Wild camping in Europe – a complete list

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by BGil, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    Wild camping in Europe


    The question has already been asked before but I can't find a complete list with all European countries.

    I will complete and correct the list if you can give me more information.
    This concerns only wild camping, not in paying campsites.

    By "strictly illegal" I mean that the interdiction is actively enforced with heavy fines.

    I collected this information from various sources on the internet. Part of it can be false or outdated.
    I took as granted that camping is always legal on private land with the authorisation of the owner.

    If you think that more countries need to be added to the list (like Turkey, Armenia, Faroe Islands, etc.), just ask.

    I suppose that in some countries, like Germany or Russia, the law is different in different Provinces, Länder, Regions or Krai. Please explain.


    Albania: legal
    Andorra: bivouac legal over 200 metres
    Austria: illegal
    Belarus: legal
    Belgium: strictly illegal
    Bosnia & Herzegovina: legal
    Bulgaria: legal
    Croatia: illegal, fines from 150 to 1000 €
    Czech republic
    Denmark: illegal except in designated spots. Legal if no tent. Free "shelters" available
    England: strictly illegal except in Dartmoor
    Estonia: legal
    Finland: legal
    France: legal except in protected area, national and regional parks, etc.
    Germany: illegal
    Greece: illegal but...
    Hungary: illegal
    Iceland: legal
    Ireland: illegal but generally tolerated
    Italy: illegal but tolerated north of Rome and ok in the south
    Latvia: legal like in Scandinavia
    Lichtenstein
    Lithuania: legal except in natural parks
    Luxembourg: strictly illegal
    Macedonia (FYROM):
    Moldova:
    Montenegro: legal
    Netherlands: strictly illegal, except in some special places ("Paalkamperen")
    Northern Ireland: strictly illegal
    Norway: legal
    Poland: legal except in protected area
    Portugal: illegal
    Romania: legal
    Russia: legal
    San Marino:
    Scotland: legal if you're 100 m from the road
    Serbia: legal
    Slovakia:
    Slovenia: illegal
    Spain: legal except in protected or urban areas
    Sweden: legal
    Switzerland: illegal but generally tolerated, light camping legal in the mountains
    Ukraine: legal
    Wales: strictly illegal



    Thank you for your help.

    Edited to fix the format that didn't like switching to the new website.
    #1
  2. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley Long timer

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    I am not sure that your information for England and Wales is accurate, I have wild camped a lot and without a problem, the worst that will happen is somebody might tell you to leave in the middle of the night. You also don't specify if you mean with or without landowners permission, with it is most certainly legal in Britain.
    #2
  3. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    I don't know either if my information is accurate, that's why I ask you all.

    I said "[FONT=&quot]I took as granted that camping is always legal on private land with the authorisation of the owner."[/FONT]
    I'm asking about camping on public land.

    Also, if someone can come in the middle of the night and ask you to leave, then you're certainly not camping legally, but that's not what I called "strictly illegal" in the list (no heavy fines).

    Information is difficult to get. You have to rely on old papers, old websites. I suppose that the locals have a better knowledge of the situation in their country than a foreign webjournalist.
    #3
  4. ttr

    ttr Been here awhile

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    About Italy I would say:

    Illegal in general but:

    - tolerated in the North
    - ok in the South (from rome to Sicily)
    #4
  5. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    Thank you ttr. List updated.
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  6. Roadpizza

    Roadpizza n00b

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    I'm not sure I understand the reason for this thread. The true wild camper doesn't give a rat's ass about legality. I've slept roadside in many western, and a few eastern European countries. Never got caught, never worried about it. The trick is to use back roads,
    hide well, and leave before daybreak. P.S. I'm not using an icon. Not because I'm boring, because icons are.
    #6
  7. francs

    francs Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Ljubljana Slovenija
    Slovenia - illegal
    You can camp if they don't cought you (if you stay away from popular destinations and places where police can see you from the road) .
    #7
  8. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    I suppose that I'm not a true wild camper then because I care about legality.

