Avoid the Crowd Whilst Enjoying the Remnants of Summer with an Off-Peak European Road Trip
Head of Wanderlust at Camptoo, Ed Bassett, shares his top three road trip destinations to visit this September.
September doesn’t have to be all about the return to work. It usually brings surprisingly pleasant weather and given the summer we’ve been experiencing so far, will likely be the perfect opportunity to enjoy what’s left of the summer season. So, if you don’t have kids to settle back into school, September is the perfect time to head out on a road trip and Camptoo has just the recommendation for those looking for a late summer adventure…
“We’ve seen a real increase in the number of travellers booking EU trips over the last month,” says Ed Bassett, Head of Wanderlust at Camptoo – the Airbnb of campervans, “with trips to the Republic of Ireland, France and Switzerland being the most popular European destinations. The allure of these destinations is likely down to the fact they are so easy to travel to whilst avoiding the much publicised peak summer chaos at UK airports.
“The beauty of a road trip is that whilst you can, and should, plan ahead, you still have complete freedom to change your plans and follow where the wind blows – fancy the beach instead of the mountains? Want to visit a restaurant in the city? Simply pack up your van and move on.
“And travelling in early September means milder temperatures, making it the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors; whether that’s hiking through the lush green landscape, spending a few days soaking up the last of the summer sun at the beach, or exploring cities unencumbered by the peak-summertime crowds.”
Read on for Ed’s guide to his top three European road trip destinations to enjoy this September…
Soak up the sun in France
For a combination of warm sunshine, delicious food and wine and beautiful beaches France has and always will be a popular destination, especially for road trips.
Travelling the South of France and the Côte d’Azur is as chic as road trips come, and September is the perfect time to travel as you’ll avoid the high season traffic jams, but still be able to enjoy balmy temperatures of 22°C. Cannes to Monaco is just 34 miles, so the ideal place to relax and soak up the sun over a lazy long weekend.
For something a little different, consider an Alpine road trip – mountain passes are snow-free until mid-September. The 225-mile route from Annecy, arguably one of France’s most beautiful lakeside cities, to France’s highest city, St Véran, combines magnificent scenery with the charm of small villages and towns. En route enjoy hiking, mountain biking and white-water rafting. Whilst the route can be driven in a day, allow yourself a week, taking your time to explore and embrace mountain life.
Whichever route you choose to take, don’t be fooled by France’s toll roads – often dubbed ‘seductive shortcuts’. You’ll have a gentler, more scenic, and ultimately more rewarding road trip by taking the smaller roads.
Embrace the wild and head to the Republic of Ireland
Ideal for those seeking adventure and an escape into nature in all its rugged glory – come rain or shine – the Wild Atlantic Way, one of the longest defined coastal routes in the world totalling 1,600 miles, is pure road trip heaven.
The Wild Atlantic Way is undoubtedly one of, in not the most popular road trip routes in Europe, so travelling in the off-season is ideal.
Highlights include the Cliffs of Moher, Connemara, Malin Head, the Ring of Kerry, Kinsale and Horn Head, all of which boast spectacular coastal views, hiking and biking routes as well as ample opportunity to indulge in wild swimming, kayaking and horse-riding treks.
Whilst you could easily spend weeks exploring Ireland’s natural beauty, seven days will afford you ample time to explore a section of the route, whether that’s starting from Inshowen Peninsula in Donegal, Ireland’s most northerly point, or Kinsale in Cork.
Try something new and head to Denmark
Boasting seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites made up of fairtytale-esque forests, white sand beaches, stunning cliffs and beautiful lakes, Denmark is made for road tripping. With so much natural beauty to explore, as well as charming towns and cities, there really is something for everyone.
For a combination of city and nature, use Copenhagen as your base and from there, travel to the city of Roskilde, just 19 miles west of Copenhagen. Roskilde is an ancient market town with a rich history, dating back to the Viking era. It also boasts Roskilde Cathedral – the official burial ground of Danish monarchs and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you’re seeking to explore a natural haven, drive down to Marielyst on the island of Falster and enjoy the vast, sandy beach that’s routinely voted ‘Denmark’s best beach’. Surrounded by lush green forests, it’s the perfect place to relax, re-set and enjoy a digital detox, away from the pressures of modern life.
For the most part, general logic applies when driving wherever you are in the world however, there are a few key things to remember in Denmark, that you may not be used to:
- Your headlights should be switched on and dipped, even during the day.
- General rule of thumb is to give way to traffic approaching from the right.
- Speed limit in cities is 50 km/h (but 40 km/h in Copenhagen city centre).
- Outside city limits, the speed limit is 80-90 km/h and 110-1130 km/h on motorways.
And don’t forget…
Depending on how long you have for your road trip, you can either start from home or hire a campervan once in destination. Both have benefits, though using a peer-to-peer rental platform like Camptoo connects you with an owner in your chosen destination who will not only be able to provide vehicle hire, but will also gladly share their local knowledge, highlighting all the best places to visit on your travels. What better way to kick off your road trip than with some insider tips?
To find out more and book a van for your next road trip, or for help planning your next road trip check out Camptoo.co.uk.
Notes to Editors:
Camptoo’s UK Country Manager and Head of Wanderlust, Ed Bassett, is available for interview or comment upon request.
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Olivia Hazelden-Kingdon | Elsa Findlay | Charlotte Wright
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Launched in the Netherlands in 2014, Camptoo is a sharing economy platform that connects the owners and renters of campervans, motorhomes and touring caravans. The company was ranked the #1 fastest-growing travel company in Europe by Financial Times (FT1000, 2020).
Since it was launched, Camptoo users have booked over 500,000 days in vehicles rented through the site. Owners can generate income from their campervan when it’s not being used while renters have greater flexibility when booking their vehicle so that it best suits their needs.
There are over 2,100 vehicles listed in the UK, with over 5000 vehicles to choose from across Europe, and a further 400 across Australia, with more being added every week. Vehicles are properly insured to allow both owner as well as renter a carefree holiday, with Camptoo providing all the necessary paperwork, checklists and roadside assistance. For more information, visit www.camptoo.co.uk.