Motorhomes in Mallorca.

Motorhomes in Mallorca.

07-12-2020Jaume Morey

The Motorhome Sector is booming and the number of people opting to live in them in Mallorca has doubled in the space of a year.

There are around 20 motorhomes parked in the streets of Ciutat Jardí and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Last year there were 800 caravans in Mallorca and now there are 1,200.

The coronavirus pandemic has sparked a trend for motorhome travel and sales have gone through the roof.

"We have many requests from people who want to associate with us," says Miquel Toni Vidal, President of the Association of Motorhomes in the Balearics, or Abaces, which has 140 members. "Motorhomes have become fashionable because people have realised that they make it easier to travel."

"There are a lot of caravanners who want to come to Mallorca but we have to tell them that there are no parking areas, the only loading and unloading point on the island is in Punt Verd on the Son Castelló estate," he adds. “There are some loading and unloading points in Ibiza and Minorca and we’ve had meetings with the Balearic Government and the Ministry of Tourism to try to get more access sites and unloading points but they haven’t come up with a solution."

The only other option for parking caravans is to hire a private space, which is too expensive for some people, or to park in a public road, which the traffic regulations allow as long as people leave their belongings inside and don't put up the awning.

We park where we can and if someone objects I will move the motorhome somewhere else,” says Vidal.

The main parking points are Ciutat Jardí, Nou Llevant, Son Rapinya and near the Son Hugo swimming pools, but motorhomes are not exactly welcomed with open arms in some places and facilities are few and far between.

Municipalities like Alcúdia don’t want motorhomes and a City Ordinance prevents overnight stays inside a vehicle, but it doesn’t clarify whether there is an exception with motorhomes,” says Vidal. “The fine is 150 euros and if you park a 60,000 euro motorhome in front of somebody’s two-million-euro villa they’ll be upset.

Some residents are furious about motorhomes parking in their neighbourhood.

They park for days, take up a lot of parking places and block the views”, says Juana Ruiz Navarro, President of the Association of Veins de Ses Cases Noves in Coll d'en Rebassa, who claims that beach bar owners and hoteliers are also upset by the presence of motorhomes.

"They are usually foreigners who come here to play sports and they leave us with no parking spaces," says Ruiz.

Jonathan Batle & girlfriend Micaela in Playa de Palma.
Jonathan Batle and his girlfriend, Micaela stay in a motorhome in Playa de Palma.

"We usually live here and sometimes we go around the island, but this is the area where my family lives,” says Batle. "I used to live in Palma but even with two salaries we couldn’t afford to pay 800 euros rent and save money".

The couple bought a 12 metre square second-hand motorhome for 20,000 euros and that’s where they live now.

“We can't buy a flat, it's impossible for us,” says Batle who owns a 60,000 euro home in Andalucia.

“Although there have been many reservations, the season has been bad because we've had last minute cancellations due to coronavirus containment,” says Gema Calero, Manager of Autocaravana. “People are making reservations for fewer days because they have less money to spare.”

Like it or not, motorhome living is here to stay and a growing number of people are enjoying the charm of life on the open road.

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CA / Hace 12 months

We are slightly disappointed by the rather negative article and 2nd two comments below. We live on the island, own a small motor home and have travelled in them all over the world. A few thoughts from our experiences here: 1. 95% of those we've met are friendly and respect their surroundings and the environment 2. When we go away for 2-3 days we spend on average 150€ on fuel, supermarket shopping, bars, restaurants, etc. We motor home owners want to support local communities this way 3. Travel by motor home is one of the safer options during this pandemic and bringing much needed tourism to the island 4. Many of us walk, kayak, swim, rock climb, paint, bird watch etc In other words we're out there appreciating our beautiful island. It's an option many are taking now to get out of apartments and lockdown fever. We love seeing children running and cycling around integrating with each other enjoying the fresh air. 5. The local government should seriously look at providing more waste dump stations and parking areas. I'm sure many would be happy to pay a small fee for services and safe overnight stops which in turn would bring in revenue for the local council and businesses plus control the parking and rubbish problems that have arisen. 6. So far, all the bars and restaurants have been very happy and welcoming with us. It does appear that the hoteliers have far too strong an influence in trying to control the island's tourism when the tourist board should be encouraging a broad range and typeof visitors - locals and from further afield. Not every one can afford the Island's Hotel prices. 7 We do understand why people get upset when areas get overcrowded by vans setting up for weeks at a time. Let's all work together to find a solution!

+1-

Chuck / Hace 12 months

Dave - a typical “I’m alright Jack” sentiment! Yes, caravans/motorhomes can oft be antisocial but why always see the worst in humanity? Perhaps this also highlights social inequality issues. Much of Mallorca has long since been gentrified by wealthy foreigners in the main. How on earth do good, honest, ambitious youths (there are still many out there!) find affordable accommodation? Do us all a favour...think before you spout! Doubtless doing so from your comfy, heated home, hot drink in hand! Arrrggh!!

+13-

Colin Allcars / Hace 12 months

These vehicles drag down the appearance of any area that they occupy. It should be against the law to park them overnight on public roads and spaces when occupied.

If there are no camping or caravan/motorhome sites available then the message is simple, “Don’t come here unless you have a pre-booked, legal overnight space. The infrastructure is not designed to cater for your lifestyle and we don’t want you living on our streets”.

+1-

Dave / Hace 12 months

Most ones ive seen are dirty & smelly and never move. You get high just walking past them. These monstrosities shouldn't be allowed in Mallorca. They dress it up as recreational, but its just a way of living off grid and paying no taxes. These people contribute nothing to society. Get rid.

+-3-