Many people would love to “see the whole world”, but going on a trip costs a lot of money. That is why we sought out where you can camp in the wild in Europe, and therefore for free.
Camping is fun, but wild camping is the superlative. You are completely one with nature, you go all the way back to basic. It is an unique experience for those who love nature. And here are the best places to do so.
Norway has fjords, a beautiful interior, vast forests, enchanting waterfalls and we can continue for a while. You can sleep for free in this magical world, provided you obey the rules.
For example, you are not allowed to sleep in built-up areas and you have to stand at least 150 meters from the nearest house. The latter is not that difficult.
Best place: Jotunheimen and Lofoten
The same rules apply here as in Norway: you can go wild camping anywhere, as long as you follow the Allemansratten. Nice people, those Scandinavians. If you drive through Sweden in your car or camper, you fall from one surprise to the other in terms of nature.
Sweden is perfect for a fishing holiday or walking holiday. Nice touring from lake to lake and landscape to landscape.
Best place: Lapland
In Scotland the principle of “right to roam” applies. That means that you can go wild camping anywhere in Scotland. As long as you take nothing else home with you but photos and a great experience, the Scots are fine with it. Are you planning to spend the night near a house, just ask if the owner thinks it is good. Go for the rugged Highlands, where nature is the most beautiful in all of Scotland.
Best place: the Highlands
Here too, the so-called everyone’s right applies, the right of way. So you can go wild camping in Finland as long as you follow a few rules. For example, you may only enter a nature area on foot, by bike, by boat or on skis (not by car or motorcycle!). Furthermore, you are only allowed to camp on non-cultivated land, which means that you are not allowed to spend the night in a field and you must keep a distance of at least 150 meters from houses. Also interesting to know is that you can also pick berries and mushrooms in Finland (and in Norway and Sweden). You can therefore camp freely self-sufficient.
Best place: Patvinsuo National Park
Overregulated Switzerland is an exception in this list. You are not allowed to camp in the country unless you are above 2,000 meters. But that immediately makes it an unique experience.
This means hiking through the mountains and sleeping above the tree line, which is used as a wild camping line. Please note that you can only sleep in one location for a maximum of one night. A nice route to walk is the Walkers Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt.
Best place: Schwarzsee
Iceland is the mecca for lovers of rugged, volcanic nature. When you get there, it feels like you are walking the world the way it looked a billion years ago.
As a traveler you can set up a tent in uninhabited areas, so almost everywhere. You are not allowed to camp in national parks and leave the road with your car. We recommend avoiding the touristic Golden Circle and really exploring the wilderness.
Best place: the northeast
Wild camping in the Baltic States
This is not the end of wild camping in Europe, because Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are also full of possibilities. Both wild camping and bivouacing are allowed here outside of private grounds and protected nature areas and provided you treat nature wisely. In addition to wild camping, there are also enough natural camping places in all three countries where you can camp for free and all basic facilities are available.
If you decide to go wild camping in Europe, make sure you follow the Leave no Trace principles.