Cheap ferries to portugal

Discussion in 'Motorhome Detailing' started by redbox, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. redbox

    redbox Funster

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    hi all,
    New to all this and the forums so be gentle !
    hoping to head off to Portugal in the new year(January) can anyone advise on who I should book with for the best deals?
    We are new to this so any other help would be appreciated : )
    Apologise if there's already info about this but not familiar with things yet !
     
  2. Flamenca

    Flamenca Funster Life Member

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    Ferry from Portsmout to Santander or Bilbao probably best for you unless you want to enjoy the journey through France in which case Portsmouth to St. Malo is good.
     
  3. denisejoe

    denisejoe Funster Life Member

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    Welcome to Fun.

    You'll get better responses if you post in the Continental Touring section as this is the Motorhome Detailing section but someone who knows better than me will be along shortly. As far as I'm aware you'll need to get a ferry to Spain and then drive, don't think there are any direct to Portugal.

    Denise
     
  4. mike mcglynn

    mike mcglynn Funster Life Member

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    Brittany ferries winter sailings timetable is due out in July (y)
     
  5. pyro

    pyro Funster

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    Done the journey a few times now, as we live near Peniche on the silver coast. We find the drive through France soul destroying and very expensive on tolls and fuel, and very taxing (unless you stop to enjoy places en route). So we take the ferry to Santander (Brittany Ferries) and take our time through Spain before crossing at Guardia - works out about the same cost, more enjoyable and a lot easier
     
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  6. redbox

    redbox Funster

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    Thanks for all replies so far,the Santander route appeals to me,but my wife is afraid of so long on a ferry.
    Is there a "toll free"route?
    Thanks again.
     
  7. Sabino

    Sabino Funster

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  8. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    There are a lot of non-toll motorways in France but from experience it's worth paying for the one round Bordeaux as it saves a LOT of time and stress!
     
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  9. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    We went toll free around Bordeaux both ways didn't notice anything stressful obviously with any big city try to plan your journey to avoid rush hours.
     
  10. redbox

    redbox Funster

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  11. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    God would be good coz he delights in cancelling ferries to Spain at that time of the year.

    At least doing Dover or tunnel you can be pretty sure of sailing.

    A weak pound, so expensive diesel, does make the Spain ferries that much more financially attractive.
     
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  12. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    There are two ferries in operation. A Brittany Ferries economy service, which is a bit cheaper but it uses a smaller ship so it could be more uncomfortable in rough weather. The standard service uses the Pont Aven which is a pleasant and larger ship - think mini-cruise. I think late next year a new and larger still BF ferry comes into service which will probably be used on this route.

    The only problem is the Bay of Biscay, it can be very rough if you are unlucky but the overland route won't always be pleasant in January, several Funsters have experienced snow.

    If it was me I would go the long ferry route, we are returning on it to the UK in three weeks. Just stock up on Kwells and lash yourself to the bar clutching a bottle of brandy. You'll be fine. :)
     
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  13. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Bring cheap but excellent Spanish brandy on board. Lash yourself to your private toilet clutching the brandy. So much more discrete and cheaper and the shower is right next to you to clean up afterwards.
     
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  14. The Dude

    The Dude Funster

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    I am assuming your wife is afraid of sea sickness. We travelled on the ferry from Portsmouth to Santander in January this year for the first time. I was very, very anxious because I suffer quite badly from sea sickness (can even get queasy on a li-lo!). Anyway I followed the advice on here and took Stugeron tablets and ate ginger biscuits and despite a rough crossing of the Bay of Biscay I wasn't seasick at all. Will definitely be doing it again as it's preferable to driving through France in the depths of winter.
     
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  15. bellabee

    bellabee Funster

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    The Santander crossing for us, too - every time! Our winter crossing was quite rough, but we took the Stugeron and didn't feel sick. The time goes quite quickly. We think it's much better than the drab and tiring drive down through France in winter.
    You'll get varying opinions on this, though. Some people enjoy the drive, and see it as part of the holiday. It's also a bit cheaper to do the French crossings, but as Hilldweller said, the exchange rate and fuel prices have gone some way to reducing the difference. We think that it's well worth paying the extra.
     
  16. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

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    Our defence against sea sickness is to take to your bed at the earliest opportunity and stay there as long as possible, it only takes a few minutes of being vertical in rough weather to induce nausea in both of us.

    Regarding toll roads in France I am fairly certain that all autoroutes are free when they form part of the ring road for a major city, certainly all the ones that we have used.
     
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  17. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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    The cheapest way to Portugal in a Motorhome (3.5T) would be to cross by ferry from Dover to Calais then take the N10 route (It's in the about france.com link). Paying some small Tolls to get through places like Tours and using a short section of the A13 south of Rouen, other wise toll free. Most of the A63 from Bordeuax to Irun can be done toll free by exiting Jct 18 and rejoining at Jct 17, exiting 12 and rejoining at Jct 8. It's worth paying the tolls at the bottom end. You can do all of Spain toll free (about Spain.com) and toll roads in Portugal can be avoided too.
    If your going to overwinter for a few months, you may want to reconsider to Spain. Portugal is likely to be much wetter due to it's proximity to the Atlantic and a bit cooler. The Mercia region in Spain is very popular in the winter as it's much drier and a tad warmer.
    If you want more detail on the route from Calais to your point of entry in Portugal, I would be happy to give you my recommendation.
    Safe Travels.
     
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  18. bigtree

    bigtree Funster

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    The motorway round Bordeaux is free!
     
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  19. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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    This is correct. However, as you go south on the A63 it becomes a toll road. Unlike other toll sections the A63 toll is payable at each toll booth and not judged on the distance you drive. So, you can drive down (and up) the toll road and exit before the toll booths without having to pay a toll fare. (See my previous post). This saving can be significant on a return journey using this technique. When you get down near Irun the other roads are so congested it's worth staying on the A63 and paying the last few tolls (around 8 euros in total for 3.5T motorhome).
     
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  20. bigtree

    bigtree Funster

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    True, there are 2 tolls to pay but can be avoided quite easily.Unfortunately I wasn't paying attention at the first turn off,so had to pay that one but got off before the next one.The alternative runs right alongside the A63,nearly 14€ for a class 3 at each section..(n)
     
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