From traditional campsites to super-sized resorts with waterparks, I’ve asked Ireland’s top family bloggers, writers and travel agents to pick the best family campsites in Europe.
Although I like to think of myself as an expert when it comes to family holidays, I am not a big camper… I’ve been asked on many occasions to recommend family campsites in Europe, so I decided I better get some help to write this post.
I contacted some of my favourite family bloggers and travel writers, as well as a travel agent friend of mine, who I like to call The Camping Expert. The result is a great mix of Europe’s best family campsites. I have everything from super-sized campsites in Spain, to authentic French sites on Chateau grounds, as well as some places you may not be too familiar with in Italy, Croatia and Austria.
My idea of the perfect campsite is a small quiet park with a nice pool, and a Boulangerie next door selling freshly baked baguettes each morning! However, I am fully aware this would not suit everyone, including my own kids, who at 11 and 14 would not thank me if I brought them there now.
Nevertheless, there are families with young children that prefer quieter campsites, and for some, good food is a priority, while others love waterslides and non-stop entertainment. For this reason this list has family campsites to suit all tastes, across many European countries. Hopefully there will be one here to suit you.
Catherine Bowe’s top family campsites:
Travel agency owner Catherine Bowe has stayed in over 20 family campsites in Europe with her four children, and certainly deserves the title The Camping Expert. Bowe Travel is one of Ireland’s oldest travel agencies, and her husband Michael is the 4th generation to run the business. Together with a great team of travel specialists they will be able to book any of the campsites on this list.
Catherine’s motto “have kids…will travel” is similar to my own, and we tend to like similar style holidays – camping aside! Catherine has selected eight of her favourite campsites in France, Spain, Italy, Croatia and Austria below.
1. Norcenni Girasole, Tuscany, Italy
Disclaimer…I LOVE Italy so in some respects I will love any site based there. Norcenni Girasole is a large and lively site in two parts, Upper and Lower, but it’s the stunning location of the site that always steals the show for me. It is right in the centre of a wooded area of the Tuscan countryside, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking.
This is in the centre of the Chianti region, so you can expect the picture postcard landscape of rolling hills. This can be very easy on the eyes, but not so much on the legs – it is VERY hilly! My bike hire mad crew built up some serious calf muscles while we were there.
Great family campsites in Tuscany are not that easy to come by, but Norcenni Girasole ticks all boxes. It is a fantastic base to explore Tuscany, as it is almost equidistant from two of the big hitters of the region Florence and Siena, as well as being just 90 minutes from Pisa airport.
We always hire a car, but the site has good links to the local town, and from there you can get buses and trains to most places. Additionally there are plenty of day trips available to book on site.
The campsite is pretty big with all sorts of activities available, from tree top adventures to diving lessons. The food is surprisingly good for a campsite, however, I also recommend venturing a little further afield, as there are amazing dining options nearby. We dined in a local vineyard one night and were treated to delicious home cooked authentic Italian food – it was an unforgettable experience. However, if you prefer to stay on site, there are plenty of options too.
The entertainment team are probably the hardest working of all. They do a fantastic job running a varied and jam packed program, from kids club activities right through to evening entertainment – you certainly won’t be bored. The pool complex is great too, with offerings in both sections of the park including a large pool slide – the Lower being the more “full on” option.
Overall this is a great park that offers something to everyone in the family. From wine tastings and spa treatments for adults, to fun and activities for children – this would be one of my top family campsites for sightseeing and fun.
See more here, or visit Bowe Travel here.
2. Union Lido, Venetian Riviera, Italy
Union Lido is not only located on a wide sandy beach, but it also boasts a fabulous pool area complete with lots of slides. This is a large campsite with a full activity and entertainment program from morning until night – we even had a fireworks display on one of the nights!
It is set in the small village of Cavallino Treporto, which has a selection of restaurants, so it is an excellent choice if you don’t want to hire a car. There is a wide variety of accommodation options to choose from including luxurious pool suites, hotel rooms and even dog villas!
