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Seaside Camping in Europe

Find Paradise-Like Settings for Under $20 a Night

Vast lengths of smooth surfaced rocks and sandy coves are within a few-minutes walk on the trailhead from Bartsa Camping in Sweden.

Finding a campground in a remote, paradise-like setting is a great joy. At small, family-run places, where they staff is friendly and the setting seductive, it’s easy to succumb to the slow life. Camping per night for two persons, a car, and tent is under $20 a night at all of these favorites.

On the Adriatic (Croatia)

This campground is so special you could plan your trip around it and not be disappointed. Just south of Omis, it hangs over a terraced cliff where sites are on individual ledges with just enough room to be comfortable. A large boulder juts off one end providing a sensational diving point for exciting plunges into the serene crystal clear water. A short trail leads down to a private sandy cove beach and grotto. Auto-Camp Sirena (011-385-2187-0266) is very small so call ahead to make reservations with the friendly English-speaking owner. It’s open April-November.

Azore Islands of Portugal

Carpets of lush green pastures, serenely embroidered with the blues and pinks of hydrangeas spill from mountainsides to the endless blue of the sea in these mid-Atlantic islands located 900 miles west of mainland Portugal. Pristine crater lakes, some warmed by hot springs, reflect the passing clouds. Walking paths lead up to waterfalls lined lushly with ferns and azaleas and into isolated stone villages. All nine islands have campgrounds right at the edge of the sea. Campismo da Urzelina (011-295-414-401), on the island of Sao Jorge, has a spectacular terraced location on a seaside bluff as well as a swimming pool and is open May-September. Inexpensive ferries ply in-between the islands, so it’s fun to visit a few.

Hoga Kusten, Sweden

Vast lengths of smooth-surfaced rock hide tiny sandy coves perfect for private sunbathing and swimming a few minutes walk on the trailhead from this remote little campground in Sweden’s UNESCO-listed Huga Kusten, north of Uppsala. It’s a splendid drive through lush pastureland to the sea and wharf at minuscule Bartsa, where campers pay their fees on the honor system. Bartsa Camping (011-46613-23100) is open June-August and it’s not far from Skuleskogen National Park, a hilly roadless wilderness area webbed with spectacular hiking trails.

Finland’s Island of Foglo

Countless coves and serene waterways pass along almost flat roadways making kayaking and cycling especially popular in the Aland archipelago. Located between southern Finland and Sweden, it claims to have the most sunny days in the Nordic. On more remote Foglo Island, easily reached by an inexpensive ferry, there’s a blissful sense of being totally away at CC Camping (011-0457-3749915) just minutes from Dergerby. A very scenic lakeside sauna, plus kayak and bike rentals give this small campground romantic seclusion as well as a chance for invigorating physical exertion.

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