Sites 2013 - 2014

Site 85 - Camping Picos de Europa


The site set in the fabulous Picos de Europa Mountains was our first Spanish site when we came to Spain in 2011 and our last before returning to UK this year. Only part of the site is open during the winter months but that is the part nearest all the site facilities a good idea as this part of Spain has been very wet during both our visits.

The pitches are on the small side and we were forced to use two to accommodate our 8 metre caravan 

The facilities are kept clean and are supplied with toilet seats and paper but not soap or the means to dry hands, the showers has as much hot water as you can wish for, however the showers do not have a separate area within the cubicle to stash your clothes etc,.

The site has a warm (warmed in the winter by a large log fire) and welcoming restaurant/bar that is open long hours from quite early in the morning till late evening where as well as drinks and snacks you can get a very good evening meal at a very reasonable price.

The area around the site is quite simply stunning and it is such a shame that many people disembark the ferry at Santander or Bilbao and rush straight to Mediterranean Spain.

This is a site that should we be in the area we will return.

Site 84 - Camping Orbitur Caminha


This campsite, like many of the Orbitur sites, feels a little down at heel and neglected, however the staff are friendly, welcoming and work hard to make your stay a pleasant one.

Situated within yards of the sea and a beautiful sandy beach the site is ideally suited to those who enjoy beach holidays but is only two kilometres from town where there is a huge range of restaurants and cafes as well as a wide range of shops and a daily municipal market selling very fresh fish, meat and vegetables.

The facilities are kept clean but could do with refurbishment the toilets have no seats, and  on wet days the floor is far wetter than wet feet would make it. As is very common in Portugal there is no paper, soap or towels in any of the toilet blocks.

WiFi is free and available anywhere in the top half of the site and, when we arrived, was quite fast with a good signal but after a thunder storm and power outage the first night the WiFi became all but unusable. I suspect the storm or returning power “spiked” the equipment  which had only been upgraded the previous week.

We have visited this site before in 2011 and would not hesitate to do so again should we be in the area.

Site 83 - Tomar Municipal Campsite

We were a little concerned about this site. Our previous experience of a municipal site at Beja was not good and, because we had arranged to meet friends Rosemary and Frank there, we would not be able to spend one night and shove off elsewhere if it did not suit.

The site is very close to the town centre and it is important that you follow the signs to the site and not, as we did, sat-nav, as the roads the sat-nav follows are rather narrow with sharp turns that make it difficult, but not impossible, for long outfits. I had to put the caravan on the pavement at one or two turns but we arrived without damage. Next time we entered town we looked for the signs and followed them, they are actually plentiful and easy to follow.

The site itself is an oasis of peace and quiet in the middle of the bustling town, there were few other campers while we were there so it was easy to find a pitch that we could tow the van both onto and off of without use of the motor mover, this is probably not the case in high season but the site is well laid out so access should never be to hard

The facilities were spotless and unusually for Portugal there were toilet seats but also, as usual in Portugal, no paper, soap or hand dryers. The showers were also clean with plentiful hot water.

There was a washing machine and a dryer but we did not use them so don’t know the cost.

On the counter when we arrived was a WiFi antenna that if mounted outside would have given much of the site access but as it was internet access was only available in the immediate area of the reception building. Adjacent the reception is a campers lounge with tables chairs, sofa, TV, vending machines and most important electricity sockets to keep the computer charged during those long sessions with family on Skype.

Being so close to the town centre there should be no need to go out in the car but we found the local supermarkets had limited stock and preferred to visit the large stores on the edge of town.

There is plenty of things to see and do in the town along with more bars and restaurants than you can shake a stick at, the friendly and helpful staff at the site were always willing to give advice on places to eat.

A good site for a few days or an extended stay but probably not for a quick overnight stop.

Site 82 - Camping Alentejo.


This site is not in the ACSI book but is listed on their “Eurocampings” web site here 

Camping Alentejo must rank as one of, if not the, best sites we have stayed on in Portugal. The entrance is wide and easy to access, even long units can comfortably turn in from either direction. If coming from the direction of Evora you see the site on the right as you approach and go past the site before reaching the entrance one field further on, more confusing still when we arrived the gates were firmly shut and a huge bull and all his wives and offspring were chomping the grass behind the gate.

As we stood looking at these giant beasts the site owner rode up on his electric scooter and making sure there were no escapees briefly opened the gates allowing us through, at the other end of the field another chap opened a second gate to allow us access to the camping site. Beef cattle in this area are allowed on the pastures for just a couple of hours per day with strict pasture rotation to conserve the fragile grass, the remainder of the time they are indoors. As I write this we have been on the site a week and have not seen the animals in that field again.

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The site is split into two distinct parts, the lower and the upper terrace. On the lower terrace are large easy to access pitches, two giant motorhomes that appear to have spent the winter here are easily accomodated, and on the upper terrace are slightly smaller pitches but with stunning views. Some pitches are shaded with trees and bushes and some are open and sunny. There is quite a slope up to the upper terrace but this is no problem to a balanced outfit.

