PDA

View Full Version : Safety and Security in Spain



John H
24-10-2014, 08:24
I have been prompted to post this because there have been, in recent months, a number of negative points made here and elsewhere about visiting Spain in a motorhome - ranging from robberies to the officious attitude of the police. No doubt there are problems if you use certain motorways, stop overnight in certain motorway service stations and/or tourist hotspots such as Benidorm or Torremolinos but you could say the same about any country (including the UK) and the fact is that the vast majority of Spain is as safe as anywhere.

We have spent the past month touring round the Basque Country, Aragon, Castille, La Mancha, Valencia, Murcia and Andalucia, staying on a mixture of aires, wildspots and campsites and have never felt in the least threatened. In fact, we have never had the alarm on at night and I have noticed large numbers of locals not bothering to lock their car doors or leaving the windows open in the intense heat we have been having recently.

Spain is a very easy country to wildcamp in. There are certain beaches where there have been crackdowns but if you have ever seen the vast motorhome cities that used to characterise places like Mojacar you will understand why. There are still plenty of beaches (some of them with official aires) and if you go back a little way from the beach you can park up almost anywhere and get a welcome from the locals. In fact if you choose places not normally on the tourist route then they are usually surprised and delighted to see you -and in such places, prices are dirt cheap (the lowest so far has been 60 cents for an extremely large glass of wine!).

As for the police, we have only encountered them directly on two occasions - both when we were lost and holding up the traffic. On the first, they gave us a police escort to the aire we were trying to find in San Sebastian and waved goodbye with a cheery "have a good time"; on the second, he gave us very clear directions to the place we were trying to find and then drew himself up to his full five and a half feet and with a very broad grin and in his best English profusely wished us a good journey.

In short, if you are thinking of coming to Spain, don't hesitate - it is a wonderful place to be!

PS The number of free aires and LPG stations is increasing rapidly, which makes the place even more attractive.

jagmanx
24-10-2014, 09:21
Not been to Spain but I am sure this is true.
As in most countries if you are careful and considerate then no problems.
We toured Hungary and Romania recently .. all very good.

Byronic
24-10-2014, 09:58
Let people believe what they want to, encouraging even more people to add to the present overcrowded wildcamping (and campsite inmates)numbers is not a positive. The very reason more aires are being provided is because of this fact. When numbers were fewer there was less of a problem, hence you could wildcamp virtually anywhere, even Mojacar. Less is definitely more!
I fear, and sooner rather than later, that the only options will be official aires or campsites.

John H
24-10-2014, 10:55
Let people believe what they want to, encouraging even more people to add to the present overcrowded wildcamping (and campsite inmates)numbers is not a positive. The very reason more aires are being provided is because of this fact. When numbers were fewer there was less of a problem, hence you could wildcamp virtually anywhere, even Mojacar. Less is definitely more!
I fear, and sooner rather than later, that the only options will be official aires or campsites.

I take your point but don't share your pessimism. The difference between "parking" and "camping" is enshrined in Spanish law (pity it isn't in the UK!). Thus, if you only have wheels on the ground and nothing outside the van, you are parked (and neither the police nor anyone else is bothered whether you are eating, sleeping or ****ing!) Thus, if there is no rule preventing parking you are free to stop. Sometimes they put 24/48/72 hour limits but I have no problem with that.

kenspain
24-10-2014, 11:02
Don,t tell them all this or we will be full up down here tell them its always raining and they will stay away. Like to day 1pm and its 29 deg up here now.:cheers:

John H
24-10-2014, 11:04
Don,t tell them all this or we will be full up down here tell them its always raining and they will stay away. Like to day 1pm and its 29 deg up here now.:cheers:

Sorry, Ken - I won't tell them its 28 here and I've just spent an hour in the sea, then. :cheers:

ian81
24-10-2014, 11:09
Utterly endorse John's post. We have wild camped over 150 nights in Spain over past 6 years and love the place. Police and people are friendly and helpful.

Sadly the growth in motorhoming across Europe is such that popular spots get overcrowded and cause resentment from locals. However on the continent parking places are being expanded -unlike the UK where the mantra increasingly seems to ban overnight parking.

In nearly 10 years and 1800 nights wild camping in 29 countries including Romania and Bulgaria the only country that causes us any anxiety (security and parking) is the UK or more specifically England

vwalan
24-10-2014, 11:59
last winter it was terrible the guardia kept moving everyone . they were coming round every day. vans were being broken into all over the place . plus hardly had any warm days in winter . its only end of summer now . you forgot to tell about the deep snow and rivers flooding all over spain earlier this year. we was going to vist klen but had to delay it as the roads were blocked .
i think the algarve is the place to be . no breakins . loads of sun . airres popping up all over . and its cheaper there as well.
strangey i find uk easy for wilding . and in the bigger cities easier still.

Byronic
24-10-2014, 12:17
I take your point but don't share your pessimism. The difference between "parking" and "camping" is enshrined in Spanish law (pity it isn't in the UK!). Thus, if you only have wheels on the ground and nothing outside the van, you are parked (and neither the police nor anyone else is bothered whether you are eating, sleeping or ****ing!) Thus, if there is no rule preventing parking you are free to stop. Sometimes they put 24/48/72 hour limits but I have no problem with that.

