Algarve…..? If you like that sort of thing….

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Chockswahay, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    Just returned from 10 weeks in Portugal and Spain. We were looking forward to some winter sun in the Algarve and headed there first…… What a disappointment!

    Am I the only one who got the distinct impression that the Algarve is full of motorhomes that appear to be 'in for the duration'? There was a clear relationship between the cost per night of an Aire and how many people were staying on it (for a long time!).

    Indeed the places where vans stop for free were just FULL of vans, all with their chairs, tables, generators, gas bottles and all forms of detritus littering the place. It often looked as if these areas were Gipsy camps.

    I don't understand the attraction of spending many thousands (many!) on a motorhome only to spend all winter parked up in a car park!

    The Algarve struck me as a good place for sand, sun, cheap booze and not much else quite frankly. The 1755 earthquake destroyed much of the old and fine architecture and the coastal towns are high rise, jam packed, touristy blotts on the landscape.

    After two weeks or so of working our way along the Algarve we got to Sagres and headed North. The scenery got better, the beaches and towns much nicer and the whole place less busy. Then we drove inland towards Evora and the country took on a nicer more authentic feel altogether. Admittedly the weather was nothing like as nice inland. After a while we crossed the border back into Spain and drove South towards Seville, Gibralter, Granada etc.

    I do realise that this post does sound like a lot of whining and might upset a few people. Each to his own and all that! I just think that after all the talk about how marvellous Portugal is, it might help a few people who are wondering if they should go to read an alternative view.

    Portugal (particularly the Algarve and the South) does not cater so well for Motorhomes. Aires are few and far between and often full of virtual 'residents'. Wild camping is possible but not as easy as one might imagine.

    If you crave culture then other countries are available :Wink: On the other hand, if you just want cheap access to some pleasant winter sun then fill your boots :BigGrin:

    I apologise in advance for upsetting those that will be upset by my remarks :RollEyes:
     
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  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Ditto Morocco.

    Many of the sites were full anyway so people were living rough on any flat bit of land. Just north of Agadir there were hundreds on sand with nothing nearby. OK it was warm and dry. The locals being the ultimate traders serviced poo and water though the poo bit is not quite what we are used to.

    Further inland we found Tafraoute, typical southern Moroccan town ( welding done on the pavements, MHs re-sprayed in the road ). 80% of the motor homes were on rough ground. We spend a great week there, dumping poo in a dried up stream like all the rest, buying water at £3 a tankful from the passing bowser. Some of our neighbours were in €250,000 mega-vans and the majority were twice as big and much more than twice the value of our old Burstner. One Brit we spoke to said it was his 12th winter there. We paid a guardian €1 a night to stop there. If only it was not so far I think we'd go back for a bit more of Tafraoute

    It all depends on the folk I guess.
     
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  3. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    I agree with a lot of what you say about the Algarve.

    Many parts of the Algarve are indeed as described but...

    ...maybe you needed a better source of information in order to enjoy the things you like to do...

    Did you visit Taveira, the numerous castles such as Silves and Castro Marim and the barragems with their wildlife?

    Which museums did you visit?

    How many Roman Ruins did you check out?

    Calling the Algarve "Portugal" is similar to calling Blackpool "Britain".

    As for motorhome park ups... I could spend a month in the Algarve and park up peacefully, mostly on my own, every night...

    Horses for courses...

    Perhaps you were playing on the wrong course.

    JJ :Cool:
     
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  4. laneside

    laneside Funster

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    Someone has been to the wrong places in the Algarve or as he says each to their own as we find Spain so scruffy covered in fly tip and Graffiti
     
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  5. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

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    The 'freeloading' has been dealt with at length so no point in going there.

    I would agree with your comments about the central Algarve but not all the coastal towns are high rise, the Eastern & Western ends are far more 'local' and whilst there is not the culture and sights of Seville for example there is a rural culture not too far inland, even close to Albufeira.

    The Alentejo coast is spectacular as is much of Inland Portugal but the winter weather does not compare with the Med coast of Spain. Make your choice Benidorm or Vila Nova de Milfontes, chalk and cheese, each to his own.

    I have spent many years touring Spain & Portugal, I now spend the winter months on the Eastern Algarve, convenient for trips to Andalucia and inland Portugal.

    We are not on holiday, we have to be somewhere, said for many years that we could not spend six months on one site, times change, this part of the Algarve suits us fine :thumb::BigGrin:
     
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  6. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    You have to PAY in Sorrento and get the train to Pompeii and Herculaneum to experience real Rome.

    Awesome.
     
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  7. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    Our favourite stop in the Algarve was inland a few miles at The Chickenrun at Mexilhoeira Grande . A small basic site in a quiet location run by the Andley family from the UK , a ten minute walk from the small village with all the bits you need. :thumb:
     
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  8. Billy23

    Billy23 Funster

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    "Quote: I don't understand the attraction of spending many thousands (many!) on a motorhome only to spend all winter parked up in a car park! End Quote.

