We are after advice on driving to Benidorm. (Early Dec 2008 for 5 weeks) We would have prefered to go from Portsmouth to Bilbao but they don't take animals and we want to take a small dog with us!. Plymouth to Santander don't sail after mid Dec till March 2009. So we are left with Dover to Calais and a very long drive through France and Spain. Has anyone done this route? I would like to know what the mileage is and tolls for the motorways or is it better to avoid the motorway? Or is there a better crossing route?? any advice would be appreciated.
Regards - Sue
I am not trying to scare you but advising you of one of the pitfalls.
We got the latest train through the tunnel, so were passing Paris at around 3am. It was still quite busy then, but manageable.
To be honest, the toll roads were easier as we did the trip without a stop (apart from eating and bathroom breaks) and although there are standard roads alongside in many places, they don't avoid towns, so you can get stuck in traffic. I do remember we arrived at our apartment at 22:15 after setting off through the tunnel at 23:45 the day before. Our van was well loaded up so we didn't do the speed limit in a lot of places. It would have been quicker in a car, and the AA times quoted by Barclay look about right to me.
I'll post again if I find the toll costs.
Dover - Boulougne on Norfolk Line is much cheaper than Calais using P&O or Sea France
If you drive near legal speed limits you can do this with two full days of driving and one night in a hotel
We stop at Clermont Ferrand which is sort of the middle of France and where the North South and East West motorways cross. My son has done it a number of times and he does it without an overnight stop and with short breaks he generally takes 24 hours to Aylesbury.
I always use the http://www.viamichelin.com web site to plan the journey.
If you enter your mpg for your car it will give you an accurate and up to date costing including the tolls
You can then balance, fastest, shortest, avoiding tolls etc etc routes quickly and easily. You can then print out a route guide for the journey.
The motorways are generally easy driving and interesting - much better condition than our roads, the only tricky part is getting round Paris, so if you have or can borrow a SatNav this really makes this part much easier, we usually try and do this before 7am or on a weekend morning. Many of the newer SatNavs have the speed cameras listed and sound an alarm when one is coming up. The ViaMichelin routes mark the position of these speed traps.
I wouldnt dream of taking one of the longer ferry crossings its just too expensive and time consuming and even when you get to Spain its still a fair drive down from the North.
I have a spreadsheet somewhere with all my costs, but to be hionest ViaMichelin calculates it all for you using upto date prices
Post a Reply
Please sign in or register an account to reply to this post.