It's not pessimism, if the pastime doesn't grow any more popular than it is already, or even better reduces in scale, I'll be well pleased. I prefer not to give any more encouragement than is necessary! Selfish...you bet, what people don't know about they won't miss, they'll probably just carry on taking package holidays.

Most on this site are well aware of the camping/parking definitions and what they mean in general, nevertheless sometimes you are compelled (within reason!) to stand your ground on this matter when faced with whatever branch of the Spanish Plod Squad who decides to enforce his version of the Law. And believe me some like to see things their way!

You could say even the 24/48/72 time limits and the camping versus parking Laws have been introduced as a result of the increase in motorhome popularity over recent years.

ian81
24-10-2014, 12:20
last winter it was terrible the guardia kept moving everyone . they were coming round every day. vans were being broken into all over the place . plus hardly had any warm days in winter . its only end of summer now . you forgot to tell about the deep snow and rivers flooding all over spain earlier this year. we was going to vist klen but had to delay it as the roads were blocked .
i think the algarve is the place to be . no breakins . loads of sun . airres popping up all over . and its cheaper there as well.
strangey i find uk easy for wilding . and in the bigger cities easier still.

Last winter we did 50 nights in Spain no breaks in no guarda no problems FANTASTIC time. Weather mixed. For the record I attach a list of the places we stayed (gps co-ords and dates available) to refute vwalan assertions.

I challenge him to be more specific about where the problems were as this doesn't ring true. I am not saying there aren't any break ins or move ons but if you park responsibly and obey like bylaws you will be OK
La Rabida
Punta Umbria
Mazagon Marina
Mazagon Parador
El Rocio
Gelves port
Alcala de Guadaira
Old rly stn nr Coripe
Grazalema
El Bosque
Olvera
Embalse Guadalteba
nr Carratraca
coast N of Toremolinos
La Cala de Mijas
s of Estepona
Punta Mala
w of Tarifa
Punta Paloma
Castillo de Castellar
Benarraba
Embalse Guadalteba
Torrox Costa
Balerma
Agua Amarga
Mojacar
Cope
La Cova Negro
Poblo Nou del Delta
Malgrat De Mar

Byronic
24-10-2014, 12:32
last winter it was terrible the guardia kept moving everyone . they were coming round every day. vans were being broken into all over the place . plus hardly had any warm days in winter . its only end of summer now . you forgot to tell about the deep snow and rivers flooding all over spain earlier this year. we was going to vist klen but had to delay it as the roads were blocked .
i think the algarve is the place to be . no breakins . loads of sun . airres popping up all over . and its cheaper there as well.
strangey i find uk easy for wilding . and in the bigger cities easier still.

Hahaha, I had a pair of flip flops nicked from my van step in Lagos a few years ago, so the Algarve is not quite the rosy picture you paint. But everything you say regarding Spain is true.

John H
24-10-2014, 12:40
Last winter we did 50 nights in Spain no breaks in no guarda no problems FANTASTIC time. Weather mixed. For the record I attach a list of the places we stayed (gps co-ords and dates available) to refute vwalan assertions.

I challenge him to be more specific about where the problems were as this doesn't ring true. I am not saying there aren't any break ins or move ons but if you park responsibly and obey like bylaws you will be OK


I think you'll find that Alan's post was just a little tongue-in-cheek :lol-053:

As an aside, I've just been listening to a programme on Radio 4 in which people who live on houseboats in the London area are starting to have the same problems as motorhomers with people demanding that they be moved on. Perhaps Byronic is right that we are becoming victims of our own success - but there are still plenty of places if you avoid the crowds.

kenspain
24-10-2014, 12:45
No it was brandy time in Alan's house he must be getting short of the stuff bet he will be over here soon stocking up . :lol-049::lol-049::lol-049::wave:

vwalan
24-10-2014, 12:47
well what can i say . you may challenge my words .
must get off to the doctors i cant argue with you have this lump come up on the side of my mouth . and its hard to speak.
not sure but i think some tinto might cure it . ha ha .
but was marion still at punta mala .
havent been there for awhile .
but have fun .

Byronic
24-10-2014, 13:17
I think you'll find that Alan's post was just a little tongue-in-cheek :lol-053:

As an aside, I've just been listening to a programme on Radio 4 in which people who live on houseboats in the London area are starting to have the same problems as motorhomers with people demanding that they be moved on. Perhaps Byronic is right that we are becoming victims of our own success - but there are still plenty of places if you avoid the crowds.


Although, the ian81 post does inadvertently highlight a few truisms (at least to me) viz. when the Spanish economy was booming the authorities became noticeably less tolerant of wildcamping. Then in recent years when the ecomomy took a turn for the worse, a blind eye tended to be turned to wildcamping, any cash from whatever source was welcome by local businesses hence no complaints.
That and related aspects that were far more important matters to think about, than a bunch of coffin dodging wildcamping generally law abiding foreigners, at least so in the winter season.

