One good thing to come out of the current pandemic is that people have rekindled their appreciation for the great outdoors. With international travel tricky, flashy hotels closed, and cities in semi-lockdown all over the world, admiring the beauty of the natural world has never been more appealing.
One of the easiest ways to admire the natural world is simply to be in it, and there’s never been a better time to load up the car and head to a cool camping spot. Whether you’re in Portugal already, or planning a trip there for once this has all blown over, you’re going to love the scenery it has to offer. With miles and miles of spectacularly rugged coastline, luscious greenery inland, and rocky mountains in the North, there really is something for everyone.
So, let’s take a look at the best place to camp in Portugal while you soak up this incredible scenery.
If you’re some peace and quiet and want a combo of rustic beaches and luscious greenery, then look no further than the Camping Serrão campsite. This little gem is ideally located on the Vincentina Coast (Costa Vicentina), which forms the coastal part of a protected natural park, and you’ll find fantastic beaches dotted all along the coastline.
If you want a rest from driving, you can even walk to the beaches of Praia da Amoreira and Praia da Arrifana, which both offer golden sands with dramatic clifftops backgrounds. They’re great spots for surfing, and there are loads of surf shops nearby where you can pick up a rental board or enquire about lessons. The coastal walks around these beaches offer magnificent views that you’re unlikely to forget.
One of the best things about this campsite is that, unlike many camping spots located this close to the coast, you’ll be surrounded by green hilltops that make for excellent wildlife spotting – keep your eyes open for the numerous bird species you might encounter as well as mammals such as foxes, otters, mongoose, and even lynx if you’re very lucky!
The prices are reasonable all year round, but cheaper during low season, and there are lots of amenities at the camp itself (including pools, a tennis court, and a restaurant).
Address: Herdade do Serrão, 8670-121 Aljezur, Portugal
Phone: (+351) 282 990 220
Open: All Year
Price: High season (06/01-09/30): adults €6, children €3, tent, €5-9, car €4; Low season (10/1-5/31): adults €4, children €2, tent €3.5, car €2.8.
In contrast, if you like to camp in the thick of things, then the Yelloh! Camping campsite will be more up your street. Located in the South of Portugal, this campsite has enough entertainment to keep people of all ages busy for days – swimming pools, spa experiences, golf courses, and more.
Plus, you’re only 2km away from the coast, and the nearby beach of Praia de Luz is a lovely beach to picnic on. If you fancy a hike, then we recommend heading West along the coast from the Luz beach to the town of Burgau – the rock formations and emerald ocean views along the way are delightful. There’s a lovely restaurant as you drop down into Burgau too, although it’s closed at the moment due to corona. Don’t despair though – you’ll be spoiled for super scenic spots along the way that are perfect locations to settled down and enjoy a packed lunch. The walk is roughly 8km in total, depending on your exact start and finish points. It’s a fairly easy route, but there’s one hill that’s quite steep, so make sure you take some water with you.
Praia de Luz is also a surfing hotspot, and there are loads of surf shops in Luz where you can rent a board for a week or sign up to some lessons. Staff at the campsite will be more than happy to help you organize this.
You’re also only 7.5km away from the laid-back holiday town of Lagos, a favorite among international travelers of all ages. It has tonnes of coffee shops and restaurants, and things get lively in the evenings too. There’s a historical fort, plus a marina and loads of beaches to explore, so you should definitely head over for a day trip at some point during your stay.
This campsite is more expensive than many of the more basic options you’ll find, but you do get swathes of amenities included in the cost. Plus, at the moment, administration fees are waived and they have a very flexible cancellation policy (which can be handy in these uncertain times). Check out there website for the latest prices, as they vary depending on your length of stay and the time of year.
Address: E.N. 125 – Espiche, 8600-109, Lagos, Portugal
Phone: (+351) 282 789 265
Open: All Year
Price: Available on Request
If you fancy something a little different, the Salema Eco Camp has some quirky options for sleeping in the great outdoors, including wood safari tents and tips. The tips are our favorites but it’ll cost you €45 for a couple, although this does include electricity, car parking, and linens. There’s definitely a young, hippie surfer vie going on here, but even non-surfers will love this inclusive campsite thanks to its fab location.
Again located within the Costa Vicentina National Park, but further South than Camping Serrão, this campsite has different beaches and towns on its doorstep for you to explore. The nearby beach of Salema is great for surfing, but the town itself is a quaint fishing village that’s a great place to while away a day or so sipping a coffee and watching the world go by. There are other great surfing spots nearby, including the beach of Burgau, and the campsite will be happy to hook you up with a rental board. Don’t worry though, if surfing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other things to get up to, such as sea safaris where you might spot dolphins and whales, or tours around nearby vineyards (what’s a trip to Portugal without sampling the wine after all). Sagres, a town located on Portugal’s SouthWestern tip, is under an hour’s drive away, and again offers lovely beaches as well as an old fort. Plus, you can visit the lighthouse and enjoy a beautiful sunset – at the most western point of Europe.