As well as a beachfront location, families will love its proximity to Venice – it is only 40 minutes by bus and water taxi. We visited Venice, as well as Murano (famous for its glass) and Burano (famous for lace) – two other islands that make up the archipelago of Venice. That was the kids done with sightseeing though…
There is a good restaurant on site, but the ones within walking distance from the entrance are honestly far nicer. During our visit, the local village had a small market most evenings. We all loved our evening strolls, looking at the various local produce and crafts.
This campsite was spotlessly clean and is one of Italy’s best family campsites. It is an ideal choice for families looking for direct beach access within easy reach of Venice.
See more here, and visit Bowe Travel here.
3. La Rive, Biscarrose, Landes, France
La Rive is a lovely site in the South West of France near Biscarrosse, on one of the lake shores that the region is known for. It is a moderately lively site with a large pool complex, complete with the pre-requisite slides. It certainly has plenty to keep kids of most ages busy and occupied.
Another bonus of this campsite is that it is situated right on the shores of a lake, which boasts a small beach area. There are numerous watersports available on the lake (additional charges apply).
La Rive is located about an hour from Bordeaux airport and it is a campsite where car hire is recommended. We did meet people who didn’t have a car, but if you want to explore the local area, a car would be beneficial. The on-site restaurant was of decent quality, but pricey compared to the value that was available in restaurants on the other side of the lake.
We loved the excellent day and evening entertainment program with nightly shows. Kids discos are available on selected evenings.
La Rive has a great selection of slides, a lovely splash park area, a lazy river and a wave pool, in addition to a lovely indoor area with some small slides suitable for babies and toddlers. This is one of the best campsites in Europe for families looking for a great selection of pools and slides.
See more here and visit Bowe Travel here.
4. Le Clarys Plage, St Jean De Monts, Vendee, France
La Clarys Plage is one of best for family campsites in Europe for first time campers. It is easy to get to, you can manage without a car, it is a short walk to a lovely beach, and there are great facilities on site, including a heated pool complex with slides, a small splash park and a lazy river.
It is not as big as some of the super-sized campsites, and I think that’s part of its appeal to children, they find it easy to navigate. However, it is a busy campsite and is not suitable for families looking for a quiet and understated holiday – look to my next suggestion for that.
There is a snack bar and takeaway service on site, but no restaurant to speak of, so this is worth bearing in mind if you don’t like cooking or venturing outside to eat. We like to barbecue and dine locally, so it was irrelevant to us. There are some small restaurants close by, but there is a wider selection of traditional restaurants in St Jean de Monts, which is a short bus journey away.
The evening entertainment is low-key here, with karaoke and live singers, rather than shows that you might see in larger parks. There is an endless list of local activities to enjoy including tree-top adventures, zip lining and pony treks. My children really like this campsite and despite visiting many others, they still think fondly of Clarys Plage.
Clarys Plage is located about one hours drive from Nantes airport. See more here or visit Bowe Travel here.
5. La Garangeoire, St Julien de Landes, Vendee, France
One of our favourite family campsites in France, and in my opinion best for an authentic French experience, is La Garangeoire. This is a 5-star campsite, with a quiet, laid-back atmosphere. Before I started my foray into campsite holidays with children, this was what I thought a “French Campsite” should be like.
It is situated in the grounds of a French Chateau, in a beautiful heavily forested area on the banks of Lac du Jaunay. The location is simply stunning. As I write this, I come to the realisation that this is my favourite campsite of all we have visited, and there have been many.
If you are after full on activity with waterslides and a lively evening entertainment program – look elsewhere. There is orienteering, archery, horse-riding and so much more available on-site, so it is not that it lacks entertainment options, but it is more understated than other campsites I have visited. The entertainment program here is great fun, but more likely to include a cookery class, live bands and games nights.
My husband is an avid runner and loved the circuit training, core and running activities, and I have a horse-mad daughter who adored the on-site equestrian centre. There are also pedaloes and kayaks available for the lake, and a beach lagoon was recently added for those determined to experience the seaside.
The food at the on-site restaurant is excellent and you could easily dine there every night as the menu changes daily. Car hire is necessary. Other than the excellent tree-top adventure and paint balling centre next door there is not much within walking distance.
