Europe Road Trip
Campervan model: Atlas is a Weinsberg RV, suitable for 5 people, built by the German manufacturer Knaus on a FIAT Ducato platform. A perfect and robust van to complete any road trip. Our Europe Road trip was done comfortably in this van.
Rental company: IndieCampers
Capacity: 5 passengers
Mileage: 10.7 Liter per 100 km
Inside Shower and WC
Total rental cost: 2600 Euros for 19 days, which included Unlimited Kms, Best insurance coverage, a gas cylinder, Kitchen utensils, cleaning package, set of 4 camping chairs and a table and 1 set of bedsheet and pillows (which we never received). All the running expenses like toll and fuel were extra.
Pick up and Drop point: Munich, Germany.
Countries covered: Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Monaco, Italy, Austria. Overall, 8000 Kms in 19 days
The Europe Road Trip commenced on 1st of October 2023 and ended on 19th of October 2023.
Day 1: Pick up and overnight in Munich.
Day 2 : Munich (Germany) – Rouffach (France) via A96 and B31, approx. 420 Kms
Parked at Municipal Camping at Rouffach. We arrived late at night, and the camp office was closed by that time. But we got the place to park without electricity and WC access. A small-town night walk with some Kebabs to eat, as almost all restaurants were closed.
Day 3 : Rouffach – Bordeaux (France) via A36 and A89, approx. 890 Kms
Camping stay overnight at Yelloh! Village Camping Bordeaux Lac. An awesome facility with a fully functional diner, and a small convenience store. Euro 40.64 for 4 people and the campervan, including electricity.
Day 4 : Bordeaux – Guarda (Portugal) via A-62, approx. 850 kms
On day 4 we were supposed to reach Lisbon. But we overestimated the effort. So, we had to plan the halt at Guarda just after entering Portugal. While coming to Guarda, we had to cross a big part in Spain. Believe me, we were so happy in Spain, as it was the cheapest amongst all the other countries we have visited during this trip. Fuel, food, wine, anything was much cheaper. France was the costliest, while Germany equalizing the same status.
Camping stay overnight at Parque de Campismo da Guarda (sorry, no website link). A very quiet place next to a beautiful park with fountains. Euro 19.50 for 4 people and campervan, inclusive of electricity.
Day 5: Guarda – Lisbon (Portugal) via A23- A1, approx. 340 Kms
Camping overnight stay at Orbitur Costa de Caparica, Lisbon. Next to the beach. Best location and easy access to the beach, because of which it is one of the biggest camping sites in the vicinity. Euro 38.90 for 4 people and the campervan includes electricity. As soon as we checked in at the camping, we proceeded to the beach. Amazing beach with so many people enjoying the warmth of the Sun and splashing the water onto each other. To no surprise you will find so many people demonstrating their football skills. We had our lunch in the nearby restaurant, which was full of people too, with a moderate waiting time.
Day 6: Lisbon city tour
Lisbon city tour till lunch, while we visited Harley Davidson showroom followed with some shopping. Then we returned to the camp and left from Lisbon by 5 PM and proceeded towards Spain and stopped 20 Kms before the Rock of Gibraltar (UK colony) via A2, approx. 630 Kms. Parked the van at the petrol pump overnight.
Day 7: Rock of Gibraltar
Visited the Rock of Gibraltar. Currency changed there, a British colony with English speaking people and Pounds in trading. We had to go through immigration. To enter Gibraltar, you need valid Schengen visa for at least 15 days. If not, then a UK visa is required. Also, on a Schengen visa you only get entry for 24 hours. Rock of Gibraltar was a worth visit, you have to do a moderate hike to reach on the top, alternatively tourist buses and ropeway was there. Overall, it is a costly affair to reach the top, but the view from the top is mesmerizing and worth every single penny. Further we proceeded to Dénia (Spain) (50 kms before Dénia), via Ap-7, approx. 650 Kms.