Most habitual Spain winterers that I know came to a similar conclusion.

John H
24-10-2014, 13:25
Although, the ian81 post does inadvertently highlight a few truisms (at least to me) viz. when the Spanish economy was booming the authorities became noticeably less tolerant of wildcamping. Then in recent years when the ecomomy took a turn for the worse, a blind eye tended to be turned to wildcamping, any cash from whatever source was welcome by local businesses hence no complaints.
That and related aspects that were far more important matters to think about, than a bunch of coffin dodging wildcamping generally law abiding foreigners, at least so in the winter season.

Most habitual Spain winterers that I know came to a similar conclusion.

I think that your comment relates to a very small area of Spain -where motorhomers formed vast cities of wildcamps. Even during the boom years, we never found any problem with the police or with stopping overnight anywhere that we wanted to stop- and we have been wintering in Spain every other year since 2002.

podge1140
24-10-2014, 14:02
Last year driving down to my apartment in Calpe we decided to stop in Barcelona for a visit, on our way in we were driving down the main drag, we started to get a couple of men running by the side of van, you have a tyre going down stop and we will help you, I knew straight away my tyre had been stabbed so I carried on driving until they gave up (a hole in the side wall makes the tyre un-repairable) and stopped further down and changed the tyre, when I got to Calpe the local garage ordered me a new one, on investigation it had damage to the side wall, it had been stabbed. About five years ago my wife was mugged whilst walking behind me, she was punched and her bag stolen, I chased him and got the bag back, but he got away. In Alicante we were waiting for a bus to the airport and two men attempted to get my wife hemmed in by asking her directions on a street map, trying to get to her bag, I had to physically move them away and threaten them. Now I know you are referring to wild camping, but the premise that Spain is a very safe place is not true, I have many cases of friends being robbed coming from the Airport, they had to stop putting stickers on hire cars, I know I feel a lot safer in France than I do in Spain, then again I can be a very aggressive person if I want to, so I'm not bothered by threats.

Byronic
24-10-2014, 14:49
I think that your comment relates to a very small area of Spain -where motorhomers formed vast cities of wildcamps. Even during the boom years, we never found any problem with the police or with stopping overnight anywhere that we wanted to stop- and we have been wintering in Spain every other year since 2002.

Yes of course I'm commenting on areas frequented by the majority of wildcampers particularly in the winter, TBH I took that for granted. Certainly if you wish to stop somewhere less popular then chances are you will be less likely to be perceived as a nuisance, but they're are usually so for a reasons which prove not to be amenable to many campers eg not on the warm coast.
I dare say if you wintered somewhere in the Pyrenees the only problem you'll have is if the search party doesn't find you in the spring:)

Since you bandy the hit and miss wintering since 2002 statement. All I can say is I've been motorhome wintering in Spain every year since 1993 and odd years such as in 1972 and visited Spain most weekends from 1952 until 1958 in a pram mostly!

Do you not hole up at C de G? Just wondering.

big tom
24-10-2014, 14:53
Hahaha, I had a pair of flip flops nicked from my van step in Lagos a few years ago, so the Algarve is not quite the rosy picture you paint. But everything you say regarding Spain is true.

This happened to me me in Italy I left them both on the step overnight in the morning one was missing I searched all over for it keeping an eye open for someone laughing their head off but I never found it.

Byronic
24-10-2014, 15:07
well what can i say . you may challenge my words .
must get off to the doctors i cant argue with you have this lump come up on the side of my mouth . and its hard to speak.
not sure but i think some tinto might cure it . ha ha .
but was marion still at punta mala .
havent been there for awhile .
but have fun .

Well here's hoping you don't have to put off the southern migration.

Marion was at Punta Mala, at least her dogs were. Didn't see her. I walked around her M/Homes on the path at a distance, not as distant as I should have been! Those dawgs came at me and I haven't had a Rabies jab, the smaller ones were the worst. I have nightmares about xbred Chihuahuas now.
I suspect she had gone shopping or has gone totally reclusive. Not the same there with the proximity of the golf course and Alcaidesa Fraudulent Development not much left unspoilt, and idiots are more concerned about wildcampers....... proportion and sense come to mind.

kenspain
24-10-2014, 15:30
Last year driving down to my apartment in Calpe we decided to stop in Barcelona for a visit, on our way in we were driving down the main drag, we started to get a couple of men running by the side of van, you have a tyre going down stop and we will help you, I knew straight away my tyre had been stabbed so I carried on driving until they gave up (a hole in the side wall makes the tyre un-repairable) and stopped further down and changed the tyre, when I got to Calpe the local garage ordered me a new one, on investigation it had damage to the side wall, it had been stabbed. About five years ago my wife was mugged whilst walking behind me, she was punched and her bag stolen, I chased him and got the bag back, but he got away. In Alicante we were waiting for a bus to the airport and two men attempted to get my wife hemmed in by asking her directions on a street map, trying to get to her bag, I had to physically move them away and threaten them. Now I know you are referring to wild camping, but the premise that Spain is a very safe place is not true, I have many cases of friends being robbed coming from the Airport, they had to stop putting stickers on hire cars, I know I feel a lot safer in France than I do in Spain, then again I can be a very aggressive person if I want to, so I'm not bothered by threats.

