This blog follows on from the one I wrote about the journey through France to the Spanish border here. Leaving France we decided to use the (paid) autoroute for a while at least. The drive over the edge of the Pyrenees is easier on the autoroute and, to a degree, so is getting around Barcelona. We did actually hear a story about attempted theft from a vehicle on that autoroute later so it might not be a route we would choose again. The original plan would have put us at the border some 4/5 days earlier than we managed and we had no real plan at all for the rest of the trip – something we love about trips in the motorhome. In the end we decided we would head on down the coast past Tarragona to a campsite that had good reviews.
We would not realise until rather later in the trip just how lucky the decision to stop at Estanyet was.The welcome was very warm and there was a reasonable number of pitches free. Really our only reservation about this campsite would be that getting on and off pitches in a larger unit might be rather challenging however we found ourselves one easily enough. The campsite is situated about a kilometre from the small (& working) fishing village of Les Cases d’Alcanar. The walk to the village is along a flat promenade and, although small, the village had all the shopping basics we needed.
One of the things mentioned in a number of reviews was the quality of the food in the restaurant so we decided to try it as soon as possible. We were not disappointed! There was also a pleasant bar and a good swimming pool that was open. Throw in a “7 nights for 6” deal and we decided we would stay a week anyway. The campsite was literally the width of a road from the sea so it was great to be able to stroll along there and also to just pop out for quick photographs too.
We enjoyed walking the coast in both directions from the campsite and shopped in the village most days. We also walked inland to the town of Alcanar. Parts of it were very old and it was worth a look around. The land between the coast and the town (& much of the coastal plain generally) had very large areas of fruit trees of various sorts. The bonus was that oranges, tangerines and the like were easily and cheaply available in both small shops and the supermarkets and were very enjoyable. We would certainly return to the campsite (Estanyet) again for the welcome, the location and the food!
After our time there were moved a little further down the coast to Peniscola. It really was something of a shock to the system. Having left a tranquil site on an undeveloped coastal strip we arrived at something quite the opposite. The coastal strip at Peniscola is fairly well developed with high rise apartments extending quite a long way. However the beach there really was long and lovely and the old town of Peniscola was really worth wandering around. The castle there featured in the film El Cid. The campsite there was perfectly adequate and very inexpensive (the cheapest of the whole trip) but really didn’t have the charm of Estanyet. However the fact that Peniscola was a much larger town meant the there were plenty of cafes, restaurants and shops around. For the whole of the time of this section of coast we enjoyed really quite good weather. Although it was not warm in the mornings the afternoons tended to be quite hot – lovely for March. We decided to move inland a bit from here and that blog for that section of the trip is here.