Day 8 : Drove to Dénia
We parked the campervan at Port de Dénia (free parking) then took Baleària ferry to Ibiza and stayed overnight in Ibiza. Ferry charges (return journey) were Euros 408 for 4 people. It was a discounted price; it may vary as per the season and offers. Ibiza is another world, fun, fun and only fun. The ferry was like a mini cruise ship, with all the facilities.
Day 9: Took ferry back to Dénia, then drove to Madrid (Spain). Via A-31 and AP-36 approx. 470 Kms
Camping stay at Area las Cigueñas, a dull camping area with only one washroom. But electricity was available. Parking plus electricity charges: Euros 25. One amongst us had to leave the trip and come back to India. Thereafter, the remaining three of us continued.
Day 10: A day well spent @ Madrid city
Moved to Camping Osuna the very next morning, much better camping area with lot of facilities. Now as it was the 10th day, which became a good time to do the laundry, and vehicle cleaning. Euros 45 were the parking charges for 3 people. Laundry charges were exclusive. We visited some bike accessory shops in Madrid city along with Harley Davidson showroom.
Day 11: Madrid – Mataró (Spain), via A-2 and AP-2, approx. 650 Kms
Camping overnight stay at Camping BARCELONA, a huge camping area with a functional small store and a restaurant. Very friendly and helpful receptionist. The sea is just across the road. Euros 46 per night for parking for 3 people. Stayed there for 2 nights, total cost came to 92 Euros. The camp was like 50 kms from the main Barcelona city but it had the best reviews. We didn’t want to compromise on the quality and facilities of the camp site. A very pleasant stay, also the metro was just in front of the camp. Travelling to Barcelona was not a problem at all.
Day 12: Barcelona City visit.
Took train from Mataró to Barcelona and visited the city. We had our lunch at the famous cafe chain: Hard Rock Cafe, and then proceeded to the Harley Davidson showroom. It was the National Day of Spain, so most of the commercial establishments were closed, only tourist places were open. We were lucky to witness the national day parade. All the fun with dancing people in rhythm with bands playing traditional dance tunes. We enjoyed it till the evening and returned to the camp by the Metro and for a small walk along the beach. Stayed overnight in the same camp.
Day 13: Mataró – Ventimiglia (Italy), via A9 and A8, approx. 680 kms.
Crossed: Montpellier, Marseille, Cannes and Nice in France. Visited Monaco in the evening. Fuel was the costliest in France, so we made sure to get the tank full in Spain to cross France in a single tank full. there was a huge traffic jam near Nice city, due to some accident. In 19 days trip this was the only incidence we have faced the traffic jam. Camping stay overnight at Camping Por La Mar, a beautiful camping area with necessary stores nearby. The washroom was huge but without any toiletries, the reason given to us is that people are not using free toiletries responsibly. In the whole trip we found this restriction only in this camp, but the camping site was beautiful, and their staff was supportive. Parking with electricity cost us 40 Euros.
We took a cab from there to the nearest train station and travelled to Monaco. After spending the evening in Monaco, in the midnight we took the Uber from France –Monaco border to return to the camping area because Uber is not allowed inside Monaco.
Day 14: Ventimiglia – Pisa (Italy), via E80 and A12/E80, approx. 320 Kms
Camping stay overnight at Camping Village Torre Pendente. A camping area with all the necessary features, along with wide coverage of wifi network. Euros 42.75 for parking with electricity for 3 people. We visited the leaning tower of Pisa, which was at a walking distance from the camp. We were tired because of the previous night in Monaco, therefore we decided to take a night halt at Pisa. In the whole trip we drove a good enough distance every day, therefore it was very important to take care of over tiredness and fatigue. Campervan has done its job very well. We go to bed to take a small nap whenever we get the time to relax.
Day 15: Pisa – Latina (Italy) with Colosseum visit in Rome, via A1/35 and Pontina/SS148 approx. 433 Kms.
We started from Pisa in the morning and visited Rome city. The Colosseum and surrounding monuments were on the visit list for the day. Spent a good noon in Rome and then drove to my friend’s farm in Latina.
