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Spain motorhome country guide
Southern coastal Spain provides the warmest winter temperatures in mainland Europe, thus motorhome and caravan users migrate there from all over the continent. The warm winters make it viable to grow a wide selection of fruits, vegetables and salad crops. The evidence of this intensive production is clearly visible as thousands of hectares of southern Spain are cloaked in plastic. Spain has more than sun, sea, sand and plastic, drive inland and a different, quieter Spain awaits you.
Campsites, Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking in Spain (free wild camping)
Spain has 1200 campsites. Along the south eastern coast there are many large campsites that are suitable for long term winter holidays. Rallies are held at these campsites by motorhome and caravan clubs from all over Europe. The publication Guia Camping, details campsites in Spain and Portugal and has a searchable database of campsites on the supporting website, www.guiacampingfecc.com.
There are 321 Motorhome Stopovers in Spain. Almost half are located above Portugal, between the Atlantic coast and San Sebastian. Most of these stopovers are located inland, and are underused despite being free and open all year. Full details are provided in All the Aires Spain and Portugal available from www.vicarious-shop.com. If you dream of driving slowly down the Spanish Mediterranean coast and stopping wherever takes your fancy, you are going to be disappointed. Offsite-Parking is nearly non-existent as more and more motorhome exclusion signs are erected, and you are unlikely to find a free Motorhome Stopover near the sea.
Unfortunately there is an element of crime targeted at tourists. Many campsites display warning and disclaimer notices about leaving belongings outside and valuables on display when you are away from your pitch. Spanish highway police on the AP7 confirmed that break-ins both on trucks and motorhomes were a real problem at motorway rest areas, but rarely occur off the motorway network. Do not stop overnight at motorway service or rest areas and be vigilant at all times when visiting them.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Spain
In general, Spanish roads are the best in Europe having recently been subject to an extensive EU road improvement programme. Although this has made Spanish roads easy and pleasant to drive on, it can cause navigation issues for both humans and satellite machines. Ensure you have up-to-date mapping with you. Away from major cities the local driving style is generally non-aggressive, cautious, and very tolerant. Toll roads along the east coast connect the popular coastal resorts. Reasonable free roads follow the same route. This coast is very busy and is virtually all built up. Driving the central route up or down is quiet, beautiful and toll free.
Speed detectors linked to traffic lights are common at town boundaries. The traffic lights stop speeding vehicles before they enter the built up areas. Spanish road planners have adopted a junction which would be a roundabout elsewhere in Europe. To prevent vehicles turning left across the traffic a right hand slipway sweeps away and back at right angles to the road. Drivers then have to give way to traffic on both carriageways. This type junction is likely to be traffic light controlled in towns. These junctions take a little while to get used to!