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In the UK, the vast majority of us make hay while the sun shines and stick to using our motorhomes during the warmer months. However, there are plenty of European hotspots to head to during autumn and winter to catch some much-needed winter sun, or perhaps a welcomed change of scenery.
So, what are the benefits of heading off in your motorhome throughout the cooler months? For one, the pricing structure can certainly help. On average, prices are between 15% and 30% cheaper in winter months meaning you get more bang for your buck and these savings can help to fund the cost of an overnight ferry or the Channel Tunnel.
However, if you are deciding to visit somewhere with a colder climate it's worth checking if your motorhome is suitable. These days most motorhome manufacturers produce vans that are equipped for winter temperatures. The testing is rigorous and includes placing the van into a freezing cold chamber for several hours with the heating switched on. The internal temperature must reach 20°C within two hours. Check that your motorhome has undergone this type of test if you are planning on using it in very cold climates throughout the winter.
With this being said, if you are heading to Europe this winter in your motorhome, you are likely to be blessed with much warmer temperatures than we have in the UK!
Here are our top picks of places to visit:
This is one of the warmest places you can visit in Europe in the winter so it does tend to be quite busy which doesn’t suit all. However, there are still many sites to choose from which are further away from the popular spots and often much quieter.
Even in December and January you don’t need thick jumpers or coats, so it really does provide an excellent place to catch some nice weather. It can drop slightly cooler on a night so our advice is to pack warm bedding to keep you toastie throughout the night. If you are going to head here it is worth venturing to the south of the country, not the west. Where the coast meets the Atlantic Ocean it can be prone to storms and gale-force winds. However, sticking to the east of Faro means you are sheltered from much of this (unless you love to surf of course!).
Spain has lots to offer throughout the winter months, including predictable and warm weather - something that's certainly not guaranteed in the UK. The campsites in Spain tend to cater well for the long stay winter visitors too, so if you are seeking an extended trip this is the place for you. If the warm weather is on your list of top priorities we recommend heading to Costa del Sol in southern Spain. Here you'll get some of the best winter warmth in Europe as well as stunning beaches. Alternatively, there's plenty of campsites located around Barcelona if you're looking for somewhere lively and packed full of exciting things to do. We must say, it looks a pretty spectacular destination to visit over Christmas.
If you want to be even warmer, Morocco has 100s of campsites open all year round - detailed in Camping Morocco. Although not part of Europe, it is easily accessible by a short ferry crossing from Spain and temperatures remain warm throughout the winter. Morocco is the perfect destination if you want to immerce yourself in a different culture, from it's spectacular architecture to it's bustling market streets, it's a world apart from the typical European spots...and the campsites are also super cheap.
This is where making sure your motorhome is suitable for cold temperatures is so important. Many people do camp in the Alps during the winter months as it is a more cost-effective way to do a ski trip. We put our hands up though, we have never done it ourselves so we turned to trusty Google to find out the best places to go. We discovered this article listing '11 Lovely Campsites for Winter Camping in the Alps' and it certainly made us want to pack up our ski boots and head to the slopes!
If you're heading on a trip abroad this winter in your motorhome, be sure to tag us in your pictures on social media.
Happy winter tripping!