However, the local towns and villages are beautiful and well worth a visit. The closest airport is Nantes, about 1 hour drive away. See more here and visit Bowe Travel here.
6. Sportkamp Woferlgut, Zell am See, Austria
It may surprise you to learn that Sportkamp Woferlgut is one of my children’s favourite family campsites. I should quantify that they’re a pretty active bunch and like outdoor activities – skiing, water sports, hiking etc. The glory of this site, in addition to the fact that it is efficiently run, is its location.
We had been to Austria skiing and the question came up if everything just closes for the summer, so I thought it best to show the kids the beauty of Austria in the summer as well as the winter.
This is a medium sized complex with a hotel, chalets and mobile home accommodation offerings. There are lots of daily activities here – Sportkamp Woferlgut is a Mecca for active families.
The pool area is spotlessly clean and very well run, but this isn’t a site for the slide junkies – there is only one slide that goes into the indoor-outdoor pool. Additional charges do apply which may not suit all families, however, it is also possible to swim in the campsite’s private lake.
You can easily manage here without a car, if you’re willing to walk and cycle a bit. The town of Bruck is about 10 minute walk away with a small selection of shops & restaurants, and the gorgeous lake town of Zell am See is just a short 20 minute cycle away. Zell am See is as beautiful in the summer months as it is in winter. Gondolas take people up the mountains for hill walking and hiking, and there is an off-road biking trail nearby.
There is also a host of water sports at Lake Zell, the shores of which make for a lovely alternative to a beach for a day by the water. My kids enjoyed SUPs, rafting, sailing and kayaks while we were there, but there are lots more activities to choose from, including boat tours, canyoning (which I wasn’t brave enough to let them try), and rafting, which I recommend you pre-book in advance to guarantee a slot. This site definitely takes my vote for best campsites in Europe for active families.
There is a train station in Zell am See with a regular service to Salzburg. Journey time is approximately 90 minutes by car or train. See more here and visit Bowe Travel here.
7. Vilanova, Costa Dorada, Spain
Whilst you may know about the big hitters of the Costa Dorada in Cambrils and Sanguli, Vilanova is the more understated choice, and located about 40 minutes from Barcelona. It is not quite as well known, but is a lovely clean, well-run campsite, close to a beautifully authentic Spanish village.
You can manage here very easily without a car, as there is a really good bus service from outside the gates of the site. Vilanova is not suitable for those looking for a lively pool complex with a wide selection of slides. They have however added a couple of slides recently.
It is a well facilitated site with play areas, soccer, tennis, table tennis and a playground. It has everything you might want for a relaxing break and that is exactly what this site is…relaxing. Large and lively sites tend to be the most popular in this area – this one is the polar opposite, and has a laid back vibe away from all the crowds on the Costa Dorada.
It is however, within easy reach of Barcelona and PortAventura theme parks, both 40 minutes by car, bus, train or taxi. It is also one of the few family campsites in Spain where I can recommend the on site restaurant. We loved the food and it was very well priced.
We also ventured up the nearby mountains to a fabulous little Spanish restaurant where barely a word of English was spoken. It was so lovely to get such an authentic experience and avoid the usual tourist traps. Vilanova is best for a relaxing family break close to the lure of the PortAventura theme parks.
See more here or visit Bowe Travel here.
Read: Top 10 reasons to visit PortAventura
8. Park Umag, Istria, Croatia
Park Umag is a lovely site on Croatia’s Istrian peninsula. It has a super location with private beach access, however, I would recommend car hire – you need to drive to the local towns, and the area really is too beautiful not to explore.
The beach offers a host of water sports and was a big hit with my four. I was told the snorkelling was particularly good, but it is important to note that these are run independently of the site, and incur an extra charge. The sea was not too rough (when we were there anyway), in terms of being able to swim with ease for smaller children. However, the beaches here are mostly stoney, so remember to bring surf shoes.
