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smith1 Sun 18-Sep-11 10:52:50

I really fancy going to germany next year - went to the Black Forest as a child and loved it. The plan would be to go there and Eurodisney in one trip. Has anyone been to any area that they would recommend? The only thing that puts me off is the distance so need some good arguments for DH as to why we should go!!!

Slubberdegullion Sun 18-Sep-11 11:22:16

hope you don't mind smith but I'm going to c&p my (rather large) posts from another thread. We have just got back from 6 weeks camping in Germany.

Awfully Big Adventure Camping (mostly) in Germany debrief.

So we stayed in 10 campsites in total (plus two other stops in guest houses), 8 of which were in Germany. I had very mixed feelings about German campsites but on the whole dh and I would love to go back and see more of Bavaria which was very beautiful and while we were there very hot.

Good points: all bar one site (where we turned up, took one look, and then quickly departed), the facilities on the sites were exceptional. Immaculate wash rooms and lots with family bathrooms which makes suge a HUGE difference to showering yourself with two children. Little things like one or two basins set lower down so the girls could easily and independently wash their hands after going to the loo. In several of the bigger sites there were specific Kinder bathrooms with fun showers, little loos etc. My girls actively WANTED to go and wash shock

Apologies to those reading this who experience all this as par for the course when you camp abroad. We are so used to three loos, three basins and a couple of pay showers in N Wales. It was like like entering a whole new fantasy world of camping facilities.

Also good were other facilities, like excellent play areas, pools, shops, restaurants etc. These are not deal breakers for us but certainly the dd's were VERY pro sites with pools.

All the sites seemed v hot on night time and early morning quietness, no music playing, recycling-am undo, and general civilised and polite behaviour all round. Plenty of them had a mid day rest period where the gates were closed to cars and new arrivals.

On the bad side: well I may have mentioned it a few times but in Germany at least camping in tents is a rare and exotic activity, mostly left to youthful backpackers.
We were very very surprised at how few families we saw camping in tents. Because of this we found that the sites are very much set up for caravans and motor homes. So much so that as tent campers we were not allowed to book in advance, frequently had to pitch on hard standing (thank GOD I bought the rock pegs), were often directed to the arse end of the site and to tiny pitch areas and in a few cases not allowed in at all.

Most of the sites had large areas devoted to seasonal pitches.
{{{ snobbery alert }}}.
These were rank upon rank of rows of caravans, all with permanent awnings attached (with drainpipes and everything), then gazebo attached to the awning, picket fence or hedge planted around the whole thing, gnomes, solar lights, exotic gravel lay outs etc. Some had garden sheds built on the pitch.
Hundreds of them.
The last site we stayed at had 700 pitches, 500 of which were given to the permanent caravans (I only counted us and one other tent on the whole site).

This in my opinion gives the sites a totally different vibe to what we have gotten used to in Britain. We felt at times a little like imposters, straying on someone else's patch. A 'you're not from around here' feeling. Not at all what I am used to wrt "camping"

Interestingly probably my favourite site was in Freiburg had the lowest key facilities but had a really great atmosphere, we got chatting to lots of our neighbours, and it was the most tent-ified site we stayed at. Predominantly backpackers and families in tents.

When we go back I will just have to mentally prepare myself for a different style of camping. We are spoilt on the Lleyn with big open, pitch where you like around the outside sites. But then I'm never going to be able to shower again in a tiny little cubicle without wistfully remembering the underfloor heated, gargantuan, immaculate, free power showers we got in Germany.

Fantastic country. loved it. They are totally set up for outdoor pursuits. Walking of the conventional and Nordic variety, cycling, swimming, sailing. And of course wellness. There were lots of spa resorts.

Very green. Was a bit awestruck by the size and undevelopedness of areas like the Black Forest, Pfalzwald and Eifel.

If you had a very energetic and into cycling family some of these destinations would be paradise. My girls are a bit young for all day treks but when they are older I would love to go back to do some proper tramping the the Forest walks (death socks in situ).

Lots of interesting history type stuff. Fabulous castles and the old touristy towns and very beautiful and interesting to wander around.

Beer Fab. Wine Fab. Cake Fab. I love the food, but am a meat and potatoes kind of girl.

