Camping in Spain: A beginner’s guide
A camping holiday may not be the first thing you think of when planning a holiday to Spain. The country is home to the package holiday and there’s plenty of resorts and places to stay in this sun drenched country. So why pick a campsite over a hotel or apartment?
The truth is campsites in Spain are of a fantastic quality. They take cleanliness, facilities and providing an overall fantastic environment very seriously.
You can’t beat the atmosphere of a campsite. That wonderful barbecue smell lingering through the air and the background chatter of families relaxing and children having a great time with their new friends. Walking to the campsite shop in the morning to pick up fresh bread and some delicious pastries and then eating outside. Why does everything taste better when it’s enjoyed in fresh air and sunshine?
As campsites are usually closer to small towns it means that they’re well located for enjoying days at the site, exploring nearby or venturing an hour or two for a fantastic day trip. Of course, you can’t mention a holiday in Spain and not mention the beaches. Did you know that Spain has the highest number of Blue Flag beaches out of all the countries in the world? That’s pretty impressive and probably a huge reason why lots of us flock to the country for a great beach holiday.
Camping with children
One of the massive benefits to staying on a campsite is that there’s loads of space for kids to play. Throw in fab pool complexes and lots of activities and you can be guaranteed a good time. Having a place with lots of space to burn off steam or relax is an added benefit after a day exploring a big city like Barcelona. Canvas has seven campsites within a two hour drive of Barcelona. Cambrils Park and Camping Internacional de Calonge are the closest campsites although most of the other sites in the regions run excursions if you fancy leaving the driving to someone else.
Spain has a few fantastic waterparks and theme parks within easy reach of our campsites. PortAventura is one of the most popular ones and the rides really are awesome! Next door to the theme park is its water park – Costa Caribe.
Camping as a couple
For couples, a campsite may not be the first thought but if you’ve got freedom to travel off peak staying on a campsite is really worthwhile. They’re generally quieter and have a wonderfully relaxing atmosphere. There’s all the facilities that you need onsite – shop, pool, restaurant and pub plus the sites are close to beaches, towns and cities. In the evenings there are plenty of options for where to eat – choose from a restaurant, picnic on the beach or a barbecue on your emplacement. After a busy day of sightseeing or enjoying the beaches, having some outdoor space to sit and relax with a glass of something and a good book is one of life’s little pleasures!
Must see’s & good to know
Barcelona is a colourful and vibrant city and one of the real things that stands out is the incredible sights of Antoni Gaudi’s architecture. Wander around and take in the sights of Parc Guell, Casa Battlo and the incredible Sagrada Familia. A great way to get a taste of the city if you don’t have too much time is to hop on the city sightseeing bus. It’s also a great way to cool off when the heat hits!
The Bay of Rosas
This stunning bay situated in the north-eastern corner of Spain is so spectacular that it’s in UNESCO’s ‘Most beautiful bays of the world’ club. In the bay there are lots of beaches and it’s surrounded by three national parks. Picking the perfect picnic spot is a difficult task here, there’s so many pretty places to choose!
The Costa Brava coastline in particular is dotted with pretty little fishing towns and coves. A few that are worth checking out, particularly for a fantastic seafood meal are Blanes, Palafrugell and Tamariu.
Spanish food is famous and it’s pretty likely that you’ll have tried it at home. But nothing beats tapas and seafood paella made fresh and enjoyed in the sunshine washed down with some refreshing Sangria.
Mealtimes are eaten at different times in Spain, although of course, you’re on holiday so you can eat whenever you want! In many parts of Spain dinner is eaten after 9pm but in the popular resorts food will be available all evening.
Spaniards have the wonderful tradition of taking a nap in the afternoon – usually from 1pm – 3pm. It’s when the sun peaks and in the middle of the summer temperatures can be absolutely scorching so a nap is a fairly sensible option. On campsite generally the pools and shops etc will close during this time. The beaches stay open if you want to make the most of the midday sun.
In the tourist areas of Spain English will be pretty well spoken but it’s always worth making a little bit of an effort to try out some of the language. Even a hello, thank you and goodbye can go a long way. If you get stuck, pointing and smiling usually works pretty well too.
Thank you: Gracias
For a few more items and phrases that will help you out, have a look at our essential Spanish words.
Top Tips for a camping holiday in Spain
Indulge in the local food. If you’re a seafood fan you’ll be spoilt for choice. A lot of the Spanish campsites have fantastic restaurants or you can walk a short way and enjoy some fantastic fresh dishes.
Visit a local market – they’re a great way to see lots of different foods that you may not get back home. Most of the accommodation on the campsites comes with a barbecue so why not cook up your own Spanish feast?
Try water sports – there are so many opportunities for water sports and the best thing is that the water is a pretty decent temperature, particularly in the middle of the summer.
Drink local wine and sangria – and take some home!
When looking for a place to eat, don’t go for the quiet restaurant but look for somewhere that’s popular with the locals.
If you’ve got tips for first-time campers in Spain, we’d love to hear them below.