The Top 6 Countries to Tour by Campervan
If you are reading this blog, you don’t need us to extol the virtues of holidaying by campervan. It’s simple, convenient, and you can pretty much go anywhere you please. All you need is an adventurous mindset, good roads, and a great location. And it’s that third category that we are going to explore today – what are the top 6 countries in the World to tour by campervan? Read on to discover our top six hotspots for campervan holidays and tours!
#1 The USA
#3 New Zealand
#5 South Africa
#1 The USA
America is known as the land of plenty – and it’s certainly the case for campervan fans. It has everything you need for the perfect trip away, and you could easily spend a couple of years constantly on the move and still have things to see.
There is such a variety of landscapes and terrain to explore, and each state has its own unique charm. The swamps of the Deep South, the deserts of the East Coast, and the Great Lakes in the north are all perfect places for campervan trips. And that’s forgetting about the huge expanses of land in between.
Every town and city are such huge distances apart, that wherever you travel, potential adventure awaits. In fact, if someone told you the USA was designed with campervans in mind, you would be hard pressed to disbelieve them.
America is, of course, packed full of famous and historic sites. And the great thing about a campervan holiday is that wherever you are, there will always be something of interest at the end of every road. You can start out in Las Vegas, for example, and sample the madness of the Entertainment Capital of the World. Wake up the next day – and wait for the hangover to recede – and you can drive to the Hoover Dam before making the trip across to the Grand Canyon (these 5 Grand Canyon by RV tips are worth a read).
So, if you want a great introduction to campervan tours, head out the States. A trip of a lifetime awaits.
It wouldn’t be fair to mention the USA without mentioning its neighbour, Canada. Again, it enjoys an incredible variety of landscapes, with vast expanses of wilderness that is ripe for exploration. The most popular destinations are, of course, the northern parts of the Great Lakes and the Rockies. But for those who prefer things a little less populist, there is a lot more to enjoy besides.
The Ski-to-Sky Highway offers the most adventurous amongst you plenty of opportunities to get out in the snow. The mountains of British Columbia offer skiing, snowboarding, and some of the most spectacular views in the country.
Adventure lovers should also try the drive along the Yellowhead Highway. You can take in the incredible Icefields Parkway and visit the stunning and beautiful Wells Gray Provincial Park. Finally, you can’t visit Canada without checking out the
– a must for those who love solitude and discovery.
#3 New Zealand
The next country on your campervan bucket list should be New Zealand. Now, we thought long and hard about this one. It was a toss up between the Land of the Kiwi and Australia. There’s a lot of love for campervan trips Down Under, but in our opinion, New Zealand is a little more manageable. Where Australia has vast expanses of, well, nothing, New Zealand offers incredible scenery at almost every turn. Plus, Australia can be a little harsh. You can go days without seeing a soul, and it takes a decent amount of stamina and determination to succeed. Keep it for when you are a little more experienced, perhaps.
Anyway, back to New Zealand. It really is a magical country that offers far more than its reputation of being a big field containing a lot of sheep. There are plenty of recommended tours to take, and if it’s your first trip you could do a lot worse than follow them. There’s the spectacular drive along the Pacific Coast, for instance. Or, you could take in the natural wonders of the Thermal Explorer Highway.
There are plenty of other themed highways to explore, too. You might spot a few whales off the coast of the Alpine Pacific Triangle. You could enjoy some incredible tasting wines while exploring the Wine Trail along the western side of the island. And, if you bring your surfboards along for the ride, you can get to use them as often as you please while traveling the
In short, if you do make the trip to Oceania, you might be better off on the islands of New Zealand. Australia is a magnificent country, of course – but New Zealand just nicks it in our opinion. This is a particulary useful guide to campervan hire in New Zealand.
Short on time? Then head over to Iceland – it’s a spectacular place that is ideal for life in the campervan. Your campervan trip will take in the incredible scenery, from freezing cold mountains to boiling hot geysers. You will experience plenty of solitude, too, and the mix of peace and quiet and astonishing views will take your breath away. There’s a great guide to Iceland by campervan here.
Your best bet for your first visit is to follow the Ring Road. It takes you the whole way around Iceland and measures up at around 800 miles. Most of the popular tourist spots are easily found from the ring road, and the best thing about it is that you can just follow your nose. Don’t leave the road, and you won’t get lost, regardless of whether you lose your map or your smartphone runs out of juice.
However, for the best experience of Iceland – and some of the most stunning scenery – you’ll need to take a few detours. The most remote swimming holes and geysers are off the beaten track – but that’s precisely what campervans are for, right?
You have protection, too. Iceland has a super cool law that allows you to stop anywhere you like in your vehicle and stay the night. It’s called the Law of Survival, and it covers you whether you are in a proper car parking spot or someone else’s land. That is going to save you a lot in pitching fees, and it’s a fantastic assurance that wherever you are, you will always have a place to sleep.
#5 South Africa
Love nature and wildlife? Then head out to South Africa for a campervan experience of a lifetime. And, while you are there, don’t be afraid to move out into different regions, such as Botswana, Malawi, or Namibia. There is scenery in this part of the world that you just won’t see anywhere else – and plenty of weird and wonderful animals to check out, too.
South Africa is a beautiful place for campers of any kind. There are more than 1,500 campsites dotted all over the country, and you are never far from your next potential stop. And this is a good thing, as there is so much to take in – you don’t want to rush your trip. Make sure you book some stops before your visit, though, as these sites can get busy during holiday seasons.
So, where should you go and what should you see? Well, the highlights of most people’s trips to South Africa are the National Parks, so check out as many as you can. The Garden Route is also well worth experiencing, as is the world famous
. And don’t forget that South Africa is an enormous country, so choose your routes wisely. For example, Cape Town and Durban are almost 1900 km apart, so expect to spend at least ten days if you want to see as much as possible.
Finally, bear in mind that there is a lot of poverty in the region. And, if you are driving a super expensive campervan, you will draw attention to yourself. There is a lot of hyperbole about safety in South Africa, and much of it is untrue. But, you should still be careful about driving after dark and keeping valuables on display.
#6 The UK
A UK campervan holiday can be an incredible experience. It’s easy to look enviously at other countries, but we have a lot going on here, too. Whether it’s a trip to the Lake District, or up to the highlands of Scotland, stunning scenery is only ever a few hours away. And that’s without mentioning all the amazing, quaint little towns and villages that are the embodiment of British life.
The rugged coastlines and sandy beaches of Cornwall. The vast expanse of flatland in Norfolk. And the incredible mountains and hills of Wales. It’s all on your doorstep, right now, and a comparatively short drive away. Even Ireland is accessible via a quick ferry trip.
And, of course, the UK is renowned for its camping. We have thousands of sites up and down the country, for all kinds of budgets and lifestyles. You might want to fish along beautiful stretches of river. You might prefer trundle around the country on historical tours, or enjoy water sports on lake or sea. The point is, there is something for everyone in the UK – and it’s all on our doorsteps.
Have we missed any of your favourite campervan destinations? Let us know about them in the comments section below!