Caravan Holidays in Europe

As a caravan owner, one of the best things is the freedom it gives you to travel to many different places. If you are taking your caravan overseas, we've put together a guide to caravanning in Europe, including the best places to go and essential rules and regulations you need to follow.

Caravan holidays in Europe

Visiting another country whilst still enjoying all your home comforts is one of the greatest things about caravanning. With mainland Europe just a ferry ride away, it's definitely something to consider doing with your caravan as you can experience different cultures and sites, from Nordic cuisine to Alpine scenery. If you do choose to go abroad, just make sure you have European towing included in your touring caravan insurance.

Some European countries require you to carry certain equipment in order to comply with their road laws. These vary from country to country, so it is important that you research the country you are visiting and those you may have to drive through to reach your destination. The Caravan Talk website is worth taking a look at for driving regulations and tips on towing.

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Although the furthest of our recommendations, the drive to Croatia will take you through some beautiful scenic landscapes, and there are many wonderful places to stop off at on your journey. Set on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, Croatia has a number of quaint fishing villages, vineyards and tranquil pine forests just waiting to be explored.

Laws in Croatia stipulate that you must have a first aid kit and high-visibility vest in your vehicle, and drive with your lights on during the daytime between the months of October and March. It is also required that you carry a warning triangle - or two when you are towing.

  • Equipment required by law: Two warning triangles, reflective jacket, first aid kit, spare bulbs, and a nationality sticker.

  • Recommended equipment: In winter you should also carry a shovel and have winter tyres marked with M&S (meaning that they are suitable for mud and snow).

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Visiting Denmark in a caravan is an ideal way to enjoy everything the country has to offer. With beautiful coastlines and national parks it is a great place to visit with many different things on offer, such as high-quality dining and award-winning architecture. Denmark has many excellent campsites to choose from so no matter where in the country you decide to visit you're sure to find a good spot to stay in. 

  • Equipment required by law: A warning triangle and nationality sticker. You should also check the suitability of your towing mirrors.

  • Recommended equipment: Reflective jacket, first aid kit and spare bulbs.

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France has long been a hotspot for caravaners due to its easy access on the ferry, and it offers a wide range of holiday options, from beach holidays to skiing breaks. From historic Normandy to the Cote d'Azure, there are excellent campsites across the country so wherever you choose to go you're bound to find the perfect place for your caravan.

When driving through France you must have a high-visibility vest and warning triangle in your vehicle, and it is also French law that you switch your headlights on during the day when towing.

  • Equipment required by law: Warning triangle, first aid kit, reflective jackets for every passenger, nationality sticker and breathalyser kit.

  • Recommended equipment: Spare bulb and snow tyres in winter.

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Germany has a great variety of holiday getaways. Whether you're into being active outdoors or prefer a more leisurely pace, you can choose from rural retreats through to fully serviced flights. It is a diverse country, with varying landscapes, beautiful towns and cities, including the medieval forts and baroque palaces along the Rhine.

It is worth bearing in mind when driving in Germany that the Autobahn does not have a maximum speed limit but if you are towing a caravan there is a limit of 80mph.

  • Equipment required by law: Warning triangle, first aid kit and a nationality sticker.

  • Recommended equipment: Spare bulbs.

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Northern Italy offers the beauty of the alps and the stunning Italian lakes, including Lake Como and Lake Garda. With only around 1,500 miles between Calais and Rome, the journey further south is relatively easy too, taking you through the famous Mont Blanc tunnel. There is so much to enjoy in Italy, from fine art, fashion, culture and, of course, the food. There are many beautiful cities with rich histories to enjoy. Wherever you visit there are excellent caravan sites to choose from.

When driving in Italy you must have a warning triangle and high-visibility vest. You must also keep your headlights on when driving through tunnels.

  • Equipment required by law: Warning triangle; first aid kit; nationality sticker.

  • Recommended equipment: Spare bulbs.

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For many, a holiday in Spain is all about the beach, and with over 5,000 miles of stunning coastline it's easy to see why. The country boasts a rich tapestry of history and heritage as well as a cuisine of tapas, cured meats, seafood and probably Spain's most famous dish, paella. Whether you're looking for a quiet site in the countryside or a fully-serviced site near a city, you're bound to find a great spot for your caravan.

In Spain it's obligatory to have a warning triangle in your vehicle - or two when towing - as well as high-visibility vests for everyone in the car. If your combined vehicle and caravan measures over 12 metres, it is also compulsory to use a marker board to indicate your outfit length. Headlights are not compulsory during the day, but they must be switched on when driving in tunnels. 

  • Equipment required by law: Two warning triangles, spare tyre, reflective jackets for each passenger, spare bulbs and a nationality sticker. Overhanging loads such as bike racks need to have marker boards attached. Two external towing mirrors are required on your car.

  • Recommended equipment: First aid kit.

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This compact but distinctly beautiful country is within easy reach from the ferry terminals of France. With snow-capped mountains and pretty towns, Switzerland has a wealth to offer visitors. Whether you just want to enjoy the scenery or be active and adventurous, you're bound to find a great caravan park in Switzerland to enjoy it all from.

It is compulsory to carry a warning triangle in your vehicle, and it is also law that headlights are kept on during the day for increased visibility, and definitely on in the many tunnels across the country.

  • Equipment required by law: Warning triangle, nationality sticker and a motorway tax sticker called a vignette (available at some petrol stations or some customs offices).

  • Recommended equipment: Fire extinguisher, first aid kit and spare bulbs

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European speed limits for caravans

Speed limits across Europe can vary a great deal and are often different if you are towing a caravan. It is worth familiarising yourself with the speed limits of the countries you are travelling through before you head off to avoid any confusion. Remember speed limits in mainland Europe are in kilometres-per-hour rather than miles-per-hour. 

Speed limits in France can be particularly confusing as they will depend on your towing weight. Those towing over 3.5t are limited to 80km/h on single carriageways and 90km/h on dual carriageways and motorways. Road signs will typically show two speed limits, the lower of which should be obeyed in wet weather and by drivers who have held a licence for less than two years.

For more information it is worth taking a look at the guide to European speed limits for those towing a caravan.

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Documentation required when caravanning in Europe

When travelling through Europe it is always worth carrying your documents with you to ensure that you are prepared should there be an incident. Typically, it is recommended that you keep the following paperwork with you wherever you travel:

  • Driving licence
  • Vehicle registration document
  • Insurance certificate
  • Passport

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Caravan holidays in Europe

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Touring caravan insurance from Towergate

To ensure you are covered should the worst happen, you should take out touring caravan cover.

Find out about our touring caravan insurance online or call us on 0344 892 1413 to speak to a specialist adviser.

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Caravan insurance from Towergate

Our caravan insurance can be built to suit your lifestyle. For more information get a quote online or call us on 0330 173 9442.

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About the author

Adam Summersby, caravan insurance articles author

Adam Summersby is a respected leader with 11 years’ varied experience in niche personal and commercial lines insurance, including caravan, site operators and excess reimbursement, with proficiency in leadership, sales and account management.