Europe in the cold season

Jul 17th, 2011, 07:50 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Europe in the cold season

We will be traveling in Europe from Oct through December and are thinking of doing it by camper van...anyone know if this is doable considering the weather...which areas to avoid, etc
roxelle44 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 09:19 PM
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The issue you may run into, depending on what countries/areas you plan to visit, will be that some of the van parks close down for Winter. Not all, but some.

Where are you planning to visit? That will allow people to give more specific advice on areas, etc.
madamtrashheap is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 09:57 PM
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Yeah, you need to give us a general idea where you plan to go.
And if the camper van rental agencies allow for pick up/return in different countries (for an often steep fee), or if you are restricted to certain points of entry.

October still is nice (while you cannot foresee the actual weather) and one of the best times to visit Southern Germany, Alsace, Austria (esp. the Wachau valley and sunny Carinthia.

As you get further into November and December, you should go further South, obviously. But weather usually deteriorates the more you get into winter. It's not so much snow (except for obvious locations like the Alps or Pyrenees) but more the rainy season.

It will take a bit more planning than an RV trip which started in April and lasted until June.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Jul 18th, 2011, 09:48 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. We may purchase a camper van in Germany and travel to the UK/Ireland, then to France, Germany and the areas you recommended, then south and then over to Turkey. We haven't researched campsites yet but hope to use them.
roxelle44 is offline  
Jul 18th, 2011, 10:03 AM
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All of the campgrounds I know of in France (mostly in the southwest) close mid- to end of October. I can't see the appeal of being in any of them from November on anyway. Some have cottages and other non-camping accommodations that remain open, but for most it's just not cost-effective to keep them open. I suspect that's true throughout most of Europe.
StCirq is offline  
Jul 18th, 2011, 07:52 PM
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I know of campgrounds in Switzerland which stay open during Winter, and in Paris which also stay open, but as StCirq noted, the ones in the southwest of France tend to close end October, and in other countries they can be few and far between. In the UK, there are options, particularly in the Pennines, Cornwall and even in Northumberland. But further north into Scotland you may run into trouble. Ditto for Ireland, but do a bit of a search as some of the larger ones may still operate. The other issue is that even though sites may be open, the facilities may be limited - including access to showers (sometimes only 1 or 2 are turned on), shops, etc.

If you are purchasing your camper in Germany, why not start there while the weather is still reasonable. Don't be fooled into thinking that Turkey is warm in Winter. Granted the coast is a little warmer than inland, but it gets chilly in Istanbul, Ankara, etc, snow at times.

You can certainly drive around Europe into Winter, but once the snow starts (and if it's anything like last Winter...yikes!) then you face putting on chains if you're in the moutains, traffic delays (I once took 14hrs to do what should have taken 5 on a snowy German Autobahn) and of course cold nights. Plan your route accordingly , ie try to get the snow-potential areas done early, and make sure your van has heating!
madamtrashheap is offline  
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