    Look at it this way: if you know it's legal, you don't need to be too careful, leave at dawn, etc. You feel at ease, can relax and enjoy a nice cup of coffee/tea in the morning before leaving.
    #8
  9. The Walrus

    The Walrus Gone and back again.

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    I will second this approach and throw out the following question:

    When riding a moto in the countryside, outside of bigger towns and cities, are land owners approachable and agreeable to permitting a low impact camper?

    If you are a reasonable person here in the Western US, there are a few shotgun toting land owners but many are not and you stand a reasonable chance of being accepted. Really, there is so much 'public land' that this is rarely an issue. Quite different from the regions we're discussing but pertinent due to the large number of opportunists popping up during our Federal shutdown.
    #9
  10. randel

    randel Been here awhile

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    Estonia: camping is legal, additionally you can use this website to find free campsite or hut all around Estonia: http://rmk.ee/en
    Promoted and serviced by State Forest Management Centre
    #10
    StartAdventures likes this.
  11. guyfawkes

    guyfawkes Move along, nothing to see here

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    i think 80% will let you stay on their grounds if you ask nicely(which makes it legal in return, at least here in austria).
    problem around here are hunters...pretty much the only folk beside police that are armed and those in general dont have a kind stance towards riders(at least in my experience). Ive had it happen that one of them goes apeshit simply from people walking on a forestroad(which is permitted).
    #11
  12. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    Thanks for your input guys.

    The hunters are probably worried that they might kill you. When I was a kid, we've had a dog - a yellow labrador - killed by a hunter during a horse ride in the forest.
    However, I admit that we had the vague feeling that he had done it to "punish" us for using the forest during the hunting season. He was known to be an asshole - and a notary.
    #12
  13. bigboyxl

    bigboyxl Been here awhile

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    Ukraine and Russia - legal
    #13
  14. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

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    In Ireland, ask a farmer and it's generally okay.
    #14
  15. macintosh

    macintosh Adventurer

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    Scotland
    Wild camping on public hill land is OK in Scotland, so long as you are 100m from a road, and don't leave rubbish behind.
    http://goo.gl/Bn6XWO

    France
    Wild camping in France is a legal grey area, but is generally tolerated with the permission of landowners, or if you're well away from tourist sites. You are also advised not to stay beyond 9am the next day.
    #15
  16. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    In Andorra : wild camping illegal, bivouac legal over 2000 metres.
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  17. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Happy I stumbled upon this from a google search! Great summary of a subject that is perplexingly difficult to find info on--hoping not much has changed in the past 2 years.
    #17
  18. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

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    Additional info regarding Denmark.

    If you don't use a tent, wild camping is legal.
    Read more here: http://eng.naturstyrelsen.dk/experience-nature/sleeping-outside-in-nature/

    Besides that there are free "Shelters" all over the country - most are located at very nice spots.
    Here is a map showing some of the: http://naturstyrelsen.dk/naturoplevelser/overnatning/shelters/

    There are also many free primitive campsites (most are in reality wild camping with a place for a bonfire) here is a map showing the location of some of them: http://naturstyrelsen.dk/naturoplevelser/overnatning/smaa-lejrpladser/#{%22x%22:671157,%22y%22:6240022,%22zoom%22:1,%22categories%22:[%229%22]}

    You can get a free "shelter" app for your phone: http://shelterapp.dk/


    As I side note I've done wild camping all over Europe for more than 25 years and it has never caused me any problems - not even in the countries where it's officially illegal.
    #18
  19. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    Thanks for resurrecting this thread.

    List updated for Denmark.
    #19
  20. hgwilliam

    hgwilliam Adventurer

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    Now you have had the list over 2 years, have you experienced while camping using this list?

    I am from Canada doing a trip in Europe, and I am hoping to stealth camp. Stealth camping here is much easier than Europe so I am trying to read as much about it as I can.
    #20