You’re dreaming of guaranteed sunshine, a beach, peace, privacy, clean facilities and an onsite restaurant for when you don’t want to move a muscle – with good transport links. Well, how about this for camping nirvana?
Situated far enough from the overdeveloped tourist ports, but within reach of lively shopping and bar action is this walled, Eden-like campsite. Over the past two decades, the owners have planted seeds and cuttings from their travels, creating botanical mayhem that will make you feel as if you’re camping in a garden centre.
Marked plots near the entrance are spacious, terraced along tree-lined avenues. There’s a second zone of larger pitches, but wherever you end up you’re guaranteed shade – a blessing under the Portuguese sun.
If you want to venture further afield, time the 20-minute drive to the lighthouse at Cabo de São Vicente – the most southwesterly tip of Europe (next stop, America) – to catch a majestic sunset that will humble your soul. Closer to home, a short amble will take you to nearby Salema beach – like many on the Algarve, it’s full of pink-skinned Northern Europeans wishing that life could be like this every day.
The whole site is almost 15 hectares in size. 3 wash-blocks each have 10 showers, 9 toilets (1 disabled) and 4 urinals. Free WiFi in communal areas. There is a small shop selling food and camping essentials and bikes are available for hire.
Tents, caravans, mobile homes, well behaved kids and dogs – yes.
This "isn’t a family campsite" they say, although "kids who still do what their parents want are welcome." Let them run off steam at Albufeira’s Zoomarine (00 351 289 560 300). This huge park has slides, aquariums and exhibitions. Tickets are free for infants, €19 for 5–10’s, €28 for 11-64’s and €19 for seniors. Feel the wind in your hair as you speed along the Med on the look out for dolphins in their natural habitat on a specially designed boat with Algarve Dolphins (00 351 282 087 587). Water sports aplenty can be found all along this part of the coast (paddling, surfing, boat rentals…) and diving is also hugely popular but on land miles of seafront space falls within the Parque Natural do Sudeoeste Alentejano making it a real jem for cycling and walking trails.
Food & Drink
If you fancy a change from the onsite restaurant, try Lourenço (00 351 282 698 622) in Salema, which serves a fantastic fish supper.
Pitches are spread across several different zones. 13 apartments also availble (sleeping 2–4).
Contact Salema EcoCamp, Praia da Salema, 8650-196 Budens, Algarve, Portugal
From the A22 motorway that runs east to west along the Algarve, take the second exit to Lagos (Lagos Oeste) and then the national road (N 125) direction Sagres until you find the roundabout to Praia da Salema.
From Faro take the train to Lagos, from where regular buses make the 10 mile (16 km) journey, stopping right outside the campsite.
ReviewsAdd Your Review
Rated ★★★★☆ over 2 reviews
Lovely site that offers space, privacy and a really very good bar/restaurant. Only 20 minute walk from the beach in Salema Village.
Nice even in high season
Beginning of August, we have stayed two nights at Quinta dos Carricos. All in all the experience was good, especially because many campsites at the Algave are overcrowded during August.
Good location in between Lagos and Sagres. Many tress and lots of shadow. Friendly and helpful staff. Good Coffee. Not overcrowded. Clean and well maintained. Calm.
Not directly at the beach, walking will take at least 30min. Bathrooms and Showers are not very central, depending where you have your tent it might be a long walk. Same situation concerning the internet, it most probably will be a long walk to get online.