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Motorhome support website launched to stop 'wild camping'

motorhomesilvesfinedA website and app have been launched for motorhome owners coming to the Algarve and aims to eradicate the practice of ‘wild camping’ that has been blamed for many of the negative impacts this form of tourism can have on the region.

The website, launched by the Coordination and Regional Development Commission of the Algarve (CCDR-Algarve), aims to promote the region while making clear what the current laws mean for motorhome owners.

The website is a result of the long-running project established by the CCDR-Algarve, the mayors’ group AMAL and the region’s tourism bodies.

In December 2015, the Caravan Support Network of the Algarve Region (RAARA) was set up, which listed the region’s legal Camping and Caravan Parks, Rural Camping Parks and Service Areas for Motorhomes. Click HERE for the list

The creation of the new website and app, "is part of the strategy to support motor-caravanning by providing an informative and a dynamic platform for the dissemination of existing spaces in the Algarve region," says the CCDR-Algarve, adding that:

"The region is now a major tourist destination for motorhome travellers and is one one of the most visited regions in southern Europe, particularly during the winter and spring months.

"The Algarve has lacked modern facilities but motorhome travellers have come anyway, drawn by a low cost of living, pleasant climate, mild winters, friendly natives, beautiful landscapes, a rich cultural heritage and the food."

Long stay vacations started to become popular but staying in a caravan park, or travelling between caravan parks, dulls the sense of freedom and excitement sought by many in this sector who want to wake up by the sea with nobody else in sight.

The list of 30 camping and caravan sites and service areas, equipped with the necessary facilities, aims to provide security and a way of being legal, but not the thrill that wild camping brings.

Currently the new list is of legal sites that are properly licensed and are the only ones where motorhome travellers legally may park overnight.

The new site has some handy hints:

  • Look for 'Algarve Motorhome Support Network' members to park overnight. The sites are identified with the network`s symbol
  • Avoid remaining or staying overnight in illegal, unlicensed nor unidentified parking areas. These sites have been emerging in the Algarve and comply neither with the comfort nor with the safety standards required by the existing legislation
  • Do not remain or stay overnight in unauthorised areas, such as parking places, roadways, parking places located near the beaches, cliffs, sand dunes, pinewoods, etc. These parking areas cannot provide the facilities and services you might need (water supply, electricity, waste disposal, WI-FI, etc.), neither the comfort nor the safety required. By staying in these illegal spaces you are breaking the law and the current regulations
  • The stay or overnight stay in either one of the places mentioned, poses serious public health problems and have a negative impact over the delicate environmental balance of these areas, due to their particular environmental and landscape attributes. It also represents a potential risk to all motorhome users regarding safety as well as the unexpected occurrence of natural phenomena
  • The stay and overnight stay in illegal, unauthorised spaces may be subject to local authorities’ intervention

The licensed Motorhome Support Network sites give an opportunity for legal behaviour but for as long as wintertime wild camping is condoned by Councils, Olhão being a prime example, and for as long as the authorities take no action, wild camping will be the preferred option for many of this cadre who, if issued with multiple fines for illegal parking, will move east to Spain and beyond.

https://www.autocaravanalgarve.com/

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Comments  

-1 #6 Landlubber 2018-11-06 22:51
Maybe the council in Olhão thinks that more human waste being dumped into the Ria Formosa is of no consequence.
+2 #5 Chip 2018-11-06 13:42
Quoting Poor Portugesa:
Surely, the objective of having a camper-van is to 'camp' rather than 'park'?


Never heard of campsites?
+2 #4 Chip 2018-11-06 13:41
The problem is that the desire by cheapscates to have a long term holiday at no cost is likely to override any advice from a website. The only people who will respect are those who use camp sites already.
0 #3 Ed 2018-11-06 10:32
Quoting Peter Booker:
I suspect that many of these wild campers are subject to this type of legislation in their home countries. They therefore demonstrate a lack of respect for the Portuguese way of managing this matter, that they choose to avoid obeying the law of Portugal.

And, Ed, if they choose to head off to the east with their illegal practices, instead of remaining in Portugal, then it is our environment which will benefit.

And I would question your phrase "rich cultural heritage", since the Algarve was, and still is, one of the poorest regions of western Europe.

I should have put that sentence in quotation marks as it was from the CCDR's new website
0 #2 Peter Booker 2018-11-06 10:12
I suspect that many of these wild campers are subject to this type of legislation in their home countries. They therefore demonstrate a lack of respect for the Portuguese way of managing this matter, that they choose to avoid obeying the law of Portugal.

And, Ed, if they choose to head off to the east with their illegal practices, instead of remaining in Portugal, then it is our environment which will benefit.

And I would question your phrase "rich cultural heritage", since the Algarve was, and still is, one of the poorest regions of western Europe.
+1 #1 Poor Portugesa 2018-11-06 07:21
Surely, the objective of having a camper-van is to 'camp' rather than 'park'? Clearly, an illusory 'freedom', when so many abuse the basic principle, and a sad reflection on unethical behaviour of our times. :sad:

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