I'm coming round to the 'Drive thru France' to Spain idea.....

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Chockswahay, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    Having just checked the ferry prices for January I am beginning to think that going via Calais instead of Bilbao is not such a daft idea :rolleyes:

    The saving once the cost of diesel is taken into account is approx £200 one way :eek:

    Does the panel (hehe, I know you're all out there:whistle:) have any thoughts on the matter?

    Cheers

    :xgrin:
     
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  2. Boringfrog

    Boringfrog Funster

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    I live in the North East of England and Calais is my preferred route, did Plymouth - Santander one year, never again. :)
     
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  3. The Dude

    The Dude Funster

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    Have just booked the ferry to Santander for the first time - am dreading it but hubby insists we try it. Think I may have to overdose on Sturgeron.
     
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  4. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

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    image.jpeg

    After our near death experience on the Hirtshals to Bergen ferry we vowed no more long ferry crossings

    image.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
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  5. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    I enjoy motorhoming... this includes driving slowly through new places, or meandering along familar roads, stopping off whenever or wherever the mood takes me.

    I do not enjoy wallowing about on a sick inducing and expensive sea voyage.

    Roads are for motorhomers... the seas are for sailors.

    JJ :xcool:
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
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  6. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Once was enough for us as well many years ago......Much prefer to drive! Not as if you save any time. Chock's you can have a break on the way down in London at our place if you like..only 1.5 hrs from tunnel:)
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
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  7. mickyc

    mickyc Read Only Funster

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    We're going mid January and will be driving through France.

    Have yet to decide whether to go into Northern Spain (Somport) or drive down to Perpignan and go via Barcelona.

    Definitely won't be doing Biscay :sicker::sicker:
     
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  8. moulin 87

    moulin 87 Funster

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    Weather in France has been very pleasant the last two months and there are still many MHs travelling around.
     
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  9. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    I don't like ferry crossings much anyway, not even the relatively short English Channel ones as it is like being held captive (fortunately I don't get sea sick), so much prefer the tunnel. There's no way I'd go on a long crossing especially in winter with the high possibility of very rough seas/weather! Even in summer I wouldn't do it.

    We went to Spain/Portugal earlier this year and drove down, taking our time and enjoyed the journey as part of our holiday, we could have done it much quicker but didn't feel the need. I can see the slight appeal of not having to drive and being able to slob around on a ferry for the day instead, but give me the driving, and scenery, anyday!
     
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  10. Forestboy

    Forestboy Funster Life Member

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    Done it once in the motorhome 8 years ago once in a 4x4 5 years ago and once on the motorbike one month ago. Every trip was horrible too long too expensive and bloody boring that's without a rough sea.
    Will be doing it again in April on the motorbike but will probably never do it again in the motorhome really defeats the point of having a motorhome if you're gonna sit on a ferry.
     
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  11. Teuchter

    Teuchter Funster

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    At that time of the year I would recommend the Narbonne/Perpignan route thus avoiding high altitude & snow :)
     
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  12. Teuchter

    Teuchter Funster

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    The only drawback with that is there are very few French sites open at this time of year - plenty of Aires though :)
     
  13. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Never done the long crossing and reading this does nothing to tempt me, we also live in the North East and will do the ferry from Hull or Newcastle and then drive down France done it twice so far and see no reason not to do it again.

    Martin
     
  14. mickyc

    mickyc Read Only Funster

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    Yes, I'm going to keep and eye on the weather. We've had some interesting trips down the A75 in winter (always been passable though), but the Perpignan - Le Boulou bit through to Barcelona has alway been ok.

    Were thinking Limoges - Toulouse - Carcassonne as an alternative to the A75 this time. I'll be keeping em peeled after Chrimbo :xgrin:

    Never done Somport - but will decide nearer time (beauty of MH'ing :))
     
  15. moulin 87

    moulin 87 Funster

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    We would chose the Somport tunnel from Limoges via Bordeaux/Dax as a break from the motorway routes, check the forecast on route. It is kept open all year round, to be fair we only use it in winter.
     
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  16. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    We did the Portsmouth to Bilbao route for the first time just a few weeks ago. We were expecting it to be pretty bad due to gales in the English Channel but we were pleasantly surprised by how comparatively smooth it was in the end.

    We normally drive down through France taking our time and thoroughly enjoying the trip but I have to say that we were very pleased with this alternative when wanting to make a quicker journey with less driving. As for cost, I think works out about the same if you way it all up including the wear and tare on the vehicle. It cost us about £300 with outside cabin.

    The toll road from Bilbao via Zaragozza is also excellent and cost about 38 euro to Benidorm in total.

    So yes, we would do it again.
     
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  17. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    I enjoy the driving, it's why I have a Motorhome ... Plus on a cost basis the drive via France always works out better for me. Ref time at most it's an extra 24 - 36 hours overall but time is not an issue for us so no problem there..
    When the fuel goes up or euro exchange is bad you maybe have to re-calculate the costs..
    Free aires and non toll roads all add for an interesting journey.
    Weather is the main thing to watch for, had some horrible trips but also some very pleasant ones during Nov - Feb.
     
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  18. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    We're off week on Thursday heading for Perpignan then meander along coast for three or four months love the trip enjoy driving.
     
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  19. Popeye

    Popeye Funster

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    Well I love being at sea, rough or calm, but I have to agree with JJ on this one. If it is a smooth crossing you only have water to look at as opposed to beautiful countryside, stop and look at a new village or a different coffee shop.

    If it is a foul crossing then there is no contest. Of course if time is vitally important then the longer sea voyage will save time overall but not for me thanks.
     
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  20. Rapido925M

    Rapido925M Funster

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    As a tight northerner (now resident in Norfolk) I appreciate your concerns.

    HOWEVER, my son decided to get engaged on 31st Dec 2008 but I needed to be in Marbella on 6th Jan 2009: I had to be there to support him. The thought of 1500 miles of driving (in a car), plus a Channel crossing, was not one that I relished.

    I had to balance the costs of driving and staying in several hotels against the more expensive sea route and the possibilities of what the Bay of Biscay could throw at us. We opted for Portsmouth to Bilboa with P&O (no longer available), joining the ferry at teatime on 2nd Jan and disembarking at breakfast on 4th Jan, making the cruise part of the pleasure of travelling. We opted for a cabin upgrade and treated ourselves to lovely meals, with wine and no worries about the police. The crossing was as smooth as a millpond and we relaxed on board, reading, whale-watching and chatting with others, including several MHers.

    As we rose from the coast the temp dropped below -3deg and we had a long hard haul through mist and spray to Madrid, then on to Jaen (470miles). We completed the journey to Marbella just after lunch on 6th, cresting the hills above Malaga and enjoying wonderful Mediterranean sunshine.

    We are sure we made the right decision. Only you know your circumstances and the parameters in which you have to work.

    Enjoy the journey, whatever you do - Gordon
     
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