Day 16: Rome and Vatican City visit by train.
A day reserved to visit Vatican City. Very good train service from Latina till Rome, and from there tourist bus to Vatican City. A day well spent, returned to Latina by the early evening to spend some time on the farm.
Day 17: Latina – Venice (Italy), via E35, approx. 610 Kms
Camping stay overnight at CAMPING VENEZIA VILLAGE. This camping site was equipped with the best facilities so far. Euros 38 for parking and electricity for 3 people. By the time we reached Venice it started to get cold. There was a bus stop just outside the camp. We took the bus to Venice city and spent a memorable evening there. Euros 38 for parking and electricity for 3 people.
Day 18: Venice – Innsbruck (Austria), via A4/E70 and E45, approx. 388 Kms
Camping stay at Campingplatz Judenstein. To my surprise there was no attendant in this camp. But you have complete access to electricity and the WCs/ showers. Euros 15 for parking with electricity. It was the most beautiful place we have encountered in the whole trip. People were paying by keeping the cash in the envelope with their name written on it and keeping the envelope in the letter box. It was all a game of honesty and trust. As it was the last night of the wonderful 19-day Europe Road Trip, we had a small party in the night to celebrate it. Till a month back none of us had dreamt of such a wonderful trip. I personally felt butterflies in my stomach in the last moments.
Day 19: Innsbruck – Munich (Germany), via Inntal Autobahn/E60 and A8, approx. 180 Kms
My friends had a flight back to India from Milan, and campervan had to be returned to Munich, therefore, I have dropped my friends to the Innsbruck station in the morning from where they took the bus to the Milan city. Further, I drove alone to Munich to return the campervan. All was well last day small ride, little hangover but reached safely to the camping site. This Europe Road trip was one of its kind and the most memorable one of all.
All the camping sites during this Europe Road trip we have chosen were from different camping apps and google maps. Some camping sites accept booking in advance, but some do not. Therefore, it might be a bit challenging during the high tourist season and as we have done this trip in October, which is near to the end of the season, due to which we did not face vacancy issues, and were lucky enough to find the spots on all the desired sites. It is also worth noting that we couldn’t go through the exact plan we drew up in advance. We had to make a lot of changes as to the weather, circumstances and time. Switzerland was also in our plan, but we had to miss it as we have spent some days extra in other cities. Also, Switzerland deserves whole complete separate road trip, I assume.
Preparations done in advance for the Europe Road trip:
- Schengen Visa to cover the Schengen countries. Which is required for the Indian Passport holders.
- International driving permit was issued from the local RTO in India. A simple application process is there, and with a fee of just 1000/- INR (as on September 2023) you can get the IDP in just a couple of days. Many Schengen countries accepts Indian driving licence for the duration of 6 months. But, in Italy you need IDP. Category B permit (vehicle up to 3500 Kg) is must to be able to drive campervans in Europe.
- International roaming activation along with good enough data / call plan. No need to mention the importance of the internet. You can also take local number in Europe, but overall, it will cost you the same. I took airtel international roaming plan of 3,999/- which was valid for 30 days along with 15 GB data and 100 min calls (everyday free) from and to Europe and India. It was enough for me to access maps, and occasionally my work-related stuff.
- Apps to find the camping sites: CamperContact and Park4night. I personally found Park4night the best with more listed sites. It is worth to pay for their subscription for your trip.
- Euro is the only currency widely accepted in all the Schengen countries. Therefore, we got INR converted to Euros both cash and forex card well in advance. Forex Cards are a lifesaver and a very secure way to pay everywhere. Very convenient on fuel pumps and toll booths but cash was always helpful in emergencies. Both mode of currency is a must.
Researched and booked campervan well in advance from Indiecampers. As it looked the most reliable and transparent in policies, all over the internet. It is a very easy process to book the van along with addons.
If you have any question or suggestion regarding this post or any road trip do let me know at [email protected]