There is something romantic about the idea of packing your bags and hitting the road in a converted campervan. Having the freedom of the open road to see where the journey takes you without worrying about where to stay makes a camper adventure unique. So, I’ve put together my dream campervan route (and would love to hear yours)!
The van itself
Before I can draw out my itinerary, there is the small matter of the van itself! Browsing through Pinterest for camper conversions is a sure way to lose an hour or 5 but worth every minute. Take a look for yourself on this Pinterest search if you are ready to get creative! From classic VW campers of a bygone era to modern machines, you can really build your perfect home for the road.
Save the pins of conversions that you love (both inside and out) so you can easily reference them later on when making the big changes. This is particularly helpful if you are working with a company or wider group of friends on the transformation.
Crossing The Channel
The first step of my camper road trip would be to get on to mainland Europe. My preferred method would be to take the Eurotunnel over to Calais; the trains are built with plenty of space to manoeuvre your van and an hour later, you are on the other side!
This is a quick video that will show you how easy it is to use the Le Shuttle to start your road trip:
Check your compass for east and start driving! The Jura mountains and surrounding areas aren’t as heavily traversed as other points of France and have so much to offer. If, like me, you’re a fan of cheese and wine then you are in luck. Vineyards cling to the side of rolling hills and will make you want to stop and taste the produce (assuming you aren’t driving!).
Stop off at the quant small town of Ornans to see the scenery that inspired famed French artist, Gustave Courbet. If your trip lines up with the first Sunday of September then Fête du Biou is a must. Winemakers parade through Arbois with their grapes as they head for a church. Don’t worry, this isn’t a big long tease of a festival, you will get plenty of chances to try the local produce at this Fête! Save some space in the van to store away the cheese and wine that you will inevitably want to take away with you.
The Jura gives you direct access to Switzerland and that would be my next stop. The driving steps up a level when you cross the border as the mountain roads will raise the heart rate! Thrill-seeking drivers should seek out the Furka Pass. Since featuring in the James Bond classic, Goldfinger, this pass has increased in popularity. Whilst not for the faint-hearted, you can follow in the footsteps (well, tyre tracks) of Mr Bond himself.
Mountains To Lakes
I will never get bored of being in and around the mountains but it is time to move on. Set the sat nav for the southern Swiss border and enter Italy. Easier driving awaits and heading to the lakes is a route that needs to be done!
Using the van to the max means pulling up next to lake, sliding the canoe off the top and hitting the water! Open up a bottle of wine saved from Jura and BBQ away to your hearts content.
The biggest dilemma you will have when arriving in the region is which lake to park up at first! TripAdvisor will be your friend in seeing recent, real-world feedback from others who have gone before you. Lake Como stands out as a go-to but there are so many others to explore that it’s not worth limiting the horizons to that lake alone!
This short but sweet European journey shows that, with a campervan, you don’t need to travel the world to have an incredible outdoors experience.