Our thoughts on touring Spain in 2015 and again in 2019
Strengths: It’s no wonder Spain is so popular with English motorhomers. There are a number of direct ferry routes from England to Spain, saving driving time and avoiding the tolls driving south through France. Spain has great weather and a pretty relaxed attitude about motorhomes and most other things it seems. Alcohol is relatively in-expensive and the supermarket food is good quality. Spending a long lunch in a tapas bar is one of our best memories of Spain.
We found the Spanish roads very good and pleasantly surprised with how little traffic there is away from the coast. Toll roads are few. We found several relatively new aires during our 2019 tour.
Weeknesses: Since our first visit in 2015 we notice some coastal communities, are placing parking restrictions on the beachfront parking of motorhomes in season, but from September on, it doesn’t seem to be a problem. Due to the number of British tourist going to Spain over winter, some places attract the uglier side of ‘Little Britain’.
Spain closes for a siesta from 12-3 pm except for bars and cafes, mind you the shops and supermarkets are all open to late in the evening. The Spanish are a noisy lot, having had a couple of hours sleep during the day, they don’t eat until 9 pm then wander about talking noisily until 11 pm.
Opportuniities: Getting away from the coast to exploring the Spanish Pyrenees, the mountain villages, National Parks makes for scenic driving. We found Catalonia region a great place to explore. In 2019 we took the opportunity to explore some of the cities of central Spain, such as Salamanca, Seville and Cordoba. The mixture of Islamic and Spanish architecture and culture is everywhere.
The Spanish city of Algeciras surrounds the English enclave of Gibraltar, another historic place to explore. Morocco is just a short ferry trip across the straits.
Threats: Be prepared and for-warned, there is an entire sub-class of people in Spain looking to rip you off. This varies from charging more than the price printed on a menu to giving you the wrong change when you pay the bill. Then there’s common theft. Every motor-homer who has visited Spain has a story (read ours) about being broken into, having something stolen or just plain old pick-pocketed. You cannot be too careful in Spain.
The Spanish seem to enjoy a little civic unrest from time to time, so it’s a good idea to keep alert to what’s happening with the Basque and Catalonians. We had no security issues during our 2019 tour, but we were careful where we parked.