With the camper in Portugal: What is it really like?

With the camper in Portugal: What is it really like?
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The journey of Emily and Dennis from near.so.far is coming to an end. For a year, we have accompanied them on their journey across Europe, experiencing enchanting, interesting, exciting and thought-provoking things. In the last weeks of their journey, the two of them are on the road in Portugal, where they are not only enjoying the breathtaking Algarve, but are also actively involved in a dog shelter.

First, we went to a long-planned social project. We are talking about Place for Strays. A dog shelter in the Algarve near Albufeira. This is the second social project we wanted to support on our trip. We planned 8 days to help and support the volunteers there.

near.so.far mit Hunden

At Place for Strays there are about 20-30 places for street dogs from the region. The dogs are often found in a very bad condition and first have to be given medical care. It is all the nicer to see how quickly the dogs feel at home there and how quickly the animals get better through the attention and care they receive. When we arrived there, there were about 25 dogs, of which 3 could be placed this week.

Frau von near.so.far am Strand

We have mainly been able to help with the daily tasks. A classic day at the shelter starts at 8:30 am with the first shift. Making water, cleaning boxes, giving medicine and food are the daily basics. After that, there was practically free time, during which we usually grabbed 2 dogs to take them for a walk. From 4 pm onwards, the second shift begins, where the same things have to be done again. Usually around 6 pm we were done, went for a walk with 2 dogs again and practised walking on the leash. In the meantime, of course, there was always plenty of room to give the dogs the much needed attention and love. In all of this, it is important to bring a certain amount of experience and security with dogs. During the 8 days, we were able to learn a lot about such a shelter project, about dogs, but also a lot about ourselves.

Being sick on 6m2

Innenleben eines Vans

We were completely spared for 10 months, but shortly before Portugal, I (Dennis) caught it - and really caught it. I was laid up for a total of 10 days with a flu-like infection. Especially in such a small space, the risk of infection for your partner is naturally very high. Apart from that, we were surprised how well everything worked out. Especially the permanently fresh and climatically pleasant air was very good. Fortunately, you don't need much more space than a bed :)

We also discovered that camping neighbours like to help each other. However, this quickly changes when you are travelling alone. Our recommendation is therefore to always have enough water, food reserves and a well-stocked first-aid kit with you.

Wild Camping in Portugal (Algarve)

Camping Platz

Probably the most popular camping region in recent years. But precisely because of this and because many campers misbehaved (especially rubbish was a big problem), the rules for campers in the Algarve have been tightened. Wild camping, for example, is forbidden in the entire region. However, there are still a few places where it is tolerated in the low season. However, none of this can spoil the beauty of the Algarve. We were simply blown away by what nature has come up with here. The steep cliffs, the many rock formations in the water and the sea that fluctuates between rough and beautiful.

 Mann steigt in Van ein

Away from the coast, the Algarve also has a lot to offer. From cute little towns to a beautiful landscape with its diverse flora.

Weiße Stadt

Coordinates of the pitches that were tolerated in the low season:
- Portimão: 37.1211184, -8.5635541
- Lagos: 37.1020220, -8.6762096
- Lagos campsite: 37.0943391, -8.6714647
- Sagres: 37.0048944, -8.9454298 Season in Portugal (Algarve)

Frau am Hügel Strand

The tourist season in the Algarve is summer. But we can definitely recommend the south of Portugal also - or even especially - in the low season. The temperatures are pleasant and tourism is still very relaxed.

Mann am Hügel

 Info Portugal:
- 830 km long Atlantic coast
- Capital: Lisbon
- Porto is the second largest city and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Time zone: UTC -1 (1 hour time difference to Germany)
- Recommended to visit all year round
- Low season for less tourism
- The Portuguese Azores are considered the European Hawaii

Sagres, the end of the old world

Sufer am Strand

Sagres is the most south-westerly point in Europe. Cape Cabo de São Vicente is the point where Europe ends and a new continent - America - begins further west. A magical place. Not so long ago, the people of the ancient peoples thought that the world ended here, as nothing could be seen in the distance except the wild Atlantic Ocean. Sagres itself is a small town with barely 2,000 inhabitants. A very relaxed atmosphere characterises the place, with a few cafés and bars. As a result, it is not as crowded as many other places in the Algarve. The region around Sagres is also very popular with surfers because of the long, beautiful sandy beaches.

Things we as campers should pay special attention to:
> Leave pitches clean
> Support local services
> Be friendly to residents and tourists
> Park in 2nd row (give priority to day visitors)
> If possible, do not block the view, e.g. to the beach, with large vehicles.
> Respect nature
> Do not permanently block parking spaces

To be continued... Back to Germany after 1 year

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