Exploring the world and going on adventures is a dream for many of us. The feeling of being free and unrestrained, surrounded by nature, is something that can’t be beaten. And what better way to experience it than with a campervan?
My love for van life started years ago when I traveled with a campervan for the first time in Australia in 2013. The freedom and lightness I felt while on the road was incredible. But after I returned to Germany, I got busy with life and forgot about the joy of traveling with a van. It was only a decade later, during a road trip in Spain and Portugal, that I rediscovered it with the VW California.
Why do I love the VW California so much? First, the smart design is impressive. Volkswagen designed a vehicle that transforms from a car to a living room to a kitchen and finally to two bedrooms on two levels.
On our first day of the trip, we picked up the VW California at the Indie Campers pick-up center in Lisbon and headed south towards Vilamoura. The campervan has a great driving experience and with the rear sensors it is very safe and simple to park.
The VW California easily stored our luggage and had plenty of drawers and cupboards to bring structure to life on the road. We also received a kitchen kit with all the necessary cooking equipment and a cleaning kit. On top of that, we booked the bedding kit and table and chairs.
Our first night was spent watching the sunset in Fuseta, a small and picturesque fishing village surrounded by Parque Natural da Ria Formosa.
We then had delicious seafood at a traditional restaurant by the harbor. We slept in a “homestay,” which is a private property transformed into a campsite.
Setting up the rooftop tent was simple, and the space inside was surprisingly big. The black interior of the tent kept out the sunlight in the morning, allowing us to sleep in.
The next morning, we woke up to the sight of olive trees and horses. We prepared breakfast using the sink, two-hob gas cooker, and fridge powered by the second battery. Even if you’re not moving the campervan for a while, you’ll have fresh food and drinks. After breakfast, we quickly transformed the campervan from a kitchen/bedroom to a car and took a boat to one of the islands near Fuseta. We spent the day in a beautiful isolated spot with few people around us.
Our experience with the VW California was incredible. It was cozy to sleep, easy to regulate the temperature, and we had a big water tank of 30 litres keeping us and the campervan clean. We were able to freshen up with this water supply, and it was also easy to find public showers along the way. The showers at the beach and on the campsite were great. We also brought dry shampoo and wet wipes, which I can definitely recommend.
We had an amazing time on the road, which has made me fall in love with this compact campervan. So much so, that now I want to buy one! The VW California is equipped with a fully equipped kitchen, a comfortable driving experience, a cosy and dark rooftop tent, and a second battery that powers the fridge, water pump, and heater/AC for hours without needing stationary power.
The freedom and flexibility that van life offers are unbeatable. It’s an experience that everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. With a campervan, you can go wherever your heart desires, sleep under the stars, and wake up to stunning views. The VW California is the perfect campervan to explore the world, and I can’t wait to have one of my own!