Well there must be something wrong with me then i have been wild camping here now 19 years, went to sleep when fishing on the beach well drinking to and never had a problem i have known friends that have been rob but not as bad as other country.s,

Byronic
24-10-2014, 15:50
Well there must be something wrong with me then i have been wild camping here now 19 years, went to sleep when fishing on the beach well drinking to and never had a problem i have known friends that have been rob but not as bad as other country.s,

Even robbers have standards :D Or perhaps you were too pissed to know:D

The Spanish blame recent immigrants for the rise in crime, especially those found on the costas, not saying what I believe.
You must have noted the stories that go around, and in the papers.

kenspain
24-10-2014, 15:59
In the area my son works 65% of the ones they nick for many crimes here are not Spanish I not saying where from so no one will get upset.:wave:

snowbirds
24-10-2014, 16:04
IT Wasn't ME:angel::angel:

Snowbirds.:tongue:




In the area my son works 65% of the ones they nick for many crimes here are not Spanish I not saying where from so no one will get upset.:wave:

Byronic
24-10-2014, 16:05
In the area my son works 65% of the ones they nick for many crimes here are not Spanish I not saying where from so no one will get upset.:wave:

You've just upset everyone who isn't Spanish, until you name and shame that is:D

iampatman
24-10-2014, 16:25
Never mind the muggings and burglaries, what about the gassing? Oh sorry, that's France isn't it?
24deg in San SebastiŠn today :D

Pat

Byronic
24-10-2014, 16:31
Never mind the muggings and burglaries, what about the gassing? Oh sorry, that's France isn't it?
24deg in San SebastiŠn today :D

Pat

San Sebastian eh? Very close to France I believe:)

John H
24-10-2014, 16:38
Yes of course I'm commenting on areas frequented by the majority of wildcampers particularly in the winter, TBH I took that for granted. Certainly if you wish to stop somewhere less popular then chances are you will be less likely to be perceived as a nuisance, but they're are usually so for a reasons which prove not to be amenable to many campers eg not on the warm coast.
I dare say if you wintered somewhere in the Pyrenees the only problem you'll have is if the search party doesn't find you in the spring:)

Since you bandy the hit and miss wintering since 2002 statement. All I can say is I've been motorhome wintering in Spain every year since 1993 and odd years such as in 1972 and visited Spain most weekends from 1952 until 1958 in a pram mostly!

Do you not hole up at C de G? Just wondering.

The point I was trying to make is that Spain is no more of a problem than anywhere else. If you stop overnight in the middle of Barcelona you need to take as much care as if you stopped overnight in the middle of Leeds (sorry,Leeds!). My original post was meant to counter the recent comments that Spain is more unsafe than elsewhere. This is just not true - and there are some great (and warm) coastal spots that are not over-run by either motorhomes or thieves_ I'm in one now!. Someone recently posted that because of the adverse reports they had heard they had decided not to go. That is a great shame.

Yes, we usually end up at Cabo de Gata and will be arriving there in a week or so.

iampatman
24-10-2014, 16:39
San Sebastien eh? Very close to France I believe:)

Yeah it is, best move further south before the gassers catch up with me eh? Have to take my chances with the muggers and burglars.

Pat

Byronic
24-10-2014, 17:33
The point I was trying to make is that Spain is no more of a problem than anywhere else. If you stop overnight in the middle of Barcelona you need to take as much care as if you stopped overnight in the middle of Leeds (sorry,Leeds!). My original post was meant to counter the recent comments that Spain is more unsafe than elsewhere. This is just not true - and there are some great (and warm) coastal spots that are not over-run by either motorhomes or thieves_ I'm in one now!. Someone recently posted that because of the adverse reports they had heard they had decided not to go. That is a great shame.

Yes, we usually end up at Cabo de Gata and will be arriving there in a week or so.

You're preaching to the converted. But people always recount their own personal experiences and then apply it as a stereotype. Are you not doing the same thing, can anybody state with reasonable certainty that Spain is less, more, or equally safe, compared to another country? Spain "may" be more unsafe than the UK for wildcampers when similar circumstances and locations are compared.

The only way you might get an accurate idea is to have reliable crime statistic figures too hand, and someone qualified to make sense of those statistics, I can't think of any alternative. I certainly couldn't off hand tell you whether the UKs crime statistics were better or worse than Spain's, and in which particular areas of crime.
Like for like, I suspect in most of Europe things are much the same, the chances of getting pickpocketed in Oxford Street are probably much the same as in the Ramblas in Barco.

I know C de G quite well, (flamingos), not much crime there, at least not of a variety that would affect us as campers. Not to say there isn't any, ie theft from huertas, the odd tractor, and where are you getting your cheap veggies from!!

John H
24-10-2014, 18:52
You're preaching to the converted. But people always recount their own personal experiences and then apply it as a stereotype. Are you not doing the same thing, can anybody state with reasonable certainty that Spain is less, more, or equally safe, compared to another country? Spain "may" be more unsafe than the UK for wildcampers when similar circumstances and locations are compared.