Park Umag is huge, and one of Croatia’s most popular family campsites. From front to back I would imagine it is easily a 15-20 minute walk – as relaxation was my aim I didn’t feel the necessity to prove or disprove this. There are scooters available to rent on-site, and my four clocked up a good few miles on their bikes.
Restaurants on-site are just OK, with mostly pizza/burger type offerings. There is a good mini-market so you could manage without a car if you were happy to stay on-site for the duration of your stay. There is no shortage of sunbeds but it is important to note there is a charge for them – on the plus side though it means you don’t have to be up at the crack of dawn to ensure getting one.
There are lots of activities throughout the day and the entertainment team work tirelessly to ensure no one is ever bored. The evening entertainment is also great for families. Park Umag is very competitively priced in comparison to similar Italian sites, and as such I would consider this great value for families looking for a large and lively campsite in beautiful surroundings.
The closest airport to Park Umag is Pula, which is approximately one hour away.Check prices here
Read: My highlights of Istria, Croatia
Around the World in 18 Years favourite family campsites:
Lynne and Andrew from Around the World in 18 Years having been sharing their love for family travel since 2016. They like to explore away from the typical tourist trail, and are renowned for their superb cost saving tips to many destinations including Lapland.
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Their most recent venture has seen them launch Ireland’s first and only dedicated booking website for glampsites and activities across the island of Ireland, Glamping in Ireland.com. They visited the next two family campsites and kindly wrote about their experiences for me.
9. Park Albatros Village, Tuscany, Italy
Located in Tuscany, Park Albatros Village is one of the largest campsites that we have stayed at. It is the perfect base to explore the lush green olive groves and vineyards of Tuscany, or discover the beauty of nearby Pisa and Florence.
Although we recommend car hire when staying at Park Albatros, excellent public transport makes the park easily accessible to all. During peak season the park also organises tours to many of the popular tourist locations.
The main focus of Park Albatros is the Laguna area which consists of six pools including two lagoons. With a deepest point of just 35cm, the lagoons are safe for little ones to enjoy, and perfect for parents to sit by the edge and dip their toes in the coolness of the water.
With an excellent Kids Club, Tree Tops Adventure Park and discos for teen-boppers, there’s something for every age group to enjoy. While the children’s discos and main entertainment take place at the outer edge of the park by the Laguna, you will also find the main courtyard where you can partake in a cocktail (or two) as you relax and unwind listening to live music.
There are two main restaurants on site, and a take away if al-fresco dining takes your fancy. During peak season, the restaurants can become very busy, so we preferred to order a takeaway via the app, or purchase produce from the well-stocked supermarket.
When staying in a campsite of 30+ acres, your accommodation location can be important. We were very lucky to have a mobile that was just a few minutes’ walk from all of the facilities. For guests staying further from the centre, the park runs a hop-on hop-off bus service which children love.
Park Albatros is located just 60 minutes from Pisa airport.
TOP TIP – Don’t do ‘a Callaghan’ and spend your first morning blowing up a 10ft whale for your children…instead, drop by the shop in the Laguna (they have a vast array of pool inflatables) and pay a few Euros to use the super-fast industrial air compressor.
10. Spiaggia e Mare, Adriatic Coast, Italy
Spiaggia e Mare campsite hugs the stunning Adriatic Coast of Italy and is the perfect site for a family getaway. Spiaggia e Mare is a medium size site, but we feel has all the amenities of the larger sites without the corresponding price tag – locals refer to it as mini Marina di Venezia.
You will find that whichever accommodation you stay in at Spiaggia e Mare, you won’t have far to walk to enjoy the private golden sandy beach. We loved to relax at the beach cafe and enjoy an early morning latte macchiato.
If the beach isn’t your thing, Spiagia e Mare also has a fantastic pool complex. The main pool is where you will find the more energetic holidaymakers partaking in many of aerobic water activities. Across from the main pool is a Pirate ship, splash park and water slides, which will keep children of all ages happy.
Although Spiaggia e Mare has just one on site restaurant, the food variety and quality is excellent. The menu affords those with an adventurous palette to try a different dishes daily, should they desire to do so. There are also plenty of local restaurants to choose from in the centre of the town.
