We were travelling from Almeria on the coast of Spain up into the hills on our way to Granada and we had decided to break up our journey. We needed to fill up with water and after a very windy and salty stop by the sea in Cabo de Gato during the storm for a few days, the van was thick with salt and really needed a wash. We really needed a wash and the laundry needed a wash. We stopped in Abla at a Free Aire – Parking de Caravanas Montagón.
Location: Parking de Caravanas Montagón
Sat Nav: See our interactive maps page for the exact location
Facilities: Fresh water, grey and black water dumping, picnic and bbq area, hardstanding, public toilets (limited opening).
What is an Aire?
Free Aires or Aires De Service (an area of service) as they are called in France are places where campervans can use the services (waste disposal grey & black, top up with fresh water and electricity) and/or park overnight. The term ‘aire’ has come to be used for a motorhome service point or official/municipal stopover in any country. They can also be known as stellplatz (Germany) or sostas (Italy).
Much of the time both waste disposal and overnight parking (sleeping in the van) is free. If you want fresh water then there is normally a small charge of say €2 for 100 litres of water. And if you want to hook up to electricity it will normally cost you €2 per hour. Just enough if you need to top up your leisure batteries or run something on the mains for a short time.
Sometimes the water is free and once we stayed in a free aire in France and the electricity hook up was free all night and all day. Also sometimes there are free toilets available as well.
The free Aire we stayed at in Abla was excellent as everything was free and there were toilets available 24 hours of the day, when we visited in early April 2019.
The only thing that was not available was electricity hook up. As we were up in the hills and it was early April we used our gas supply and our leisure batteries (to pump the hot air) to have our heating on for an hour when we woke up in the morning. If you were really desperate to charge your phone, use your hairdryer or something, the public toilets did have a power point you could use in the ladies.
In the next field down the hill from the Aire, where the toilet blocks were, there was also a large picnic area with tables. It looked as if you could pitch a tent in there, but not sure if it was allowed. There was also a large number of barbecue places and a bar, all of which I guess would be opened up later in the season when the temperatures warmed up.
The town of Abla itself is located in the Sierra Nevada Nature Park. It’s in an area of immense scenic beauty with a wonderful mountain range and incredible valleys. It has become very popular with tourists who are interested in outdoor activities like skiing, mountain climbing, fishing, hiking and canoeing.
This is an awesome service that the City Council of Abla has provided. Motorhomers can use the Aire as a base while they do whichever activity they are interested in. Lots of motorhomers have money to spend so it’s very forward thinking of the Council to offer these services. Abla town has a few restaurants and bars, a supermarket and a petrol station where motorhomers can spend their euros.
So we would like to say a big thank you to the City Council of Abla for providing us with these great services.