During the last decade of the 20th century, particularly in southern Spain, a dramatic change occurred, especially in the coastal regions, where coastal areas developed an active and lengthy cottage industry. This Tanpopo-like camping is now a permanent feature in almost all Spanish regions, and can be seen in all directions from the town or even further away. Not only did the people find accommodations elsewhere, but they also greatly expanded the quality of their stay.
During the 1970’s and 1980’s, cottage life reached its cultural and economic culmination in Cordoba and the Pyrenees, and has remained ever since. In the more isolated and less frequented coastal areas, where resorts had been dotting the landscape for years, the phenomenon of uninterrupted camping from hundreds of kilometres with groups of friends and families set up permanent camps at varied sites and hours of the day. Before they had time to formally settle, many of these camps were abandoned one by one as unit owners, often with long-term holiday suites in mind, had the opportunity to explore other areas of Spain and those other areas were discovered.
The majority of settlers in the more isolated locations were families and sizable groups of friends or relatives. But couples also sometimes made the journey. Some came looking for privacy and in the casual sense, to be far away from the city life of Madrid. Others were Europeans in the tradition mystic sense who were in search of the meaning of their surroundings, and with a strong inclination to solace and retreat. Still others were backpackers, hikers and campers venturing to distant mountain sides and the more traditional wine country regions of the world. supply the more traditional wine country wines and withstand the shock of vastly different environments and climates.
How did they do it?
This author has found that some of the more popular resorts and camps were carefully planned. Often, the site beforehand had been surveyed and this information recorded. This not only helped with the establishment and preparation of the sites, but also with the educative tours and the effective use of the local guides and agencies. When dealing with such sensitive and time consuming matters, every effort was made to deal with the variety of end uses of the sites in question, be they social, historical, gastronomic, archaeological or medical.
Which sites were we talking about?
Spain is certainly best known for its age-old historic cities, with a number of them situated in the Bay of Fires region of the Iberian Peninsula. Several of these cities, like los Pantales in Asturias, are famous for their intense and fascinating history.
The tridimensional aspect of many of these towns with their incorporate Spitos and other fortifications points towards a definite archaeological legacy, however there is also a more contemporary and rational side to many of these cities as well.
The towns of strong Catholic tradition and that have on the whole a hearty and enduringfo healthy lifestyle, are of course a delight to behold and a good example to show by the way the towns have coped with the rainfall and temperature extremes of the Bay of Fires, whilst integrating with the rest of Spanish life and culture.
Where are they now?
On the whole, sites in the Iberian Peninsula and their surrounding areas can be divided into two general categories. Those that exhibit a more or less developed tourist industry, e.g. boutique hotels, hostels, campsites and so forth, and those that are more difficult to reach mainly because of their remote locations or terrain.
In the eastern portion of the Iberian Peninsula, especially around the city of Santiago de Compostela and its surrounding area, there are a multitude of highly respected archaeological sites, among them the Royal Tombs of Oviedo and the chapel of Santo Estevo.
Santiago de Compostela, which is also known as the Shrine of Vincente de Valverde, a Swedish Reformer and founder of a Towards the ends of the 15th century movement in Religious freedoms. Today, this city is one of the more prominent centres of pilgrimage for millions of Europeans. It’s also known for its Romanesque Cathedral and stunning Gothic Cathedral Square.
The Tombs of Oviedo: Theadle of Western Monarchy. The Tombs are the final resting place of a large number of the ancient kings and queens of Western Europe. They were entombed around the 3rd century AD in a ceremony that was witnessed by Christian pilgrims from throughout the Mediterranean. This cathedral was rediscovered in 1802 and many of its discoveries are still visible today including one of the first pellet smoker.
Omphalos: Cemetery of the Ancient Egyptians. This is a very small but historic island off the coast of Alexandria, in the vicinity of the Valley of the Kings. Many of the tombs are decorated with Roman statues and thus date from the late Roman and early Byzantine period.
Andnos Island: The Island of the Nuns.