The children’s play park sits right beside the outdoor restaurant area, perfectly placed for children to play whilst Mum and Dad enjoy a dessert and glass of wine after their meal. Before you know it, your little one will have joined the Animation Team train and will be encouraging you over to the entertainment area for the nightly kids mini disco.
If you fancy exploring the surrounding area, the town of Commachio which is known as ‘Little Venice’ is only a ten minute dive away. You can take a trip through the canals on a batana, a local type of gondola. Further afield you can visit San Marino, the world’s smallest Republic, and the fifth smallest country in the world.
Spiaggia e Mare is by far one of our most favourite European campsites due its size, proximity to the beach, excellent waterpark and high-quality food. Bellisimo! It is located approximately 75 minutes from Bologna airport.
TOP TIPS – Book direct with the site and you will receive a free set of sun loungers on the beach for the duration of your stay. Skip dessert one evening and take a stroll to Pasticceria Caffe del Sole to enjoy the most amazing doughnuts.
Getaways with Kids favourite family campsites
Publisher of Getaways with Kids and travel blogger, April Drew shares her love for the Costa Dorada region of Spain, having been to two five-star campsites in the last two years; Camping and Resort Sanguli Salou, and Camping Playa Montroig. April also visited Cambrils Park while in the area. All campsites are about an hour from Barcelona and approximately 20 minutes from Reus Airport. April compares all three for us below.
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11. Camping and Resort Sanguli, Costa Dorada, Spain
Sanguli is an amazing campsite. It’s a very large site with so much to offer families of all sizes. With an abundance of pool areas scattered throughout the park, Sanguli impressed us to no end. It’s very modern, with various accommodation offerings making it suitable for all, and the evening entertainment in a colosseum style theatre is wonderful.
There are a few restaurants scattered throughout the park, although I felt the food was just okay. They have kids clubs, but they aren’t supervised, so children must be accompanied by an adult. Older children will love the sports facilities and pool complexes.
The Best Bits: You can walk to the front of the park where you will find the beach across the road, and you have access to plenty of shops and restaurants outside the gates. Salou is a 20-minute bike ride away. We loved how modern and clean it was.
Read the full review on Getawayswithkids.ie
12. Cambrills Park, Costa Dorada, Spain
Cambrils Park is regarded as one of Spain’s best family campsites. It is located next door to Sanguli and you can apply for a day pass to visit here if staying in Sanguli, which I would recommend. It’s very similar to its sister property but on the smaller side, making it ideal for younger families.
They also have a spa on site, and wonderful accommodation choices, they are also known for great food options. Cambrils has a more relaxed feel to it, although still has excellent sports facilities to keep the older kids entertained for the whole trip.
The Best Bits: It’s got a zen vibe going on, with cute playgrounds dotted around the resort. Cambrils is a stunning little town and you are also close to the beach and boardwalk.
13. Playa Montroig, Costa Dorada, Spain
If you are seeking a more authentic Spanish campsite, with all the trimmings of a five star resort, then Playa Montroig ticks all the boxes. It’s smaller (although still considered large as campsites go) compared to the other two, which makes it slightly easier to get around. It’s also right on the beach, making it a very attractive for beach lovers.
They have a huge shop onsite and two wonderful restaurants, and the food was exceptional. There is one large pool complex with a splash park, but note they don’t have sun loungers at the poolside. This wasn’t an issue for us, we just threw our towels down when we arrived, and moved it with the sun as the day went by.
If you do plan on exploring the areas you will need a car (or taxi). There is nothing outside the campsite, but it’s within 10 minutes of shops and restaurants. There is a wonderful sports complex too, and the kids club activities are brilliant.
The Best Bits: Having the site right on the beach was wonderful. The fact that it was smaller was a plus, but I’d still recommend getting a bike. The food was delicious and we loved the authentic Spanish feel to Playa Montroig.