The only way you might get an accurate idea is to have reliable crime statistic figures too hand, and someone qualified to make sense of those statistics, I can't think of any alternative. I certainly couldn't off hand tell you whether the UKs crime statistics were better or worse than Spain's, and in which particular areas of crime.
Like for like, I suspect in most of Europe things are much the same, the chances of getting pickpocketed in Oxford Street are probably much the same as in the Ramblas in Barco.

I know C de G quite well, (flamingos), not much crime there, at least not of a variety that would affect us as campers. Not to say there isn't any, ie theft from huertas, the odd tractor, and where are you getting your cheap veggies from!!

Good point but I am not relying simply on my own experiences. You may find this interesting http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Spain/United-Kingdom/Crime- I certainly found it fascinating that, although crime rates are nearly all lower in Spain than in the UK (especially violent crime) the fear of crime is greater! There are other sources if you google them but I thought that this one was particularly clearly laid out.

True - C de G is a very safe area- and we get our cheap veggies from the village market, which probably means they have a far more savoury history than those you get in Tescos! :tongue:

Tony Lee
24-10-2014, 19:50
This is turning into the usual "this happened to me/a mate/ the girlfriends second cousin in XYZ city in ABC country in December 1943 so don't go to ABC country or you will die"

JohnH's sensible message was don't believe all the crap you hear - most of which is unverified, and don't frequent the usual motorhome ghettos in iconic locations and you will have no problems.

I agree with his message - and to extend it somewhat, the same principles apply in every country.

Byronic
24-10-2014, 21:24
Good point but I am not relying simply on my own experiences. You may find this interesting http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Spain/United-Kingdom/Crime- I certainly found it fascinating that, although crime rates are nearly all lower in Spain than in the UK (especially violent crime) the fear of crime is greater! There are other sources if you google them but I thought that this one was particularly clearly laid out.

True - C de G is a very safe area- and we get our cheap veggies from the village market, which probably means they have a far more savoury history than those you get in Tescos! :tongue:


Yes but what I've stated in my post, and I quote "Spain may be more unsafe than the UK for wildcampers when similar circumstances and locations are compared". Emphasis on wildcampers.

For instance I know Spain has a lower murder rate than the UK. and perhaps somewhat surprisingly NZ has a higher rate. Some consider murder rate statistics between countries are perhaps the only ones that can be compared with a high degree of validity, and I think we all know how Governments manipulate statistics, as is their whim.

I would never suggest to a fellow camper that they will be safe in a location, only that they probably will be safe, a critical difference.

When all is said and done it matters not to me what people choose to believe, and as I stated on a previous post if fear of crime deters a few, even if based on an irrational premise, then more space for the rest of us, my last word on the matter:sleep-027:

John H
25-10-2014, 06:49
I would never suggest to a fellow camper that they will be safe in a location, only that they probably will be safe, a critical difference.


Neither would I - and if you read my original post you will see that I was saying exactly what you are saying here.

However, I do find your statement that Spain may well be more dangerous for wildcampers in a like-for-like-situation very odd. Do you have any evidence for this? I'm afraid that it is this kind of unsubstantiated fear-generation that prompted me to post in the first place- or are you just trying to prevent Spain becoming too overcrowded? ;)

Byronic
25-10-2014, 08:44
Neither would I - and if you read my original post you will see that I was saying exactly what you are saying here.

However, I do find your statement that Spain may well be more dangerous for wildcampers in a like-for-like-situation very odd. Do you have any evidence for this? I'm afraid that it is this kind of unsubstantiated fear-generation that prompted me to post in the first place- or are you just trying to prevent Spain becoming too overcrowded? ;)


It may well be more dangerous implies that I just do not know, the difference in our viewpoints appears to be that you know Spain to be safer for certain. Or am I misunderstanding you?

You reinforce your argument by quoting the extensive time you have spent in Spain ie practical experience. which unfortunately I countered by stating that my uncertainty is based on at least three times as much time spent in Spain, which suggests (but not intended) that my opinions have more validity than yours.

Am I trying to prevent Spain become too overcrowded? haha, every little helps that hoped for end I suppose, but I doubt anyone is going to take much notice of what I, or dare I say, you say.

snowbirds
25-10-2014, 09:01
Hi Ken,

Yes it's a shame it's cooled down quite a lot.:sad::sad::sad:


Snowbirds.





Don,t tell them all this or we will be full up down here tell them its always raining and they will stay away. Like to day 1pm and its 29 deg up here now.:cheers:

John H
25-10-2014, 09:06
It may well be more dangerous implies that I just do not know, the difference in our viewpoints appears to be that you know Spain to be safer for certain. Or am I misunderstanding you?

You reinforce your argument by quoting the extensive time you have spent in Spain ie practical experience. which unfortunately I countered by stating that my uncertainty is based on at least three times as much time spent in Spain, which suggests (but not intended) that my opinions have more validity than yours.

