Honest 1st hand campsite reviews from the perspective of motorhomers with a fairly large unit (and often towing a small car). Currently covers sites in the UK, Spain, France and Portugal – hopefully in the future we will be adding sites in Germany, Italy, Croatia, Austria, Switzerland and beyond!
Hi to all you motorhomers out there (and caravaners, but being motorhomers ourselves we know what they need :); well we know what we want/need and suspect many will have similar wants)…
Back in the UK having spent 10 weeks at the beginning of 2017 travelling through Spain and Portugal, and having visited France a couple of times, we thought some campsite reviews would be in order. We visited 20 sites this year in Spain and Portugal so please bear with me as I get my thoughts down!
Knowing what’s important to us we are going to use a set format to complete, with key questions (access, pitch, facilities etc.) + the description set up under ‘The good, The bad and The ugly’.
Before I start I should say that I have already done a couple reviews which aren’t under this format but all that I write from now on will be.
Please feel free to comment with your own views of any campsites I review that you have also visited – it’s quite possible we’ll have differing views!
Just a bit of background information on our set-up then:-
We are Mandi and Calvin and we have a 2011 Bessacarr E769, 8.56m long and 2.3m wide. We have been using the ACSI book for our travels on our last 2 European trips, and have found it invaluable (although we have had to resort to the internet a couple of times).
We have also invested in an Aguri SatNav for this trip (the one we had previously, from a different manufacturer, proved to be completely useless!!)
And, of course, if you find the campsite reviews helpful you might enjoy our blog cataloguing our travels!
I will be adding to these whenever we travel 🙂
Happy travelling 🙂
Jump straight to relevant reviews below – separate pages created for each country – simply click below for relevant list (most recent trip is shown first):-
A visit to a renowned white town high in the mountains above Marbella. Steeped in history and with unbelievable views.
On arriving at Cabopino we knew that one of the first things we wanted to do was visit Ronda, as we had run out of time with the hire car during our trip in 2017.
This time, of course, we have the little car with us, so a few days after arriving we set off in the sunshine on our daytrip up into the mountains.
Our climb started behind Marbella so we passed some lovely looking complexes on the way, as well as a good number of villas hidden away behind high gates.
It’s quite a long way to Ronda, winding up and up and up, and round and round and round the various mountains! There are several viewpoints but we left those for the way back. It’s a very good road all the way, though that doesn’t mean I enjoyed the mountain road anymore than I usually do!
We parked up on the road just before the gates of the old town, completely by accident! So we chose to head in this way – leaving the area of town opposite the gates for another time.
Perhaps you’ve not considered a visit to Malaga, beyond the airport that is! The city though is well worth a visit and should be on everybody’s itinerary 🙂
Although we spent 3 weeks at Cabopino back in 2017, only about 30 miles away from Malaga, and I flew into Malaga with the kids when they were younger (we were staying in Benalmadena), I have never actually been TO Malaga itself.
The perfect opportunity presented itself just before christmas when my son came to visit us during our latest stay at Cabopino, aided by the fact that we have brought the car with us this time 🙂
When we picked Sam up from the airport it was getting on for lunchtime and a little late for a day exploring the city, so we saved our visit for when we dropped him off a few days later. This was on 20th December 2018 – the ‘Day of the Drones’. And Sam was due to fly into Gatwick. However he was advised to turn up and we watched him go through to security with no problems, so felt confident in leaving the airport and heading into the city.
With no particular plan (or clue to be honest) we headed towards the marina, as we felt this is always a good place to start. Thinking we were really close and could walk from a spot near the beach we parked up and had a wander along the boulevard. What a lovely first impression! A wide tree-lined boulevard teeming with parakeets, a dedicated cycle path, ‘boris-bikes (although it appears you need to have registered in order to use them), several outdoor gyms (they’re everywhere in Spain – we suspect EU funding is involved) and chiringuitos galore 🙂
However, on checking google maps we found we were still about 3 miles away from the marina (and also the alcazar and castle), so back in the car we headed further into the city.
