Camping by the River - Tips and Popular Campsites

Camping Grubhof in Salzburg, Camping by the river, Austria
Camping Grubhof in Salzburg

Camping by the river is very popular among campers. Not only peace-seeking and nature-loving campers appreciate the direct proximity to the water - camping by the water is also very popular among hobby anglers and active vacationers.

From kayak tours to canoeing to standup paddleboarding: the direct proximity to the river makes camping a very special vacation. We introduce you to the best campsites along rivers in the most popular regions and countries.

  1. Popular Regions and Places by the River
  2. Top Tips for Camping on the River

Camping by the River in Germany

Family resort Kleinenzhof by the small Enz in Germany, Camping by the river, Baden-Württemberg
Family resort Kleinenzhof in Baden-Württemberg

In total, there are around 1,000 rivers that meander through the green mountain ranges, dense forests and picturesque landscapes of Germany. With a total length of 2,888 kilometers, the Danube is the longest river, some of which also flows through Germany.

Many popular, particularly nature-oriented campsites for camping by the river can be found especially in Bavaria. In Germany's largest federal state, campers are welcomed with warm hospitality at well-equipped and idyllically located camping sites by the river. Popular sites are not only located on the larger, popular rivers such as the Danube, the Iller or the Lech - campers are at the very least just as enthusiastic about campsites on smaller, unknown bodies of water. In idyllic locations as well as in the midst of the magnificent alpine panorama: In Bavaria you can enjoy the lapping of the water in many places under an awning already at breakfast, before you get ready for the first canoe tour on the adjacent river at the campsite in summer.

Very beautifully situated campsites by the river can also be found in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Rhine, the Weser or the Diemel are popular rivers, whose advantages you can take into account when choosing your next campsite. Numerous hiking or biking routes along the many, wonderful river banks also offer to explore the immediate surroundings and discover new things. Especially in the Weser Uplands, nature lovers get their money's worth with a wide range of leisure activities and wonderfully located campsites near the river. Furthermore, the Moselle region in Rhineland-Palatinate scores not only with good wine, but also with one or the other camping site by the river in magnificent nature. Between wild forests and idyllic waters, campsites in Baden-Württemberg are also considered genuine natural oases and are therefore ideal for camping by the river.

Our camping tip for the southwest of Germany: At Family - Resort Kleinenzhof you'll experience a particularly casual and varied vacation in the beautiful landscape of the northern Black Forest. On the banks of the small Enz river you can enjoy rafting, swimming, fishing or paddling on the water. If the weather doesn't play along, there's no sign of boredom because of the indoor pool and the many events at the campground.

Other campers on rave about the family-friendly campsite Kleinenzhof: "A beautifully situated, quiet site in the Black Forest with a small stream running through it. Nice large pitches. The cleanliness of the sanitary facilities was also very good."

Top Sites by the River in Germany

Camping Mainkur on the Main, Camping by the river in Germany
Campsite Mainkur in Hessen

More Campsites

directly by the Riverbank

Numerous campsites in Germany are located by flowing waters and offer campers great opportunities to park the camper or caravan directly by the riverbank.

Whether by the Moselle, the Neckar, the Main or the Lahn: Germany offers beautiful campsites for a relaxing or adventurous camping vacation by the river.

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Camping by the River in Austria

Camping Grubhof in Austria, Salzburg, Camping by the river
Camping Grubhof in Salzburg

Between deep valleys and mighty mountains you will find numerous, natural campsites along beautiful rivers in Austria. No wonder so many campers choose the land of 1000 mountains for river camping as their next destination. Whether on the Gurk in mountainous Carinthia, along the Taurach in green Styria or on the Salzach in idyllic Salzburg: both relaxation-seeking and active camper guests enjoy the best hours of river camping in Austria while sunbathing, relaxing, swimming, fishing, canoeing or sailing.

For adventurous campers, an adventurous canoe trip on the Drava River in summer is recommended. On the natural river in the Southern Alps you can discover the wonderful flora and fauna of the Upper Drau Valley in a very special way. Guided river tours are also a real experience on the Salzach and can be perfectly combined with your next camping vacation. For example, in an inflatable canoe or on a stand-up paddle you can discover the pristine floodplains and picturesque landscape on the Salzach, before you make yourself comfortable at the campsite in the evening.

Our tip for camping by the river in Austria: At Camping Grubhof both adventure fans and campers looking for peace and quiet will experience a perfect camping vacation in a fantastic location. Directly at the beautiful Saalach as well as in the midst of the spectacular alpine panorama you can make yourself comfortable here with your caravan, motorhome or tent on the greenly laid out pitches. With a large wellness offer as well as numerous leisure activities for young and old, the award winner was chosen by campers as the most popular campsite in all of Austria. Every year, the direct proximity to the river attracts especially many paddlers with their whitewater kayaks to the Grubhof. For example, guided canoe and kayak tours to Pillersee in the neighboring valley can also be booked via the Saalach in summer. The beautiful surroundings of the family-friendly facility also invite you to mountain biking and hiking.

On the detail page of the Camping Grubhof a 5-star evaluation hunts the next: "My husband and I enjoyed the peace and the beautiful nature. There are quite a few wonderful hiking destinations available and for balance we visited the sauna in the evenings. Despite the remoteness and tranquility, there are plenty of shopping opportunities. We were very positively surprised by the high quality of the wash houses and the wellness area. The fantastic massages by Gerti should also be emphasized!"

Top Places by the River in Austria

Camping by the River in France

Camp Au Clair Ruisseau / Gerstheim in Elsass, France, Camping by the river
Camp Au Clair Ruisseau / Gerstheim in Elsass

France is primarily known for camping on the coastal landscapes of the wild Atlantic or the vast Mediterranean in the summer. But whether with a tent, a caravan or your motorhome: France is also an extremely popular destination for camping by the river.

