While wild camping in the Scandinavian countries is free and totally legit, in the Balkan region the laws regarding illegal camping are somewhat ... well, wild, just like Balkan itself. People, born and raised in the south-eastern part of Europe, would agree that everything is possible around here, wild camping included.
However different rules apply to different countries and we've gathered all the information you need to camp your way through the wildest region of Europe, the Balkans.
Apart from fairytale Slovenia and sun-kissed Croatia, all other Balkan countries are very much off the main tourist trail. Mountains, lakes, dynamic cities, UNESCO sites and some of the best beaches in Europe – here in Balkan region you'll find all of that for a fraction of the cost and with a fraction of the crowds. The driving style in the Balkans takes some getting used to, but that’s all part of the experience!
The Balkans are Europe’s new adventure playground - and this is a normal sight when driving through the region.
photo credit: https://montenegro-for.me/
Travelling through Balkans: don't forget the Green Card!
The Green Card is an international motor insurance certificate which provides the insurance coverage according to the law in the country that you are visiting.
The green card is needed by drivers who plan to travel to Balkan region and assures: facilitating international traffic and simpler settlement of claims for car damages abroad. In general it means that with the Green Card, the foreign visitor/traveler has the same legal position as the home driver's response.
When renting a campervan with Nest Campers, you don't have to worry about green card, as each campervan has it included.
WILD CAMPING – TEHNICALLY ILLEGAL OR TRESPASSING?
The wilderness is a rewarding place to camp. It has none of the restrictions of campsites and almost none of the noise. No fees. No neighbours.
It takes a specific character and a bit of a wild soul to do wild camping and not everyone are up for that! We know what excitement wild camping can bring and for some travellers this is the only 'real way' to move around. However, if you're doing wild camping, please use “common sense” – be smart and careful.
If wild camping, it does not mean that the land and the nature are yours and that you can do everything. Respect the nature, respect all living creatures, respect general rules of the country, respect your company and yourself – be harmless and humble and leave every place the way you've found it (or cleaner).
WILD CAMPING IN BALKAN COUNTRIES
Wild camping in Albania is, by the law, not legal. But, let’s be honest, Albanians have a habit of ignoring traffic laws, smoking regulations and pretty much any rules. The country is full of beautiful, undiscovered wild places where you can easily wild camp!
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Wild camping in Bosnia and Herzegovina is legal. However, there are still a lot of landmines scattered around the country, so NEVER CAMP on land which has not been tended in a long time. There are some “Beware of Mines” signs, so obviously you won’t be wild camping there, but even where there are no signs, please, have this in mind!
Croatians live off of tourism, and, of course - wild camping is strictly prohibited. There are many “No Camping” signs and you can and expect a huge fine if you don't respect their rules. We do not recommend wild camping in Croatia, as officials can even confiscate your car or campervan!
Wild camping is illegal in Greece, but tolerated in many areas. In the mountains, but not in national parks, you should not have a problem. The hardest part is trying to find a wild camping spot on the beach – many beach properties are owned by hotels.
Wild camping is legal in Kosovo and very well tolerated. Locals are hospitable and the nature is gorgeous!
Wild camping is illegal in Montenegro, but, same as for Greece, with the exception of national parks, touristy areas and the beaches, you will have no problem wild camping.
We haven’t found any specific laws about wild camping - the only times you might have problems wild camping in Serbia is if you are in a national park - camping is usually forbidden there. Note that Serbians are very hospitable; if they see you wild camping or you ask to camp in their field, they will probably invite you to their homes.
USEFUL: Download an app park4night!
Haven’t heard of it yet? See what you’re missing!
Park4night is an application for your smartphone that helps you search for a parking or camping where you can stay overnight when it is too late to continue traveling. It includes:
- Free motorhome areas
- Paying motorhome areas
- Private car parks for campers
- Picnic areas
- Rest areas
- Service areas without parking
- Camping grounds
- Extra services
- Homestays accommodations
- On the farm stays (farm, vineyard ...)
- Off road (4x4)
- Parking lots day/night
- Daily parking lots only
- Surrounded by nature