France Passion is one of those schemes that really let motorhomers get into the culture of France and its people. With France Passion motorhome owners get the privilege of mixing with French locals and can sample local delicacies. The best part is that registration is free, however membership is limited.
The principle of France Passion is fairly simple. Motorhome owners who display the France Passion sticker are able to stay overnight, or for 24 hours, at properties listed by France Passion free of charge. Prior booking is not required, however parking is on a ‘first come first served basis’. All that the motorhome owner needs to do to enjoy this excellent stopover network is to remember to say "Bonjour” and "Au revoir” Its not a problem either if you can’t speak much French, as over 450 of the listed sites claim to speak enough English to communicate well. Another plus is that most of the registered sites say that they can take motorhomes over 3.5 tons.
The France Passion scheme is only available to self sufficient motorhome and Campervan owners so you will probably need to use the pretty good French comprehensive ‘Aires de Service’ network to dispose of your waste and to refill your fresh water tanks.
Inspired by the same concept of that of France Passion, ESPAÑA DISCOVERY was set up to unite Spanish wine growers and farmers with motorhome owners, for the mutual interests of both, sharing a friendly, safe and trusting environment.
ESPAÑA DISCOVERY is an organisation for motorhome owners who are lovers of the natural world, simple pleasures , life in the open air and plenty of travel, but treating the environment they are enjoying with respect.
Motorhome users from all over Europe, including Spain itself, can park overnight, or for 24 hours maximum, in areas designated by the property owner, absolutely free. This allows the vineyard owners and farmers to promote their produce to a wider cross section of potential buyers, who can appreciate the local quality and taste.
Membership of ESPAÑA DISCOVERY provides motorhome users with details of participating sites, mainly vineyards (bodegas) and some farms.. On the selected sites motorhome owners are allowed to park in a safe and welcoming environment for up to 24 hours. Between ESPAÑA DISCOVERY members and participating sites there is no financial or commercial obligation, however the motorhome user must stick to some simple rules, consisting of a combination of common courtesy and respect for others. ESPAÑA DISCOVERY has a Code of Conduct that covers these rules, which members have to accept to join.
To give potential members an idea of what these rules consist of, below is an extract of ESPAÑA DISCOVERY’s membership Code of Conduct.
ESPAÑA DISCOVERY Code of Conduct:
Motorhome users, members of ESPAÑA DISCOVERY, must accept and comply with the following code of conduct:
(1). On arrival at the chosen site show the ESPAÑA DISCOVERY membership card and guide for the current year to the host. Hosts, for reasons of security, will only let identified members of ESPAÑA DISCOVERY park overnight on their property.
(2). Arrive at the chosen site at a reasonable hour. Visitors will not be welcome in the middle of the night. Some sites have gates that will be closed at night.
(3). Each motorhome user is not a paying client but a welcome guest. Be friendly and thank your host on leaving.
(4). To avoid inconveniencing the work of your host please park only in the areas indicated by them.
(5). Before starting your journey ensure your clean water tanks are full and all waste tanks are empty and functioning correctly. ESPAÑA DISCOVERY hosts do not provide facilities for servicing motorhomes.
(6). Never light fires or barbeques.
(7). Do not use toilets, water taps or drains without the host’s permission.
(8). If you have small children remember the sites are working vineyards or farms, not children’s playgrounds. Please take care.
(9). If you have a dog please ask the host’s permission before letting it off the leash.
(10). ESPAÑA DISCOVERY hosts do not charge for staying overnight – do not expect facilities as provided by a campsite.
(11). Sometimes due to personal circumstances a host will be unable to welcome visitors. It is always possible to find an alternative farm or vineyard not far away.
(12). Common sense and courtesy are important. Please accept any restrictions imposed. ESPAÑA DISCOVERY hosts are not providing the service of a campsite.