Motorhome parks and campsites in the Algarve are filled to the brim as more and more motorhomers choose the sunny destination to spend the winter months.
“We are full and have a long list of people waiting to get in,” Filipe Afonso, who runs Silves’ motorhome park, told national tabloid Correio da Manhã.
The same is happening virtually all over the Algarve.
“The crushing majority of parks, especially those that knew how to adapt to this niche, are completely booked out, as well as the service areas created for motorhomes in the coast and inland areas,” said Alexandre Domingues from the regional development commission (CCRD Algarve).
As he explains, motorhomers are responsible for “a significant volume of business in the winter which helps combat seasonality”. Motorhome parks in the Algarve register around 800,000 overnights stays per year, according to data cited by CM.
“The climate is fantastic, people are very friendly, and we return every year,” said a Belgian couple, quoted by the paper.
In a bid to make motorhomers feel more welcome in the Algarve, authorities created a network of motorhome-friendly locations in 2015 called ‘Rede de Acolhimento ao Autocaravanismo do Algarve’ (RAARA).
The network features locations where motorhomers can legally stop and rest without fear of being fined by the authorities. There is a website where motorhomers can find a wealth of information about the network (www.autocaravanalgarve.com).
In February, it was announced that more than €2.2 million is to be invested in a new motorhome parking network which aims to encourage motorhomers to visit and explore the Algarve hinterland. The route, entitled ‘Rota Serrana’, will feature 14 parking areas along the EN124 road and other roads such as the EN2.
The project is being developed by the In Loco association and the Algarve municipalities association (AMAL) and is backed by community funding.
Vila Real de Santo António has recently introduced new municipal regulations for motorhomes which include fines ranging between €150 and €200 for motorhomes parked in unauthorised sites.
According to the council, the goal is to tackle the “abusive parking of motorhomes in the borough, especially near beaches”.
There are three areas where motorhomes can legally park overnight in the municipality: Monte Gordo’s campsite and the motorhome parks near the Guadiana River and Manta Rota beach.
Photo: Manta Rota motorhome park