I wasn’t expecting to like Camping Marbella Playa. We stopped there so we could fairly easily take Sweep to the vet the next after he got himself stung by something and had an allergic reaction. We only intended to stay for one night but ended up staying for four. It’s a story we heard a few times from other ‘lifers’ at the campsite who had come for a week and were still there a year and a half later.
Possibly if we’d come here during high season we’d have disappeared again the next day with a sigh of relief but when we stopped there (mid May) it was still very quiet.
It’s a large campsite which I don’t usually like but the space meant we could easily find a corner almost to ourselves and spread out a bit.
Despite the signs saying dogs must be kept on leads and all that rubbish, Sweep still wandered around untethered and several other pooches seemed to be doing the same. We’re all big fans of that. Dogs are awesome and need their freedom just as much as we all do.
Many of the pitches – that vary in size but err on the size of spacious – have shade from tall silver trees. There are four toilet blocks and whilst they don’t look particularly modern or high tech, they are kept clean and the water is consistently hot. There are no dials on the showers so you only get one consistent temperature, which can be a good thing as you don’t suddenly go from ice cold to scalded alive at the mercy of a temperamental shower.
Camping Marbella Playa has a massive supermarket – the size of an actual supermarket and so you can quite easily camp up for a few days and not have to worry about driving. The supermarket stocks meat, fresh vegetables, camping supplies such as tables, gas bottles, sleeping bags etc, along with a large range of cereal, wine, cookies, cakes, chocolate, potato chips, cheese, yogurt and Mexican ingredients such as tacos, refried beans, guacamole. The supermarket is open Monday to Saturday until 9pm.
There is an outdoor pool and two restaurants serving typical Spanish food and tapas.
The staff are friendly and once you have registered you are just left to do your own thing without being patrolled by camping police like some sites I’ve been too.
Although the pitches are marked out, those around the perimeter of the site have more of a loose and irregular feel to them, so you don’t feel like you are living in a car park.
There are buses from just outside the site to either Marbella or Fuengirola. The beach is a two to five minute walk away when the beach gates are open (during the day and early evening) and there are lots of restaurants and chiringuitos to choose from there.
We walked Sweep on the beach early morning (8-9ish) and in the evening (after 8pm) and had no problems. There were quite a few other dogs on the beach. We’ve heard tales of plain-clothes police fining people for loose dogs on the beach, although I spoke to a lovely English guy that has worked on the beach for thirteen years who said he’d never heard of anyone getting fined. It’s hard to not be paranoid. If you do walk your little furry one/s on the beach make sure you have a lead with you, poo bags to demonstrate your intention to pick up poo and try to go when the beach is quiet. Eg early morning or after dark.
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