Updated: Sep 1
If you haven’t already worked out why so many people are raving about campervan holidays, then let us fill you in. The best campervan destinations have it all: epic scenery, fabulous weather and of course, a wide-open road that will take you there.
After you’ve read these eleven tempting suggestions, you’ll be eager to try them for yourself. And if you’re keen to tour Iceland by campervan first, we have the ideal vehicle waiting for you right here in Reykjavik.
Spectacular Campervan Holiday Destinations
Deciding between beautiful beaches, lush vegetation and otherworldly landscapes can be a challenging task. That’s why we’ve collected the best campervan holiday destinations just for you!
1. The Grossglockner Pass, Austria
Best for: epic mountain views
Tackle the majestic Grossglockner Pass and you’ll navigate 36 turns in 48 spectacular kilometers, as this ribbon of a road snakes its way up Austria’s highest mountain. Along the way, you’ll pass Alpine meadows, scree slopes and rugged peaks.
You might catch a glimpse of scampering marmots as golden eagles and vultures soar on the thermals overhead. Wind down your window to hear the sound of tumbling waterfalls and the hypnotic clank of cowbells. At the top, the view of the mighty Pasterze Glacier and the sight of the 3798-meter-high snow-capped Grossglockner summit are ample reward for your efforts.
2. Etosha National Park, Namibia
Best for: epic game viewing
Namibia, like Iceland, has a lot of gravel roads. However, it rewards those who embrace high-intensity driving. One of the country’s undisputed highlights is Etosha National Park.
This massive protected area is home to countless species, including elephants, zebras, lions, cheetahs, springboks and impalas. In the wet season, they’re spread far and wide; the roads tend to be muddy which can cause a headache for drivers.
In the dry season, typically from June to October, they’re forced to congregate around watering holes in order to survive. This creates the ideal conditions for campervan holidays, as you’ll find game viewing relatively easy.
3. Broome, Australia
Best for: epic sandy beaches
From the sandstone domes of the Bungle Bungles to the dramatic gorges of the Kimberley, Western Australia treats visiting campervanners to some of the world’s most jaw-dropping scenery. Watching a camel caravan loping along Cable Beach at sunset is one of the state’s most iconic sights.
Park your campervan beside the sand to sit and watch the country’s most photogenic procession as the waves lap the beach and the sky reddens. As picturesque as this sounds, it’s not the only memorable experience you’ll have here in Broome.
Roebuck Bay is also known for a natural phenomenon called the Staircase to the Moon. You’ll need a low tide from March to October and a full moon rising over the mudflats for the optical illusion to work.
4. The French Riviera
Best for: epic people watching
The chic French Riviera stakes its reputation on extreme wealth and Hollywood glamour. Yet, it’s also one of the best campervan destinations in Europe. The yachts of the super-rich bob just off the coast, while their secluded mansions nestle in the hills that overlook the glittering Mediterranean Sea. See both from the coast road, one of France’s most fabulous drives.
To cover the ground between Marseille and Menton could take as little as four hours, but it would be foolish to rush your way through such extraordinary beauty. Instead, take your time and savor resorts such as Saint-Tropez, Cannes, Antibes and Nice. As you pass Monaco’s famous Casino de Monte-Carlo, you can always dream, right?
5. Utah’s national parks, USA
Best for: epic hikes
Utah’s five awesome national parks – Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches, Bryce Canyon and Zion – can be easily combined into one great trip. But they’re no secret and in peak season, they get crowded early in the day.
Use your RV to your advantage and choose a pitch within a short drive of the park you intend to visit. Get up before the others arrive and you’ll have the opportunity to see some of the world’s most dramatic landforms before everyone else rocks up and the trails fill.
6. Cathedral Cove, New Zealand
Best for: epic scenery
Proving South Island doesn’t have the monopoly on breathtaking scenery, the gorgeous beach of Cathedral Cove is one of the standout Kiwi campervan trips. Located in the Coromandel Penninsula on the North Island, this delightful spot features a dramatic sandstone arch overlooking the ocean.
Leave your campervan at nearby Hahei Beach and take a stroll along the cliff-top path. You’ll pass mature tree ferns, pines, and native puriri trees before descending a flight of steps to the beach. Before you head off to explore more of New Zealand’s incredible countryside, dig yourself a thermal bath on nearby Hot Water Beach.
