Catalonia, Vilanova I la Geltru

Vilanova Park      December 2008, April & October 2012

We stayed there for 5 weeks from December 2008 through January 2009, flying home for a few days at Christmas on a cheap Easyjet flight from Barcelona - there's a reasonably-priced taxi service that collects from the campsite / airport.
In summer when the site is full it must be pretty noisy and crowded, but in winter it was lovely, just enough people around to be friendly but no queues for the facilities.
The toilet blocks were excellent, spacious, comfortable and clean and well-heated, which is essential as the weather can be quite cold in winter.
The on site supermarket was excellent and the restaurant very attractive, if a little expensive. It was a treat to find a site with so many facilities open all year round - a lot of the other overwintering sites in Europe close their shops and restaurants in low season. As well as Barcelona there are many interesting towns to visit in the area, including Tarragona, Sitges and Reus

2012

We have just stayed at this site for the third time and found it as excellent as ever. There are definitely more bungalows than when we were here four years ago, but the site is so spacious and well-landscaped that this is not a problem. There are about five separate ares for tourers. In our experience the pitches are very large - room for our largish caravan, awning, car, and plenty left over for chairs, washing line etc.

It's true there are stray cats but we like this as we are cat lovers. However I can see that this would not suit everyone. The shower block we used was immaculate. The cubicles (both loo and shower) are much more roomy than the norm, which is useful for those of us who are not as sylph-like as we used to be! Even the washing-up and laundry areas are quite luxurious.

The supermarket is the best we have come across on a campsite - a wide range of foods, fresh meat, fresh fruit and veg, and an on-site bakery for a variety of bread and cakes. It's a little dearer than the Mercadona in town but this is outweighed by the convenience.

Four years ago we found the restaurant expensive but prices must have come down because this time we were very impressed - a three-course meal with lots of choice, featuring interesting local specialities, was 12 euros, and of course you could also have pizza, pasta etc.

The reception staff speak several languages and are very helpful. Security is excellent. There is an army of staff cleaning, tidying and keeping the trees and grass trimmed. It was half-term when we were there and there were lots of activities laid on, and the swimming pool stays open until 4/11, so it's a good venue for a late-season break. 

Catalonia, San Pere Pescador

caravan, full awning, car, family and still grass showing!

Camping L'Amfora    April 2012

This is a very large site, well laid-out on a grid plan and well-organised. Pitches vary slightly in size and shape but all are grassy, level, divided by hedges and of generous proportions - and some are positively huge.

Reception staff are multi-lingual, very friendly and helpful. On sale in reception are postcards, maps and English newspapers, and there is a book exchange.

As other reviewers have said the cleaners are ever-present in the well-equipped toilet blocks. While this is a good thing, I did feel that there were times when a little privacy would have been welcome!

There is ample hot water for the washing-up and laundry sinks and a large laundry room with washing machines, dryers and irons. The machines are among the most expensive I have come across, at 5. 50 euros, and dryers are 4. 50, but irons are free.

I can’t comment on the swimming pools or entertainment as they weren’t available in low season, but the café, restaurant and ice-cream bar were very good, as was the supermarket. There is wifi throughout, for a charge.

There is direct access to a large beach which is rather breezy and hence very popular with kite-surfers. As the area is subject to occasional strong winds, a regular camper gave us good advice – always pitch your awning facing south. He had witnessed a number of awnings damaged if not facing south. We also found that the pitches got very muddy after rain, though this would presumably not be a problem in July/August.

The surrounding area is very flat and bike-friendly, and bikes of all sizes are available for hire on the site. The nearest supermarket of any size, other than the campsite’s own, is on the outskirts of Roses, which is a delightful seaside resort with lots of amenities. About 5 km to the south, the pretty little village of Sant Marti has a lovely beach and some excellent restaurants.

We can also comment on the bungalows and mobile homes for rent at L’Amfora, because while we were there with our caravan, our son, his girlfriend, and our daughter flew out to join us for a week, and we needed to book some accommodation for them. The staff kindly let us have a look in the various options. The bungalows were very nice and would be ideal in hot weather, but because in April it was still quite unsettled we decided a mobile home would provide more spacious indoor accommodation. Like the bungalows, the mobile homes were very clean and smart and well-equipped with everything you could possibly need, even washing-up liquid, dish cloth and tea towel! They had heaters for cooler weather, 2 big fans for hot weather, TV with English stations, microwave, electric kettle, toaster and coffee machine.