People were lovely and so appreciative of the girls and my feeble attempts at speaking the language.

So all in all a great ABA and we will definitely go back at some point.

At Bodensee we had some traditional relaxing holiday type days of lounging around by the (crystal clear 20degrees) lake in the sunshine, reading and then taking frequent dips to cool off. There are certainly enough lakes in the south states of Baden-Wuttenburg or Bavaria where you could do a straight forward drive, pitch, stay for two weeks and chill out and then home type trip.

The big forest areas were something else though. They are so well set up for walkers and cyclists, with paths and distances mapped out (and even on some signs no of calories burnt for each different route). If you wanted to combine a bit of lazing about (or naked spa action) and a bit of energetic physical activity (not in the naked spas) then I reckon Germany is an ideal destination.

Just a bit of a shame that the flip side of having pristine and fabulous campsite facilities is rather sterile and souless campsites (imo).

Slubberdegullion Sun 18-Sep-11 11:23:48

I would also highly recommend EuropaPark as an alternative to Disney (not that I have been to Disney). It's Germany's biggest theme park (huge) and very very good.

Is very close to Freiberg.

SaggyHairyArse Sun 18-Sep-11 12:36:15


We did a round trip to Serbia in the summer and camped at three sites in Germany. The first we stayed at was inbetween the Black Forest and Europa Park (we didn't got to Europa Park but hav heard good reviews and an English family used their Tesco or Nectar points to pay for it).

This site was It was a really nice site, next to a municipal pool that cost 6E for a family ticket for the day. We went to see the waterfalls at Triberg from here. Fabulous!

The next site we went to was at Lake Constance, I would recommend this place as it is just beautiful! If you don't know the lake is on the Austrian/German/Swiss border and from the German side your views are the lake and the Alps, stunning!

On our return journey we camped at I would love to go back here as it is in a really pretty town, there are lots of outdoorsy activities to do and it was just a throughly pleasant site in a gorgeous area and we could have stayed longer than we did.


PS. I would go to Europa Park rather than Disney if I had the choice wink

smith1 Mon 19-Sep-11 13:59:42

Thanks for those. Slubber - I have an admission...
<<clears throat>>
ahem - we want to go in our caravan wink
Is there any site that stood out for you as the best?

Slubber and Saggy - did you drive from Calais? How long did it take?

SlubberOfDave Mon 19-Sep-11 17:48:37

We drove from Rotterdam (Hull Rotterdam ferry).

It only takes maybe an hour and a half to get into North Germany from Holland. When we were at Bodensee I tapped into the SatNav the Rotterdam Europoort address and it said it would take nine hours of driving to get there.

I'm going to do a list of all the sites we stayed at with a brief précis.

SlubberOfDave Tue 20-Sep-11 18:59:27

Romantischer Rhine/Moselle area
Large site, great restaurant, v clean facilities, v close for visiting the Rhine and the Moselle rivers.

The Palatinate Forest Pfälzerwald
Forest was beautiful, site was OK.

Black Forest
Good location for seeing the nothern Black Forest. Pool was a bonus. Great restaurant selling home made schnapps. Could walk from site on to trails into the forest. Stream running through the middle v popular with the dc.

Great little site, good atmosphere. Great restaurant bar and facilities. Breakfast buffet available from the shop (big hit with us).

12km from lake Bodensee
Big, new, clean, sterile. Kids loved the pool. Too far from the lake for us.

Immenstaad on lake Bodensee
Great site, easy to walk into the small town/ferry jetty. Town had amazing pool/beach facilities. Site had great shop and cafe, plus good restaurant. Only place where we had to pay for the showers though (boo)

Bavaria, near castle Neuschwanstein
AMAZING position. You can see the castle from the play area. Immaculate facilities.

Baden-Wurttemberg, near the Rhine
HUGE, just HUGE. The best facilities (bar Austrian site that I haven't listed). Kinder loos and bathroom. Lake looked fun for swimming activities. Not far from Black forest.

SlubberOfDave Tue 20-Sep-11 19:01:06

Best site for us was probably the one on Bodensee at Immenstaad. Not because it was the best site but we had such a great time at the lake.

The one in Bavaria was pretty fantastic too, for facilities combined with amazing views and the lake to swim in.

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