Our complete guide for Algarve camping will help you make sure your camping break is stress free.
In the Algarve region, camping is an incredibly popular activity. No
matter the time of year, motorhomes and campervans can be found working
their way through the area.
And given that the Algarve has very little rain from April to October, camping is the perfect way to really and truly experience one of the most beautiful regions in Portugal.
But, before you park your campers or pitch your tents, there are a few things you need to now.
From the cliffs of the Algarve coast to the mountains of Monchique, there are plenty of places to set yourself up a great camping experience.
While it might be tempting to just pitch your tent on one of the many incredible beaches or atop a breathtaking landmark like Ponta da Piedade, you’d be better served following the rules.
Wild camping (or free camping) is illegal in Portugal so you will want to limit your activities to a campsite or a motorhome-friendly accommodation. Luckily, there are plenty of these locations in the region. If camping is going to be a part of your Algarve holiday plans, it is best to familiarize yourself with the Algarve Motorhome Support Network, known here as the RAARA.
Set up in 2015, this support network promotes legal campsites and motorhome sites across the Algarve. If you come across a site that isn’t a member of RAARA it may not be up to standards or it could be illegal so be careful.
Parking your camper or motorhome outside of legal sites may go relatively unnoticed, especially in the winter months, but it is not worth the risk. Camping outside of the law can result in a hefty fine.
No matter what type of adventure you are planning, camping is a great addition to the itinerary. From tent camping to glamping in a bungalow, the Algarve has you covered.
The following campsites are either public or private sites. Private sites must display a “P” and are typically only for members.
Generally, sites are ranked from 1 to 4 stares, with 4 stars being the best. The numbers used to identify the following sites correspond to the map above. For clarity, we have listed them from west to east.
Orbitur runs four campsites in the Algarve.
The first site (1) is located near the town Sagres in the far western part of the region. This area is known for it’s natural beauty (like Cape St Vincent) and is home to some of the best surfing in the Algarve.
Valverde (4) is found near Lagos, one of the most popular towns in the whole Algarve. There are lots of nearby things to do during the day. Visit historical sites like the Slave Market Museum or Ponta da Bandeira, or take in the natural sites like Ponta da Piedade or the beautiful Praia Dona Ana.
The next site (10) is located near Quarteira. This is a great place to set up as the town is home to blue flag beaches, an amazing fish market, and a seafront promenade that stretches for 3km, all the way to Vilamoura.
The fourth site, not found on this map, is an island the Ria Formosa which is opposite Olhao in the east of the region. If you are flying into Faro, this spot is only 15 minutes from the Faro airport, making it the perfect place to start your Algarve adventure.
The Orbitur site is in several languages and conveniently provides online booking and maps. The Quarteira and Valverde sites are rated 3 stars and Sagres is a 2 star.
The Serrao campsite is located just north of Aljezur on the west coast. This campsite is designated for both caravans and tents. With access to extensive facilities (including a restaurant, grocery store, car wash, barbecue, pool, and tennis courts) you will have everything you need within walking distance.
But if you wanted to venture away from the campsite and into town, you will not be disappointed. From the hills of Costa Vicentina National Park to the sands of Praia da Arrifana, this is one of the most beautiful regions in the Algarve. Just a 30-minute drive away is Praia do Amado, a beautiful beach and prime surfing location.
And beyond the natural beauty, there are plenty of interesting historical sites in the region like the 10th century Moorish Aljezur Castle
Turiscampo, just outside of Lagos, is a campsite and bungalow park. This camping area has bungalows and cottages available for rent which can offer a small respite from the wilderness and can offer a good night’s sleep!
This camping spot includes many amenities like a restaurant, wellness clinic, day and nighttime entertainment, and a large swimming pool.
As mentioned above, there is plenty to do in Lagos. If you are looking for the perfect way to spend a day, consider hopping on a boat tour or renting a kayak or stand up paddleboard to take in the cliffs, arches, and grottos of Ponta da Piedade. If you’d rather stay on land, there are clifftop footpaths that are ideal for hiking and offer stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Turiscampo website can be read in multiple languages and takes online bookings. This campsite has a 2 star rating.
Traveling east from Lagos, you will find Camping Alvor situated near the town of Alvor.
The 4.5-hectare campsite on the River Alvor includes a playground, pub, restaurant, pool, farm, barbecue, AND car washing facilities. There are also apartments and lodges for rent, should you be looking to sleep indoors.
Alvor is a charming, quiet fishing village. One of its most interesting features is the boardwalk that spans the Ria de Alvor Nature Reserve. Not only will walking this boardwalk provide stunning views of the estuary, but it might also provide you with a glimpse of some of the bird species that call the area home. If you’ve ever wanted to see flamingos in their natural habitat, this is where you need to be! For something a little more active, rent a bicycle from the main beach in the area, Praia de Alvor, and go exploring!
Camping Alvor is perfectly situated for day trips. Near both Lagos and Portimao, there will be no shortage of things to do.
There are online bookings available and the campsite has a 2 star rating.
Parque de Campismo at Ferragudo is close to Portimao. The campsite’s website is exclusively in Portuguese and is not fully up to date. If you’d like more information on camping here, contact us for details.
Despite the lack of available online information about the campsite, Portimao is one of the best areas to visit. Home to some of the best beaches in the Algarve, Portimao will not disappoint. 25 minutes away, you’ll find Praia da Rocha. This resort town may not have all of the historic sites found in some other places but it does have some of the region’s best restaurants and some pretty incredible nightlife!
Camping Armacao de Pera is located near Albufeira. This place to camp has much to offer, including a playground, catering, swimming pool, and a shop for groceries.
Albufeira is a bustling resort town with festivals, bars, clubs, restaurants, beaches, and nearby golf courses. Everything you would need for a truly fun and exciting camping holiday.
