Ley de Costas and motorhomes

There are plenty of things that we love about the motorhome lifestyle. However, spending the night by the sea, with the sound of the waves, a starry sky, and enjoying a sunrise full of blue and orange tones is one of the best. But since the Ley de Costas can be a little bit confusing, many of us still don’t know what is allowed and what not. So, if you want to finally know for sure keep reading this post.

Historical background

The law 22/1988 had the clear objective of guaranteeing the public use of the seashore and preserve its natural environment. However, since the use of motorhomes in Spain during this time was only residual, the law didn’t include any specification regarding motorhomes. As time passed and the motorhome lifestyle started to grow in Spain the new regulations didn’t make any attempts to specify nor regulate the uses and practices of motorhomes next to the sea.

As a consequence of this legal and administrative neglect, we are going to answer the most usual questions regarding the Ley de Costas:

What lands does the Ley de Costas cover?

The answer to this one can be really simple and tricky at the same time. The easy answer is that the law covers all the land that is near the sea. Nevertheless, we need to specify the following:

“ The Ley de Costas affects practically all public territory that is near the sea, such as the shoreline, the estuaries, as well as their accessions; marshes, lagoons, marshes, estuaries, and in general any lowlands that are flooded as a result of the flow of tides, waves or seepage of seawater; cliffs; the islets in internal waters and territorial sea; works and installations for coastal lighting and maritime signaling built by the State, in addition to the land used to serve them”

What places have authorized access?

It may seem obvious but any place in which the vehicle access is authorized and there is a parking space available, we can park our motorhomes without any problems. However, the problem lies in when the local administration sets a limitation on the kind of vehicles that have access to these places.

Up to this point, everything seems clear, so you might be wondering what is the controversy about? Well according to one of the articles in the Ley de Costas, there is a strict ban on camps and camping. And even though us motorhome users clearly know the differences between parking and camping, many authorities don’t know how to differentiate between the two.


To summarize, as you have seen throughout the post the main problem is that the law doesn’t take into account the needs of this tourism and vehicles, leaving a lot of room for interpretation, which can be a problem for those that are not familiarized with the motorhome lifestyle.

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