Saturday, 14 December 2013

Wild Camping Spots Map & GPS downloads for Europe

Hi folks,

I recently came across something really fantastic on a Spanish website. Its an interactive map of wild camping locations all over Europe. The locations have been submitted mostly by Spanish campervaners and there are photos and articles on most of them on the pages forum. The map is really well laid out, with all locations marked clearly. If there's more than one good spot in an area they are numbered, and zooming in guides you to the exact locations. A really great find for anyone planning a trip through Europe who prefers wild camping over campsites. There are also locations listed that have facilities too, including many of the European 'Aires' which are free camping spots with limited facilities. I stayed at one of these locations in Spain on my way to Portugal - in Palencia. Here's the link to the map:

It gets better still! If you look closely at the top left corner of the map, there is a link titled 'download for GPS'. This will take you to a page that has downloadable zip files containing all you need to add all these locations to your Sat Nav device. There are files for all the major brands of Sat Nav. The instructions are mostly in Spanish, so it might take a while, but I have successfully installed all the locations on my TomTom device and its working perfectly. On the TomTom, there are different icons for 'perfect camping spots' as well as one with facilities, ones for local grocery shops, and ones with bikes on (I haven't figured out what they are yet).

As this is a Spanish site, the camping spots all over Europe are really well documented, as well as some for North Africa. I looked at some of the UK locations, and they are few and far between, so its not great for a trip in the UK. You can find lots of Scottish stop overs by looking through my blog posts on the Scottish Tour pages though. Of course its a lot of fun discovering your own places to wild camp, but when your on mainland Europe, its getting dark and you haven't found a place to stop, this GPS set up will serve you well. I'll let you know my experiences with some more of the places on this map when I hit the road for a trip in Portugal in the new year.

I've been doing a bit of preliminary trip planning and I've found that using the online map in conjunction with a Euro Road Atlas is perfect for planning a route. Online you can see the pics and decide if its seems like a good spot for you. You can then program the potential stops into your GPS if you have that software installed too. This online map and the GPS downloads are completely free and updated by the FurgoVW community in Spain, so a big thanks for making this available guys. 

I find its hard to beat having a large scale paper map or road atlas when planning out a route. Its always better to see it all clearly in front of you instead of just scrolling around on google maps. Having had a look around, this seems to be the best one for the price at the minute:

Thanks for looking in!

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See you soon..

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