Prices for pitching up are very reasonable, at just €4 for adults and €2.5 for children, and the camp is surrounded by woodland and has some very picturesque communal areas where you can meet your neighbors.
Address: Salema Beach, 8650-196 Budens, Portugal
Phone: (+351) 282 695 201
Open: All Year
Price: Adults €4, children €2.25, tents €3.5, dog €2, motorhome, €3.75 (for 3+ nights).
We know that the Portuguese coastline is hard to resist… but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some great inland camping spots too. Located in the heart of Portugal, Redondo Lodges and Camping offers an authentic Portuguese camping experience. From the site itself, you’ll have views of the surrounding farmland, home to an abundance of olive groves, as well as local vineyards. You can choose from various sites within the camp, and all offer shady spots and a tranquil experience.
Although there are some campsite activities available that are common to many campsites around Portugal, such as yoga, horseriding, this campsite offers some unique experiences thanks to its proximity to farmland and greenery. For instance, you can join in with the olive harvesting during October and November, gather wile mushrooms in February and November and, if you’re lucky enough to be there for the month of September, you can get involved with the wine harvest.
Furthermore, the camp is located on the outskirts of Tomar, an exceptionally charming town adjacent to the Nabão River. With classic Portuguese architecture, art collections, and ruins to explore, it’s a great way to really get a feel for Portuguese history.
This unique campsite has tonnes to offer that’s missing from seaside spots. It’s a great way to get off the beaten track and have a truly relaxing camping experience while exploring the Portuguese heartland. Oh, and the prices are very reasonable too.
Address: Rua do Casal Rei 6, Poço Redondo, Tomar 2300-035, Junceira, Portugal
Phone: +351 914665243
Open: All Year
Price: Adults €4, children €2.5, car €2.5, tent €5-10, campervan €6-9 (discounts available for stays of over one week).
If you like the ease and sociable nature of holiday resorts, but you don’t want to shell out for a resort apartment, then Camping Albufeira is a great way to get the best of both worlds. This affordable campsite really does have a ‘camp’ feel thanks to its pools, tennis courts, and other amenities. There’s also a spa, self-laundry service, cash machine, and care and bicycle rental on-site, and you can really get to know your neighbors over a glass of wine in one of the many bars – this really is camping made easy!
When you do feel like getting away from the campsite, you can pop into the heart of Albufeira, which is a typical tourist coastal town where you’ll never fall short of entertainment – it’s packed full of bars, pubs, and even rides for you to enjoy. There’s a local dive center, Indigo Divers, that offers diving experiences for beginners as well as first-timers as well as fishing trips. There are tonnes of places to rent kayaks and paddleboards, and at night you’ll be kept busy by the hustle and bustle of ‘the strip’. There are some beaches too, although they aren’t the best in the area for surfing (head to Portimão or Lagos if you want more consistent waves).
You can walk to the busy part of Albufeira, or hop on one of the regular shuttle buses from the camp. Overall, this campsite really is camping made easy – because who says camping has to be smelly and dirty?
Address: Estrada das Ferreiras, EN 395, 8200-555 Albufeira
Phone: 289587629 or 289 587 630
Open: All Year
Price: Vary depending on the season, but never expensive (adult rates vary from 3-6/night). Discounts are available for bookings over 30 days long).
And last, but by no means least, we’re heading right to the North of Portugal to bring you the Ermida Gerês campsite. This is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in Portuguese culture while situating yourself at the foot of the incredible Gerês Natural Park.
This campsite has a truly rural feel to it and is located in a tiny traditional Portuguese village. Here, you’ll come across grazing goats and be encouraged to participate in a community olive production evening at a nearby mill. Aside from these authentic experiences, the main selling point of the camp is its proximity to the Gerês Natural Park. In fact, the camp describes itself as a base camp for mountaineers heading to the park. While there certainly are some challenging routes in the mountains of the park, there are some laid-back trails too, so you’ll be able to find something that suits you, whether or not you consider yourself a mountaineer (check out this page for some of the easier routes the park has to offer). Plus, if you prefer some guidance, the staff at the camp will be more than happy to organize a guided hike for you around the park (and there are canoe tours and jeep safari tours available too).
At the camp itself, there are two distinct areas – one for tent-based camping and one for caravans and motorhomes. You’ll be surrounded by woodland and, ff you like cooking up a good BBQ, then you’re in luck – there are tonnes of BBQs around the camp just waiting to be used. there are also lodges and pre-assembled VIP tents if you fancy switching things up a bit while you’re there.
Address: Lugar da Ermida nº 295, Vilar da Veiga 4845-072 Gerês, Portugal
Phone: 96 984 66 86
Open: Closed until March 31st 2021
Price: Adults €4.3, children €3.9, tent €5.3-6.3, motorhome €7.3 (in low season, add roughly 80 cents for peak season prices).
So, there you have it, a selection of the best campsites in Portugal. As you can see, there really is something for everyone – where you’re a beach bum, a history buff, or a mountaineer, or you just want a simple resort vibe, Portugal has you covered.
Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.