There is no shop on site but you can order bread and rolls the day before needed and you can also purchase local wine.

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The facilities, built in the very recent past, are all modern, they are kept spotlessly clean and have loo seats, paper, soap, towels etc. There is a washing machine operated on an honesty box system at €3 per load.

Half way between the upper and lower terraces is a swimming pool which is in use. On the upper terrace is an internet antenna that covers that terrace brilliantly but is usable from below only if you have an amplifier, the Dutch site owner says he intends to get another antenna to cover the lower terrace when he can get a round tuit.

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The internet on the upper terrace is very good indeed. We used it to stream UK TV and films during our stay without buffering problems.

Many of the campers here stay one or two nights as it on or near to the main north/south and east/west routes, we had intended a maximum of one week here but there is so much to see and do locally, although your own transport is essential, that we stayed two weeks. 

Site 81 - Beja Municipal Site.

This site will never win prizes for it’s beauty, surrounded as it is on three sides by high rise social housing and with the local football stadium on the other side. There is scarce a blade of grass anywhere on the site and the caravans and motor homes look as if they have been sprinkled randomly as there are it seems no set pitches, you just stick yourself where you fancy. There are quite a lot of trees to give shade in the summer but for us they were a bit of a pain as they always seemed to be in just the wrong place to give us the swing we needed. Never mind we set ourselves up in what appeared to me to be the main access road but no-one complained or even looked at us oddly. The staff seemed to spit into two distinct sections, for one section nothing was too much trouble they were very helpful, for the other group everything was too much trouble, interrupting TV watching or internet browsing.

The site was just a short distance from the towns historical centre in one direction and more supermarkets etc., than you could shack a stick at in the other. Many restaurants can be found in either direction, there is even a McD’s around the corner for those with masochistic tendencies.

The entrance is quite narrow and for our 12.6m (41ft 6inches) outfit impossible to turn right and get in but no matter go on past right around the next roundabout and you can easily turn left across the road and entry is then easy.

WiFi is free although unless you have a booster you will need to be near the reception building to access it.

The observant among you will have noticed that I have so far not mentioned the facilities. They are the usual no seat and nothing down the loo unless you have eaten it that you get in many places in Portugal but these had added grime. People wiped their feet not on entering but on leaving. We have a general rule not to use our our facilities and could only cope with three days before we felt we had to move on. As we packed up we noticed an ex-pat couple in the facilities talking animatedly with a member of staff, we drew near to listen. They were telling the chap, who it turns out was the site manager that the facilities were of an unacceptable standard and that people were leaving because of them. Mr Manager said he could not understand what the problem was and would they show him. Banging, head and walls were the three words that came instantly to mind.

We will not return.

Site 80 - Quinta do Xocolatl - Chocolate Farm

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The site we are on is quite different from those we normally use in Europe. It has about a dozen pitches, half on a lower slightly boggy area and half a little higher on a level with the owners house. Each pitch has an electric hook up and we are told the hook-ups are arranged in pairs with each pair rated at 16 amps.

There are two toilets and one shower here, the shower and one of the toilets are in a building adjoining the house patio in what is quite obviously a guest bedroom (the bed is still in it) and the other toilet is just inside the main building, but part of the patio area - does that make sense? Oh well, it would if you saw it.

There is a fresh water tap and a sewage emptying point. The toilets and shower are kept clean and have all the necessaries except hand drying facilities. A washing machine and tumble dryer are operated on an honesty box basis, €3 per wash and €3 per dry.

In the centre of the site is a shed known as “The Internet Cafe” it contains table, chairs, etc., and free Wi-Fi. The connection is rather slow but is more than enough for emails and the like, and we are told that two local cafes have good, fast free connection if you need to do some big up or down loading as well as first rate home grown lamb in one and top chicken and fish in the other.

The site is rather isolated but around 10km east is Ohalo while around the same distance west is Taviara both have a range of supermarkets shops and markets. There is a closer town, Fuzeta, that has a reasonable supermarket, fish market, shops, bars and restaurants.

Other than us and a Belgian couple all the visitors to the site are currently Dutch which, from chatting to people on the site, is the norm.  Most of the pitches are occupied by people overwintering.

Site 79 - Camping La Aldea.


When we last visited this site in January 2012 I wrote in my site report that

“ . . .This site was without doubt the most efficiently run site we have so far come across on the Iberian Peninsular. The pitches are a good size, level and well defined by hedges. The site trees had been well pruned so just about every pitch had good amounts of sunshine, photographs taken in the summer show that when the site trees come into leaf most pitches will have an adequate amount of shade. The facilities are of a good standard and kept scrupulously clean. A maintenance man was continually working on the site, which was pristine, the litter-bins not emptied once per day but at least half a dozen times.