Check prices here
Read: Top 10 reasons to visit PortAventura
Saucepan Kids favourite family campsites
Debbie Woodward is the founder of the award-winning family food and travel blog, Saucepan Kids. I love to see Debbie involving her children in cooking and menu planning, and this continues when they travel. Debbie and her family have visited many campsites, these are two of their favourites.
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14. Camping La Sirène, Argelès-sur-Mer, France
The popular five star holiday parc, Camping La Sirène, is located just outside Argelès-sur-Mer in the Pyrénées Orientales region of France. If you and your family like a large and lively site, then Camping La Sirène is perfect. It’s a huge family campsite, in fact you’ll need a map to find your way around the 23 hectares for the first few days of your stay.
We met lots and lots of Irish families during our stay at Camping La Sirène which isn’t surprising as it’s so easy to get from Ireland. You can fly into Perpignan (from Dublin airport) and Camping La Sirène is only a short thirty minute drive. For families living on the west coast of Ireland, you can fly into Girona-Barcelona airport from Ireland West airport and Camping La Sirène is a seventy five-minute drive.
Our home for the week was one of Eurocamp’s top of the range holiday homes, the three-bedroom Aspect. It was located at the back of the parc which meant that it was quiet, but also meant that it was a lengthy walk to the pools and shopping complex everyday.
The real selling point of Camping La Sirène is the 10,000 m² water park on-site with 2 covered and heated swimming pools. One pool is adult-only so if you’re under 18 you won’t be allowed in (they’ll check your wristband). In the adult pool, they run spinning classes where the bikes are actually in the water, it was a lot harder than it sounds.
There are also a variety of waterslides from the gentle baby ones right up to the daredevil scarier slides. One thing to note is that there are no sun-loungers to lie on around the pool. There is fake grass so you’ll need to bring your towel to sit down or lie down.
Kids clubs and activities are taken very seriously at Camping La Sirène. Every week, they release a brochure which outlines the different (free) activities that are taking place on site and also across the road at their sister camp.
Activities are split into two sections, things for kids aged 4-11 and 12-17 years old. The teens aren’t forgotten here, there are lots of free activities like a crepe party, teen disco, manga studios, BBQ, football, FIFA tournament, as well as a variety of paid activities are available like canyoning, scuba-diving, giant trampoline, diving and kayaking.
Top tip: If you do hire a car during your visit, be sure to visit the nearby medieval towns of Argelès-sur-Mer and Collioure. Visit Saucepan Kids.com for a more detailed review.
15. Camping Salatà, Costa Brava, Spain
Sometimes, you just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of a large campsite without wanting to compromise on things to do. We found that perfect haven in the small but perfectly formed Camping Salatà in Catalonia.
Owned by the Terraza Group, Camping Salatà is just a short stroll from the sea and all the local amenities in Roses, Costa Brava. This intimate campsite has a mix of bungalows, pitches for tents, caravans and motorhomes. We stayed in a ‘Tramuntana’ bungalow which comfortably sleeps 5 people and is modern, spacious and very colourful outside. There’s no water park here, but there is a 12 x 5 metre pool.
When I first saw the pool I wondered if my teens would complain about the absence of twisting water slides, however, I didn’t hear one moan. Strangely enough, they loved it. They particularly loved how close the pool was to our bungalow. It meant that they could pop down for a quick dip before breakfast, or in the evening before it shut at 7pm.
There’s a kids club (aged 4-12 yrs) and there’s even an animation programme for adults with activities like yoga, SUP, Pilates, quizzes, food demonstrations, wine tasting, cocktail and mocktail workshops, darts, ping pong, boules, as well as an aqua gym.
As our kids were between 14 and 16 they were told at reception that they could do the kids or the adults clubs (non-alcohol based activities of course). They were lucky to have the best of both worlds.
The peaceful and serene Camping Salatà is the perfect base to explore Costa Brava with the family. If you don’t want to travel too far, Camping Salatà is only a few minutes walk to the sandy beach and promenade of Roses. In fact, Roses is certified a ‘family tourist destination’ by the Catalan Tourist Agency, which recognises towns that cater really well for families. Overall, we would consider Camping Salatà to be the best all-round family campsites we’ve visited to date.
