Camping in Spain
403 in Spain
Known for its warm climate and sandy beaches, Spain is a popular destination for camping holidays. From the spectacular Pyrenees in the north east to the white sands of the Costa del Sol, it attracts millions of tourists each year.
One of the largest countries in Europe, Spain is ideal for anyone looking to mix the relaxation of a beach holiday with a little culture and some good food.
The laid back pace is ideal for unwinding and the country’s many festivals offer a chance to experience Spanish life at its best. From the famous Benicassim music festival in July to the feast of La Virgen de la Vega in Salamanca during September, visitors are spoiled for choice when camping in Spain.
Spain has a range of landscapes, from the soaring peaks of the Pyrenees and Picos de Europa down to the long ribbons of sand on the Mediterranean coast. There is arid desert, lush valleys and vineyards, fertile fields and scrubby plains.
Camping and caravanning on the costas
It’s the beaches that are the biggest draw – for many Spain is all about the lure of the costas. When camping or motorcaravanning in Spain you’ll find a huge choice of beach campsites.
With charming villages and attractive towns, people go camping and caravanning on the Costa Brava for the spectacular scenery, high cliffs and sheltered coves. Beginning some 40 km north of Barcelona, the Costa Brava includes the entire shoreline of Girona, an area of great natural beauty with small coves and steep cliffs. The lively resorts include Lloret de Mar, Tossa de Mar, Roses, L’Escala, Sant Pere Pescador, Palamós, Palafrugell and Calella and a number of quieter spots.
Further along the coast the Costa del Azahar stretches from Vinaros to Almanzora, with the great port of Valencia in the middle, the surrounding hills cloaked in orange groves.
Camping on the Costa Blanca is popular for its 170 miles of silvery-white beach. Benidorm is the most well known resort. To the south lies the Costa del Sol, a magnet for campers, caravanners and motorhomers, blessed as it is with countless beaches and countless hours of sunshine.
In the far north, on the Atlantic coast, camping on the Costa Verde is a different proposition: largely untouched, with clean water, sandy beaches and rocky coves, it’s sheltered by the immense backdrop of the snow-capped mountains.
Camping in the Spanish interior
It’s a vast area but there are several key regions worth exploring.
Castilla y León
The large region of Castilla y León is located inland bordering Portugal to the west. It has a rich legacy dating back to the Romans, with an extraordinary wealth of castles, cathedrals and mansions, historic cities and towns. To the south Avila is surrounded by 11th century walls and is set on high plains. Salamanca is a graceful city, once home to one of the world’s most illustrious universities. Its grand Plaza Mayor is the finest in Spain. Segovia is known for its magnificent Roman aqueduct, cathedral and the fairytale Alcazár with its turrets and towers. Soria, Burgos (birthplace of El Cid) and Leon are all well worth a visit.
A small region, La Rioja is the most highly regarded wine region in Spain. Rioja is considered one of the finest wines in the world, its production centred around Haro.
Aragon lies to the east and borders Catalonia and the Pyrenees with France to the north. It’s a region rich in folklore with rural, mountain villages, Romanesque architecture, lush valleys and jaw-dropping mountain peaks. It’s a great place for walking, admiring the nature and spectacular scenery.
Castilla La Mancha
Castilla La Mancha is found south of Madrid in the ancient kingdom of Castille. It encompasses the area known as La Mancha, universally famous as the setting for the great Miguel de Cervantes novel ‘Don Quijote de la Mancha’. There are plains, mountains, Toledo with its monuments and art and El Greco museum (the brilliant painter was born here). And, yes, you can follow the ‘Don Quijote Route’ which will take you to the famous windmills at Campo de Criptana.
Extremadura is one the most beautiful, and perhaps least known, regions of inland Spain. Its stunning cities, first Roman then Moorish, then medieval and aristocratic, gave birth to many of the conquistadors – conquerors of the New World. Sparsely populated, it borders Portugal and features fascinating places like Cácares with its Moorish walls, Plasencia’s Gothic cathedral and Trujillo the birthplace of Pizzaro, the conqueror of Peru.
The Mediterranean coast of Spain
Camping and caravanning in Catalonia is made easy by the large number of high quality campsites. You’ll find some very large Catalonian campsites suitable for tents, caravans and motorhomes, most offering serious facilities like aqua parks, restaurants, spa facilities and loads of kids activities. The region of Catalunya, with its independent identity, is full of rich contrasts embracing modernity and ancient tradition in equal measure. It has its own style of cuisine, which displays Iberian, Italian and Arab influences, and encompasses everything from variations on paella to the unique crema catalana, a must-try dessert.
Barcelona is the historical capital of Catalunya and Spain’s second city after Madrid. The beautiful city has an impressive architectural heritage that includes the Gothic Quarter, with its cathedral, the old City Hall, Episcopal Palace and the Palace of the Generalitat. The city also boasts works by the incomparable modernist architect Antonio Gaudi.
Valencia region and Murcia
This Mediterranean region is famous for magnificent orange groves and long sandy beaches. Centuries of Moorish influence have resulted in a profound Hispano-Moorish heritage. The glorious Orange Blossom coast wraps around Valencia city, with great beaches around Benicassim and Peñiscola. The nightlife is vibrant and the festivals are numerous
Murcia offers sandy beaches with dunes and unspoilt coves along the coast. Inland are hills and valleys and regional parks like Sierra de Carche, Sierra de la Pila, Sierra de Espuña and Carrascoy and El Valle. These are magnificent with a huge variety of flora and fauna. The capital, Murcia, was founded by the Moors in the 9th century and has a range of museums, the square of Cardinal Belluga, Episcopal Palace and cathedral.
Famous for its sun, its beautiful traditions, its poets, original folklore, age-old history and magnificent heritage left behind by the Moors, Andalucia is one of the most attractive regions in Spain. No surprise that is popular with caravanners and motorcaravanners in winter. Many head to Andalucian campsites for the balmy winter sun and excellent value.
With the river Guadalquivir running through it, the charming city of Seville is one of the most visited places. The old city, with its great monuments: the Giralda tower, cathedral and the Alcázar, plus the narrow, winding streets of Santa Cruz, is particularly popular.
Cordoba is north east of Seville with a picturesque Jewish Quarter along with a rich Moorish heritage. Indeed the Mezquita is one of the grandest mosques ever built by the Moors in Spain.
Further east on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada is home to the dramatic Alhambra, a group of distinct buildings including the Royal Palace, splendid gardens, and the fortress of Alcazaba. The Sierra Nevada, Spain’s highest range, offers good skiing and trekking. Further south lie the beaches of Costa Tropical and the Costa del Sol including the resort of Malaga and Cadiz.
For a good old fashioned bucket and spade holiday, Andalucia is the obvious choice. With 800km of coastline running into the clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea, it’s the perfect option for sunshine and surf.