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What to Expect From Campsites

Campsite facilities and quality can vary dramatically from site to site. Some are very basic - a small field with a toilet block designed for touring. Others are holiday destinations in themselves, with all the facilities and entertainment of a large holiday park. What to expect from campsites in individual countries can be found in the country guide section, although facilities in Eastern Europe are generally much more run down and limited.

Size and Style

Campsites can vary from small, family run places holding perhaps 30 pitches at the most to some massive holiday parks with room for thousands of campers. Larger sites tend to be in places where the weather is good and usually have many onsite facilities. Some of these have lots of resident campers who are set up for the season and surround every inch of their pitch with fences. There are also the city style sites, located around prominent towns that are usually very busy with a very high turnover of visitors. These often have separate bungalows to rent. Other sites are located around tourist attractions or beaches and offer a mix of facilities.

Sanitary Blocks

On most campsites the toilet blocks will have a toilet section, a sink and mirror section for teeth cleaning and grooming and a separate shower section with boxed in shower cubicals. The quality of these varies from pretty shabby to very modern, depending on the country and the price you are paying.

You'll usually find water taps around these areas which will be signed if drinkable - always ask if you are not sure.

Quite often there will be areas to wash dishes and clothes around this area too and in some of the larger campsites you will find coin operated washing machines.

Shops

Shops vary with the size of the site, although many of the smaller ones won't have one. Most mid sized campsites will have a small shop - these can offer simple day to day goods such as bread, milk and juice and on many you can order fresh bread for the next day. The bigger sites will have larger supermarkets with a wide range of food as well as some camping equipment. Prices are usually more expensive than outside of the campsite and can open strange hours, closing for a long time in the afternoon.

Restaurant/Bars

Again these vary with the size of campsite, but many have a full restaurant and bar and take away available on or close to the site. The holiday park style campsites will often have evening entertainment around these areas and a larger choice of bar, cafe or restaurants.

Pitch Size and Quality

Campsites offer two kinds of pitch - either fixed sized, marked out with numbers or more informal areas that are a bit of a free for all. Some campsites will offer a mix of the two at different prices. Informal pitches can become very crowded when busy as other campers with small tents tend to fill in any gaps. For fixed pitches you will usually be offered a choice of location, although if busy you'll just be allocated one.

The pitches themselves vary with the local area, and can be flat or hilly, open fields or deep woods. Warmer countries tend to have shadier sites with many more trees. The ground can be grass or gravel with hardstandings for campervans and caravans.

Electric points are usually scattered throughout the campsite, although for fixed pitches they can be found in the middle of each block with enough connections for all.

Internet Access

A growing number of campsites now offer wireless internet across some areas of the campsite as well as internet terminals of their own. This may be free but most will charge for access.

Prices

Prices vary with country, location and quality, but you usually pay a separate price per pitch, person, vehicle and tent with extra for electricity. More expensive 'comfort' pitches are often available - these will be a little bigger have water and drainage and are designed for the bigger motorhomes.

 

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