There's nothing better than escaping the stresses and strains of city life than to make time to relax in the great outdoors. While my own relationship with camping has typically been a bit apprehensive, largely due to a fear of non-existent showers and toilet facilities, even I have come round to the joys of embracing the great outdoors - tent and all.
Coolcamping: Europe (Second Edition) is a gorgeous book featuring a variety of hand-picked campsites and for the more precious amongst us (glamping experiences), to provide a wealth of inspiration for your next camping holiday.
From teepees to gypsy caravans and everything in between, you'll be amazed at the sheer amount of fabulous camping experiences that are to be had when you know where to go. Countries (and their stand out campsites) featured within the guide include: Portugal, Spain, France, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Greece.
The guide is broken down into helpful sections including 'campsites at a glance', 'campsite locator' and 'useful words and phrases' in a variety of languages, such as 'sleeping bag' ('saco-cama' in Portugese or 'un saco de dormir' in Spanish) and 'campfire' ('un feau de camp' in French and 'kampvuur' in Dutch), just in case you were wondering.
Each campsite entry is accompanied by a selection of gorgeous images to provide you with a sense of what you can expect to find when you arrive. Each entry also gives you a low down on the site's 'cool factor', an overview of the types of people that are likely to choose that particular campsite, camping rates, food and drink options, details on how to find the campsite and recommendations for offsite day trips.
So, which campsites featured within the guide are on our must-visit list? Check out our recommendations below...
Best campsites in Europe - The top 5 campsite holidays we're lusting after...
1. O Tamanco (Casas Brancas, Portugal)
Rustic charm and a variety of camping options including glamping tubes, tents and yurts, make this campsite truly unique. It's located near the Silver Coast, which boasts fishing villages, castles and monastries.
2.Lima Escape (Ponte de Barca - Viana do Castelo, Portugal)
Located on the edge of the Peneda-Geres National Park, you'd be hard pressed to find a campsite with more stunning natural beauty. Hiking and biking enthusiasts will love exploring the surrounding mountain treks and paths.
3. La Fresneda (Teruel, Spain)
This small but perfectly formed campsite with only 25 pitches is set in a stunning valley. Outdoor lovers will love exploring the rugged canyons and mountainsides as well as the natural rock swimming pools, which are only 15 mins away. Guests will also enjoy the onsite restaurant Bar La Roca, where guests can indulge in local tapas.
4. Forest Days (Catalonia, Spain)
Poised on a beautiful farmstead surrounded by mountains and fertile farmland, this really is glamping at its best. The site features four fully furnished bell tents, each featuring a super kingsize bed, a woodburning stove, an outdoor dining space and a hammock for two. With a campsite this well equipped, you'll never want to leave...
5. Il Collaccio (Perugia, Italy)
Deep in the valleys of the Umbrian hills is where you'll find this breathtaking campsite. This camping complex combines a family-owned truffle farm with a modest hotel, a pool, chalets, cabins and teraces for campers, caravans and tents. There is also an on-site restaurant and lots of activities to keep you busy including tennis, volleyball, table tennis and petanque.
For more cool campsites, visit www.coolcamping.co.uk. Cool Camping Europe (Second Edition) is available from Amazon.co.uk for £15.88 (paperback).
One of the greatest luxuries of all is having the time to relax with a great book.