitch your tent. 100% allowed, only issue is sheep shite. It's also fairly secluded from the wind if you choose wisely. Please don't use disposable barbeques (which many, at least judging by the patches of charred grass, did). https://goo.gl/maps/JVYVB7wk5L75WT2Y7

Ceannabeinne Beach. My absolute favourite. Secluded, gorgeous, a fabulous place. https://goo.gl/maps/6egSRgUvrkgkRvvVA

Re: Where to find free, legal bivouac & camp sites in Europe?

Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:05 am
by steven
AreWeThereYet? wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 5:47 am
I've been in these 3 places this summer in the North of Scotland:

Shegra honour camp. Basically it's a field off Kinlochbervie with a fence all around and a mailbox in which to put your fiver after you leave. In a sense it's not a real camp as there's no infrastructure. Would I stay there again? No. Why? You can camp elsewhere for free, there's too many people and if the wind's blowing from the sea you have ZERO protection.
https://goo.gl/maps/fawtn41pDujf5i336

Sandwood Bay beach. An hour or so of walk through the Highland meadowland (super easy) gives you access to this incredible beach. Lots of places to pitch your tent. 100% allowed, only issue is sheep shite. It's also fairly secluded from the wind if you choose wisely. Please don't use disposable barbeques (which many, at least judging by the patches of charred grass, did). https://goo.gl/maps/JVYVB7wk5L75WT2Y7

Ceannabeinne Beach. My absolute favourite. Secluded, gorgeous, a fabulous place. https://goo.gl/maps/6egSRgUvrkgkRvvVA
That's indeed what I was talking about! I haven't found a list summing up these type of places in Scotland yet, though. Most websites seem to cater to campervans.

Re: Where to find free, legal bivouac & camp sites in Europe?

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 5:16 pm
by AreWeThereYet?
Yes, camper vans (and caravans) infested every corner (almost) of the country.

We also found a nice camping spot near Loch Assynt but it was overrun with midges and they HURT!

Here's a nice article from the Guardian, it features Sandwood beach.

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2017 ... -highlands