Parked not Camping

The opposition party in Almuñécar, Convergencia Andaluza has denounced the presence of camper vans on Cantarriján and the Marina de Este.

LHR Camper Vans on CantarrijanThe CA, which is ex-Mayor Benavides’s party, claims that their presence is annoying residents and businesses in La Herradura, who, they say, feel negatively affected.

“During these last few weeks there have been many such vehicles that are parked on the said beaches, especially on Cantarriján, which is part of the protected Paraje Natural Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo where camping is strictly prohibited,” said the CA Councillor, Joaquín Cabrera García.

The CA has called upon First Councillor for La Herradura, Juan José Ruiz Joya, to act urgently to stamp out this “uncontrolled parking in natural spaces and which in practice constitutes unfair competition for the Camping de La Herradura.”

“It is intolerable that camper vans are moved on from other beaches in Almuñécar and other towns along the Costa Tropical whilst uncontrolled parking is permitted in areas where it is not allowed,” he added.

First Councillor Ruiz Joya responded that there is a difference between parking and camping: “what they cannot do is occupy public space by putting out tables and chairs, which is camping,” adding, “these vehicles have the right to park up.”

He also suggested that the CA brought to the attention of the Policía Local cases of illegal camping immediately instead of waiting several days to complain.

Editorial comment: how can the campsite in La Herradura complain? Do the hotels complain when people use this camping facilities instead of their establishments? Camper-van users bring money into the town, buy at shops, eat at restaurants… or do people seriously think that they lock themselves up in their vehicles and never venture out?

As long as these camper vans (recreational vehicles) do not start setting up their tables and chairs on the pavement or beaches, they are not camping; they are simply parked. Having said that, they shouldn’t be parked on Cantarriján beach – the Marina del Este parking area is another matter.

(News: Herradura, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

  9 comments for “Parked not Camping

  1. Marcello
    March 1, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    Trucks from diving schools and campers at marina del este. It’s a complete disaster. Even Malaga airport is an oasis of calm compared to Marina del este.

  2. February 23, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    Angus, you’re looking for a squabble with time on your hands and I am looking at the 23rd of Febuary and getting a paper edition to the printer in time to be out for the first of March – we have conflicting interests, it seems.

    I would be more than happy to take this matter up later next week but in the meantime, try not confuse an illegal settlement (Órgiva) with a a touring, camper van. 😉

  3. angus
    February 23, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    Thanks for your reply.

    I am a little confused whether it was in your capacity as editorial for Seaside Gazette or present/ former spokesperson for the Campervan Owners Association ( Andalusia Branch ).

    Perhaps, like myself, you may be taking or writing a too one sided viewpoint on this topic. You have mentioned no negatives on use of campervans , for example of the campervans at the local beach, which brought up many of the negatives of unrestrained libertarianism of some campervan owners.

    I bought in the example of second home owners, not as a complaint of having to pay taxes, but to show that others may have a different viewpoint or perspective.

    Your knowledge, is certainly on the ball, on where these numerous campervans are based, recent movements , and details such as whether they are new or second hand. Was this information based on in depth journalistic investigation or obtained from undisclosed third party sources.

    From memory, I believe that a recent reference to campervans ,which exited or were moved on from either Orgivan or Lanjaron , when the recent lockdown was introduced. This was given as the reason was the ” influx” of camper vans to the coastal areas. This reason would appear to be far from the reason for campervan use which you stated in your reply to me.

    As a consequence, this topic is much more complex, than your article/responses suggest. I just wanted to highlight differing viewpoints on the topic.

    Finally, can I have the contact details for the C.O.A.

  4. February 23, 2021 at 3:25 pm

    Angus: I get the impression that your chief beef is that you have a second home and can’t get here and are therefore miffed that camper-van owners have the audacity to do what you cannot.

    If you’re in the UK, you can’t get here on a Jumbo 747 or in a camper van, so bringing that up appears to have nothing to do with the fact that movement within the province has been permissible since before Christmas.

    Not everybody can afford a second home but some can afford a second-hand camper-van, and I am referring to Spaniards living in Granada or further up. They can’t get out of the province, just the same that you can’t get into it, but they can get down to the beach.

    Camper vans started appearing last weekend because Granada and the metropolitan area was opened up, as is the case in the coastal towns.

    But in reality we’re not talking about the Pandemic or whether you pay your taxes on your second home or not – we’re talking about the future of the Costa Tropical and off-season tourism, which has plenty of room for development.