Am I trying to prevent Spain become too overcrowded? haha, every little helps that hoped for end I suppose, but I doubt anyone is going to take much notice of what I, or dare I say, you say.

Once again, I never said that Spain was safer for certain. Please read what I wrote before criticising it. What I said was that Spain is as safe or as dangerous as anywhere else. I backed this up, not only with personal experience (which I agree is not conclusive at all) but also with official figures.

But I do agree with you that the world is hardly going to be on the edge of its seat waiting to see what you or I think :D

Byronic
25-10-2014, 09:42
Post #28 your response to somebody or others comment that Spain is more unsafe than elsewhere, is, and I quote "This is just not true". Seems like a certainty to me. Have you considered that it may be true, that these people may be correct?
I suspect that the elsewhere being referred to is the UK.

Tony Lee
25-10-2014, 13:28
JohnH, I think you could safely quit while you are still miles ahead in a pointless debate.

Your original post was well-considered and totally relevant to those of us who regularly motorhome in other countries - or would like to - and nothing that has been added since by other members has detracted from your original observation one little bit.

John H
26-10-2014, 09:31
Since my original post, we have had another encounter with the Spanish police that might be of interest to some. We were parked up for the night in a designated parking area outside a national park in the mountains - I won't say where because it might put people off visiting the area. Lots of people had passed by - with picnics, tents for the night etc - and no-one was anything but friendly. Then HE appeared. The local busybody who tried to insist that we couldn't park there, despite the notice at the entrance specifically authorising overnight parking! After a while I politely told him to go away and he disappeared in a cloud of dust (literally). I knew what would happen next. Ten minutes later the police turned up. Of course we could park there - the notice said so, didn't it? However, we might find it more comfortable at the other end of the parking area (I might add at this point that nowhere was overlooked by any house and nowhere was any real inconvenience to anybody else). I politely said "of course, officer" and moved. Nothing was said but we all knew that this pointless move was so that they could report back to busybody that they had taken action and thus prevent him from plaguing them with phone calls all night. Next morning, as I drew back the blinds, I was greeted by a cheery wave from the Spanish gentleman who had parked his van next to ours.

And, no Rob, I don't think that this tells us that all Spanish police are charming - any more than it tells us that they consist of a beautiful blond twenty-something who does all the talking and her swarthy silent compatriot who stands around trying to make himself look important. But it does tell us that if you are polite to the police you can achieve most of what you want - and that Spain is a delightful place to visit, so don't be put off by the doom and gloom merchants. :D

PS it has been pointed out that I said that it is just not true that Spain is less safe than the UK. That doesn't mean it is less dangerous either but if anything the official figures than I supplied the link to suggest that if I have been guilty of anything it is that I have understated Spain's safety, not overstated it.

John H
27-10-2014, 08:21
A further update - I have just been talking to someone who was fined 100 euros and told to decouple his car from his motorhome because a-frames are illegal in Spain. Just to warn the hoards of people who will now be descending on Spain as a result of this thread! :lol-053:

allovertheplace
19-01-2015, 19:28
All I can say is I went to Spain 2 years ago and was disturbed by someone trying to break in at night!
We were parked alone in a VW van on the beach something that's never happened in the UK but I wouldn't let it put me off plus now we have a dog so if she gets disturbed good luck to them!

Helzie
17-02-2015, 13:02
Last winter we did 50 nights in Spain no breaks in no guarda no problems FANTASTIC time. Weather mixed. For the record I attach a list of the places we stayed (gps co-ords and dates available) to refute vwalan assertions.

I challenge him to be more specific about where the problems were as this doesn't ring true. I am not saying there aren't any break ins or move ons but if you park responsibly and obey like bylaws you will be OK
La Rabida
Punta Umbria
Mazagon Marina
Mazagon Parador
El Rocio
Gelves port
Alcala de Guadaira
Old rly stn nr Coripe
Grazalema
El Bosque
Olvera
Embalse Guadalteba
nr Carratraca
coast N of Toremolinos
La Cala de Mijas
s of Estepona
Punta Mala
w of Tarifa
Punta Paloma
Castillo de Castellar
Benarraba
Embalse Guadalteba
Torrox Costa
Balerma
Agua Amarga
Mojacar
Cope
La Cova Negro
Poblo Nou del Delta
Malgrat De Mar

Hi Ian

I'd be interested in your GPS coords please. We are off to Andalucia this week.

Thanks.

Helzie

bobclewley
25-02-2015, 15:12
For the record I attach a list of the places we stayed (gps co-ords and dates available)


El Bosque



Thinking of stopping at El Bosque April / May this year. Have been told that anything over 6m won't fit in.... How did you find it?...was there enough space for 7ms?

Cheers

Bob

chrisatisis
01-05-2015, 14:17
Last winter we did 50 nights in Spain no breaks in no guarda no problems FANTASTIC time. Weather mixed. For the record I attach a list of the places we stayed (gps co-ords and dates available) to refute vwalan assertions.

