As of now, sleeping overnight in a van is permitted, with some restrictions. It is forbidden to stay overnight in the coastline (in front of the beach), in all natural protected areas, natural reserves and parks (marked with dark green in google maps, e.g. Costa Vicentina Natural Park), and also places that have specific signs saying campervans are not allowed. Except for these places, you can stay overnight for up to a maximum of 48h.
Moreover, out of common ethics, you must respect private houses, gardens, coffees and other businesses, by not camping or making meals in front of those. Also, during the summer, in busy parking lots, you must not occupy more than one parking place with camping equipment.
We advise staying overnight in places purposely prepared for this matter. Here are some suggestions where you can camp for an overnight:
Respecting the parking lot: during the day at crowded parking lots, do not occupy the parking next to you with the camping table and chairs, especially near crowded beaches.
Managing the trash: Throw the garbage bags in the big garbage bin, and close with the lid in order that curious animals such as foxes and birds will not be able to access the trash. Do not put your big garbage bag in small garbage bins, as these small bins are meant for small amounts of trash. If you don’t mind, collect the trash in nature near to you, even if it is not yours, help us to make nature cleaner than it was.
Please, never leave any toilet paper in nature, it takes very long to disappear and it is the main reason for strict camping rules in Portugal.
It is forbidden to make a fire during the dry season in Portugal. We recommend using in the campsites the small bbq that we provide for free with a campervan or tent. For this, you only have to buy coal, which makes minimal smoke, and you will be able, not only to grill fish, meat and vegetables but also warm up feet while drinking a glass of wine and appreciating the stars during the night.
For a safe bbq, be sure that it is not too windy, never leave a fire unattended, keep some water supply nearby and when leaving your fire, turn it off with water (e.g. with the shower in our vans), making it fully extinguished. In case of fire call emergency number 112.
These are shortly the main rules of camping in Portugal. If you have any suggestions to add to this list please do not hesitate to contact us.
Ocean Camper wishes a safe and pleasant camping holiday in Portugal.