    With you on most that you say about the Algarve, why anybody would want to park in one place for months is beyond me. But as you found out, Portugal is much more than the Algarve, you did what I would do, travel the country. Parking in one place is not for me, and if you did, would be better to get a cheap hotel/ apartment winter deal. :Smile::thumb:
     
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  9. spitfire

    spitfire Funster

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    Totally agree ! Spent around 6 weeks at Pedro's going out each day on our motorbike and had an amazing time visiting the beautiful unspoit bays, castles and forts. Left taking 3 weeks to get home visiting Porto Covo, Sintra, Obidos, Fatima, Aveiro and Porto en route to mention only the main towns. Lots more to stop and explore en route. An amazing place with great history.
     
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  10. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

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    Do you live in a house? does it move :BigGrin:
     
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  11. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    True, but I was only referring to the Algarve (which IS more like Blackpool as it happens IMHO :Smile:)

    The rest of Portugal was very nice and yes we did visit loads of castles, hilltop forts, parks etc.

    :BigGrin:
     
  12. Billy23

    Billy23 Funster

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    Well they don't move....but, I have a house in UK, a house in Spain ( 40 minute drive from the Algarve) and a motorhome, so the houses don't move, I do! :BigGrin::thumb:
     
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  13. simsy56

    simsy56 Funster

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    Each to their own. We would be prepared to stay in one place for a few weeks, but, it would have to be special.
    Like one of the Barragems we stayed on for a week. Views to die for! And all facilities nearby.
    Just perfect!

    Craig
     
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  14. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    People who fulltime often park in one place for months on end (why shouldn't they), but when they want to they can move, a house cannot. Some people tour, others stay extensively in sites and take in local attractions, bars, beaches or whatever. I get itchy feet and seldom stay 2 nights in the same place. Others are happy to stay all winter on one site. Come to think of it, the demarcation is easy, those who like to drink sit and drink, those not bothered drive and sightsee. It works well for everyone.
     
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  15. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    not sure if you were still here in Britain when we had a thread about the filthy dirty freeloaders that get us all a bad name. however in that thread people mentioned just how bad much of the coastal algarve is with every bit of wasteground covered with motorhomes and people too tightfisted to pay for sites with facilities.

    I agree with your sentiments but would honestly say gypsy encampments tend to be far cleaner. many tourist areas of Europe are getting like this and because of the greedy selfish few, motorhomes are getting to be less welcomed by the communities they leach off. living in a motorhome is a choice we all make but it seems some are just not willing to contribute to the local economy where they wish to stay

    i await the usual few that attempt to justify their actions. no point in debating with such people though as they can see nothing wrong with freeloading
     
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  16. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    There are so many misconceptions in the above post, Mr Big 1, that I don't have the patience to go through all of them but...

    Please rest assured that every piece of wasteland in the Algarve are NOT packed with motorhomes...

    And those who choose to use their vans in different ways do NOT GIVE YOU a bad name...


    Anyone quoting stuff they read on the Internet as fact and a true reflection of what is actually happening in the real world runs the risk of amplifying nonsense.


    JJ :Cool:
     
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  17. simsy56

    simsy56 Funster

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    What is a filthy, dirty freeloader?
    Someone that doesn't conform to your ideals?
    And why, if someone 'drycamps', do they become, 'filthy, dirty?
    We have stayed on remote, non campsites, and we don't consider ourselves, 'filthy, dirty'.
    We have been on 'campsites' that aren't fit to be called campsites.
    Each to their own, it's for some and not for others. So, live and let live.
    It's the tow rags that dump waste, and litter that are filthy, dirty, in my mind.

    Craig
     
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  18. Tea Bag

    Tea Bag Funster

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    Hi.
    Bought property in Portugal,about a third of the way down,it does rain during the winter months,but come summer,it is hot,dry,the people are super and the sights are awesome when travelling about,have a mate down in southern p/gal about 20 mins north of Faro, St Bartholemew ? de Menendez/,loves it,says it is to COLD where we are ????
    As said,each to his own,me,i will stay north in the rain,rather than stuck inches from another unit enjoying what ??. Health,fire risks,not daring to move,because your berth will be filled in seconds ? Would they live like this at home ? Now that's another question :Doh::Doh:
    Tea Bag
     
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  19. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    Actually I do think TheBig1 has a point. We noticed that motorhomes had indeed taken over many areas of wasteland.

    The people that live in these areas are influenced by what they see and whether we like it or not we are all judged by the activities of the few. I do think that 'we' generically are at risk of being given a bad name. It's not personal, it's just the way it is :Sad:
     
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