An overnight either side of the Somport Tunnel

Discussion in 'France' started by veevee, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    At the end of April we will head north from Barcelona to the Somport Tunnel and into France. We would like to stay overnight in the mountains and looking for recommendations say max 20 km either side of the tunnel where we could overnight.

    If we have to pay that's ok, but near-ish to the tunnel is good, any ideas?

    Thanks
     
  2. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    Look in the resources. My route is there and listed are 2 aires on Spanish side Jaca and Sabananigo. Also there is aire at Oleron St Marie on French side. Campsites around that area should be open then, we pass a few but usually it out of season..
    Passed many layby's that could be OK as well but usually we do the run in winter so drive on through..
     
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  3. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    Thanks Tonka, but was really hoping for somewhere closer to either end of the tunnel as we love the high mountains but don't often get to them. Very helpful description of route(s) to Spain with and without tolls, this will be a big help to those not familiar with the journey.
     
  4. pjay

    pjay Funster

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    Hi,
    I have this off grid spot in my notes for future use, can't remember where I got it from but maybe worth a punt.

    On the French side just before the tunnel entrance, By the old train station at Forges d'Abel. Access from N134 via the D439...

    42.820182, -0.562272

    Make sure you have a plan B as its unverified, but if its ok do let me know as we might use it on the way down in March. :)

    Pete
     
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  5. Flamenca

    Flamenca Funster Life Member

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    There is a small aire at Urdos on the French side of the tunnel. I have not stopped there myself. Co-ordinates:

    42.87335, -0.55451
     
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  6. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    This is a spot we have often stopped at for a lunch break. There is ample parking, plus a tap for getting water.
    Often thought it would be a good place for an overnight...
    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@42.6...4!1s15KD21VYvpOcOAXuqBL57Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
     
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  7. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    That's the sort of thing Tonka, waking up with a really wide mountain vista and taking time over breakfast. Thanks very much for that suggestion, looks perfect at 8km before the tunnel.
     
  8. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    Pete, we are not making this journey until the end of April so you will get there first I think. The suggestion from Tonka just above looks good though.

    Flamenca, thanks too. It looks to me that we have found our spot in Spain but will take a look at your suggestion as we pass by, may be a good plan B anyway.
     
  9. emmitdb

    emmitdb Funster

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    And, just in case you want a Plan C, also on the french side, not far from the tunnel is the village of Accous.
    This little village has been by-passed (haven't they all)
    and, on the south side of the village, away from the main road, you will find a small campsite, Camping Despourrins. Cheap as chips.
    When we visitied about 5yrs ago, it was run by an elderly 'Madam' who's son, I think was married to a pleasant English lady. Good 'facilities'.
    It should be open in April however, even if it is, 50mts away is an auberge, 'LePermayou' with parking where for the cost of a drink, I'm sure you'll be able to stop for the night.

    Oh! I forgot, There is a Paragliding type school in the village and we spent a couple of pleasant afternoons watching the suicide jockeys throw themselves off a nearby hill and float aloft.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
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  10. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    LOL... I know the village.. You often see vans and cars shoot down the old road and through the village.. Usually to try and beat the trucks going around the bypass :) Often thought it looked a nice spot... We are always passing in winter and want to keep going or in summer have grandkids in the back wanting to get to Benidorm in a rush !!
    I love this section of the journey...
     
  11. emmitdb

    emmitdb Funster

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    I've added a bit you might like.
     
  12. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Oberon Aire small and last time I got last tight spot. Having an alternative probably a good idea. Nice town though...
     
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  13. Leftlegger

    Leftlegger Funster

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    Looks better with a camper in the picture to give a better idea of the view :)
    Also thought It'd make a nice stopover but we hit it early in the day.
    enroute across the pyrenees.JPG
     
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  14. ojibway

    ojibway Funster

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    We have taken the Somport tunnel on several occasions but if there is no likelihood snow we prefer the very beautiful Col de Portalet route.
    We have stayed at the aire in Laruns on the way. It's free and the town is lovely.
    Latitude : (Nord) 42.98845° Décimaux ou 42° 59′ 18′′
    Longitude : (Ouest) -0.42511° Décimaux ou 0° 25′ 30′′
    Going south we get our croissants, take the D934 and have breakfast on the border at Col de Portalet. Carrying on you join the N-330/A23
    AireLaruns (11).JPG ColdePortalet (5).JPG
    at Sabinanigo
     
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  15. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    The Col de Portalet does indeed look beautiful and the road on the French side looks better than the road on the French side of the Somport, would you agree with that? Taking either route doesn't make any distance difference if you are heading NW so both routes are good. Guess the key is to know exactly what the weather forecast is up until you reach the point the road splits, late April could still see heavy snow from time to time maybe?

    Thanks
     
  16. ojibway

    ojibway Funster

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    Both roads are narrow, the Somport road has been gradually improved. The Portalet road is steeper, has hairpin bends but nothing that is too taxing. I saw a caravan being towed up it!
    It's only if snow falls are imminent that you need worry but that is unlikely in April. Decide at the last moment when you are coming to Sabinanigo where you can turn left left if snowing or go straight ahead if not!
     
  17. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    "It's only if snow falls are imminent that you need worry but that is unlikely in April."
    About 15 years ago we were taking some elderly relatives into the high Alps to show them some of the great passes. One even had to get an ok from her doctor as we were going over 2000m, but that's another story as she and her doctor got feet and meters mixed up. We were to travel in the 3rd week of June when there would still be plenty of snow high up but no problems on the roads. At the end of the second week a fierce storm was due in the Alps and it was a terrific storm but we had no idea what it was like as we were close to Dijon a way away.
    Looked up if the passes were open and not all but most were so we set off. Some places had had 3m of snow drop during the storm on top of what was there already but the roads were all cleared but banked up so high it felt like a tunnel in places. In bright sunlight it was a true winter wonderland never to be forgotten and wasn't supposed to happen so late in the year.


    I know this was a once in a decade experience but I'll check the weather first, just in case...

    Thanks for your help, really looking forward to one of these passes.
     
  18. ojibway

    ojibway Funster

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    Wow - An experience to remember, veevee!(y)
     
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