This Summer 2022, we have planned to go explore Europe. In the summer of 2021, we made preparations by camping across the Netherlands, namely in Kemphaan, Hemels, and Geithoorn. After long hours of research, I prepared a two-week itinerary for our camping trip that covers Germany, Switzerland, and France. The trip is 15 days long and will cover more than 2000 kilometers. We chose to use our car as a mode of transportation so it’ll be convenient to move around. Below is the infographic I prepared for our trip.
We brought our essential camping gear, a week worth of clothes, and a few snacks for the road. We didn’t bring much food for we decided to shop in the supermarkets and surprise ourselves with what meals we can come up with within each place. We refuel three times, all in Germany because they have cheaper fuel rates.
We allowed ourselves to enjoy each place by having ample time per location. As from previous camping experiences, it takes an hour to set up our tent, and another hour to pack it up. We opted to stay at least four days and three nights at each campground so as not to tire ourselves too much.
Our first stop is Cochem, the famous town along the Mosel river. From Zandvoort to Cochem, it was a 6-hour drive of almost 400km. We had two stops along Germany, to refuel and to get some snacks. We stayed at Mosel Camping Cochem for three days and two nights. The Mosel region was fascinating as it is nestled between the mountains and the Mosel river. Our journey through the mountains was interesting for we never see the same view as in the Netherlands (the Netherlands is pure flat land).
We wandered across the Mosel Promenade on our way to Cochem Altstad, where you can see Cochem castle. Just like any small European town, the town of Cochem is very charming, straight out of those fairytale books I read when I was young. We wanted to ride the Cochem sasselbahn, a pulley that starts at the bottom of the town that heads towards an awesome viewpoint where you can see a nice view of the castle and the town. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to ride it because it was closing soon when we got there. We opted to ride the train tour that travels all across town and tells us a small history of the town of Cochem.
I saw some vineyards slopes in the mountain, and I was interested to try the Mosel wine. I was able to try their local Reisling, which was a bit sweet and dry. I liked it so I bought a wine to add to my sweet wine collection. As we say goodbye to Cochem and head out to another town, we dropped by the Burg Eltz castle, which is nearby Cochem. We spent a good 4 hours on our trek up to the castle and going back to the car. It was a very draining trek because we were also in the middle of the heat wave that time. But the view of the Burg Eltz was amazing. I didn’t mind the trek, only if the weather was a bit cooler and not scorching us to death.
This is one of the activities we have planned for our kid. Legoland Village has a campground for pitchers and caravans. We camped for four days which includes two days of entry to the park. Our family is more of a theme park enthusiast/thrill-seeker when it comes to traveling.
The campground is located beside the Legoland village, where the vacation houses were. The Legoland Village has separate attractions for kids apart from the ones you can see inside the theme park. Legoland Village is interesting because it has several sections with different themes, like the Ninjago Apartments, Pirate Hotel, Pipowagen (that is similar to glamping in concept), and other villas with themes from different Lego pieces.
The theme park itself is smaller in comparison to Disneyland. But they have this big area where they built mini cities around Europe out of Lego. It was a fascinating site. Our kid had loads of fun in the park. He is at the age where he is daring to try the scary-looking rides.
We visited Zermatt during the winter before the pandemic so we can experience snow. Now, we wanted to explore the Swiss Alps during the summer when it is all lush and green, perfect weather for camping in the rolling hills. We decided to explore Interlaken. We camped at Camping Lazy Rancho, on the outskirts of Interlaken town for six days. The good thing about camping in the region is that they provide a travel card for the duration of your stay, meaning you get to travel for free in the whole Interlaken area. Kids travel free until 12 years of age.
Our first day was unfortunately rainy so we decided to explore the town of Interlaken. It was still pretty despite the weather. The river that connects Lake Thun and Lake Brienz flows across the town center of Interlaken. The blue water was a marvelous sight despite the rain. Our campsite was stunning for we were always greeted by the pretty Swiss Alps and people paragliding and jumping off the mountains.
Jungfrau region is a place we also explored. Since it is not included in our travel card, we purchased a 3 days pass which was a good deal for all the places we wanted to see. On the first day of using our pass, we headed straight to Jungfraujoch, the Top of Europe since the weather was sunny. After being exhausted at the top, we dropped by Kleine Scheidegg to admire the Swiss Alps and continued our journey to explore Murren.
On the second day of using our pass, we explored Schynige Platte, which was the area we decided to give hiking a try. They say that the amateur trail can be found in this place as there is a kid’s trail. We tried the kid’s trail first to warm up my son for hiking, then made a detour to check the mountain peaks. It was exhausting, good thing that the weather was perfect, sunny but still cool. As the sun begins to set, we headed to Harder Klum to admire the town as the sun sets.
On the third day of using our pass, we stopped by the town of Wengen. The town was small and very cozy. We headed our way to Mannlichen using the cable car from Wengen. Mannlichen is a good stop for families for there is a big playground and restaurant on the plateau. You can hike down towards the town of Grindelwald or you can take the cable car. In the afternoon, we headed towards Grindelwald First to see the attractions and exciting activities. We were too late for the attractions at that time because everything closed at 5PM. We were so busy exploring the place that when we decided to do some activities, the lines were already too long until the cutoff for the day.
Switzerland is an expensive place to travel, we accepted that fact even before we arrived. But there are a lot of ways where you can save money. We used the water fountains for our water the whole trip. Switzerland’s tap water is refreshingly good as it came from the Alps. You can bring sandwiches and snacks to fuel your adventure as the restaurants in the mountain peaks tend to run at an average of 20 euros, and even their instant ramen costs more than 10 euros.
I wanted to explore Alsace, and it is conveniently located near Switzerland, so I have included it in our list. We decided to explore the town of Colmar so we can see the La Petite Venise canal bridges. We stayed at Camping de L’Il for three days.
Our itinerary at Colmar is very simple. We will walk around Colmar’s Old Town, have lunch at Marche Couvert and make our way to La Petite Venice. The whole town is charming, it’s like stepping out as Belle in the fairytale story, Beauty and the Beast. Unfortunately, there was a heat wave so we were literally melting and sweating profusely while walking around town. A lot of ice creams and iced coffee were consumed that day.
We decided to visit Musee du Jouet because my son wanted to do something that he will enjoy. The toy stores are nice, but this museum is a lot better choice. Musee du Jouet is a children’s museum with a lot of old-school toys. It has three floors full of historical toys for children. The whole family enjoyed playing different types of board games, arcade games, and even Sega.
After Colmar, I initially planned to drop by Paris for our last leg of the trip. We decided to change plans last minute and headed to Valkenburg aan Geul on our way home. We stayed at Hotel La Casa for one night to refresh and rest a bit before we headed back home. We weren’t able to explore the town of Valkenburg because it was raining hard that day. Also, we decided to drop by Roermond Outlet Village to do some retail shopping.
Our Europe summer camping trip was a tiring one but we had loads of fun. This article has not been your typical travel guide with lots of details but I hope I was able to convey how remarkable the places we went to were. It was exciting to see different towns and confuse ourselves as we switched from different languages. We may not have been able to follow our itinerary to the dot, but it served as a guide for us to have an amazing summer camping experience!
Which cities in Europe should we visit next?