We’ve challenged ourselves to reach Tarifa via Portugal using only wild camping locations. So long as we can keep getting water top ups, we’ll even be able to do our laundry. We’ve now been in Spain for 10 nights and we’re about to cross into northeast Portugal. In this time, we’ve travelled along the north coast from Bilbao to Comillas and southwards into the Picos de Europa National Park. From there, we headed southwest into Castilles y León region.

Wild camping for us is not just about budget. In fact, saving money is not our primary reason for seeking out a wild camping location. At this time of year, open campsites are few and far between. Aside from that, have you ever found a spot where you’ve though how wonderful it would be to stay the night, or even two? Whether it’s located on a remote cliff top, in the middle of the Sahara desert or just nearby a great town, wild camping responsibly gives you the freedom to sleep almost wherever you want.

Here’s a list of our wild camping locations in northern Spain and the facilities they provided us.

Bilbao

GPS: 43° 14’ 15.7” N 2° 55’ 9.7” W

Free: yes

Wifi: no

Water: no

WC: no

Location: a 20 minute walk from the city of Bilbao along the river. Situated near a fairly busy road, there is a village 5 minutes’ walk away down the hill. It’s a steep climb back.

Near Santillana del Mar

GPS: 43° 26’ 34.8” N 4° 2’ 47.4” W

Free: yes

Wifi: no

Water: no

WC: no

Location: car park beside a lighthouse, on top of steep cliffs overlooking the Bay of Biscay. Quiet location with a bar and restaurant about 200 metres into the village.

Comillas

GPS: 43° 23’ 7.0” N 4° 20’ 17.9” W

Free: yes

Wifi: no

Water: no

WC: no

Location: beside the beach and next door to a campsite. This isn’t strictly allowed but we weren’t challenged. It’s a beautiful stretch of beach and popular with surfers.

Sotres

GPS: 43° 14’ 1.46” N 4° 44’ 48.17” W

Free: yes

Wifi: no

Water: no

WC: no

Location: small car park 50 metres from the village of Sotres, in the Picos de Europa National Park. Whilst there is no water available on site, ask in the local bar and they will point you to a ground tap to top up with fresh drinking water.

Wild Camping Locations in Northern Spain

Covadonga

GPS: 43° 16’ 35.4” N 4° 59’ 8.93” W

Free: yes

Wifi: no

Water: no

WC: no

Location: large carpark next to Lake Enol in the Picos de Europa National Park. Not strictly allowed, but we weren’t challenged and were joined by another camper home. You probably won’t get away with this in the height of the season.

Wild Camping Locations in Northern Spain

Cangas de Onis

GPS: 43° 21’ 7.5” N 5° 7’ 31.2” W

Free: yes

Wifi: yes (kind of)

Water: yes

WC: yes

Location: large carpark, next to the Cangas de Onis town’s bus station. If you park near the buildings, an excellent and free wifi service is available. Use your initiative to obtain the code.

Wild Camping Locations in Northern Spain

León

GPS: 42° 36’ 16.9” N 5° 35’ 6.9” W

Free: yes

Wifi: no

Water: yes

WC: yes

Location: large carpark next to the shopping centre and about 1km from the historic quarter and the Antoni Gaudí’s Casa de los Botines. It’s a popular location with camper homes, even in October.

Wild Camping Locations in Northern Spain

Astorga

GPS: 42° 27’ 4.9” N 6° 3’ 57.3” W

Free: yes

Wifi: no

Water: yes

WC: yes

Location: a small camper stop behind Astorga’s bull ring and approximately 1 km uphill to Antoni Gaudí’s Episcopal Palace.

Wild Camping Locations in Northern Spain

Map of Wild Camping Locations in Northern Spain

[nwm_map id=”6″ height=”750″ width=”750″ zoom=”6″]

Wild camping in northern Spain is easy for you to do. Spain even offers great facilities at many camper stops.

Whilst not all of the locations above were strictly permissible, we were ready to roll, in the event that we had been moved on.


Read our guide to wild camping for motorhomes