Tell us about Portugal EasyCamp. What is it and how does it work?
Portugal EasyCamp is the first network of motorhome farm stopovers in Portugal and a great way to visit, see and experience the Portuguese countryside in all its glory!
With a warm welcome, and quality products, customers feel privileged to be in such lovely places. For visitors from other countries, it’s a nice surprise to enjoy Portuguese hospitality in “private” places, to taste local products direct from the producers and to have the opportunity to see places full of history.
Our scheme works on a win-win relationship for both the motorhomer and the host. The motorhomer receives a lovely package of products (produced from the host and at farm shop price) and the host receives revenue they would otherwise wouldn’t have, all for a 24 hour stopover.
Our customers appreciate the fact that all our activities are online, and people can choose places to stay from the map using the filters according to their wants and needs. It could be choosing type of host – winery, agricultural, culture, nature – available facilities such as electricity, water, WC, etc. bicycle trails and hiking in the area, or whether animals are allowed.
Portugal EasyCamp is all online, with no annual subscription or need to buy a book. The motor homer books directly and pays online, prior to arriving at the location, which ensures their place is reserved for them.
How did you come up with the idea for Portugal EasyCamp? Are you campers yourselves?
The Portugal EasyCamp project was born out of a passion for travelling. For years we have been travelling around Europe with our family in our car and a tent, but very quickly the motorhome became our dream. As motorhome lovers, we started to look for alternatives to campsites and we realised that in most countries in Europe, and even elsewhere, there was the possibility to stay on a farm or a vineyard and let the children learn about rural life. But not in Portugal. That was the cue to make us think about creating the first network in Portugal! Nevertheless, we decided to create something slightly different from all other schemes. For us, knowing that our overnight stopover is booked and there will be no uncertainties is a must.
How many participating farms are in the network and is this number going to grow? Is it a nationwide network?
For the time being, the hosts in the scheme include wineries, olive oil producers, agricultural farms, rural tourism, beekeeping, equestrian centres, and artisanal producers. We currently have 54 Hosts online, with more in the pipeline this year. Quality is a must for us, that’s why we only take on partners who really offer good quality and a great experience for visitors. Our goal is to extend the network by the end of the year, and there maybe opportunities to include the Azores and Madeira too!
For those of our readers that have never visited Portugal, or maybe have only experienced the Algarve, can you tell us about some of your favourite parts of the country to visit?
The Douro river valley is one of the oldest, and most stunning wine regions. And it’s a UNESCO Heritage Region. You reach this from the N222 national road, classified as one of the most beautiful roads in the world by Conde Nasté Traveller.
The Serra da Estrela hill and the Gerês National Park are a favourite. The world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge over the river Paiva is a must, in a region known for its 8 kilometres of wooden walkways.
Further south is the Alentejo, Portugal’s largest region covering a third of the country. This is truly captivating with golden plains, rolling hills, vineyards, as well as a rugged coastline, with its traditional whitewashed villages, marble towns and medieval cities. Alentejo offers the most wonderful traditional cuisine.
How long can visitors stay on Portugal EasyCamp sites?
The idea is for a 24 hour stay at a Host site, but of course there could be exceptions.
What are some of the local specialities visitors will find for sale at the Portugal Portugal EasyCamp hosts? Just food and wine or more?
Other local goodies are available to purchase, as well as experiences at some host’s locations. Some have fresh bread deliveries as well as other produce to buy such as breakfast baskets. Fruit may be picked from the trees (with the host’s permission), on farms children may help feed the animals, there may be horse riding lessons, lunch with the producers, or you could learn how to make cheese. Most sites are set in stunning locations, with a unique drive through fabulous countryside to reach the destination. You can unwind at our sites in a peaceful, safe, and relaxing environment.
Holidays are for relaxing, unwinding and enjoying your surroundings, so it’s good to be able to meet such friendly hosts and see the ‘real Portugal’.