    Campsites are great for those who want the facilities and community spirit that you find in one. Hotels are great for those that want a holiday where you are everything is laid on and to top it all they keep your kids entertained whilst you take a break from them.

    Many camper-van users prefer to use campsites, both for security reasons and because they lay on all sorts of amenities. Some don’t; they want to discover a country, moving around without having to pack and unpack each night in a hotel or to put up with noisy neighbours on a campsite.

    One thing for sure is if anybody dares to mention being in favour of camper-van tourism… you’re going to get flak. 😉

  5. February 23, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    Peter: I was referring to a Torrenueva set up; private enterprise with town-hall backing; i.e., collaborating by fast tracking administrative procedure. It can be on private land or public land but run in both cases by a private entity. Take a look at the blue-zone set up; public space, privately run

  6. Angus
    February 23, 2021 at 1:02 pm

    And I thought Almunecar/La Herradura ( and the most of the Province ) were until recently locked down . But from reports of camper vans appearing in various areas , the ” tourists ” in camper vans appear to be able to to roam freely, and not be bound by the tenets of the lockdown. So much for whether these free spirited camper vans owners or ” travellers ” have either a TIE or NIE .

    What is the objection from editorial staff in saying it isn’t the answer to push the camper vans into standard campsites. Why ? Cause then these people would have to pay for the campsite charges ?? So payment for ” traditional ” campsite isn’t classed as bringing money into the town , or shops restaurants ,
    Some people would say your average camper vaner will go anywhere and park anywhere , as to ensure that they don’t have to fork out any euros.

    So councils should fork out taxpayers money , to finance and establish specific campervans sites for them to park/camp/settle …Free sites of course ..???

    Compare that proposal , to the many more people who have second homes in the area, who have and continue to bring much needed finance to the area, who are taxed on on their second homes. Even during lockdown, when the majority of these second home owners, cannot either enter the country or the area of the their properties , still have to pay second home taxes.

    Most people have gone way past, thinking camper vans and their owners , are some sort of ” Hollywood ” vision of mystical free spirits and kings of the road…. Even with the councils faults, they are trying to upgrade the image of the town, by encouraging true invest into the town, which will help all population. I am unsure whether investing in free purpose built camper van areas will add much positiveness for Almunecar /La Herradura area.

    Perhaps the camper vans can instead head up the valley, to camp/park in splendored insolation.

  7. Peter Ceann
    February 23, 2021 at 11:40 am


    I think you missed my point. Torrenueva is a private initiative on private land. If the town hall in Torrenueva set up in competition to the private initiative, by allowing parking on public land, then private business stands no chance to survive.

    Imagine a chiringuito sets up on the beach and pays all the taxes etc. Then the town hall set up a place on the sand giving away beer and paella and charges itself no taxes. That is the same as the town hall offering free parking in competition to the private initiative.

    So we choose private or public, we can’t have both.

  8. February 23, 2021 at 10:47 am

    Peter: The stance is that Costa Tropical needs this kind of tourism, especially off season. Therefore more coastal towns should follow Torrenueva’s lead and provide specific parking areas for them, instead of running them out of town. Pushing them into standard campsites is not the answer.

    The same as you can’t park a coach in a car park, you can’t park a car in a coach park, therefore, camper vans should not be allowed to take up car or coach parks but should have an alternative parking area, which users must leave at a certain time in the evening or pay an overnight parking charge in order to remain. Only a certain amount of overnight stays should be permitted, such as three nights, so that there is a turn over and room for new arrivals.

    You can’t park on beaches, whether your vehicle is a car or a camper van, especially in the case of a protected area such as the Cantarriján beach and surroundings.

    Why should camper vans be charged to park up over night when normal car users are not required to on a town’s street? Because the occupants of the latter do not sleep in them.

    Thank you for your feedback, by the way 😉

  9. Peter Ceann
    February 23, 2021 at 10:22 am

    I am slightly confused by the editorial stance of the seaside gazette. A recent article applauded Torrenueva for bringing a paid parking ground to the town. However an effort by a councillor in Almunecar to protect a paid parking ground in La Herradura is ridiculed.

    If Torrenueva allowed free parking for campervans then the new business would not be feasible. Either the councils make the decision to allow free parking in designated zones or they don’t in which case private businesses take up the slack. However for a private business to survive the need to be on a level playing field and knowing the rules are not going to change and the face competition from a free provider who sets the rules for everyone (the council).

    I personally welcome those campervans and the life they bring to the towns of the coast in the off season but I also understand that we cannot have our cake and eat it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *