Authored by Joey Holmes
After years of full time travel, finding a frequent fix of life on the road is a necessity now that I’ve (kind of) re-joined the real world. But the need pursue adventure on a regular basis has a tendency to present financial obstacles, so I’m constantly creating new ways to explore on a budget, without having to feel like a backpacker again.
With a love of outdoor adventure, over the years I’ve developed a bit of a habit for sleeping out under the stars. So this time I set my sights on a week of wild camping in Greece.
The Time We Went Wild Beach Camping in Greece
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Wild camping is setting up camp anywhere that isn’t a designated campground. This may be a park, the forest, on the beach, the side of the road, or deep in the mountains. My preference is to wild camp as far from civilization as possible, which generally avoids any potential conflict with humans who may object to your presence.
In much of the world, wild camping is legal so long as you are discreet and respectful. However in many parts of Europe you must gain permission from the land-owner before you pitch a tent, so be sure to complete proper research on your destination before you go. For instance wild camping in Iceland was recently prohibited as it is damaging to their fragile environment.
Seeking permission to camp on private land takes the spontaneity and flexibility out of sleeping wherever you end up, so to avoid this altogether, I stick to camping on public land (footpaths, beaches etc). And I usually do so without a tent – not technically camping, and offers the ability to move on easily if need be.
Our Week in Greece
Our week in Greece was spent exploring the incredible coastline of the Peloponnese Peninsula in a hire car. Yes, not the most budget friendly mode of transport, but it provided a way to get to otherwise unreachable gems; beaches hidden all around the peninsula.
Our mornings were spent enjoying time at the beach, visiting the sights, and strolling round sleepy whitewashed villages, whilst our afternoons were filled with exploration – time spent finding the most wild and remote beaches possible.
Though don’t be fooled by the romance of such an exciting task. It sometimes took us 3 or 4 hours of driving and hiking down dead end tracks only to find a 60ft cliff dropping away to nothing but the deep turquoise ocean below.
Although this was the best possible way to find truly wild and beautiful spots in an otherwise tourist-filled destination, on some days it became a very tiring adventure to be embarking upon in the heat of the afternoon sun.
That said, each night we succeeded in finding postcard perfect beaches that we were confident no-one else even knew about, let alone knew we were on! The hard work paid off, and each evening we spent hours relaxing, swimming in calm sheltered bays, and cooking meals over the campfire from the fresh produce we had purchased earlier in the day. Paradise.
Wild Beach Camping Essentials
To make the whole ‘camping’ thing as easy as possible, we had all our gear in a hiking backpack so we could grab it from the discreetly abandoned car and walk as far as needed to get to our pocket of beach perfection.
Because we didn’t bring a tent, a tarp was essential in case of rain. As it happened, we didn’t need to use it once, but it was good to know it was there – especially on the day when the clouds were rumbling with thunder over the mountains.
Other Wild Beach Camping Essentials
A Super Cheap Adventure
Our week wild camping in some of Greece’s more remote corners was a super cheap adventure and one that we won’t forget in a hurry.
We traveled at the beginning of the summer before tourism really kicked in, and were very lucky with the weather. Despite the hard work we put in to find the perfect pitch to sleep each night, we’d do it again in a heartbeat.
So if you are considering trying your hand at wild camping, then check out these great tips for discreet and respectful overnight beach sleeping that will be sure to help you find and keep your beach paradise, for a night at least.
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