In 2015 we realised our dream trip. We took time out from working life and embarked on a 1 year long motorhome trip around Europe. We started from Stockholm at the end of November 2014 and exactly one year later we were back in the Swedish capital. In the meantime, we had driven around the coast of Europe, from France and Portugal in the west to Albania and Macedonia in the east. You can read about the trip here - and perhaps be inspired to do a similar motorhome trip around Europe!
1 year long motorhome trip around Europe
We started our motorhome trip around Europe by driving straight down to the west coast of France and then continued the coastal route around Spain, Portugal and the south coast of France. In Nice we took the ferry across to Corsica, and then we continued to Sardinia, Sicily and across to southern Italy.
We then drove slowly upwards through Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Austria and Germany. Join us and read about our entire motorhome journey around Europe!
Stage 1: Stockholm - France
We left Stockholm on 28 November 2014 and made two first stops with friends in Arboga and Gothenburg. Then we drove straight down to the French west coast, with two stops to sleep at rest areas along the motorways.
- Best memory: What a feeling to have the adventure in front of you!
- Biggest challenge: We slept one night in a petrol station in Germany. It was below zero and we hadn't had time to fill up on water, so we had no heat... at all. When we woke up, there was smoke on our breath.
Stage 2: West coast of France
Next, we visited the fascinating monastery. Mont St Michel and continued travelling around the entire Brittanywhere we visited, among other things, the oyster mecca. Cancale, the beautiful Camaret sur Mer and Concarneau, with the walled city in the water.
- Best memory: Standing on the cliffs of Camaret sur Mer and looking out over the sea!
- Biggest challenge: The campsites were closed at this time of year and we needed LPG to heat the motorhome. The French LPG bottles are different from the Swedish ones, but we eventually managed to get an adapter. In addition, we had problems with the motorhome and had to visit a workshop, which helped us to solve the problem.
Stage 3: Northern Spain
We arrived in Spain on 20 December and made our way to a campsite in beautiful Zarautz, where we stayed for a couple of days. We visited the mountains in Picos de Europa and, as we had problems changing the LPG tanks in Spain, we then quickly rolled into Portugal.
- Best memory: After all the adventures, we were able to relax on the comfortable Gran Camping Zarautz and enjoy luxuries like showers and WiFi.
- Biggest challenge: It proved totally impossible to buying and connecting Spanish LPG tanksand as soon as we left the comfortable campsite (with electricity for heating) we had problems with the cold. On the Christmas Eve the gas started to run out, and soon after we had to roll towards Portugal.
Stage 4: Portugal
December 2014 - February 2015
On 27 December we drove into northern Portugal and the city of Caminha, where we stayed for a few days. We then visited the dramatic coastline of the Nazaré and, just in time for New Year's Eve, we went and visited blog friends in Cascais outside Lisbon. Together with them we also visited Lisbon, before rolling down to the Algarve coast and the Albufeira.
We stayed a few weeks together with nice Swedes on the the car park in Albufeira sunbathing on the beach in Galé, while at the same time we had time for excursions to Sagres and Lagos. We then proceeded to Tavira, where we met new friends who showed us around the neighbourhood. surroundings. Before leaving Portugal, we drove north and met up with blogging friends in beautiful Alentejo.
- Best memory: Fantastic to be welcomed to celebrate the New Year with new blogging friends who we have never met, but had incredibly nice days with.
- Biggest challenge: To be able to stay cheaply on campsites, we ordered ACSI CampingCard to a car park in Albufeira. Then we had to wait several weeks for the card and catalogue to arrive... Luckily we had a great time in the meantime!
Stage 5: The Mediterranean coast of Spain
February - April 2015
We entered the south of Spain on 7 February and went straight to Seville, where we met another blogger friend. We continued to Puerto de Santa Maria and Europe's southernmost point, Tarifa. Then we stayed for a week in Torre del Mar, on the Sunshine Coast. We made a trip up to the Sierra Nevada, with a visit to Mt. Granada and the interesting palace area Alhambra. Back on the coast, we met up with blogging friends in Roquetas de Mar.
We proceeded to Peniscola and then to the luxurious naturist campsite. El Templo del Sol. We also visited the surprisingly interesting city of Tarragona, where we experienced the Spanish Easter. The last visit to Spain was to the exclusive waterfront city. Empuriabrava.
- Best memory: It was amazing to experience the Las Fallas festival, and with locals (and now friends) who could show us around.
- Biggest challenge: As we couldn't fill up with LPG in Spain, we had to save on LPG. We had to look for campsites with electricity and heat the campervan with electricity, although many campsites charged by the amount of electricity used.
Stage 6: Mediterranean coast of France
April - May 2015
On 6 April we rolled into the south of France. We stayed a month in Cap d'Agde and made excursions to the Medieval City Carcassonne and the charming coastal town Seat. As we continued our journey eastwards, we visited the cosy village of Palavas les Flots, the beautiful Camargue with the white horses and the historically interesting city. Arles. I Baux des Provence we experienced a magical light show in a limestone cave.