Distance from Barcelona-Girona airport is 50 minutes drive. Visit Saucepan Kids.com for a more detailed review.
Flipflops and Floaties favourite family campsites:
Tara O’Byrne set up Flipflops and Floaties blog and social media accounts in June 2019, to share all of her adventures, travel tips, and family friendly resort recommendations. Flipflops and Floaties are a family of four, with a passion for travel and adventures, both at home and abroad. Tara has written about two of her favourite campsites below.
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16. Domaine Des Ormes, Brittany, France
Domaine Des Ormes is an action-packed family campsite located in the serene setting of a 16th century French château in Brittany, France. The campsite is a two-hour drive from Cherbourg port.
There is an extensive range of activities available onsite to keep kids of all ages entertained, including a playground, football pitch, tennis courts, climbing walls, archery, an equestrian centre, cable water sports (7 Yrs+), pedal boats, zip wires, tree adventure course, games room, foot golf, golf, mini golf, plus lots more.
There are also several heated swimming pools, including an outdoor pool with slides. The star of the show for us was undoubtedly the indoor Tropical Dome which has a wave pool, water slides, a lazy river, a toddler splash pool and more.
With so many activities onsite plus four restaurants, pizzeria, takeaway, ice cream parlour, shop, and kids club you would never need to leave the site. However if you are looking for a day out I would highly recommend a trip to the old walled town of St Malo, which is a 40 minute drive from the campsite.
17. Duinrell, Wassenaar, Netherlands
Duinrell is a fun and adventure-filled campsite and theme park located just 30-minutes drive from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. The theme park and water park onsite kept our kids entertained from morning to night during our trip in 2019.
The theme park is set in a beautiful forest and offers something for all of the family. Around every corner there is something fun to explore, with roller coasters for daredevils, train rides for youngsters, playgrounds, bumper boats, an indoor fun factory, ball pits, a ferris wheel, the list goes on and on.
Make sure to stop by the Pancake House in the theme park, the pancakes are delectable, and the restaurant is super cute, with a big carousel right in the centre of it.
If you like water parks, then you will love the Tiki Pool that is onsite. The Tiki Pool is made up of both outdoor and indoor water slides. There are 21 slides in total, ranging from small toddler slides to adrenaline pumping 60km/hr slides and even a lazy river.
At the entrance to the Theme Park and Tiki Pool area you will find Duinrell Plaza. The Plaza has a pub, mini bowling alley, arcade, supermarket, restaurant, takeaway pizza, and a kids club.
Read the full review on FlipflopsandFloaties.com
Andrea Mara’s favourite family campsite:
As well as being one of Ireland’s bestselling authors, Andrea Mara runs multi-award-winning parent and lifestyle blog, OfficeMum.ie. Andrea travels regularly with her three children and I loved reading her blog post comparing four of Italy’s top campsites. Andrea kindly wrote about her favourite, Marina di Venezia for me below.
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18. Marina di Venezia, Italy
Images that come to mind when I think back on our holiday in Marina di Venezia: tall trees, sandy paths, cycling, sunshine, long stretches of beach, and on-tap Prosecco. Literally, on tap: at the supermarket, you could get a bottle of vino alla spinna filled for less than the price of a cappuccino back home.
The campsite is huge, and if you’re staying in the newer Marina 2000 area, it’s best to rent bikes to cycle to the pools, shops and restaurants. Most of the external operators (Eurocamp, Canvas etc.) are in Marina 2000 and the lack of shops on that side of the site can be frustrating, but the major upside is the proximity to the beach.
We stayed with Eurocamp, in a beautiful tree-shaded area of the campsite and could walk to the beach (only for use by Marina di Venezia residents) in less than five minutes.
You can easily holiday in Marina di Venezia without hiring a car – we took a shuttle bus to and from Venice Treviso airport, and during the stay, took a bus and a ferry across to Venice. If you’d like to see more of the area but want to avoid renting a car for your entire trip, you can rent cars from the campsite for a day at a time.
