In a bid to make motorhoming “easier and legal” in the Algarve, a network of 22 motorhome-friendly locations was unveiled on Friday morning (December 11) at the Turiscampo campsite in Lagos.
The ‘Rede de Acolhimento ao Autocaravanismo do Algarve’ (RAARA) features spots where motorhomes can legally stop and rest without fear of being fined by the authorities.
The locations are spread out along the coast, near beaches and urban centres, as well as in the interior near the mountains. The plan now is to promote the network so that motorhomers will use the recommended areas instead of parking in unauthorised areas.
There are fears, however, that abusive motorhome parking will continue if authorities fail to keep an eye out for law-breakers.
“Sixty percent of the motorhomers that come to the Algarve do so because they know there are no rules for motorhome parking,” said Agnès Isern, the owner of the Turiscampo campsite, cited by online newspaper Sulinformação.
She pointed out that she has to “pay taxes and follow a number of rules” even though many of her potential customers continue to park in illegal spots.
“And it seems no one, not the GNR police or the local councils, can help us,” she said.
A big part of the problem, she said, is Portugal’s lack of rules concerning motorhomes –an issue Algarve authorities guarantee they are committed to tackling.
Regional tourism boss Desidério Silva promised that if campsite owners hand him a document with all of their concerns, he will deliver it “to the government and its lawmakers”.
Nuno Silva, the vice-president of the regional development commission (CCDR Algarve), also guaranteed a proposal with changes to Portugal’s laws concerning motorhoming is in the works.
Until then, the four entities behind the scheme – the CCDR, the Algarve Municipalities Association (AMAL), the regional tourism board (RTA) and the Algarve tourism association (ATA) – will continue to promote the network.
A digital brochure with all of the campsites can be found in English at visitalgarve.pt
It is a year since the four associations vowed to create a “regional strategy for the sector” (see Algarve to create better conditions for motorhomers).
Their announcement followed a string of incidents in Silves seeing motorhomers forcibly removed from the car park near the town’s swimming pools (see GNR red-faced as Silves campers return‘).
Download brochure here: http://www.visitalgarve.pt/pressroom.file.php?fileID=183&file=folheto_ing_webpdf.pdf