We parked easily in Parking Muelle Uno, an underground parking lot located centrally for the marina and the alcazar, cathedral, bull-ring and castle. At just over 4Euros for the first hour and a little over 2Euros thereafter we were pleasantly surprised at the cost (only because it was so central to what we wanted to see and the main attractions – we normally balk at paying to park!) (Just as an observation I hate the way the charges are shown in Spanish car-parks – they’re not per hour, they’re per minute and will have different rates for the 1st 15 or 30 minutes, the next 15 or 30 and so on – hugely confusing..)
We emerged into the sunshine beside the Centre Pompidou, an art gallery whose facade is a multi-coloured cube – a good landmark to head for when you’re looking for your car-park at the end of the day! Beyond this was the shopping area by the marina of Muelle Uno – a fabulous choice of shops, restaurants, cafes and stalls awaits you – or simply a nice stroll admiring the boats and the water and the general ambience.
Our first stop in Spain – loving the discoveries of the partially completed Castello de Montgris and the Castello Dali (bought by Dali for his wife, and restored for her).
Cycle Ride around l’Estartit
The next day we stayed local and used our bikes. There are many opportunities for cycling around this area and numerous cycle paths (we tend to make up our own routes!) We first headed right out of the campsite, finding la Gola, where the River Ter meets the sea.
Unfortunately, due to the recent storms, the beach area was a bit untidy. However, there were people there busy clearing it all up.
We then headed back up towards the campsite and the other way towards the marina. This entailed cycling through the floods (we weren’t meant to, but I followed Calv – although I but managed to hit a large bit of debris and ended up jumping into the water to stop myself from falling off completely! It was deep enough to come up to my ankles, so the rest of our ride was completed with me in sodden trainers….)
We moved on towards Tours after leaving la Ferte-Vidame. This route was chosen after much deliberation regarding our route – resulting with us eventually, and reluctantly, deciding to abandon our plan to cross the Millau Viaduct (boooo….); mainly due to the seeming lack of campsites open for us on that route 😦
Having decided on Tours, I thought that we might actually stay for 3 nights, having seen a weather forecast suggesting full sun and a high of 21C on Monday. Sadly it turns out that there are several towns called Tours in France, and my app had decided to provide me with information for a different one, rather than the main town of Tours located in the Loire Valley. So we just stayed for 2 nights after all.
We could have hopped on the cycle path and ridden into Tours to visit the old city (about 4 miles away, with the cycle path passing within about 50m from the site – albeit across a busy road); but we didn’t…
We paid 14 Euros each to visit the castle and gardens – other attractions within the grounds include a maze, wine cellar (caves), gourmet restaurant, tea-room, self-service restaurant, 16th century farm with carriage musuem and donkeys 🙂
6th November was the day we left home for our next adventure. We said our goodbyes and waved to the house, with barely a backward glance.. except we had to go straight back before we made it to the motorway as Calv had left his phone behind…!!
1st stop Brighton for an overnight at the Caravan Club site situated just inland from the marina. We had a bite to eat in the marina; a first ever visit to Gourmet Burger Kitchen, and later in the afternoon (although it felt like the evening by the time we came home (by which I mean ‘van’) at about 6.30pm, as it was so dark), we headed into town to visit the Pavilion and the ice skating rink.
We drove around for a while trying to find somewhere to park for less than £10 for 2 hours; on the seafront you will pay £6 for 2 hours closer to Palace Pier, but we parked nearer to West Pier where we paid ‘only’ £4.20 for 2 hours.
I’m glad we did though, as it was just a 15 minute walk back to the Pavilion which looked perfect all lit up for the ice-skating. We didn’t partake (we didn’t want to risk either of us breaking a leg before going away!) but it was great fun to watch. (We have no idea who these lads are in Calv’s photo – but they seem very happy with themselves!!!
Starting to prepare and get excited for our next trip. This will be recorded as we move on Polarsteps so if you follow us you won’t need to wait until I get round you writing up my blog to see where we are 😊
See also our reviews for each site we stopped at on the way.