There is a swimming pool but that was not usable at this time of year and a restaurant and bar that was, unfortunately it was large and, with few people on site using it, rather lacking in atmosphere but the food was good and prices of both food and drinks reasonable, the site was near enough to town to be able to stroll to the many bars and restaurants there.

The site was provided with sufficient washing machines at €3.00 per wash and driers were available but the weather was good enough to air-dry washing.

The static area is relatively small and kept separate from the touring area but the site gets busy at weekends when the Spanish arrive and they certainly know how to party.

Wi-Fi is available at virtually every pitch but is quite expensive and although we had a reasonably good and quick service throughout the day, from early evening it was quite hopeless.

The area has lots to do and see locally and is one we would not hesitate to recommend. . . “

The site is still very good but I would no longer call it the “most efficiently run” as, although it is still kept spotlessly clean and the bins emptied on a very regular basis, certain basic maintenance is being ignored.

It is however still a good site and I would still recommend it, but if you are planning to stay over a weekend you should bring earplugs as the Spanish in the long stay area love to party loud and late.

Site 78- Campsite La Sierrecilla


This is a relatively new site with very reasonable reviews about half way between Granada and Seville, It is very close to the main Seville/Granada road and accessed through good wide roads although our recently updated sat-nav was not yet aware of these new roads so it’s best to follow the directions in the ACSI book and/or the road signs.

The site is nicely open with wide roads and spacious pitches although there is little shade potential from the immature trees on site a few pitches are protected by plastic sun screening.

Although not open when we visited there is a large swimming pool, in the well laid out grounds, with potential for excellent views.

The facilities, being quite new, are of a good standard and contain all the necessary paper, soap etc,. For those that like them there is a sauna costing €3.00 per hour per person.

There is no shop in the winter although there is a bar/restaurant which although we didn’t use it was described as “good” by another camper.

When we arrived there was a sign on the door (in English) that said “I’ve popped out for ten minutes, find yourself a pitch and settle in then come back later when you are ready” when we went back a couple of hours later the lady in reception was very friendly and most helpful.

The big drawback to this site is in a garden a couple of fields away - a small pack of dogs. There are around four or five of them and they were barking when we arrived, they were quiet, thank God, during the hours of darkness but started again at first light. We stayed just one night but for the dogs it may have been several weeks.

Site 77 - Camping Los Escullos Cat. 1


We had read such good reports of this site that we were hoping it would perhaps be somewhere to spend Christmas.

We were sadly disappointed.

But why?

Difficult to quantify. The pitches were laid out with some running from front to back and some running from side to side. Although the pitches are of a good size the front to back ones were to short for us and the side to side ones were just not wide enough, although with a bit of help we managed to squeeze in across a side to side pitch.

All the pitches had close weave plastic sun shading over them essential in this area in summer I would imagine but in winter made the pitches feel dingy and slightly depressing. The only other twin axle van on site was in a pitch just long enough to get the van on and and wide enough for a full awning but it was so dark they used lights all day long.

The facilities were of a reasonable standard and kept clean with seats to the toilets, soap and hand dryers but on our second day there I tried to grab an evening shower but gave up when there appeared to be no hot water available

The shop accessed through the bar/restaurant had a good range of stock and was open when the bar was open. We had a meal in the bar that was acceptable but only just.

The swimming pool was closed for the winter but there are tennis courts etc available and a full programme of activities for the long stay campers to enjoy.

Although there are things to do and see in the area they are a bit limited.

There were a number of long term stay people on the site that return year after year. We will not be joining them again.

Site 76 - Camping Los Madriles

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We were looking forward to this site. We had heard good reports and it had not one but two open all year heated swimming pools, one indoor and one outdoor, that are emptied each night and refilled with fresh seawater.

The swimming pools are truly magnificent, beautifully warm and open from early morning till (in the winter) until 8.00pm.

The pitches are of a good size and all reasonably flat, as the site is terraced up a hill. This for some may be a problem as it is quite a stiff walk from the bar or shop to the upper reaches.

There is a well stocked shop on site that is open from 9.00 till 13.30 and then 16.30 till 18.30. The bar although looking good seemed closed most of the time although there was a dance one night we were there but we didn’t attend. There are also lots of activities organised during the week from line dancing to spanish lessons, from aquarobics to Petanque.

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The facilities although kept clean do rather let the site down. There is no paper in the toilets and no soap or hand drying facilities and the showers in the main block that we used (the other smaller blocks may be different) was simply a small square room with two hooks and a tiny shelf for soap etc, nowhere to put you dear to keep it dry. The shower heads were around 3m from the floor and no matter how careful you were every thing ended up wet. My trick was to seal everything in plastic bags, but those shover heads are so high if the person next door has the water on full you get almost as much of their water as them.

There are shops, restaurants and bars a (longish) walk or cycle ride away. Our pitch had a good sea view which is a pleasant 1km stroll away.

We have not included addresses, phone numbers etc., in the reports but clicking on the logo at the top of each report will take you to the latest site details.

Last Updated - Sunday 27th April 2014.             © Seve  Ghost 2014