We then proceeded to one of the highlights of the entire trip: a tour of the dramatic canyon. Gorges du Verdon. We visited the cosy old towns Moustiers Sainte Marie, Castellane and Aiguines. We also rented a pedal boat in the lake Lac de Sainte Croix.
We then continued down to the French Riviera, where we visited famous places such as Sainte Maxime, St Tropez and Canneswhere the film festival was in full swing. We also had time for a detour to the surf and nature paradise. Giens Peninsula, before we went back and took the ferry from Nice to Corsica.
- Best memory: Travelling around the Gorge du Verdon - wow what a place!
- Biggest challenge: Possibly a bit tricky to park with the motorhome around the French Riviera, but it was easily solved by staying at campsites such as Les Cigalons outside Sainte-Maxime, or The Ranch in Cannes.
Stage 7: Corsica
May - June 2015
On 26 May, we arrived in Corsica, and went straight to a campsite outside the Aleria on the east coast, where we camped directly on the sand. We then drove to the somewhat luxurious and charming town of... St Florent in the north and took a boat trip to the magically beautiful beach. Saleccia. We stayed for a while in the nice holiday town. Calvi before following the west coast southwards on the incredibly dramatic mountain roads - the craziest of which was at Calanche!
Then we drove eastwards, to the beautiful beaches around Mt. Porto-Vecchio and the perhaps even more beautiful beaches at the Sperone. We finished with a few days in the dramatically situated city of ... Bonifacio in the south, before we took the ferry to Sardinia.
- Best memory: We will never forget our romantic picnics on paradise beach at Cupabia Beach.
- Biggest challenge: The mountain roads were sometimes very narrow, with steep cliffs next to them, so you had to hold your tongue while driving sometimes... (If you want, you can choose other roads.).
Stage 8: Sardinia
June - July 2015
On 20 June, we arrived by ferry in Sardinia, and went directly (with another ferry) to the beautiful little island. La Maddalena, where we stayed for a few days. We took a quick look at Emerald Coast and then travelled down to the incredibly beautiful Cala Gonone, where we travelled by boat among the paradise beaches. Then we drove up to Stintino promontory and visited Alghero and made an excursion to Grotta di Nettuno.
We then continued southwards along the west coast and found our way down to a beach where we could fricamp and on to the beautiful beach in Porto Pino. Then we visited the "capital" Cagliari before we left to endure the heat of the Costa del Rei. Then it was time to move on to Sicily!
- Best memory: The party in the small village of Scano de Montiferro surpasses most of the trip!
- Biggest challenge: When we came to Cagliari it was really, really hot, and then it's not completely optimal to stand on a tarmac car park with no possibility of shade. At the same time, we had problems with the motorhome and had to visit the workshop again ...
Stage 9: Sicily
July - August 2015
We arrived in Palermo in Sicily on 27 July, with the Ferry from Sardinia. The first meeting with Sicily was a bit shockingly because it was so messy and dirty, but we soon found the nice headland. San Vito Lo Capo and the mighty city Trapani.
We visited the beautiful and historic cities Noto and Syracuse and then drove to the holiday resort Giardini Naxos. The most beautiful and charming town in Sicily, Taormina, we visited at the end and there was also a blog meeting! After that it was time to roll on and take the the ferry to Calabria, on the Italian mainland.
- Best memory: We had very nice days at the caravan park in Pozzallo, and here the owners also gave us the idea of heading for Albania!
- Biggest challenge: The heat was tough in August! The parking space in Marina di Ragusa was free and good, but asphalt without shade becomes almost unbearable when it is 36 degrees hot and constantly radiant sun. Good thing there were air-conditioned cafes!
Stage 10: Southern Italy
We arrived in Calabria on 10 August and started with a visit to the cool city. Tropea which sits on top of a mountain, with stunning views of the sea. We then drove around the Italians' holiday paradise. Puglia (heel), where we made a visit to, among other things, the Cathedral of Otranto. Then we went to Brindisito take the ferry across to Greece.
- Best memory: Tropea was fabulously beautiful, and here we also experienced a lovely "conversation" with a curious Italian family - who didn't know a word of English.
- Biggest challenge: Possibly the language. It didn't always work with English, but on the other hand it always worked out.
Stage 11: Greece
We arrived in Igoumenitsa in northern Greece on 13 August, with the ferry from Italy. We drove directly to Drepanos beach and then visited Ioanninawhich is beautifully situated on a lake in north-west Greece. Then we rolled towards Albania!
- Best memory: Really beautiful to drive among the mountains and interesting to see a different part of Greece than what you are used to seeing pictures from.
- Biggest challenge: Apparently we arrived on a public holiday and not a single grocery store was open. Not even a small neighbourhood shop.
Stage 12: Albania
Our campervan journey around Europe took us to Albania, on the winding roads, on 15 August. We first visited the beautiful holiday resort Ksamil and then made excursions to the archaeological site. Butrint and the beautiful blue-green spring "Blue Eye”.
