Andalucia

Andalucia is a large and varied region, offering some of Spain’s finest cities, warmest waters and most stunning mountain scenery. The Spanish images of flamenco, bullfights, sherry and ruined castes are at their best in Andalucia. Andalucia is the warmest region of Spain for most of the year, rivaling The Algarve region of Portugal for winter temperatures.

Coastal regions

The Costa de la Luz, between Tarifa and Cadiz, is the least developed area, mainly due to the winds and strong Atlantic ocean. Here you’ll find the nicest beaches and best free camping options. Either side of Malaga is the Costa del Sol, Europe’s most heavily developed resort area. The beaches are not best in Andalucia, are most are surrounded by concrete, but there are some interesting ports of call there. The coast around Almeria has some interesting towns, and the warmest waters for swimming.

Cities and towns

Granada is perhaps the best city to visit. Considered by many to be one of the best cities in Spain, with its stunning mountain setting and the Alhambra, perhaps the most sensual building in all of Europe. Cordoba has the exquisite Mezquita mosque, and Sevilla has the Alcazar, the grandest of the Gothic cathedrals.

The white hill towns, set amongst the mountains, are worth a visit, with Ronda being the favourite. Arcos de la Frontera and Zahara are also worth a visit. The Alpujarras, just south of the Sierra Nevada, is home to a collection of picturesque mountain villages.

Mountains and national parks

The Sierra Nevada is Spain’s highest mountain range, offering skiing, hiking and a wonderful backdrop to the city of Granada. The Sierra Morena, north of Sevilla, also has good gentler trekking. The Coto de Donana national park is europe’s largest and most important wildlife sanctuary.

Festivals

Easter week (Semanta Santa) is the biggest celebration in the region. Impressive parades are at their best in Malaga, Sevilla, Cordoba and Granada. Accommodation is impossible to find during Easter, but most campsites have spaces.

Food and drink

Andalucia has perhaps the finest and freshest of fish and seafood in all of Spain. Their are endless quality restaurants and bars. Andalucia is the home of Sherry, with the city of Jerez being the heart.

Sports

Tarifa is the premier windsurfing spot in Europe. The Coasta de la Luz offers surfing in all but the summer months. There is great sailing all around the Mediterranean. The Sierra Nevada offers skiing from December to April.


Costa de la Luz (west coast)

Mazagon

Free camping in Mazagon

Parking possible in a large area next to the Parador.

Chipiona

Not the nicest of towns, now in decline. Attractive coastal views though.

Free camping in Chipiona

There is a large semi-hard surface car park where motorhomes park overnight. There is masses of room, right by the beach, but it is not the prettiest of locations.

Between Chipiona and Rota

Campsites Between Chipiona and Rota

Camping Playa Aguadulce

Crtra. A-491 Km.6,5 – Junto a Costa Ballena
E-11520 Rota
Cadiz
tel: 956-84 70 78
www.playaaguadulce.com

A good friendly campsite. All pitches are shaded by trees. The site has its own access to the beach, which is good for relaxing, fishing and surfing. Follow the official blue signposts from the road and roundabout. You go down a narrow rough lane towards uninviting territory, but the campsite is at the end of the lane. Moderately priced. Open all year.

El Puerto de Santa Maria

Campsites in el Puerto de Santa Maria

Camping Guadalete

South of town. A scruffy site with lots of statics. Camp at the end furthest from the entrance, which is quiet, on grass and in the open. Moderately priced.

Cadiz

The centre of Cadiz is a lot nicer than the city looks from a distance, so don’t be put off. Cadiz is quiet a large city, but the heart is in the classic Spanish format of atmospheric winding streets. There are lots of lovely squares and old buildings. A lot is pedestrianised. There are some good shops. The beaches are also nice, and fairly easy to get to and park at.

Parking in Cadiz

The beach side road at Playa Victoria has lots of parking. Follow the signs for the beach. There is some space for bigger vehicles here. It’s about a 20 minute walk to the city from Playa Victoria. There are more roads with parking spaces between Playa Victoria and the city centre, if you want a shorter walk. Drive from the beach towards the big church and you’ll see the roadside parking spaces.

Free camping in Cadiz

Try along the road at Playa Victoria. The are some parking spaces opposite the road, which are a better place to stop overnight, especially for larger vehicles.

San Fernando

San Fernando has a good shopping centre on the edge of town, follow the signs or head towards the Mc Donalds. Easy parking for large vehicles.

Playa da la Barossa

Playa da la Barossa is a large beach with bars and restaurants around.

Free camping at Playa da la Barossa

On the northern end of the beach there is a piece of land that people use as a car park. It is possible to free camp in this car park. Follow the signs for the beach and the car park is by the roadabout by the beach. It’s not an official car park, and one has to drive across the pedestrian crossing to get in. Motorhomes can get in fine.

Conil de la Frontera

Conil is a fairly large town. There is a Euroski supermarket, which is the best in the region. The Euroski is in the town itself, follow the signs for the hotels. It has an underground car park, with a height restriction, high vehicles can park down the side street. Gas bottles (including CampinGaz) can be exchanged at the fuel garage across the road.

Free camping in Conil de la Frontera

Off season free camping near the beach is accepted. As summer approaches the police often move vans on.

El Palmar

El Palmar is a small village spread across the coastline. The beach here is massive. There are a few shops here, but mainly bars and restaurants. There is a small supermarket and a well rated butchers on the coast road towards Conil.

Free camping in El Palmar

There is a large turismo car park where the authorities want all leisure vehicles to park. Enter the village on the main road, when you come to the seafront turn left. The turismo car park is signposted. It is a rough piece of land, but is fairly level. This car park becomes very busy at weekends when a lot of Spanish people stay. There is a small shop just before the road, towards the north. As you enter the village there is a large sign declaring that autocaravanas are not permitted. Along the seafront there are signs banning autocaravanas, with signs suggesting vehicles will be towed away.

Cabo Trafalgar

Cabo Trafalgar is a beautiful spot. There is a small village here. This is the Trafalgar where Nelson fought his famous battle.

Free camping at Cabo Trafalgar

Many vehicles free camp on the lane that leads to the lighthouse (Faro). It’s a lovely spot. There is a good bar, a restaurant and a small shop at the main road end of the lane.

Barbate

Barbate is a small town with a number of shops. There is a Lidl supermarket on the edge of town with good parking, near the fuel station, away from the coast.

Camping La Paloma, west of Tarifa

Very large site, but quiet. Pool in summer. 1/2 mile to sandy beach. Excellent for windsurfing. Wild camping possible on beach. Moderately priced.

Tarifa

Free camping in Tarifa

Playa de Valdevaqueros is a popular free camping spot.


Costa del Sol

Torremolinos

Parking in Torremolinos

The best option is to park on the beachfront. Head towards Playa Bajondillo, and then head east from there. Most parking spaces are marked out, but some are not, so these are better for large vehicles.

Free camping in Torremolinos

The only real free camping option in Torremolinos is on the beachfront. Head towards Playa Bajondillo and explore the area there. A lot of motorhomes park a street or two back from the beachfront, to avoid the attention of the police. This works out of season, and the police are unlikely to hassle you.

Torre del Mar

A very tourist place, populated with many ex-pats.

Campsites in Torre del Mar

Camping Torre del Mar

Very busy with motorhomes. Crowded but quiet. 100m from sandy beach and fantastic promenade. Hypermarket within walking distance. Loads of restaurants. Moderately priced. Cash only.

Camping Playa Laguna

www.lagunaplaya.com
A better option than Camping Torre del Mar, above. It is roughly the same price as Camping Torre del Mar and gives great discounts for long stays.

La Cala del Moral

La Cala is a nice fishing village, with some good bars and restaurants, there is a new Carrefour supermarket and shopping centre and a SuperSol supermarket. The promenade is a lovely place to walk or cycle; you can walk west all the way to Malaga, or east for about 4 miles (6.5 kms) to Rincon de la Victoria.

Free camping in La Cala

There are several large gravel car parks off the promenade.

Rincon de la Victoria

A nice town, similar to La Cala, but bigger. The promenade is great for walking and cycling. There are a number of rated restaurants are here.

Free camping in Rincon de la Victoria

There are several gravel areas on the beach side of the promenade where it is possible to camp. You will have to explore to find how to get there.


The White Towns

The inland triangular region from Chipiona across to Malaga and down to Tarifa is home to a beautiful mountainous region, with several impressive towns, knows as the “White Towns”. The views are amazing, and almost all of the towns have preserved their atmosphere.

Ronda

Ronda is the biggest of the ‘White Towns’. Ronda has become a major tourist destination, making Ronda a big town. The attraction is the amazing setting for the town, perches amongst the mountain tops. The views of the landscape and those around the bridges are the major draws. The main street in the town has been pedestrianised, and offers good shopping.

Parking in Ronda

The old streets of Ronda mean parking is a nightmare. It is definitely best to park on the edge of town and walk in. Small vehicles can try and use the underground car parks. Head for the signposted zona escola (school zone) as there are many roads around there, and the neighbouring industrial estates and supermarkets, where you can park easily.

Free camping in Ronda

Free camping options in Ronda itself are limited. Smaller vehicles can park on the side streets, but few are level. The best option is to camp outside of the town on the stopping places next to the mountain roads. The views there are amazing. Just outside of the town, heading towards San Pedro, is a large restaurant with a massive lane. The coaches park here, having dropped people off in the town. You can park in this lane outside of summer. Just drive a few kilometres down the mountain roads and you’ll find places to pull over and stop.

Campsites in Ronda

El Sur

tel: 952875939
2km from Ronda, and signposted . A lovely campsite with good facilities. Moderately priced. Open all year.

Arcos de la Frontera

The old quarter Arcos is lovely. With steeps streets winding around the hilly settlement. The churches are amazingly well preserved. The views are stunning, with vista right across the mountainous countryside. Arcos is less visited tan Ronda, and out of season you’ll not see many other tourists.

Parking in Arcos de la Frontera

The parking is signposted. The underground car park has a low height restriction. Just down the hill from the underground car park is a large dirt area where many people park. All vehicles should park here. It is a 15 minute walk to the old quarter of town from here.


Gibraltar

Parking and free camping in Gibraltar

Parking and camping in Gibraltar is a problem for non-residents. No camping is permitted in Gibraltar. A much easier option is to leave your vehicle in La Linea de la Concepcion.

La Linea de la Concepcion

Car crime is widespread in La Linea. We recommend parking and camping in the large dirt car park north of the border crossing. It coasts €13 for one month, and has security. You will see trucks and motorhomes parked in the car park. It is a 10 minute walk into Gibraltar from here.

Parking and free camping in La Linea

We recommend parking at the large secure car park just north of the border crossing, see above. Almost everywhere close to the Gibraltar border is metered parking. Camper vans and small motorhomes can try parking on Paseo Cornisa, which is unmetered, and a short walk to the border. Larger vehicles will need to pay for parking, or park further out of town. If you arrive in summer it is better to park even further away, and walk or cycle to Gibraltar. Please be aware that car crime, especially for foreign visitors, is very high in La Linea.


Central Andalucia

Cordoba

The Mesquita, the Moorish Mosque, is an essential visit.

Campsites in Cordoba

Camping Brillante

Tightly packed city site with good facilities, but difficult to find. Within walking distance of the sights of Cordoba. Very quiet at end October and very pleasant.

Granada

Parking in Granada

Try along Avenida Madrid. This busy road has lots of apartment blocks, car parks and roads where even bigger vehicles can park. It’s about a 30 minute walk to the Alhambra from here. Head away from the city, pass the hospital and you’ll see the campsite. Parking is easier once past the campsite.

Free camping in Granada

Small discrete vehicles can try around Avenida Madrid (see Parking in Granda, above). There are a number of large waste grounds on the edge of the city where people park cars, these are low security areas though.

Campsites in Granada

There are two campsites in Granda, one close to the city, and the other a distance further out.

Camping Sierra Nevada

Avenida Madrid 107
tel: 958 150 062
Close to the city centre, about a 20 minute walk. Has a swimming pool. Open March – October. Not signposted. Moderately priced.

Camping Reina Isabel

4km outside of Granada, along the Zubia road.
tel: 958 590 043
A less noisy and shadier site than the one in the city. Also has a swimming pool.

Antequera

Antequera has a stunning mountain backdrop, often peaked with snow in winter. The modern developments of the town have added a less impressive sight as you approach. However, the modern developments have brought various supermarkets, including Mercado and a Lidl, look for the signs. There is also a large shopping centre with a massive Euroski supermarket.

Free camping in Antequera

The constant developments mean places to park shift. Try opposite the ‘On the Run’ Esso fuel station by a roundabout as you enter town from the west. Trucks park here at night, and its’s quieter than it might look. Also try just down the hill from the Euroski supermarket. None of these spots are picturesque.

Santa Elena

North of Granada.

Campsites in Santa Elena

Camping Despanerros

Holiday site in mountains. Pitches have all facilities – TV, radio, telephone, water and drain. Just off E5. Moderately priced.

Salares

Hi this is Peter and Helen. We used to have a motor home and travelled all over Europe. And five years ago settled in Andalusia. We would like to offer overnight camping so people could explore our beautiful area. It is remote, but accessible. We understand the needs of motor home campers and love to show off Axarquia and Salares our village. Please look at www.salares.net. Helen Carver.


Costa Tropical

Motril

Motril has few attractions, but it does have a nice waterfront and selection of big supermarkets and hardware stores out of town.

Free camping in Motril

The waterfront is nice in Motril, and out of season you can stop there, it’s quite a nice spot. Head towards the playa, at the roundabout head west. The short road ends at the ‘El Faro’ restaurant. You can park along this road. The views are good, but the backdrop is some of the workings from the port. There are walking and cycle paths along the waterfront. The beach is hard and vehicles park on it. The signs say no camping, however out of season some camper vans do park on the beach.

Nerja

Campsites in Nerja

Nerja Camping

4km east of Nerja, signposted on the N340.
A small and well run campsite. Very big vehicles will struggle with the small pitches. Has a swimming pool and restaurant. Open all year. Expensive.

  1. Camping without a motorhome
    Hi there, great post! some really good advice of ways to free camp, but I was wondering if you had any advice on taking a tent around the Andalucian area, we are definitely going to Tarifa Valdevaqueros, but we dont have a car/motohome, so was hoping to carry a tent and pitch up in some places which don’t cost very much or, even better, free! Have you got any recommendations? Thanks

    Reply

  2. seville park ups
    can anybody recommend where to safely park up in seville? either for the day or if possible for the night?

    Reply

    1. Tricky one. I have seen
      Tricky one. I have seen motorhomes parked in the parking areas around the Plaza de Espana, especially near the entrance on Av maria Luisa

      Reply

  3. Planning our Trip 2014
    Which I read your site back in 2006, when I was in Europe with my friends in a Motor home, now I am planning a trip in Europe with my wife for 2014, This is a great site for information and planning. Will give you some info when I am back in Europe.

    El Condor (Pepe)

    Reply

  4. Spain campervanning
    hi!

    Saw your post and am most jealous! I did three months in my van in Spain and France back in 2007, so I thought I might be able to give you a few highlights i think are worth going to.

    NB it was 2007, so things change, plus I went april – july, so the weather was different and campsites I stayed in might be shut for winter.

    nearish where you are, recommend…

    South to Tarifa. pretty wild place! the town is great – old moroccan walled barrio. few nice bars n places to eat. it’s the kite surfing capital of the world, so it’s kinda hip. you can easily get a ferry to morroco too. there’s free camping right on the beach – just off the n340, there’s a track near the entrance to Camping Tarifa (slightly towards the town). loads of people freecamp there and seems fine by the police. not far west up the n340 (off to the left, towards the sea) is a village called el lentiscal. there are roman ruins there (not all that interesting) and an amazing giant sand dune at the end of the beach – climb it and over into the forest, its magical! you can also freecamp here at the other end of the beach, but not in the roman ruins campsite where i got moved on by the police at 3am!

    further east, nearly on the border of portugla, is the Parque nacional de donana. on the north edge of the park is a crazy little place called el rocio. it’s like something from the wild west! people ride around the town on horses and the roads are made of sand. there’s a decent campsite there.

    vey close to where you are now (just east of you) is grazalema. it’s a really pretty town in a valley between rocky mountains. there a campsite there, but not sure it’ll be open in winter.

    north east of you is antequera. a nice old town in itself. but more interesting, to the northwest of there is a tiny place called fuente de piedra, and next to it is a lake that is populated by hundreds of flamingos! not sure if there will be any in winter though, so google it first! nothing else there, but there is a nice campsite in the village.

    north of antequera is of course Cordoba, which needs no intro. but north of the city right up the hill is a national park, which has a campsite. it was pretty rough in 07 – we nicknamed it ‘the campsite of blood and death’ coz it could have been the setting of a horror flick. BUT… it’s got great views up there and is really wild. if you do make it up there, park in the open space rather than the grim dark forest area (assuming you don’t need a hook-up).

    south east of cordoba is of course granada, the alpuharras and the sierra nevada. they’re all beautiful and well worth a visit. there’s a nice campsite in granada near the bus station – you can get a bus into town easily.

    in sierra nevada (short drive from grandada) there’s a really nice site just outside a cute little village called guejar sierra (they also have cabinas if you fancy some ‘luxury’) – views are amazing!

    in the alpuharras (just south) there’s a campsite in orgiva, but you might also manage to stay with the hippies in their encampment (i think it’s south of the town, but my memory is shot…). If you’re up for hair pin bends and steep climbs, the village of pampaneira (just north) is really cute (not sure if you’ll be able to freecamp up there too easy, but maybe in winter it will be quiet enough).

    Hope this is helpful. Have a great time!

    Ant

    Reply

  5. Hi,
    We are a young Australian

    Hi,
    We are a young Australian couple who have bought a 2000 model ford transit/herald motorhome in eng and have set off for a year around Europe just stumbled across this sight and it has been great as we mainly try to pick up safe wild campspots.
    We have just spent 5weeks in Portugal and are now heading south of seville to go across the southern spanish coast. we are in Le Bosque at the moment and not only do they provide everything needed here for motor homes we are near tourist office and can pick up free wifi in our van which is cool. talk about luxury. will be heading through bottom of france to italy, ferry to greece then across to Crotia,Turkey up eastern Europe towards Prague Chech Republic and across the northen part of Europe.Netherlands, Germany etc etc. any info or tips would be much appreciated and we can do the same if you are interested.
    Nigel & Teneal Walker

    Reply

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