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Adam17



Member Since: 15 May 2018
Location: Within Bedfordshire
Posts: 1156

England 2004 Defender 110 Td5 XS CSW Java Black
Trip to spain.... What route???

Hi all. Im looking for some advice (by experience) on a travel route to Alicante.

So since having my full licence, I have wanted to do a trip abroad. I got my bike licence back in 2008 but have been riding since about 2003..

When I got married in 2015 my folks retired and moved to Spain - so luckily I now have a 'holiday home' and a cheap stop off point to aim for Mr. Green

Next year my wife and I are hoping a drive over to see my folks. And we are not sure whether to go via train to France and drive to my folks near Alicante or ferry to Bilbao, then on to my folks, and take the long route back.

We have a roof tent we are planning to use so are not worried about hotels etc.. And jerry cans so not too fussed about fuel stops if we go off the beaten track..

But we need to check out places we can stop over night in tent before getting to my folks. We are in no rush to get there and will have about 2 weeks to play with...

Im expecting it to take 4 days to get there (enjoying the route through the mountains), spend 4 days at my folks and the take about 4 days to get home, that'll leave us 2 days or so to unpack and wind down before going back to work Big Cry

We will be taking our dog, so will need to think about jabs for him also.

Any info, points to note, things to consider, places worth a visit etc greatly appreciated. Regards
Adam

Loving The Duchess
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Post #743206 30th Nov 2018 5:05pm
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Welshsurferdude



Member Since: 23 Feb 2012
Location: Cardiff
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Wales 

Just on my way home from Tenerife to the UK, just done 2000k thru Spain, currently in Saint Naziare bloody cold up here!

I can suggest anywhere in pyrenees, Andorra, san Sebastian, Toledo, Cordoba, all lovely places and good scenery to drive thru.

motorways are great in Spain, can cover big K easily. N roads are slower but quieter local traffic and more to see and more opportunities to find a nice quiet spot to camp.


As for the drive thru France option or the Brittany ferry to north Spain, both are good options but middle france can be quite boring just done 800k of peage and not much to look at. did divert off 100k before our overnight stops along D roads much more interesting but slower.

food on Brittany ferries is most excellent tho! and save on fuel and wear and tear but choice is yours!

Google maps work perfect so make sure you have good data on the phone!


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Post #743233 30th Nov 2018 6:45pm
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Adam17



Member Since: 15 May 2018
Location: Within Bedfordshire
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England 2004 Defender 110 Td5 XS CSW Java Black

Thanks for the info, most appreciated and taken on board. Regards
Adam

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Post #743386 1st Dec 2018 12:41pm
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Bluest



Member Since: 23 Apr 2016
Location: Lancashire
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Sounds like a potentially epic trip, but potentially that’s a lot of driving in not a lot of days. I’d consider ferry to Spain, if you can afford it, to cut out France, if you want to see more of Spain and potentially warmer weather. You won’t need the Jerry cans. No shortage of petrol stations, including 24/7 pay at pump. The important decision is do you want to get to your destination ASAP or take in the country on your way through?

Motorways are quick and easy, but my god it gets boring. You will see some wonderful places if you spend at least some of the time taking the alternative old roads that usually follow a similar route to the motorways, but it will significantly curtail how many miles you can do in a day. 4 days is enough to stay off the motorway and take some stuff in even if you do drive down through France. All depends on if the priority is the destination or the journey. Again if doing the long drive through France, consider going vie the west side of the Pyrenees one way and east side on the way back so you aren’t seeing the same stuff twice. 2007 110 TDCi Station Wagon XS

Post #743393 1st Dec 2018 1:44pm
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dailysleaze



Member Since: 23 May 2013
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United Kingdom 

I took the ferry to Spain and didn't regret it. Spain is big enough to give monotonous driving, so including France would have been hell.

Post #743395 1st Dec 2018 1:55pm
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LandRoverAnorak



Member Since: 17 Jul 2011
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I've driven to and across Spain a few times and the ferry is definitely the way to do it. Going through France via the tunnel in particular is a very long way around.

As mentioned, Jerry cans, are probably overkill. Spain isn't quite the final frontier.

There are some very nice camp sites but, in the interior especially, away from the touristy areas, some can feel like stepping into the twilight zone. All part of the experience, though Laughing Darren

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Post #743402 1st Dec 2018 2:22pm
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Adam17



Member Since: 15 May 2018
Location: Within Bedfordshire
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England 2004 Defender 110 Td5 XS CSW Java Black

Bluest wrote:
Sounds like a potentially epic trip, but potentially that’s a lot of driving in not a lot of days. I’d consider ferry to Spain, if you can afford it, to cut out France, if you want to see more of Spain and potentially warmer weather. You won’t need the Jerry cans. No shortage of petrol stations, including 24/7 pay at pump. The important decision is do you want to get to your destination ASAP or take in the country on your way through?

Motorways are quick and easy, but my god it gets boring. You will see some wonderful places if you spend at least some of the time taking the alternative old roads that usually follow a similar route to the motorways, but it will significantly curtail how many miles you can do in a day. 4 days is enough to stay off the motorway and take some stuff in even if you do drive down through France. All depends on if the priority is the destination or the journey. Again if doing the long drive through France, consider going vie the west side of the Pyrenees one way and east side on the way back so you aren’t seeing the same stuff twice.


Its more about the journey for me... I guess id prefer a long drive there and then rest at my folks, and if I have time drive the distance back, or if it takes longer than I think, we can get the ferry back... Is the ferry quicker than driving through France?????

But I have not done it before so... I guess we will have to see...

