They are a familiar sight along some of Torrevieja’s coastline. The motorhomes that are parked up, sometimes for weeks on end, are back ready for the spring and summer season. Three years ago it was recommended in a report that signs might be placed in their favourite spots to warn them they could not park in these areas. However, this has not taken place.
The motorhomes do not come cheap. They can be valued at anything up to €200,000 and are often extended out with awnings and gazebos. Favourite spots to park include the area between Los Locos beach and Torre del Moro. Another favourite is la cala de Los Trabajos next to Los Locos beach and along the avenida de Soria, next to the Molino del Agua. The car park in front of La Mata cemetery and by the Albentosapark is another spot that the campervans and motorhomes are drawn to.
Their presence can cause bad feeling as there are concerns about environmental damage, local residents can find their views blocked and they can be using local services but without paying any taxes. Local residents argue that little is done to move the motorhome owners on. There is only one inspector in charge of a wide area of coastline in the Vega Baja.
The tourists using this type of accommodation are largely from Central Europe and, to their credit, are usually environmentally aware. They do tend to leave the area tidy and use it responsibly. They like these areas because there is some lighting, they are relatively close to amenities and residential areas and they feel safe.
Their owners can be very responsible in the way they look after the environment and are legitimately staying for short periods of time in each location. Those who are a fan of this kind of lifestyle point out that Spain has few authorised places where they can carry out their types of tourism and this is the only option if they do not want to pay out the significant amounts demanded by some private sites.
Some aspects of their stay are legal. They can park but should not camp and they should not set out tables, chairs and other furniture. However, as things stand they will remain a presence on Torrevieja’s coastline.