How to make camping romantic

March, 15 2020

Holidays are the perfect time to truly relax. You have no obligations and plenty of time for all the things you love. But do you really have time for each other? Because a little campsite romance will never go amiss. So we’ve put together some tips for lovers looking to add a dash of romance to their holiday. And yes, even at a busy campsite, even with the kids in tow.

A quick disclaimer for anyone who’s already starting to blush: this really is about romantic camping. It’s not about sex. One might follow on from the other – and I’m sure there’s plenty to write about sex at a campsite – but what I want to show you is how a few simple adjustments can help you bring a little romance to your holiday.

A romantic quirk

When you’re booking your vacation, think about what’s romantic to you. Of course it won’t be a honeymoon, but the right environment can help romance bloom on holiday. So what gets your heart rate up? Is it waves crashing on the shore or birds singing in the forest? Or maybe it’s a particular region or area? How about the French region of Aquitaine, for example, where you can enjoy the sun, sea, and beach as well as beautiful stretches of verdant countryside?

Romantic camping near Colmar. Taste the romance in this historic area that's called 'Little Venice' for a reason

Romantic camping near Colmar. Taste the romance in this historic area that’s called ‘Little Venice’ for a reason

Finding it difficult to drum up excitement for a new destination? Here are two of my personal tips. First, take a look at Alsace. The lovely thing about Alsace is that it’s still easily accessible by car (700 kilometres from Dover). But once you’re there, you’ll be swept away by that romantic French countryside feel. Rolling hills, mountains, picturesque villages, cities, the Rhine and delicious local wines – all the ingredients for a bit of romance. The campsites aren’t too crowded but still come with all the amenities, swimming pools, and entertainment for the children.

My second tip is Sicily. I don’t recommend driving down to this Italian island, but fortunately it’s just a quick flight away. Sicilian campsites often have mobile homes for rent, and it’s really worth exploring the island with a rental car or camper. With views of Mount Etna, spectacular landscapes, and a beautiful coastline with plenty of gorgeous bays and perfect spots, in this part of Italy, there’s always a taste of romance in the air.

Indulge in a bit of luxury

Found a great holiday destination? Or do you just keep going to that one campsite by default because your kids always have such a good time there? Try to look at your accommodations or camping pitch from a romantic perspective. And I’m not just talking about candles, music, and a few pillows and blankets. Of course, all those things can help you create the ambience, but sometimes you need to take it a step further. Indulge in a bit of luxury and make your accommodations extra special.

Your own hot tub

End the day by soaking your troubles away in your own private hot tub. The hot tub is right next to your own cosy, wooden glamping hut at Campsite Bled, located on the shores of Lake Bled, the picture of romance. And the hot tub isn’t the only creature comfort. You’ll spend your nights in spend a lovely double bed. The cabins are also beautifully lit at night – it doesn’t get much more romantic than this. The only downside: it’s a double, so it won’t work for families.

Relaxing together in your own hot tub – still a marvellous option even in cold weather.

Relaxing together in your own hot tub – still a marvellous option even in cold weather.

The luxury of glamping

SunLodges are perfect for a family holiday. They’re available at more than thirty campsites across Europe, primarily in the South of France, Italy, and Croatia. SunLodges are adventurous lodge tents and luxury mobile homes that make camping a lot more comfortable. A new addition to the range is the seven-person Taiga & Kambi SunLodge at Montescudaio Campsite & Village in Tuscany. The children get their own, smaller lodge right next to the larger lodge tent. So the kids get their own space, and mom and dad have time to enjoy a romantic Tuscan evening together.

Vidikovac Bar

I’ll close with another personal tip: Campsite Poljana. This luxury campsite boasts a unique location on the Croatian island of Lošinj, and will provide you with all the amenities you could want. The pitches are nestled under the pine trees, but you can also experience truly romantic camping at the high-end Catalpa SunLodge or BigLeaf SunLodge. These lodges are perched next to the sea, in one of the campsite’s most beautiful spots. And because you’re camping between two bays, the view is truly breathtaking. Make your holiday here extra romantic by going dolphin spotting or snorkelling together. Head to Vidikovac Bar for a unique culinary experience. You can taste delicious local dishes and enjoy the most beautiful, romantic view in Croatia.

Dining at Vidikovac Bar doesn't just mean good food. You will also get the most romantic view in Croatia.

Dining at Vidikovac Bar doesn’t just mean good food. You will also get the most romantic view in Croatia.

Seek out romance

Okay, so you’ve found a lovely spot at a good campsite. But if you’re just going to sit there and read your paper, romance isn’t going to come your way. So take action! Go do something romantic or create some romantic ambience yourself. And you don’t have to be Doctor Love to do it. I’ll help you get started with some activities you can do together. Or for even more fun, activities you can plan to surprise your partner.

Swimming under the stars

The water can get crowded during the day. But once the sun sets, you’ll usually have the beach to yourself. Bring your beach towel and enjoy the sound of the waves or do some stargazing together. And of course a dip in the water isn’t out of the question. Is night swimming a bit too chilly or adventurous for your tastes? Just looking up at the canopy of stars together can spark romance!

Your own private bay

This depends a bit on your holiday destination, but it’s definitely an option in certain parts of Italy and Croatia. You may have to wander along the coast – or ask the locals – but there are usually still a few undiscovered bays or beaches to be found. Put down your towel, bring along some drinks and snacks and make it a beach day to remember.

You may have to search for it, but if you succeed, it's worth it: your own private bay like the one shown here in Sicily.

You may have to search for it, but if you succeed, it’s worth it: your own private bay like the one shown here in Sicily.

Romantic dining

Pizza, fries, or a quick pasta dish – complicated campsite cooking isn’t for everyone, so your best bet is an easy recipe. But cooking together can be quite the romantic endeavour. First, take a trip to the local market together and find the ingredients for your favourite dish. Then show off your culinary skills in the kitchen, decorate your table, and dine like you’re in a Michelin-star restaurant. For even more romance, take the food with you to a romantic picnic spot in the countryside or on the beach.

A night out

Remember your first date or your first night out? Rediscover that romantic moment, but this time in a completely different setting: your holiday destination. Plan an evening out and go to the theatre, dine at a chic restaurant, or have a drink in one of the local beach bars or pubs. Pack your best outfits and take each other out. You might even be lucky enough to catch an outdoor concert in the neighbourhood or enjoy a local festival.

Dive into the outdoors

Camping is all about the outdoors. Often you’re staying at the heart of the natural world, and what could be better than enjoying it together? Take a long walk through the forest, cycle through meadows and fields, and visit picturesque villages or marvel at breathtaking vistas and unique places. Dive into the outdoors with your partner and enjoy everything the area has to offer.

Children aren’t an obstacle

Now I hear you saying: “that’s all well and good, but we’ve got the kids with us on holiday”. And you’re right, in part. A family vacation isn’t going to be a second honeymoon, and spending time together as a family can be fun. But that doesn’t mean there’s no room for romance.

While your children have fun with the entertainment team, you and your partner can find some time for a romantic getaway.

While your children have fun with the entertainment team, you and your partner can find some time for a romantic getaway.

Depending on how old your children are, they may be able to have fun without you for a while. Perhaps you can go on holiday with another couple and take turns looking after each other’s children? That way you and your partner can go out for an afternoon or evening. Or maybe you’ve already made friends at the campsite that you can talk to about child care.

Of course, most campsites also have entertainment programmes geared towards kids. The entertainment teams work overtime, especially in high season, from craft mornings to scavenger hunts, from music nights to sports tournaments. There’s usually plenty to do at the campsite, so you can leave the children behind without worrying.

How romantic will your holiday be?

I’m curious about how you’re planning to inject some romance into your summer holidays. Will it just be quality time for the whole family or are you planning to set aside some time for just you and your partner? Hopefully my tips will help. If you have other tips for your fellow campers, I’d love to hear them, too.

Bram Kuhnen
  • Auteur: Bram Kuhnen
  • European cities, touristy beaches and impressive landscapes and countryside. Travelling through Europe, Bram has already visited many places, and he likes to write about his experiences and share tips.

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