I challenge him to be more specific about where the problems were as this doesn't ring true. I am not saying there aren't any break ins or move ons but if you park responsibly and obey like bylaws you will be OK
La Rabida
Punta Umbria
Mazagon Marina
Mazagon Parador
El Rocio
Gelves port
Alcala de Guadaira
Old rly stn nr Coripe
Grazalema
El Bosque
Olvera
Embalse Guadalteba
nr Carratraca
coast N of Toremolinos
La Cala de Mijas
s of Estepona
Punta Mala
w of Tarifa
Punta Paloma
Castillo de Castellar
Benarraba
Embalse Guadalteba
Torrox Costa
Balerma
Agua Amarga
Mojacar
Cope
La Cova Negro
Poblo Nou del Delta
Malgrat De Mar

If the Coordinates are easy to hand I would love to have them - Chris

loulou
01-05-2015, 15:24
If the Coordinates are easy to hand I would love to have them - Chris

Me too please Chris, thanks cheers Lou

:cheers::cheers:

Antonio
01-05-2015, 17:22
I agree with vwalan
Keep away from Spain, especially Andalucia. Its full of bandits, foul weather, horrible locals, rip off prices and the police just pick on you all the time. Ho and its full of Spaniads who don't like the Brits!

nomad-col
01-05-2015, 17:41
I agree with vwalan
Keep away from Spain, especially Andalucia. Its full of bandits, foul weather, horrible locals, rip off prices and the police just pick on you all the time. Ho and its full of Spaniads who don't like the Brits!

Never mind the Spaniards they are OK. Its the British ex pats who don't like the motorhomers
Colin

Steve121
01-05-2015, 17:47
We did a mixture of wilding and aires in March and April this year whilst travelling down and then back up through Spain as part of our Morocco trip. No problems at all.

Mul
01-05-2015, 18:01
.

kenspain
01-05-2015, 19:09
There all right you know don,t come to Spain you can get robed gassed burnt in the hot sun and any way we are full up at the moment :lol-053::lol-053::lol-053::lol-053::wave: blinking 29 deg today best all stay at home.

valmog
01-05-2015, 19:39
Hi
As we have recently spent three months wilding around Spain. I can only agree with all we say. We had a great time and found the police to be pleasant and helpful.

I have been prompted to post this because there have been, in recent months, a number of negative points made here and elsewhere about visiting Spain in a motorhome - ranging from robberies to the officious attitude of the police. No doubt there are problems if you use certain motorways, stop overnight in certain motorway service stations and/or tourist hotspots such as Benidorm or Torremolinos but you could say the same about any country (including the UK) and the fact is that the vast majority of Spain is as safe as anywhere.

We have spent the past month touring round the Basque Country, Aragon, Castille, La Mancha, Valencia, Murcia and Andalucia, staying on a mixture of aires, wildspots and campsites and have never felt in the least threatened. In fact, we have never had the alarm on at night and I have noticed large numbers of locals not bothering to lock their car doors or leaving the windows open in the intense heat we have been having recently.

Spain is a very easy country to wildcamp in. There are certain beaches where there have been crackdowns but if you have ever seen the vast motorhome cities that used to characterise places like Mojacar you will understand why. There are still plenty of beaches (some of them with official aires) and if you go back a little way from the beach you can park up almost anywhere and get a welcome from the locals. In fact if you choose places not normally on the tourist route then they are usually surprised and delighted to see you -and in such places, prices are dirt cheap (the lowest so far has been 60 cents for an extremely large glass of wine!).

As for the police, we have only encountered them directly on two occasions - both when we were lost and holding up the traffic. On the first, they gave us a police escort to the aire we were trying to find in San Sebastian and waved goodbye with a cheery "have a good time"; on the second, he gave us very clear directions to the place we were trying to find and then drew himself up to his full five and a half feet and with a very broad grin and in his best English profusely wished us a good journey.

In short, if you are thinking of coming to Spain, don't hesitate - it is a wonderful place to be!

PS The number of free aires and LPG stations is increasing rapidly, which makes the place even more attractive.

GWAYGWAY
01-05-2015, 21:24
Last and only time I went to Spain I never got very far past the customs post, where they were holding one of my lorries because of a paperwork mistake. I did not like the place there were police with tricorn hats, and machine guns all over the place giving the EYE to everyone. It was Franco's birthday or something and they were on edge for undesirables and foreigners.
Has it changed?
Never went back didn't fancy the Garrot for a parking offence or whatever they did then.
Mind you it took a day and a bit driving to the southern border with two people taking shares driving down the Route National to get there.
Has France changed as well, De Gaulle did not like us either and we had to had Carnet de Passage to get the trucks and car there. with a huge deposit to get them plus insurance in case of default and seizure of the vehicles.
Never trusted them foreigners always a bit shifty, Has it changed?

Siimplyloco
01-05-2015, 21:34
SNIP
Never trusted them foreigners always a bit shifty, Has it changed?

Things have changed with the times: we have to do the same if we want to enjoy what their Countries have to offer...
John

John H
02-05-2015, 08:31
I'm glad you've had a string of good experiences over time yet for every plus, negatives never seem far away (I call it internet forum ping pong) but it's the only blinking country we've been broken in to, ever :-(
Does one swallow make a summer, of course not.