One important note – the pools and shops all close for siesta from 1 to 3pm. We got used to planning our day around this but were occasionally caught off guard. And it wasn’t enough to put us off – the campsite is beautifully maintained, the on-site restaurants serve excellent food, the pools are wonderful, and best of all, there’s that beach right on your doorstep.
This was truly one of our most memorable holidays, and I’d go back again in a heartbeat, although our trip was in 2016 so some elements may have changed since then!
Bumbles of Rice favourite family campsite:
Sinead Fox has been blogging on Bumbles of Rice for almost 10 years. What started originally as food blog, has evolved into posts about everyday family life, parenting and travel tips. Bumbles of Rice is now one of Ireland’s leading parenting blogs. Sinead lives in Wexford with her three children and has recommended Bella Italia campsite for us below.
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19. Bella Italia, Lake Garda, Italy
Bella Italia is very popular with Irish holidaymakers and is often regarded as one of Italy’s best family campsites. It is on the shore of Lake Garda with stunning views of the lake and the mountains. A short walk along the lakeshore will lead you to Peschiera, where holidaymakers can enjoy a great choice of bars and restaurants.
One of the many highlights of Bella Italia is the swimming pool, or more accurately pools – there are five! There are also waterslides, shallow sections for toddlers, and a man made beach. There are many organised activities too, including kids clubs, soccer camp, table tennis, playgrounds, bouncing castles, as well as an amusement park, bike hire and night time shows.
Local attractions include trips on the lake to different towns, as well as theme parks including Gardaland and adjacent Peppa Pig World. You don’t need a car for a holiday at Bella Italia, but if you choose to hire one, Venice and Verona are both easily accessible for day trips.
We loved the atmosphere in Bella Italia, the vibe is lively but chilled, and the food is good. We wanted to go for years when we visited in 2019, and the break made us longing to go back.
You can catch the full review on BumblesofRice.com
Aoife Bermingham’s favourite family campsite:
Aoife Bermingham, AKA Irish Mum on the Run has been writing and posting on social media almost five years. Aoife has a passion for all things travel and food, and if you need some Monday morning motivation, check out her regular sunrise swims on Instagram. Aoife has been to Zaton Holiday Resort in Croatia on numerous occasions, she tells us why below.
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20. Zaton Holiday Resort, Zadar Coast, Croatia
Zaton Holiday resort comprises of a multitude of camping and self catering options, ranging from campervan and camping sites, various levels of mobile homes, to self catering serviced apartments – there are accommodation options to suit everyone.
The biggest draw for us when choosing here was the choice of pool and water options available. There are three levels of outdoor swimming pools and waterslides, a toddler water park, as well as a pristine sandy beach on site. They overlook the stunning Adriatic Coast which offers a variety of water sports, including kayaking and paddle boarding. The sunsets from here are simply breathtaking.
There is so much for all ages and levels including the Zatonino kids club, volleyball crazy golf, evening mini park with kids amusements – this suits us perfectly with three kids under the age of 6! There is also a nightly mini disco, and my personal favourite the weekly glow in the dark silent disco! You won’t get bored and you won’t want to go home!
The Roman town of Nin is 2km away and is a beautiful town for a stroll, and offers some lovely restaurants. The city of Zadar is also a must visit on your trip. Make sure to visit the old town and watch the sun go down while listening to the Organ of the Sea, along with a lively buzz of locals and tourists too. This is a lovely spot for dinner too.
If I had only one downside to report it would be that the food and restaurants on in the Zaton Holiday Resort are not great, and very overpriced. We tend to alternate between having a barbecue in our mobile home, and dining in either Nin or Zadar. Restaurants are far more reasonable and far better quality outside the resort. We head back in September 2022 for our 4th visit.
A direct flight with Ryanair from Dublin to Zadar will get you there in 2.5 hours, from there it’s a 25 minute drive to Zaton Holiday Resort. Check out Aoife’s full review on Irish Mum On The Run or catch her highlights on Instagram.
I hope you enjoyed my post on Europe’s best family campsites, and that it will help you plan a family trip abroad soon. Facilities and service are correct at the time of issue, but are subject to change. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.