Carefree selected sites
With the exception of Delamont Country Park in Northern Ireland, none of the European campsites are owned, managed or run by The Camping and Caravanning Club. Most are owned by individuals and run on a commercial basis.
The sites really are the ‘cream of the crop’ and we have no hesitation in recommending them. They are selected and handpicked by members of our team who are experienced in all types of camping. They are regularly inspected by us and offer a range of different types of campsites to meet the varied camping needs of you, the Club member. We believe they are among the best in Europe, whether they be large sites with many facilities, or small ones with little more than comfortable pitches, clean sanitation and a friendly welcome. Because these sites are picked by us and are considered the best of the best, we don’t show official star ratings, which generally are based on quantity rather than quality and vary so much from country to country.
Please note that reading online forum reviews of sites have led members to cancel in past. This incurs charges. Be wary of reviews and remember the sites are picked because they provide good service to members. We recommend that you research the sites before you book, not after.
The Castels chain theme is vieilles pierres (old stones), with many sites in the grounds of châteaux or old buildings. The Sites and Paysages chain offers smaller, personal, rural sites.
Where we say that English is spoken it means that someone – maybe more than one person – in the site’s regular reception team speaks fluent, or particularly good English (this may not be the case for staff organising activities). Only on a few sites is almost no English spoken. Please ask if this is important to you.
In France, pitches usually average from 80m2 to 100m2 and are often bordered by hedges or shrubs. Pitches outside France generally are smaller, often ranging from 60m2 to 80m2, although there can be exceptions. If you have a large unit, you may prefer to visit these countries in low season.
As these are not UK Club Sites, there is no 6m rule and units, especially in more popular areas, may be as little as one metre apart, particularly in high season.
In Italy, Spain and Holland you sometimes have to park your car in a car park, not on your pitch.
Pitches are generally booked for one unit, which is either a car accompanied by a tent, caravan or trailer tent, or a solo motorhome. If you’re bringing an awning, pup tent, second car or pet please tell us so we can inform you of any charges.
When booking, it’s really important to let us know your unit’s overall size, when fully pitched, including tent guy lines when fully extended and caravan tow bars. Maximum unit lengths and heights include anything on top or on the sides of the unit. It helps us to ensure you get the space you need and identifies any site restrictions. You may need to book a second pitch if your unit and equipment cannot fit on a 100m2 pitch.
Please let us know at time of booking if you have any special requests, but bear in mind that it may not always be possible to accommodate your specific needs and can’t be guaranteed. All pitch types are always subject to availability.
Site booking fees
Most campsites charge booking fees and deposits. If you book through Carefree, you’ll avoid the booking fee if you book a site, plus ferry or insurance together. If you do want site only, we charge a one off fee of £15 which is better value if booking more than one campsite at a time.
A £20 late booking fee applies if you book within 7 days of the due date of arrival on the site. This will apply whether booking in the UK or already abroad.
Single parents or solo campers
Depending on how each site charges for pitches, we may be able to get a better deal for single-parent families and solo campers – rest assured we’ll sort out the best price for you.
Site facilities in low and high season
The majority of sites only operate their full facilities during the peak local holiday season, which doesn’t always match UK holiday dates. Shops, bars, take-aways, pools and other services on- and off-site may be closed outside these dates. The great news is that prices often reflect this and site owners have more time to spend with their campers. Please ask if particular facilities are important to you outside high season. It is also common in low season to close down washblocks, leaving only a few cubicles open (often unisex).
Easter, Whitsun, Ascension and other major public holidays often fall within otherwise low season dates so, in some areas, these short holidays count as extra high-season periods and sites may be very lively at these times.
You can generally tell from a site’s pitch prices the period(s) that it considers its high season to fall within. French high season can be from about the middle of July to about 20 August. In other countries it’s usually from early July to mid-August. Sites and resorts are then usually fully booked and at their busiest, both in numbers of people and the level of activity and festivity. Expect the possibility of lively celebrations – both on site and locally – on national or local holidays at all times of the year.
Site facilities for disabled people
We have much more information on this – ranging from sanitation details to access to the bar – than is displayed in the brochure, so please do ask us if you need more advice on a particular site’s facilities. Ask to speak to someone who has visited the site to ensure it meets your requirements.
Arrival and departure times
Your pitch is reserved from 1500hrs on your day of arrival to 1200hrs on your day of departure. If you arrive early your pitch may not be available. Many site receptions are closed from 1200-1400hrs and longer still in low season. In some countries, such as Spain, Italy and Germany, lunch breaks can be longer – reception may not reopen until 1500hrs or 1600hrs.
If you arrive near reception closing time this may limit the time staff can give to welcoming you and also reduce the choice of pitches it may be possible to offer you.