Although much bigger than the sort of sites we usually prefer, the facilities at L’Amfora were first-class and it would be an excellent site for families with children of all ages.

I have rated this highly for value for money, as we used camping cheques (15 euros a night).

Valencia, Oliva

by contrast to Amfors, caravan and awning completely fill pitch. Car on pitch next door

Kiko Park    January 2009

 This site is very popular with British, German and Danish campers who spend winter in Spain. Pitches are gravel and divided by hedges. We were offered a choice of half a dozen pitches but they were all rather small - we were using our ACSI card so this might be why we were given a limited choice. We did manage to fit our caravan in, but only just, and there was no room for our car. We used an adjacent empty pitch for it but when that was occupied, had to use the carpark by reception. The toilet facilities were excellent and - important in winter - well heated. There is a very good shop on site but there are plenty of supermarkets in the vicinity and Oliva has a good weekly market. The campsite restaurant looked very nice but rather smart and expensive, so we never used it. We found the site rather cramped and a little claustrophobic, but luckily the beach is vast and beautiful and only a few metres away. However, security was poor as it would be easy for members of the public to access the site from the beach

Valencia, Villagordo del Cabriel

Kiko Park Rural    March 2012 & February 2015

We used this site as a stopover between the coast and Madrid. We had stayed at the other Kiko Park, at Oliva, three years ago, and found the facilities good, so we hoped this one would be similar.

We arrived just after 2 pm and discovered that reception is closed from 1 - 4 pm, though this may be in low season only. So we chose our own pitch and got set up, which was fine.

It's a fairly small site, all on the level, with very large, gravelled pitches, divided by hedges and shaded by deciduous trees - these were still mostly bare, but it was good to have some sunlight because at this altitude the mornings, evenings and nights can be chilly. There are a number of bungalows and permanent caravans which were quite busy, and noisy, during the weekend we were there.

The facilities were definitely not as smart as at Oliva, and struck me as being in need of refurbishment, although the standard of cleanliness was good. The toilets are unheated, which is a bit uncomfortable on a frosty morning, but the shower rooms are well-heated. The showers are push-button and a fixed temperature but it was acceptably warm. The water in the washing-up sinks, however, was only lukewarm and the room was only partly enclosed, again uncomfortable in winter. The washing machine was good value at 2 euros, and there is a drier too.

The restaurant wasn't fully operational while we were there, although it did open for Saturday lunch. There is a small shop, and fresh bread is available daily.

The nearby lake is very scenic and there are some good walks in the area. The nearby village of Villargordo has few amenities, and Utiel, a little further away, has plenty of shops but no really large supermarket. Further afield, Requena is an interesting town and has a huge market on Saturdays.

The site has no wifi, which could be a disincentive, especially for longer stays.

Valencia, Alcossebre

Camping Ribamar     October 2012

This is quite a small site, attractively landscaped, with half of the space taken up by 71 touring pitches (and a few pitches for tents), the other half by smart wooden bungalows. There are none of those permanent caravans which can tend to make a site look scruffy. The pitches are a very generous size (ample room for caravan, awning, car, chairs and table etc. ) and are level, covered in white gravel and divided by hedges. There are enough trees to provide shade in summer, but as they’re deciduous they let in lots of sun in winter, unlike sites with pine trees which can be a bit gloomy in winter. The pitches are extremely well-drained, even after long spells of heavy rain. In fact I would say they are the best-drained pitches we’ve ever experienced.

The site is family-owned and run and the owners are very attentive to detail. They’ve only been there five years and are working at constantly improving, and building up a reputation. It’s extremely tidy and well-maintained with spotless sanitary facilities. Toilets have seats and paper, basins have soap and hand dryers, the showers are fully controllable and there is plenty of hot water. As it’s a year-round site the facilities are fully enclosed and heated in winter. The washing-up and laundry sinks are indoors and again there’s lots of hot water. There is a laundry with 2 washers and 2 dryers. It’s 3.80 euros for a wash, which includes the washing liquid. The laundry room is kept locked so you ask at reception for access. The staff are all friendly and speak English.

