Driving down to Spain from UK

#1
I was thinking of taking a leisurely drive down to Spain, specifically the San Sebastian area. Anyone ever done it and if so, any tips, such as stop overs etc.
Thank you.
 
#2
Get South of Paris on Day 1 and crash somewhere near Limoges. From Southern England that is a good stretch for a day without busting your ass.
 
#3
I was thinking of taking a leisurely drive down to Spain, specifically the San Sebastian area. Anyone ever done it and if so, any tips, such as stop overs etc.
Thank you.
You do not say where you intend to cross the Channel, which makes thing rather difficult for anyone to give you good suggestions. However I can provide you with something to consider: By travelling via the Western Channel routes (Portsmouth -St Malou) you will reduce your motoring costs by around £217 on the round trip. PM me with your ideas, then I can help you plan a very enjoyable trip.
 
#4
The Plymouth-Roscoff crossing might be the best bet really - go for an overnight crossing so you can get some sleep on board the ferry!
 
#5
I done this recently, was a bit knackering but a lot less stressful than flying and I got to see more than airports. PM me if you've got any questions :)
 
#6
Cheers everyone. Forgot to say that we would probably be heading off Dover/Calais way, as I am not a big fan of overnight ferries etc! We were looking at maybe driving over 2 days each way (happy to drive up to 10 hours a day). I looked on some websites which suggested this is achievable, but I was hoping to get some personal experiences from fellow ARSSERs. Pointers such as most direct route (tolls?) against longer routes (off autoroutes/no tolls etc), plus any recommended overnight stops. Eric Shawn - which route did you take?
Thanks again.
 
#8
I went Dover-Calais then on to Tours for a night then to Agen for 2 nights, I'd recommend there its a really nice place, and then down into Spain. If you are going to the San Sebatian area you could make the Bayonne - Biarritz area after Tours easily and stay a night or keep cracking down to San Seb. depending on how you feel.

France is a lot bigger than it looks on the map though, and I was driving 4-6 hours a day with stops and it was knackering so 10 hours would be a real challenge. The tolls aren't terrible although, the most I had to pay was 30 something euros but you won't have many more than about a tenner. Also if you go the Autoroutes the price of fuel is extortionate. I'd also recommend taking a plug-in cool box for the car as you'll end up paying a small fortune for snacks at services.
 
#9
A good place to take the first overnight break is bourges its off junction7 off the a71 smack in the centre of France. several budget hotels by the roundabout s you come of the peage, also after booking into one of the hotels walk back to the roundabout off the first exit is a routiers retourant where a 4 course meal with wine cost 12 and a half euros.
 
#10
Did it on the bike a few years ago. Wiltshire to Tarragona in Spain in 17 hours riding. ******* excrutiating!
The Paris Pheripherique (sp?, the M25 of Paris) is a proper thrill in rush hour!
 
#11
Doesn't Dover - Dunkerque cost about a 1/3 of the Dover - Calais route? I don't know if they still do it (Emsav will) but they used to have a system in place where if you sped too fast between toll booths (I guess this only on pay-as-you-go motorways) you could be done for speeding, known someone caught out on that one!
 
#13
Doesn't Dover - Dunkerque cost about a 1/3 of the Dover - Calais route? I don't know if they still do it (Emsav will) but they used to have a system in place where if you sped too fast between toll booths (I guess this only on pay-as-you-go motorways) you could be done for speeding, known someone caught out on that one!
Thank you "Ex_donkey_man" for reminding me. The fine is automatic and works like this:

0 - 20 km/h (average) over the limit equals the number of km/h multiplied by 20 as a fine.
21 - 40 km/h (average) over the limit equals the number of km/h multiplied by 50 as a fine
41+ (average) over the limit and the gendarmes are smiling at you.

The fine is automatically added to the road toll.

And remember the speed limit is 20 km/h lower in inclement weather.
130 becomes 110, 110 becomes 90 and so on. You can also be fined for travelling too slowly - anything less than 60 km/h equates to a breath test and a fine of 90 Euros. More if the breath test is positive. Note: The blood/alcohol level is a lot lower here 0.05% compared with 0.08% in UK. Drunk driving means we keep your car and you walk home after your prison sentence.
 
#14
The ferries from Poole, Portsmouth or Newhaven would be a better bet than trogging down to Dover. There's a FastCat service from Weymouth as well IIRC
It's not reckoned to be a good idea to stop 50kms either side of the French-Spanish border. There have been a number of "incidents" around that area. Barcelona is also bad in that respect but you won't be heading there.
 
#15
I did the Bilbao ferry from Portsmouth, was on a motorbike, managed to ride to Southern Spain in a day, nice roads, people seemed decent.
If you get a chance take a look at Benidorm, it is the most amazing place! full of Chavs looking for a small piece of Britain in Spain!!!! Made me laugh!!
 
#17
Some cracking advice there everyone - much appreciated. I will discuss with the other half and see if she prefers the overnight ferry to cut down on the driving hours, or the alternative longer route.
Emsav, thanks for the wonderful PM! I will reply in due course.
Regards to all.
 
#18
#20
I'd echo the point about stopping near the border. A friend of mine (World Superstock team) was driving back from Aragon to Nice and stopped overnight in a layby near Perpignan. He woke in the early hours and it appears some fcukers had pushed a window open and were in the process of gassing them, so that they could blag the van while they were unconscious. He's ex RUC SB and didn't hang about, chasing the baddies with a tyre rod in his scundies. They were lucky he didn't catch up with them.

Be careful.
 

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