Is wild camping allowed? Can I camp overnight wherever I want? What are the rules for camping in Portugal? We answer all these questions!
Camping provides your all the freedom of choosing every day a new place to pass a night, new beaches, cities, villages, rivers and landscapes, and it is the best way to discover Portugal. In order to keep camping activity as sustainable as possible and to preserve nature, there are some rules to follow. Next, we will tell you about these rules and other tips to consider when camping in Portugal.
Some years ago, it was possible to camp in Portugal freely in front of the beaches and many holidaymakers perceived Portugal as a free camping country. However, due to the massive camping wave which resulted in increasing trash and toilet paper residuals in nature and parking near the beaches, the Portuguese government took measures to keep nature clean. Since March 2021 sleeping outside of campsites or other indicated areas – commonly known as wild camping – is strictly forbidden in all Portugal.
Nevertheless, during the day you can freely travel with your campervan, park in any place for pick-nicks and enjoying nature. But from 21h00 to 7h00 to the next day it is forbidden to stay inside of your campervan, as it will be considered as wild camping.
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.
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Ocean Camper wishes a safe and pleasant camping holidays in Portugal.