“They park wherever they want, leave their rubbish behind and have no regard for the rules that are in place” – this is the dire scenario described by the association of parishes of the Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina Natural Park (AFPNSACV), which says that illegal motorhoming and camping is “out of control” in the area.
“The situation is getting worse,” said the association in a statement to the press. “It’s common to see motorhomes and converted vans parked near cliffs, tents set up in dunes and beach car parks turned into service stations.”
“As many of the vehicles are not built with toilet facilities, some of the most beautiful spots in Costa Vicentina have been turned into open-air toilets,” explained the association, adding that many locations are also littered with rubbish left behind by campers and motorhomers.
The most affected areas, says AFPNSACV, are near the Aivados, Alteirinhos, Amado, Amoreira, Barranco, Beliche, Bordeira, Cordoama, Furnas, Ingrina, Malhão, Mareta, Monte Clérigo, Odeceixe, Tonel, Vale Figueira and Zavial beaches, many of which recently received Blue Flags (click here).
Over the years, local mayors and parish council presidents have reportedly alerted authorities, but “apparently, no solutions have been found”, which is why the association is urging authorities to take action.
Says the association, “parish councils suffer the most because they are the entity that is responsible for solving the daily conflicts and issues that arise from this kind of unregulated motorhoming and camping”.
Thus, the association calls for tighter control and changes to the law so that authorities can fine on the spot.
“The government and local entities need to work together. We are sure that motorhomers and campers can still enjoy themselves while abiding by the rules and regulations and respecting the environment and other people who choose this area to live and visit,” it says.
Last month, plans were revealed to build seven new motorhome parks in the Algarve. The new parks will open in Silves, Tavira, Portimão, Vila do Bispo and Aljezur.
In March, Correio da Manhã tabloid reported that the region’s motorhome parks were “filled to the brim”.
For information about the Algarve Motorhome Support Network and to know where to spend the night without breaking the law, visit www.autocaravanalgarve.com