We first went to Spain in 1971 - on honeymoon! It is a great place to go for sun and sea in the spring and autumn when the crowds have gone and the prices are lower. We've been to Spain on three occasions in Deep Red, twice down from Barcelona following the coastline (all the way to Cadiz on one trip), and once across the plains to Portugal and back along the Atlantic coast. The roads are excellent, and away from the coast, almost empty.
Nowadays some Spanish families rent a campsite pitch on a coastal site for the whole summer; this often leaves sites feeling like ghost towns during the week, or crowded (bedlam!) at weekends. During the winter many popular sites around Alicante and beyond are near full with over-wintering Brits, Swedes, Dutch, Germans, etc. We never book a site in advance, but wise to do so if you want to stay in a particular place. The Caravan and Camping Club holds winter rallies lasting several weeks on a number of popular sites. There are some Aires, nowhere near as many as France, but we have not used them as yet. LPG pumps at petrol stations are thin on the ground, and mostly limited to large towns and cities, but the number is increasing in the popular coastal areas.
early March 2011 - Is the campsite open..?
Yes, and just yards from the Med beyond the fence. Blanes, would you believe, northern Spain.
Power distribution Spanish style. Enough to give the Caravan Club apoplexy! The twig catch was holding the door closed. Reversed polarity - naturally. A ragged campsite at El Mareny de Barraquetes, nr Valencia. But...
... it wasn't all bad. At least we had a floral display to admire.
No, not Las Vegas - but Benidorm - as seen from the Carrefour supermarket car park.
Enjoying winter sun at St. Pola, near Alicante. First chance to wear shorts. And just look at the view...
...er, yes. Busy campsite full of overwintering Dutch, Germans, Brits, Finns, Swedes, etc. Beach about 2 miles away. It did for the weekend, 3 nights for 40 Euro in all, inc. electric.
On the coast at La Mamola, nr Motril, Andalucia...
...the view out the side door from the sofa. Although sunny most days, a steady wind got up each morning and lasted all day.
Gibraltar viewed from La Linea, Spain.
This must be what they mean by 'hardstanding'. At Javea, north of Benidorm.
Crossing northern Spain...
... inland the roads are superb, and empty. Is this where all those Euros went?
February 2013 and the seafront at Peñíscola, near Valencia. The campsite is just 100 metres away. We had intended to go to the Alicante area, but the weather was not great and only a degree warmer further south; having limited time we stayed put.
Camping Eden, Peñíscola. Popular site with the overwintering folks; being close to the town and shops with a good restaurant adjacent serving 3-course meals for 10Euro. Many of the motorcaravanners here had a small 'store' tent - not only keep their stuff in, but to sit in if the essential wind-break failed to keep the chilly wind at bay! Our small pitch cost 16Euro per night (with ACSI card) including electric. Unusually, this site does not take advance bookings; although it was almost full most days, anyone turning up seemed to get a place.
Near Chaves, northern Portugal. A dull, wet evening, glad we're in a van and not a tent.
Our visit to Portugal was only brief as our son was taken ill and we had to return home. We had intended to start in northern Portugal, which is very green and unspoilt, then work our way down to the Algarve - an area very popular with the folks who over-winter. We may get to do it yet.
Obitur campsite on coast at Viana do Castelo, northern Portugal. Busy and popular site, even in mid-September...
...and here's why - the beach at Viana do Castelo, just yards from the campsite up the wood path. It's a popular windsurfing location