Camping is a great way to unwind, spend time outdoors, and reconnect with nature. Whether you prefer to camp alone, with friends, or with your family, Spain offers a variety of camping opportunities for travelers to enjoy. However, camping in Spain is a little different from what you might experience in other parts of Europe. Here are six things you need to know before you go camping in Spain.
Spain Takes Camping to a Whole New Level
Campsites in Spain are not exactly like campsites in other parts of the world. While most people picture camping as time in the wilderness in a tent, that’s not very common in Spain. Instead, Spain’s camp groups are more like resorts. Many campgrounds will have amenities like a swimming pool, tennis courts, waterslides, and even restaurants on sight. Some will have live music or karaoke in the evenings. Most campgrounds in Spain include electricity, Wi-Fi, and even fitness classes. This form of camping might seem unusual to you, but it’s what makes camping such a popular activity in Spain. In fact, many families come from across Europe to spend summers at Spain’s campsites on the beach.
Campgrounds Have Star Ratings
In most of the world, hotels are rated out of five stars. This same practice is used for campsites in Spain since they are so popular. While all camps typically provide showers and restrooms, other amenities and services can vary widely so the star ratings help travelers decide how much luxury they are looking for on their next camping adventure. Campgrounds rated with one star are typically quite small and only provide the most basic amenities, while five star campgrounds will offer a lot of luxury and extra services. Depending on what kind of trip you are looking for, you can use this star rating to guide you as you select your destination. Fewer stars will typically give you a more laid back, inexpensive camping experience. However, the campgrounds with four or five stars will offer a resort-like experience with every imaginable amenity.
Camping Isn’t as Cheap as You Think
While camping is a budget-friendly vacation choice across most of the world, that’s not always the case in Spain. A four-star campground in Spain often charges as much for a small tent plot as you would pay for a small apartment rental or vacation home. To get the best deal, try to camp with a group where you can pitch multiple tents on each plot. Sometimes you can also score discounts in the offseason or by booking a campsite for an extended period of time. Monthly bookings will usually provide significant savings over a nightly campsite rental.
You Don’t Have to Bring Food and Water
If you are used to American-style camping, you are probably planning to pack plenty of water and easy to prepare food. However, most campers in Spain don’t carry food and water with them. Most of Spain’s top rated campgrounds are located near the coast and close enough to restaurants and grocery stores that you can quickly grab a meal or ingredients once you’ve arrived. Many campgrounds even offer small grocery stores or restaurants on sight. Even the smaller campgrounds typically have a café that offers coffee and hot sandwiches. If you do plan to cook your own meals, make sure you plan for Spain’s unique shopping schedule. Most grocery stores will be closed on Sundays.
Try Local Seafood at Beach Campgrounds
The local cuisine is one of the highlights of a trip to Spain’s coastal campsites. Fresh caught seafood is available everywhere and you can usually find fabulous restaurants within a short walking distance to campgrounds. Make the most of your time in Spain by asking locals for their recommendations on restaurants and dishes that you should try.
Carve Out Time to Visit a Local Market
Throughout many areas in Spain, you can find open markets where you can see and sample some of Spain’s most delectable foods. If you want to cook your own meals, stop at a market and grab the ingredients. Most campsites include a barbecue so you can easily grill up your feast for an unforgettable experience. The local markets also offer a chance to shop for unique souvenirs and to meet and mingle with locals, who can give you a full experience of the remarkable culture of Spain.
Camping in Spain is truly a unique adventure. In fact, it’s the most popular way to spend a holiday! Whether you want to find a simple campsite with just the basics or you want to enjoy the full resort-like experience, there is a campground to meet your needs in Spain.