Far away from mass tourism, famous sights and tourist strongholds on the French coasts, the quieter inland offers many places that you can wonderfully discover while camping along the river. Whether on the idyllic banks of the Seine in Normandy, listening to the lapping of the Durance on the Côte d'Azur or among the picturesque vineyards of Alsace, France offers a wide range of versatile and well-equipped campsites for all types of campers.

In the southwest of the country, canoeists will get their money's worth during a tour on the Dordogne in summer. Especially for beginners and families, the Dordogne with its rather calm river course offers perfect conditions for a canoe adventure tour. Besides, the Dordogne with its natural banks is one of the most beautiful hiking rivers in Europe.

Our tip for camping by the river in France: You don't have to plan a particularly long journey if you decide on the popular site Camp Au Claire Rousseau. Right on the French-German border, a stone's throw from Freiburg, the campsite is located along a beautiful little river. On top of that, the green, dog-friendly site also offers a maintained bathing lake for swimming. Sporty campers can discover the beautiful nature of Alsace wonderfully on horseback or take a bike ride to Strasbourg, which is about 20 km away.

This is how other campers rate the nature site in Alsace on "Very nice, small fine campsite. We were received very friendly, nice, helpful people at the reception. French as well as German and English speaking. A beautiful small lake with sunbathing lawn, a large playground and a somewhat older but at all times of the day very clean, well-kept washhouse. The plots are also quite large. A beautiful old tree population. For families perfectly suitable there is also the possibility to ride. We will definitely be back!!!"

Top Places by the River in France

Camping by the River in Italy

Camping Zögghof in South Tyrol, Camping by the river, Italy
Camping Zögghof in Trentino-South Tyrol

Dream beaches and sunshine, picturesque mountains, historical sights, authentic cuisine, dreamy cities, playful river landscapes and comfortable campsites - the diversity of Italy makes campers' hearts beat faster in numerous ways. It's not without reason that the country has been one of the most popular destinations among campers for several decades.

Italy's largest river, the Po, has its source in the dreamy mountains of Piedmont and meanders about 400 kilometers further east until it finally flows into the Adriatic Sea. Especially among campers with a fishing license the Po is a popular destination. An extremely popular and very good spot for anglers is the river delta, which you can use not far from the town of Porto Tolle. Carp, barbel and catfish can be fished here and later prepared for dinner on the camping grill.

Not only by the Po river itself, but also beyond it, you will find numerous idyllic river banks, inviting you to pitch your tent. From the Eisack River in South Tyrol to the Ogia River in Lombardy to the Agan Riverbank in Veneto - the range of well-equipped campsites in Italy stretches as far as the eye can see. Especially family campers are in good hands with the very good infrastructure and the extensive leisure activities on the Italian star sites both in summer and partly in winter.

Our tip for camping by the river in Italy: In the midst of the magnificent mountain scenery of the Stubai Alps you will find the Camping Zögghof. Just a stone's throw from the village of St. Leonhard, this smaller campground is an attractive destination, especially among nature campers. The idyllic Passer River meanders right past the campsite, so you can relax at any time of day to the sound of the river water. From each of the green pitches campers can also enjoy a magnificent view of the peak of the Fleckner. The beautiful surroundings of the campsite serve as an ideal starting point for numerous hikes up to more than 3,000 meters in altitude. In addition to hikers, cyclists also experience a perfect time out at Camping Zögghoff with the well-traveled, sometimes less mountainous bike paths.

Campers report on about other advantages of the popular facility in South Tyrol: "Great, neat, clean campsite. Laid out in terraces in a wonderful location. Ideal starting point for hiking, walking and cycling. The Zöggbar also belongs to the campsite. There you can have breakfast or end the evening. The operators are super friendly. The bungalows are great, clean and also have a great view."

Top Places by the River in Italy

Europe-wide Camping by the river

Are you looking for very well rated or especially comfortably equipped camping sites by rivers in other countries? No matter, whether in the Netherlands, Sweden or Croatia - in our campsite search you will find the best campsite for camping by the river with the filter "near a river" under the menu item "Location". On the detail page of the campsite, the many camper reviews also often give you information about activities, size or the conditions of the river.

Discover now the best destination and the most suitable campsite on the river in all of Europe.

Camping Grubhof in Salzburg, Austria, Camping by the river
Camping Grubhof in Salzburg

Tips for Camping on the river

  1. Depending on the weather conditions, flooding can occur when camping by the river. In case of heavily announced rain showers or similar forecasts, you should check how and to what extent your campsite is affected. Especially campers with tents should be careful not to pitch their tent in the immediate vicinity of the river under given weather forecasts.

  2. Keep an eye out when fishing: As beautiful and idyllic as fishing at the campground is, fishing permits are always required and country-specific rest periods must be observed. Provided these conditions are met, fishing is permitted at many campsites along the river. On site it is always advisable to ask again at the reception for permission to fish. Often when camping by the river, fishing is also only intended for specific places on the shore.

  3. Campers should find out in advance to what extent the river is suitable for which activities in and on the water . From wildwater to calm flowing water, anything is possible when camping by a river in the summer. Family campers with small children should make sure that the current of the river isn't too dangerous. On the other hand, adventurous water sports enthusiasts will benefit, if the river water at the campground is a bit wilder. Many campgrounds also offer a wide range of water sports equipment rentals: From kayaking to canoeing to stand-up paddling, there's plenty to discover and experience at campgrounds along the river. Whether guided or "on your own" is usually up to you.

All about Camping by the River

Where can I go canoeing at campsites?
What are the most beautiful campsites for camping by the river?
Can I fish on the river at campsites?