Aires – Camperstops – Stellpltzen – Sosta’s
They come in a variety of names but for ease I will refer to them as Aires
What are Aires: They are designated places specifically designed for motorhomes to stay. They are not campgrounds as you cannot pitch a tent or even go there with a caravan. They have mainly been set up by councils but some have been set up by motorhomers and others as a business. The theory goes that if the motorhomers stay there they will spend money and help the local economy.
In Western Europe you will find plenty of them and the more east you travel the sparser they become. In France for instance there are over 3000 but in countries like Romania, Serbia and other eastern countries they are almost non-existent. They can just be a section of a carpark where you can park your motorhome and stay overnight or they can be in picturesque places next to beaches, rivers, waterfalls, town centres , next to parklands and so the list goes on. Some are in quiet locations or you can find yourself next to a busy motorway. They can be restricted to only overnight or for a few days, however they are a great idea and are fantastic for the motorhomers who are travelling through trying to see some different areas and we love the ones that are near the small villages that you can walk into, do some shopping or get a coffee. They are a great way to see village life and how the locals live.
Many of the Aires are free, and the others range from a few euros up to 10 – 15euros. Some sites may also have additional charges for the facilities, you may have to pay for water, electricity and showers. Overall they are inexpensive places to stay.
The facilities vary from none at all to every facility available. Places to fill your water tank, empty your grey and black waste, electrical connections, toilets and showers. Some even have a local van turn up in the morning selling bread, pastries etc from a local bakery.
How to find Aires
There are number of books available Camperstop, All the Aires Books, Bord Atlas etc, see our page on Books. The internet has plenty of sites, we have many listed in our Links Page and there are plenty of POI downloads available see out Download Page to load them on your sat-nav or mapping program.
Other useful info
It is always a good idea to arrive at an Aire early by this I mean early to mid-afternoon. We have often seen people arriving at an Aire late in the day only to find that it is full and they have to travel on and find another place to stay for the night. If you arrive at an Aire and it looks like there are people staying long term and setting the place up as a permanent camp it may be that Gypsies or other people have made it their home. We have found this in a few places and we have tended to move on. On the shores of Lake Como in Italy we arrived at an Aire only to find that there were people camped there permanently with washing lines everywhere and a lot of rubbish strewn about the place, we decided to move on. An Aire is not a campsite and you are not supposed to put out your awning, table and chairs, set up barbeques, hang you’re washing out etc. Most people do put a chair out to sit on but pack them up at the end of the day. Some Aires put restrictions on the length of stay from 24 hours to 3-4 days. Need we say this but always leave the place free of rubbish and observe any requirements that may have been posted. Visit the local town and spend a few Euro’s or the local currency, it will help their economy and will give you a chance to sample the local wares. Aires will only continue to be around if people respect them and use them properly.
Below are a few photos of Aires we have visited.