The web site is in several languages but online booking is not available. Just call us if you want us to book. This is a 3 star campsite.
Also at Armacao de Pera is Camping Canelas. This 4-hectare campsite has apartments for rent, a cafe, restaurant, mini-market, and on-site laundry.
Again, this is a location that is well situated if you wanted to take a little road trip to the surrounding areas. Just a 20 minute drive away is the must-see Benagil Sea Cave. Spend the day on the beach, take a trip on a short boat tour, or kayak around this truly unique and beautiful location.
The Camping Canelas website includes a virtual tour that can help you decide if this is the place for you. Prices are available online but booking is not. This is a 3 star campsite.
Closer to the resort town of Albufeira is Albufeira Camping. This is another place with several amenities. It has a supermarket, restaurant, bar, disco, swimming pool, tennis courts, playground, and a car wash. Whether you want to pitch a tent, park a campervan, or rent a bungalow, Albufeira Camping is the ideal location.
And with such a range of on-site facilities, it is a good place for children and families.
The website is in several languages with an online price list. Unfortunately, online booking is not available. This is 4 star campsite.
Parque de Campismo e Caravanismo de Olhao is a campsite located near Olhao in the eastern side of the Algarve close to the Ria Formosa.
The site itself has 2 tennis courts, 2 swimming pools (one specifically for children), a sports field, playground, restaurant, snack bar, ice cream, shop, cafe, and laundry.
The town of Olhao is worth checking out. The popular fish market offers some of the best and freshest catches in the Algarve. There are also a handful of museums to visit while exploring the historic town square. If you’re looking for a day in the water, head to Ilha da Culatra. The clear waters here make it ideal for diving and snorkeling. For a day in the sun and sand, head to Ilha da Armona where you will find both Praia da Fuseta-Mar and Praia da Armona.
These islands are both part of the Ria Formosa Nature Park, one of the most significant wetlands in all of Europe.
The website is in Portuguese only and booking is not available online. Call us if you want to know more or to make a booking. This is a 3 star campsite.
At Fuseta, in between Olhao and Tavira, is the campsite Roteiro Campista.
The eastern part of the Algarve is less populated with resort towns and tourists giving you an authentic taste of the local culture and history. Tavira, which is about 20 minutes from Fuseta, is almost like stepping back in time. Historic churches, a Moorish fortress, and stunning beaches are among the top attractions here.
If you are looking for a quiet and relaxed place to camp, this is it. There is not a lot of information available online so if you are interested in this location and would like to learn more or book a site, give us a call. This is a 2 star campsite.
East of Tavira, is Camping Rio Formosa. Located near the Rio Formosa, this place lets you explore the beauty of the great outdoors while spending the night in comfort and luxury.
This campsite allows for tent camping and has several modern bungalows and mobile homes available to rent. The onsite amenities include free wi-fi, a restaurant, gym, swimming pools (one for children, one for adults), a grocery shop, an artificial lake, a reading room, and a barbecue zone.
The website is in multiple languages, but booking cannot be done online. Call us to organize your trip for you.
Parque de Campismo de Monte Gordo is found in the far eastern region of the Algarve, before the Spanish border. Close to Praia de Monte Gordo, this site is located in the Vila Real de Santo António Coastal Dunes National Forest. Because this park is located in such a natural space, it is best to follow all site regulations to avoid sparking a forest fire and leave no trace when you go.
Beyond its 3 star rating, there is not much information about this campsite available online so please contact us to learn more.
Hidden in the mountains, away from the coast are two approved campsites.
The Parque Rural Vale da Carrasqueira campsite is in the Monchique mountains and located just a short drive from the town of Monchique. Monchique provides a different Algarve experience as it is located close to the highest point in the region.
Facilities at this location include a swimming pool, barbecue, dining room and a bar with a snooker table. Apartments are also available to rent.
This is the perfect place to stop and take a deep breath. The clean mountain air, hiking trails, and nearby spa are ideal for a wellness retreat or a quiet escape from the busy beaches and nightlife found along the coast.
The site is in English but online booking is not available. Call us to help you set things up.
For a bit of rest, camp at Parque Rural da Quinta de Odelouca. This peaceful campsite is located in the Ribeira de Odelouca river basin, allowing you to escape from it all. Quiet hours are enforced from 10:30 pm to 7am, so you really reap the benefits of a restorative sleep after taking in the views and spending some time star gazing is this rural place.
This place has a saltwater pool and offers Wi-Fi and hiking, cycling, or car tours of the area.
The site is in several languages and prices are online. Call us to book.
There are not many Motorhome parks in the region and most of the websites don’t offer much in the way of information. But here are some details we are able to share:
The Algarve Motorhome Park has two sites, one at Silves and the other at Falesia which is close to Olhos D'Agua. These sites have several amenities and are only a short distance from town, giving you plenty of things to do with your time.
The KM64 - Parque de Autocaravanas is close to the EN125 at Pera and is conveniently located near some theme parks and isn’t far from the beaches.
The Parque de Autocaravanismo da Manta Rota found halfway between Tavira and Vila Real de Santo Antonio, right along the beach at Manta Rota.
In Vila Real de Santo Antonio is the Área de Serviço da Muralha. The site does not have a website so the GPS coordinates are: 37.199166,-7.415833
Inland and very close to the Spanish Border is the Alamada d'ouro club. With a view of the Guadiana river and the Odeleite dam, it has Wi-Fi and a shop.
The Parque do Castelo motorhome park near Silves does not have a website. GPS coordinates are: 37.193550, -8.435893
If you would like more information about any of the sites on this list, do not hesitate to contact us. We will provide added information, assist with bookings, and help you plan your Algarve holiday!