Were we gassed no of course not - can't happen - not very subtle forced habitation door break-in.
Bermeo, near the beach, West of Santander whilst we were on our 6 month Europe Jolly a few years ago.
The response from 2 police stations was appalling as well. The police were utterly horrible to my wife, standing to, facing off, shouting and angry. Could we have complained- -how do you complain in a language you try your best at, and when you're shell shocked to boot - so no we didn't. Go on flame me for that one as well, folks. Why 2 police stations, because the 1st one blanked out requests for help.
Took two days to get a report which they didn't want to write. We eventually found an interpreter thro the good folks at AA who said the Police didn't want to report it as a crime - bad for tourism apparently - no, ya don't say, really !
Do I still have the police report - yes as a souvenir, just in case we ever think, Hmm why don't we go to Spain, as a reminder. Am I still angry about it & do I need therapy :lol-053::lol-053::lol-053:

In Valencia our standard Ford transit gearbox packed in and we got towed to a Garage thro AA 5* European (truly exceptionally excellent service - couldn't fault them - worth every blinkin penny getting us home). However despite their best efforts and ours, and nobody apart from us know how hard we all tried (so lets put the 'ya couldn't have tried' ... to bed as well) we (and the AA) couldn't get a 2nd hand gear box for less than £1600 (pounds), yep 2nd hand gearbox, one thousand six hundred pounds, you did read that right. AA were on our side but no. Eventually we were shipped home by the good folks at the AA who agreed the price wasn't worth paying and guess what, as we suspected, 2nd Hand Ford Transit gearbox £250.

We make best efforts to talk local lingo wherever we go and found the general politeness in Portugal (come to think of it pick any other country, probably including N Korea - that's a joke I've never been) far far far superior.

Obviously different folks have different experiences John, and I'm not hankering after an argie bargie. I've no problem with other folks liking various places but we have no intention of EVER going back to Spain through our experiences (plural) unless we don't stop and get to Portugal. Is everywhere in the world perfect, no of course not. Have we had any problems in France, Portugal, Holland, UK, Belgium, Germany, Andorra, Scandinavia, nope.

So there you go. I do feel slightly guilty for spoiling the thread but it had to be said.

As my signature below alludes to, even if it was scripted for a film, we're all guided by our own personal experiences.

Hang on a minute folks, my Tin hat is in the bunker !

Chrz Mul.

I'm sorry to hear of your experiences. Of course, nowhere is perfect and I am sure that lots of people have had problems in Spain. My purpose in the OP was to counter the recent unfair complaints about Spain and Spanish attitudes by showing that Spain is no more dangerous than the UK. In fact, many people might say it is safer but that is a personal view.

I know it is always sickening when you get broken into but I would urge you not to dismiss the entire country because of one experience. The only country we have ever been broken into was Hungary - and I have willingly been back since and will continue to go back.

Byronic
02-05-2015, 09:58
I've had various negative experiences when abroad. Here's just a few all occurred in one country:

Stones thrown at my vehicle when driving in a certain city district, perhaps because it was a new BMW!
2 property break-ins, quite a lot of property nicked including personal.
Theft of vehicle, plus attempted theft of vehicle.
Brother held at shotgun point at his place of business during course of a robbery.
Father coshed/robbed on the way out of a bank.
Police Force of the capital city contained at least 500 corrupt officers (general Franco's era).

Doesn't stop me returning though!










The abroad country was ENGLAND of course. To quote...travel doesn't broaden ones (some) mind(s), it just confirms ones prejudices. Some of the posts on this thread are priceless examples!

GWAYGWAY
02-05-2015, 20:03
Too true I am only old not passed it, I would like to go south but it is a very long way to Spain. I will be venturing ABROAD shortly, but I am afraid of breakdowns with my Transit as it has done nearly 20000 miles now and that is as much as my Anglia did in its first engine lifetime. I will be going to Germany soon but Mother in Law is an impediment at the moment for time constraints so it has been forays into UK so far. Hardly worth the Ferry Costs for less than a fortnight, I would want a month to go to Spain to just scratch the surface.:drive:

Siimplyloco
02-05-2015, 20:13
I've had various negative experiences when abroad. Here's just a few all occurred in one country:
SNIP
The abroad country was ENGLAND of course.

Let me guess. East Anglia eh? 'Monkey Island' in Norwich? Now that is a place...
John

Byronic
02-05-2015, 21:28
Let me guess. East Anglia eh? 'Monkey Island' in Norwich? Now that is a place...
John

Often go through Norwich to visit the Old Boy near Cromer. Must say I've never heard of Monkey Island I'll find out where it is and make sure to avoid it...thanks!

Actually most of those "experiences" a few samples just to make my point, occurred in and around London....... burglaries in Dulwich, car stoning was in Brixton on way to Dulwich, corrupt cops West End, I was working there at the time. Brother/shotgun incident, Brentwood. Old Boy/cosh incident, in the City area.
Similar to just about everyone's experiences I imagine.


CLICK HERE TO REMOVE THESE ADVERTS