We also visited the tourist centre Saranda and several fine beaches along the coast: the almost unspoilt Bunec beach and the campsite dense Livahdo beach in Himara. As we continued northwards, we had to drive on dizzying mountain roads to get to the campsite in Radhima and continue on the inland road. The beautiful lake Ohrid was our last stop before entering Macedonia.
- Best memory: The swim in the clear waters of the beautiful Bunec Beach - it is the most peaceful swim we have ever experienced.
- Biggest challenge: The roads in Albania are fine, but you have to be careful. You can meet a donkey, a tractor or a fruit vendor at any time, even on the motorway.
Stage 13: Macedonia
August - September 2015
The first thing we saw of Macedonia when we arrived on 25 August was Lake Ohrid, from the Macedonian side. We visited the beautiful Museum on water, where prehistoric settlements have been built on the lake and found to be a fine family campsite in Struga. We visited both Struga and Ohrid and got to know incredibly nice local people who showed us around.
We were then invited to Kicevo, where we were surprised by fantastic hospitality and were able to try, among other things. Albanian festive clothing and lots of Albanian and Macedonian cuisine. After this fantastic visit we rolled back to Struga, where we met a young German couple who joined us. back into Albania.
- Best memory: We got to know some Swedish-Albanians with roots in the area and had the amazing privilege of being shown around and invited to their homes.
- Biggest challenge: Knowing how to behave when you are constantly invited and not really given a chance to invite back ...
Stage 14: Northern Albania and Montenegro
We arrived back in Albania on 5 September. This time we drove to the north, to the scenic Lake Shkodra Resort. We stayed here for a few days before, on 8 September, we rolled into Montenegro and found a campsite in . Ulcinj.
We drove northwards along the coast and visited Petrovac and the exclusive resorts Sveti Stefan and Budva. Then we drove around the incredibly beautiful Bay of Kotor and visited the charming town of Kotor. Before leaving Montenegro, we stayed a few days in a nice and personalised campsite in Morinj.
- Best memory: It was incredibly beautiful to drive around the Bay of Kotor!
- Biggest challenge: Can't think of a challenge. Maybe we got a cold? That's what happens when you're travelling for a year ...
Stage 15: Croatia and Bosnia
September - November 2015
On 14 September we drove into Croatia, where we started by visiting the well-known city of Dubrovnik. Afterwards we took a ferry to the long, narrow Hvar Island, where we visited both Stari Gradwhich is the oldest city in Croatia, and Where. Because I needed medicine that was only available in Bosnia, I then made an unscheduled visit to the beautiful Bosnian city. Mostar.
Back in Croatia, we drove along the Makarska Riviera, where we visited, among other things. Podaca, Makarska and the old pirate town Omis, which is beautifully situated between the mountains. We rolled on to Camping Split, outside Split and then to the medieval city Trogir. We also visited two fascinating national parks: Krka National Park and Plitvice National Park.
It eventually started to get colder, and instead of travelling north, we then stayed for almost a month on the coast. Camping Kito i Bol on the island of Brac. Among other things, we were able to make a boat trip, visit Supetar and take us around by hire car. As we rolled northwards, we had time to see, among other things the amphitheatre in Pula.
- Best memory: Despite the fact that it was November we had fantastic days atZlatni Rat, i Croatia where we could sunbathe and swim almost alone.
- Biggest challenge: After 30 October, most campsites were closed, but it was possible to find a few that were open all year round.
Stage 16: Northern Italy
On 13 November we rolled into Italy. We drove to Verona where we visited new friends whom we got to know in Greece. Together with them we visited the wine valleys of Valpolicella and the charming mountain village Giazza.
- Best memory: Lovely reunion at a vineyard we had visited before, and interesting visits to local "cantinas", where you buy wine.
- Biggest challenge: Now it got cold again, so it is again complicated with the gas. Our friends in Verona helped and lent us a tube and adapter!
Stage 17: Germany
We rolled through Austria and continued into Germany. Here we started by visiting the fascinating Sago Castle Neuschwansten. We also had time to visit a blogging friend in Ingolstadt and accidentally bumped into Norwegian friends that we got to know in Macedonia. There was also a medieval atmosphere in Nuremberg and marzipan in Lübeck.
- Best memory: Amazing to see Europe's most fairytale castle Neuschwanstein!
- Biggest challenge: The bridge where you can usually take photos of Neuschwanstein Castle was closed, so we had to climb past barriers into the forest to get a photo. What don't you do for the blog?
Stage 18: Germany - Sweden
So it was finally time to tie up the bag and travel back to Sweden after our 1 year long journey with a motorhome around Europe. We drove to north-western Skåne, where we visited friends, and were met by a lot of snow.
- Best memory: The first meal in Sweden, together with good friends and with fresh Swedish prawns, which we missed.
- Biggest challenge: Driving from Skåne to Stockholm without winter tyres was not optimal, but luckily it got better when we got on the big roads. And of course, dealing with the feeling of coming home to everyday life after a 1 year long journey with a motorhome around Europe ...