The laws surrounding wild camping in Spain are a little sketchy at best. Some people say it’s completely illegal to park on the beach or anywhere other than a designated camp site, while others maintain that it’s okay to do it as long as you’re more than 2km from the nearest site. Whichever the case it was great to see wild campers flouting the law at Havana Beach one weekend in late May.
We’d been parked there for the best part of five days by the time the masses of caravanners, campervanners and plain old fashioned campers arrived with their cars and tents to take up residence for a weekend of sun, barbecues and downright relaxation.
The law states that if you put anything outside your vehicle such as steps, tables and chairs or erect your awning, the police can fine you heavily for wild camping, whereas if you park, remain quiet and are respectful of the area the police cannot prove that you;ve actually camped and will normally not bother you.
So this particular Friday night in late May was one of great amusement to me as Spanish families turned up in their droves and pitched tents, gazebos, awnings and whatever else they had on board their mobile weekend homes. Before long the air was thick with the smell of barbecues and the beach was alive with noise, hustle, bustle and fun altogether.
The police had driven by every night so this is where the law becomes hazy. Clearly the families were doing no harm at all and were there for a good time and some relaxation. So it begs the question that if this is acceptable; to pitch up without a single legal concern, why are there so many differing views about the legal ramifications surrounding wild camping?
Our experiences over the past 18 months have proved that the Spanish police do not have a problem with people wild camping and even when staying in the same place for five or six days we have never been hassled or asked to move on.
If the wild campers were flouting the law at Havana Beach then the law didn’t seem to mind. With that slice of knowledge from experience, I don’t see any reason why the wild camping adventure shouldn’t continue.
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