Planning a motorhome trip to Portugal? Want to avoid busy campsites but worried about wild camping? Here's everything you need to know about the Portugal Easy camp system.
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Portugal has an incredible reputation with motorhomers and campervanners, both for places to visit and for being one of the best places for wild camping in Europe.
Sadly, in the past year or so, things have become less… friendly. We've been heartbroken to see the stories of selfish van owners who have left behind damage and all sorts of disgusting rubbish.
While that's a post for another time, we wanted to share details of a new scheme available in Portugal- Easy Camp. If you're planning a trip to Portugal, read our complete guide to campervanning in Portugal.
What is Portugal Easy Camp?
Portugal EasyCamp is the first network of motorhome farm and vineyard stopovers in Portugal, which is a great way to visit, see and experience the Portuguese countryside in all its glory!
For people who are familiar with other European schemes like France Passion or Brit Stops, then this is along similar lines- with one big difference: Portugal EasyCamp is all conducted online and there’s no need to pay any annual subscription or to buy a guidebook.
The website is easy to navigate, in three languages (English, Portuguese and French), and is very user friendly. It's used as an alternative to motorhome wild camping.
Planning to take your motorhome to Europe?
How Portugal Easy Camp works
Booking is all online and takes only 3 easy steps.
- 1) Select the Host from the map on the EasyCamp website.
- 2) Buy a Welcome Pack of your choice from a selection. The selection might include anything from: bottles of wine, cheese, olive oil, fruits, honey and other products.
- 3) When you collect your goodies, you can then stay onsite for up to 24 hours, perhaps visiting the wine cellars, tasting the olive oil or exploring the country estate.
The fact that all our activities are online on our website makes it simple, since people can choose the places directly on the map, and filter according to their preferences: type of farm (agricultural, winery, culture, countryside), facilities available (electricity, water, wc) bicycle circuit, possibility of hiking, if animals are allowed, shade, wifi, etc.
Who are the Portugal Easy Camp Hosts?
Currently, there are around 50 Hosts in the scheme which include wineries, olive oil producers, agricultural farms, rural tourism, and artisanal producers. But, many more places are being added regularly, including hotels and even restaurants.
The scheme works on a win-win relationship for both the motorhome owner and the Host. The motorhomer receives a lovely package of products (produced by the Host) and the Host receives revenue they would otherwise wouldn’t have, all for a 24-hour stopover.
For motorhome owners wishing to experience rural areas in a safe and secure location, with the added benefit of experiencing and tasting the delights of Portugal, then this will be an experience not to be missed.
Planning a Europe motorhome trip? These posts will help:
- How to tour Europe in a motorhome; step-by-step guide
- Driving in Europe after BREXIT- essential things to know
- 7 warmest places in Spain in winter
- Renting a motorhome in Europe? Here are 10 essential questions to ask
What are the locations like?
This unique network in Portugal offers motorhome owners the opportunity to get to know farms, families and their traditions first hand as part of their motorhome holiday. All the places selected are unique and exclusive spaces, each with its own history, but all located in the countryside. Now, it is possible to stay in places that were previously inaccessible to motorhomes.
Don’t expect to find facilities as you would in a campsite, although some Hosts have started to offer water and other facilities for motorhomers.
TOP TIP: You don't need as much kit as you think you do to stay off-grid with a camper. Read our wild camping for motorhomes essential gear guide here.
Various experiences are available to motorhome owners depending on the business. There are delicious local products & wine tastings, olive oil tastings, guided tours, picnics, harvest programs, beekeeping visits on the mountains, horse riding lessons, cheese workshop, honey workshop, and tailor-made programme – something for everyone.
You can either discover a contemporary vineyard, or a family-owned estate with a tiny church, or a rustic cheese factory in the middle of the mountain. Some of the Hosts have gorgeous historic buildings, and some have modern technologies for their wine production.
At some sites, you can have fresh bread delivered in the morning, pick seasonal fruit from the trees, help with the animals feeding (kids love this) and occasionally the hosts can even help arrange a private BBQ or a romantic picnic for couples.
The parking places can either be in the middle of or overlooking the vineyards, or next to the estate church, by a lake, or next to the manor house. You will probably wake up to the most breath-taking views from your motorhome bed!
You’ll find that most of the sites are set in the most stunning locations, which means that on your journey to get there, you’ll have a fabulous drive through spectacular countryside.
They also offer the Portugal EasyCamp Gift Card to reserve an overnight stop for friends or family as a present on their travels.
You can find helpful tourist offices in each Host’s region who’ll advise on what to see, which local delicacies to eat, information regarding National parks, picturesque villages, lakes nearby and so on.
There’s much more to motorhoming life in Portugal besides surfing, drinking Port, eating pastel de nata or enjoying the good weather! As one of the best places to visit in winter in Europe, there's something to do at any time of the year.
Portugal Easy Camp shared some comments from recent guests:
“For visitors from outside Portugal – it’s a lovely surprise to be able to enjoy Portuguese hospitality in “private” places, to taste typical products directly at the producer's and to have the opportunity to visit places full of history.”
“The friendliness and politeness of the Hosts, who mostly speak English, allow you to enjoy undiscovered wines, the quality of their products, plus fruit, or bread delivery in the mornings at some sites. All sites are extremely clean and safe which is so important in this day and age.”
“For those who fear the current virus and wish to apply social distancing, this formula is ideal.”
“Having the opportunity to stay in some BREATHTAKING locations, in exclusive places, nice corners off the beaten track, and away from the crowds is a gift for motorhome owners.”
If you'd like to know more, visit the Portugal Easy Camp website.