Drive from London to Southern Spain-anyone done it, what are my options?

Saldawop

Distinguished Member
That depends.If you have the time to make the journey part of the holiday rather than just the means to get there and back.
If you could do the journey in 20 hours but really, if it took 40 then then no problem,then thats what I would do.
Stop off and have a meal in a nice little village.Maybe spend an hour here or there just looking around the shops...or whatever you like to do when you go somewhere.

I drove to Switzerland a few years back.I stopped places that looked nice.I stayed in some of them for the night.The actual journey there and back was longer than the holiday...I loved it.
Of course thats no good if you only have x days to do the trip.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
I drove from Calais to Perpignan last year and I would say that whilst 10.5 hours is possible, I didn't manage to acheive it.

I estimate that I took 12 hours down and 14 hours back.

We didn't encounter too much traffic until we neared Montpelier. The toll road between Montpellier and Perpignan was more like British motorways with lots of traffic and slow downs.

The drive on the way back was a nightmare. We conicided with the general French return back home weekend and the toll road between Perpignan and Montpelier was at a standstill. Took about 3 hours to complete that stretch - that was bad enough but to be charged something like £20 at the end was really rubbing salt into the wound.

Apart from the sheer weight of traffic, the main problem is that the E-W tollroad is joined to the N-S tollroad by a short stretch of single carriage road. They were building a motorway extension to join the two up and hopefully that has been finished now.

And when I said that I didn't think that 8 + 7 was enough I was saying that I didn't think that was sufficient time to get from calais to malaga.

Cheers,

Nigel
 
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brumhee

Distinguished Member
Before you set off on the second day you might be able to make a trip to a supermarket and grab some stuff for a picnic.

When I was younger my family always drove to southern spain with a trailer tent and theres some really nice picnic areas just off the motorways in Spain. If i remember correctly one was in the middle of a grove of ancient olive trees :smashin:

if you are driving then it might be worth stopping a few place and seeing what's around. You could spend a bit of time in the cities you stop at then and maybe take a different route back. It would break up the journey and make it seem a bit more like part of the holiday.:thumbsup:
 

John

Moderator
You could always get the ferry to Bilbao and miss out france
 

brumhee

Distinguished Member
You could always get the ferry to Bilbao and miss out france

Thats longer than the Santander crossing which the OP has ruled out as its too long at sea, nice crossing though with the dolphins and everything :thumbsup:
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
We ruled out the Bilbao and Santander crossings on account of cost (MAINLY) and time taken.
Our ferry from Dover to Calais was £79.00 (one way, car was staying in Portugal and I was flying home)
The Plymouth to Santander ferry was £501.00!!!
Even with fuel through France and a hotel break in France, we saved a small fortune.
 
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Thanks, all. :thumbsup:

In honesty, it's looking less likely that this is going to be a feasible option given the timescales.

The issue is literally time. My 12 year old son doesn't live with me, he lives with his mum and they are due to get back from a trip to Mexico in the very early hours of the Friday morning (1am I think) and I was planning on us leaving on the Sunday to give him Friday and Saturday to adjust back/get over jetlag/washing etc.

We then need to be back some 10 days later on the Wednesday (could maybe stretch to Thursday), but the whole point of this trip is to see my relatives in Southern Spain, so whilst stopping off for various nights is the sensible (and a pleasureable!) thing to do, it simply detracts from our available time with the family. :(

Looks like we'll have to fly.... :thumbsdow
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
The other thing you may not have considered is Insurance.Does your policy allow driving on the continent.

I know a few yrs ago you had to have something called a bail bond it may not be obligatory but check.

Also don't think about taking your car on a 2-3k trip in europe without some sort of vehicle breakdown/recovery insurance as it would cost a small fortune to get your vehicle back home if needed.
 

gken74

Well-known Member
Azzin,

I'm driving from just outside Glasgow to Vaison La Romaine in the South of France on Saturday morning with our 21 month old twins which will interesting :rolleyes:

We're driving down to Dover to get the ferry to Calais then driving for another hour before stopping for the night in a Novotel. Then up in the morning and head South to our destination.

If you do decide to drive avoid Saturday in France as the motorways are always extremly busy as the French holiday lets for flats at the seaside as Saturday to Saturday. Last weekend there was 350km's of traffic jams :facepalm:
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
The other thing you may not have considered is Insurance.Does your policy allow driving on the continent.

I know a few yrs ago you had to have something called a bail bond it may not be obligatory but check.

Also don't think about taking your car on a 2-3k trip in europe without some sort of vehicle breakdown/recovery insurance as it would cost a small fortune to get your vehicle back home if needed.

They are not that bad.

You need to request a green card, which are available on most insurances and you will be charged around £15.

For recovery, there are AA and RAC schemes - last time I looked they were about £50 for the duration of the holiday.

Also if it is not your car (company car or relative's for example) then you need to carry a letter saying that you have permission to drive it - I was told it had to be in the correct language (french and spanish in this case).

Cheers,

Nigel
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
Ooh, that's a point.
The French expect you to carry all sorts of crap in your car, including reflective jackets which were made compulsory in 2008.
I was lucky enough that we have loads of them at work, I just nicked some.
Warning triangles are also compulsory.
 
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