Wild Camping in France, Spain and Portugal

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Wild Camping in France, Spain and Portugal

Post by paulro on Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:38 am

Hello to the new forum and its users.
I haven't been around here very long but we bought our Cali in November, so this year will be the first experience of being mobile.

Over the few months I have read about gassings and break ins and plenty of things that could easily put you off. However, I am determined to give this type of adventure a go but.....I have never been on a camp site and to be honest I don't think I would enjoy them.
I prefer being a bit more secluded, isolated and trying to experience the feeling of being free.

I have spent quite a bit of time on Google Earth, looking closely at the west coast of France, heading down into Spain. There looks to be many small roads leading to beaches with car parking and some areas where it looks to be possible to park. Having never done this type of thing I'd like to ask you your views on using places like this to stay.

I hope to stay as close to the coast as possible, have no real time constraints. I suspect though, there are many who think the same as myself with regard to finding reasonably isolated, picturesque places to stay the night. I'm probably deluding myself that I might wake up with no one else around, go for a run and end up swimming in the sea. I'll be alone on this trip.

I have followed a couple of blogs on the previous site of people travelling around Europe and I know there's many out there with lots of experience and I have bought a few things to make the van as secure as I think it can be without getting totally silly.

Please help me get a realistic grip on what is achievable.

Paul

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Re: Wild Camping in France, Spain and Portugal

Post by Admin on Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:30 am

(from our facebook page - John says)

In France a lot of towns offer an Aires where you can stay for 1 or 2 nights very cheaply and safe, some providing electric and water for a small fee


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Re: Wild Camping in France, Spain and Portugal

Post by Admin on Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:31 am

(from our facebook page - Kelly )

We used to always use Aires however last year at an Aire just outside of Dijon which felt very safe when we arrived, we awoke at 3am to someone trying to take our bikes of the bike rack. They obviously did not realise they were padlocked also, Jamie chased the men down the road but lost them. In the morning spoke to several French neighbours to find out they are Romanian gangs doing this, as they travel around in the early hours. Very upsetting as we now stick to campsites as we have young children.


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Re: Wild Camping in France, Spain and Portugal

Post by Admin on Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:33 am

(from our Facebook page - joe)
Kelly, sorry to hear that. We use aires a lot also. We have a young son and I think it's different with young children. We have always felt safe in Aires up to now - just goes to show. We padlock our bikes overnight on the rack also


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Re: Wild Camping in France, Spain and Portugal

Post by Admin on Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:34 am

(from our facebook page - Simon)

Rivers are great, Loire Cher Tarn Alier etc small tracks where fishermen like to park we spent 100 nights with small tent last year and 80+ with California this year also most ski resort lift stations are fine. 3 summers wild camping in Italy France Switzerland and Austria no probs just try to park where your not to visible. Never camp on Aire asking for trouble 4Motion does help.


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Re: Wild Camping in France, Spain and Portugal

Post by Admin on Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:35 am

(from our Facebook page - joe)

In Spain they have a very good Cali website namely: "furgovw.org". On this site people post perfect wild camping spots. A map is shown via this link: "http://www.furgovw.org/mapa_furgoperfecto.php" this shows all the wild camping spots used by campers. There is also a PDI file (for your sat nav) I downloaded last year but cant seem to access this now. We stayed over by a lake with just 2 or 3 other campers last summer. Evening by the lake and swim first thing in the morning before breakfast watching the sun rise over the water - bliss! That lake was called "lago carrucedo" in the province of Leon. Hope this helps.
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I would probably advise to keep clear of the costas as there seems to be more crime along there not that I have read on that site about any problems but it's just my take...

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Re: Wild Camping in France, Spain and Portugal

Post by AndyR on Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:58 am

Just returned from 11 days in France, Portugal & Spain.
Did not spend any nights in Spain. Spent a night on both way down & back in motorway aires in France, no problems apart from a tad noisy due mainly to trucks coming & leaving. Shower available at both for 2 Euros.
Two nights free camped in Portugal, one in Porto on waste land on near houses, arrived late & desperate for somewhere not liking the look of the area around campsite I'd selected. Had no problems. Other on south coast on a beach just east of Salema, can see on Googlemaps at 37.066376,-8.808956 Lots of motorhomes there.
Two nights on a good campsite on west coast just short of Spanish boarder.

Before I went I did manage to download a file of 'free aires' for my satnav from here http://www.gps-data-team.com/poi/france/accommodation/Aire_Camping_Car.html Tried to find one of these in France near Onders with no luck but ended up in a dedicated motorhome park. Googlemaps at 43.576586,-1.487065 Should have cost 7 Euros but as barrier was broken it was free.

Free camping is mostly a question of using common sense. I found a good spot just south of Porto but then realised every vehicle that came in had just one guy in it who wandered around sussing everyone else out . Decided I may get more than expected here !! So avoided it.

I would stay well clear of Calais if free camping, too many undesirables trying to get to UK & trying their luck as said in previous post.

Wish I'd found furgovw site before I'd gone, it looks useful.

Most of all enjoy your trip.

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