7. The Bealach na Bà, Scotland
Best for: epic driving
You’ll need to be a confident driver to seriously consider taking a campervan up the narrow single-track road that winds its way over the Applecross peninsula. But don’t let that intimidate you; this is a must-see spot! The Bealach na Bà, or the Pass of the Cattle, is the steepest stretch of road in the UK, and popular as a result.
Come during the off-season or at least get up before the crowd, unless you want to spend the journey allowing oncoming traffic to pass you by. At the top, there’s plenty of space to park up and take in the extraordinary view over the Scottish Highlands.
The descent to Applecross is considerably less challenging, and you’ll enjoy the ride. Make sure you reserve a table at the village pub to try locally caught king scallops and Applecross Bay prawns.
8. Tuscany, Italy
Best for: epic countryside
Nothing screams Italy like the classic scene of rolling hills under an azure sky, where vineyards and olive groves are punctuated by rows of cypress trees. To find it, seek outthe Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of beautiful Tuscany.
Several of the region’s most photogenic views can be enjoyed from the road, making it a perfect location for campervan holidays. Follow the winding SP60 as it twists and turns from Asciano to San Giovanni d’Asso, the tree-lined SP40 at La Foce or the SP146 between Pienza and San Quirico.
Tuscany’s natural beauty is of course equalled by the splendour of its towns and cities, so allow for plenty of time to visit Siena, Florence, Lucca and San Gimignano as well.
9. Canada’s Yukon Territory
Best for: epic beauty
Venture into Canada’s Yukon Territory and discover what the open road really means. Drive the other Golden Circle: instead of Thingvellir, Geyser and Gullfoss, you’ll follow a scenic loop that begins and ends in Whitehorse via the world’s smallest desert and the largest icefield outside of the polar regions.
The pretty rivers, tranquil lakes and dense forest are a haven for wildlife; you might spot anything from bald eagles to bears. Park up here and there to enjoy the fresh air.
Depending on the season you could go horseback riding, llama trekking, river rafting, mountain biking, hiking, snowmobiling or cross-country skiing. Many of the RV parks boast mountain views, so plan to arrive during daylight to make the most of them.
10. Marrakesh and Morocco’s Atlas Mountains
Best for: epic adventures
Head for campervan holidays in Marrakesh and discover the delights of the Atlas Mountains. Leave the imposing ramparts of Morocco’s Red City behind you for an unforgettable adventure through Berber villages and rural smallholdings.
If you’re brave enough, tackle the torturous Tizi n’Test pass that winds its way through the High Atlas and pull out at the top for an incredible view at Café La Belle Vue. It’s a challenging drive in a campervan but manageable.
Alternatively, cross the Tizi n'Tichka, the highest pass of all. Along the way, call in at ruined kasbahs, the UNESCO-listed fortified village of Aït Benhaddou and the Atlas Film Studios in Ouarzazate.
11. The Snaefellness Peninsula, Iceland
Best for: Otherworldly scenery
A magical island nation with jaw-dropping waterfalls, stunning glaciers, and mesmerizing scenery you can enjoy by yourself. The Land of Fire and Ice is swiftly climbing up the charts of the best campervan holidays. The whole island is undoubtedly worth a visit, but if you need a sample of Iceland’s natural wonders, this is pretty much Iceland in a nutshell!
Don’t just stick to Reykjavik. Instead, rent a campervan and head out to see the highlights of the Snaefellness Peninsula, a short drive from the capital city. From the mighty Mount Kirkjufell with the beautiful flowing Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall to the Snaefellsjökull glacier, passing by some black sand beaches; there, you can have it all.
Bonus Track: Honshu, Japan
Best for: epic quirkiness
Japan is probably not the first place that comes to mind if you’re planning a campervan trip, but it has the potential to be one of the most rewarding.
Honshu Island, Japan’s largest, is equally famous for its views: steer your campervan in the direction of trees laden with cherry blossom, conical Mount Fuji capped with snow or Shinto shrines adorned with orange Torii gates.
Driving here is a pleasure, thanks to well-maintained roads, an increasing number of signs in English and considerate motorists; not to mention that many Michi-no-Eki (roadside service stations) are open 24/7.
Live the vanlife!
Freedom, flexibility, constant contact with nature, and the opportunity to save big in the meantime. It’s not hard to see why campervan holidays are so addictive. If you’re keen to visit some of Iceland’s most epic spots, why not take a look at the best campers in Iceland and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime?