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.
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.
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.
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)
Free camping in Mazagon
Parking possible in a large area next to the Parador.
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
tel: 956-84 70 78
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
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.
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 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 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 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 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.
Free camping in Tarifa
Playa de Valdevaqueros is a popular free camping spot.
Costa del Sol
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
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 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
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.
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.
The Mesquita, the Moorish Mosque, is an essential visit.
Campsites in Cordoba
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.
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 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.
North of Granada.
Campsites in Santa Elena
Holiday site in mountains. Pitches have all facilities – TV, radio, telephone, water and drain. Just off E5. Moderately priced.
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.
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.
Campsites in Nerja
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.