Each pitch has easy access to a water tap and drain for grey water. Electricity is included in the price unless you’re there for a long stay out of season, in which case they offer an overnight rate which is cheaper than ACSI, but electricity is metered.

There’s a nice swimming pool, a children’s playground, a library with TV, books in several languages and lots of children’s toys and games. The restaurant and bar are pleasant but we only used them once, for a special tapas evening. There’s a small shop in the same building as the restaurant, but with limited stock. Fresh bread is available from reception. A local farmer brings his organically-grown vegetables to sell once a week. Wifi is available throughout the site for a charge.

A feature which might put some people off is the approach road. The campsite is just north of Alcossebre, in the national park of the Sierra d’Irta, so they are not allowed to tarmac the road. It’s about 2 km long and quite rough and stony, and can get muddy in wet weather. However we found it no problem as long as you take it slowly. In fact the isolated setting is part of the attraction, and means it’s very quiet. From the campsite it’s three minutes’ walk to the sea. You can follow the coastal path which provides lovely walks along a series of small rocky coves. Some of them have stony beaches but a couple have beautiful white sand and masses of pretty shells. Alcossebre itself is a small-scale resort with a big, sandy beach and plenty of shops and cafes. There’s a large Consum supermarket, and because it’s a fair hike, there’s a free minibus service from the campsite twice a week.

As a winter site it’s the absolute opposite of the very popular large sites such as La Manga, and certainly wouldn’t suit everybody, but it’s ideal for those who just want a quiet, peaceful stay in lovely natural surroundings. There are plenty of walks and bike rides along the coast or up into the hills, and if you feel the occasional need for somewhere busier it’s not far to drive to Peniscola or Benicassim. The interior, the mountainous Maestrat, is also worth exploring, and bird-watchers will enjoy a visit to the Ebro Delta to the north.

Valencia, Navajas

Camping Altomira    May 2015

It's a medium-size site, terraced, on quite a steep hill. The seasonal caravans and bungalows are on the lower levels, the tourers have the top three levels. Pitches are of varying sizes, none being particularly large. They are level, hardstanding, with low walls, and most have their own water, electric and drainage (even a small outdoor sink!) Most have kerbs, of varying degrees of steepness, some not as bad as others.

We aimed to arrive as soon after 12 as possible to give us a wider choice of vacant pitches with maybe easier access. We found that on each level there are one or two more basic pitches, with no walls, rough gravelled surface, electric but no individual water or drainage - but easier to get onto. The one we chose was right at the top but we had no problem getting up there. We found the other campers were very helpful and ready to offer advice, or a push!

Apart from the kerbs, it's a lovely site in very pretty surroundings. Reception staff are friendly and there's a small supermarket for basics. The restaurant and bar are also popular with the locals, usually a good sign, and the menu del dia is good value at 8 euro 50.

There are three small toilet blocks, clean, pleasant and heated. Washing up and laundry sinks are outside but under cover. Plenty of hot water.

The situation is excellent. The local village, Navajas, is a 10-minute walk. Just outside the village is a beautiful riverside walk with a series of springs, fountains and waterfalls, a popular spot for bathing in summer. There are numerous opportunities for walking and cycling in the surrounding area. The old walled town of Segorbe, with a choice of supermarkets, is 4km away. There is a station in Navajas with trains to Valencia and Sagunto (the coast is 35 km away. )

The site is popular in summer for those who love the outdoors, but there are plenty of people who spend the winter there as well. We'd be happy to return. With ACSI it's 16 euros. 

Alicante, Dolores

Sheppard's Rest    February 2015

A small CL type site, English owned and all the clientele were English.  Eight large level gravelled pitches, most of them with semi-permanent caravans.

There is a small swimming pool and 2 xeparate shower blocks; one has one loo and one shower,  the other, near the pool, has two of each.  Both have plenty of hot water.  There is a small room with a washing machine ( €2) and lots of books, magazines and dvds to borrow.

There is a small supermarket in Dolores and a Lidl & Aldi in Almoradi about 5 miles away.  The coas is about 20 minute drive.

Its a quiet location, surrounded by market gardens, but not particularly scenic.  The amenities were good, but it was not the kind of site or situation we prefer.