Driving for long distance isn't to much of a bother, I did Bedfordshire to fort William with just 1 stop (and a speeding ticket Big Cry ) (it was our honeymoon, and I couldn't wait to get there - It was early in the morning and the roads were empty - just me and another Audi driver (had my Audi at the time) Regards
Adam

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Post #743403 1st Dec 2018 2:25pm
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Huttopia



Member Since: 23 Feb 2016
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As others have said the drive through France isn’t that interesting unless you really take your time, which would eat into your time in Spain. The ferry is expensive but you pay your money and take your choice! Sounds like a great trip, enjoy the planning!

Post #743440 1st Dec 2018 5:24pm
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Bluest



Member Since: 23 Apr 2016
Location: Lancashire
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United Kingdom 2007 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 XS CSW Java Black

I should say, if it is your first trip through France, it won’t be that boring, just because you’ll be excited to be heading somewhere new. The journey back might be the slog. Just thinking back to when I was first venturing into the continent, and I used to love the long slogs to new places. It’s just gets dull when you have done it before, or you just want to get home. 2007 110 TDCi Station Wagon XS

Post #743442 1st Dec 2018 5:55pm
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Fabio



Member Since: 05 Aug 2011
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I drive most years to Portugal.
Euro tunnel and down via Bordeaux, San Sebastian and down to Badajoz.
3900 miles in 2 weeks last summer.
I use a TOM TOM and never had any issues.
Me and the wife my son 7 and my daughter 10.

Fabio

Post #743443 1st Dec 2018 6:00pm
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Adam17



Member Since: 15 May 2018
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England 2004 Defender 110 Td5 XS CSW Java Black

Thanks again all for the info..

As it is my first time, perhaps ill do the France part, and then ferry home...

Any particular thoughts on taking a dog on the train? or ferry back?

I heard the pet cabins go fast and to book early...??? Regards
Adam

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Post #743517 2nd Dec 2018 10:54am
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Bluest



Member Since: 23 Apr 2016
Location: Lancashire
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At the moment, taking a dog is easy, just go to your vet for the passport at least a month before you travel. Dog will be wormed and vaccinated and there is a delay period for the vaccination to become effective. They don’t even look at your dog or pet passport on the tunnel on the way out. Coming back you need to see a vet abroad within about 48 hours (ish, can’t remember the exact rule) of your crossing. Vet will check the dog over and give it a tablet and most importantly stamp the passport. If you don’t do this, or get the timing wrong you won’t be able to travel. I’ve seen it happen loads at the pet desk at Eurotunnel Calais. Alll the Ferry company do is scan your dog’s chip and check the passport as you book in.

What happens after Brexit no one knows at the minute. If we get a deal it should carry on the same, if no deal, might need different paperwork and vaccinations. There is some not very helpful vague information on gov.uk about it. And I’ve had a couple of equally vague emails from Eurotunnel.

The Tunnel is great because it only takes 35 mins and you are with the dog and car the whole time. On the Dover to Calais ferries you have to leave your dog in the car and you can’t access it at sea, but that is only 90 mins to 2 hours. On some of the longer ferries from Portsmouth etc. you can take your dog onboard with you (including sleep in your cabin) or they have a kennel where you can go and see your dog during the crossing. Depends on the boat. 2007 110 TDCi Station Wagon XS

Post #743523 2nd Dec 2018 11:19am
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Tompoole



Member Since: 05 Jun 2011
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Post #743524 2nd Dec 2018 11:21am
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landy andy



Member Since: 15 Feb 2009
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2006 Defender 110 Td5 USW Zermatt Silver

If your taking your dog, go via eurotunel would be my advice. It works really well, and you get to sit with your dog for the half hour train ride. It costs £18 each way for the dog and you will need to see a vet in France or Spain 5 days to 1 day before you travel back. Make sure they fill out your paperwork correctly. We take our own worming tablet, as it’s then a nice flavoured chewable one. That way our dog just gulps it down and avoids horrible tablet that may not be eaten which leads to an injection instead that they charge more for. Vet visit will cost €10-€30. We don’t book vet, or any of our campsites when we travel, just the crossing. Get a app satnav that you load the countries onto, and the same with a few camping apps, that way you aren’t smashing your data, and reliant on signal. We always drive rather than ferry to Spain if heading in that direction, and especially so now we have a dog. I’ve rarely heard good things about the Spain crossing especially with a dog. I understand it’s different for different people, but to us the drive IS our holiday, and not just a way of getting to a holiday. If you are going to drive France, and especially if you are going to use the motorways there get a toll tag, brilliant things and you get a deal if bought with your eurotunel crossing.

Andy

Post #743525 2nd Dec 2018 11:22am
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Adam17



Member Since: 15 May 2018
Location: Within Bedfordshire
Posts: 1156

England 2004 Defender 110 Td5 XS CSW Java Black

Thank you all, some great useful info there...

All will be taken into consideration. Appreciate it all.

It sounds as though ill be going train both ways, I don't like the idea of kennelling my boy - he didn't fair to good last time, and I vowed never to kennel him again... Awful experience for him and us.

I didn't know about seeing a vet on the way back - I guessed before we left for vacs etc... so thanks for that.

And agreed the driving is the holiday for me! seeing my foilks is a bonus Smile

If its all round easier, may see if the in-laws can watch him again, my folks have cats also, so do need to think about that... Regards
Adam

Loving The Duchess
The Defender 110 TD5 XS

My Defender story - http://www.defender2.net/forum/topic64005.html

Post #743561 2nd Dec 2018 3:31pm
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