Spain and/or Portugal.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Charlie, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    After the great success of our France trip which was not only our first real holiday in our van but our very first trip over the water we are now looking to go to Spain and or Portugal in January. Winters are too long and the temperatures do the gaffer a lot of good.

    Firstly thanks to those who helped with advice more than they can know with our French trip. It was just ACE !

    Anyway back to the subject.. I think we will take the ferry to France and meander on down to Spain. I had considered taking the ferry to either Santander or Bilbao. But as we plan on joining the club Voyage for our future French trips we may as well take advantage of the discounts from the off.

    Opinions on the above most welcome. Truth is we have no real idea which is the best way to do it.

    Then of course the big question ! Where in Spain do we head for ? Clueless is not an exaggeration !

    Portugal is a place we visited but that was 30 years ago. We loved it so are considering adding it within the travel plans.

    Any advice most welcome and as always thanks !!

    Charlie.
     
  2. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    if you think you will be visiting france a few times in the next year then try the french one . if not take the spanish one .
    driving through france in winter is far from doing it in summer . but sometimes can be ok.
    i used to do plymouth roscoff . now with the truck its actually cheaper to catch the ferry to spain than drive up and down france . never mind the ferry cost to roscoff .
    just remember the middle of spain is very high and can get very snowy as well. we leave in november . ferry to santander from plymouth . summer is coming .
    there is no right or wrong way to do it though . just different ways .
     
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  3. jumar

    jumar Funster

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    Once in Spain "Head for the Med" driving through Spain with one overnight is normally all you need to do to get to the warm of January, cool/cold nights followed by warm days from 1100 till 1700 is what to expect, the sun goes down the temperature drops. If passing Totana, Murcia, call at Camperstopsierraespuna, you would be most welcome.
     
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  4. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    Portugal has many brilliant places to visit, our personal fav is Porto, there is (or was) an unofficial airre right on the river front there. The Algarve has many places of interest to visit. The Portuguese have a very relaxed attitude to life, so you will probably find if you swing into a restaurant in an out of town area, they will give you permission to park up overnight. For god's sake don't take them up on the offer of a nightcap though, this usually means medronho, which is good for only two things, degreasing engines and killing brain cells! Nice with coffee though! :D
    If you are interested I will look up the locations of places to stop in Portugal.
     
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  5. LAM

    LAM Funster

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    In southern Spain it is light usually at 0700 and doesn't get dark until 1800 and as jumar says CAN be warm in between, hopefully :coolest:. However, Spain will also be within the
    winter months and can be open to the usual elements but generally less harsh than the UK. Buen viaje ! :coolest:
     
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  6. Busman

    Busman Funster

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    Head for Algeciras and get the ferry over to Marocco with the other Funsters,
     
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  7. peter marshall

    peter marshall

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    Hi Charlie
    We have done both you can't guarantee the weather in either, the only difference is Portugal on the Atlantic and Spain on the Med we have done Spain many times Portugal once. Pete
     
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  8. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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    This is a no brainer with respect to winter weather. Spain is much more popular than Portugal for most Funsters because it's warmer and drier. Most head to the Benidorm region which is protected by the Murcia mountains which catches much of the rain and so keeps the resort are fairly dry. As you travel further south the temperature does not increase by that much and soon you get the weather systems coming in from the Atlantic, which result in more persistent rain (The main reason why Portugal is not as good in the winter, weather wise).
    Also, the Benidorm area is well set up for people in motorhomes with good campsites that offer long term deals that are hard to beat. Furthermore, Benidorm has great transport links north and south and plenty of brits overwintering down there too. Plenty of entertainment and choice in Benidorm and very cheap too.
    I would do Portugal a little later in the year when the weather gets better. It's a magical place.
     
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  9. Munchie

    Munchie Funster Life Member

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    Camperstop near Totana is great!!!
    Just watch out for the Hengerlish racing ferrets that live there!
    Do not, I repeat, do not, mention walking!!! Our bodies will never be the same again!
    They dragged us kicking and screaming up hill, nay mountains all over the Sierra Espuna!!!

    Bonjour Mes Amis Martin n Judith Ca Va?
     
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  10. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Thanks ! That would be ace !
     
  11. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    Can't disagree with that, Portugal is very wet in the winter, but still gets my vote everytime! :D
    For completeness, I just looked up that unofficial airre, it is here at coords:
    N41.143336, W 8.632221
    On the sat image you can even see motorhomes parked there! When we stayed there we did not have a van, and were in a nearby hotel, and we were very envious. Imagine waking up with that view! :D
     
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  12. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    OK, down in the Algarve, there is a little known, and little explored little town called Sao Bras De Alportel. This is right in the middle of the Algarve, and an ideal location to base yourself to explore. The local Intermarche does allow overnighting, with permission, which is here:
    37.152388, -7.877387

    However, there are a few out of the way places to try out also, there is a little restaurant tucked in the back of beyond, here
    37.162892, -7.873535
    They live on the premises, but I am sure if you ask they would allow you to stay.

    The road that leads there eventually peters out to a dirt track, and I have seen many motorhomes pitch up for the night down there, but you didn't hear it from me ok! :D
     
  13. Southampton

    Southampton Funster Life Member

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    We have just booked ferry to Bilbao for end of Jan, intend spending 3 months down there this year on the Med coast. If I remember correctly there was a lot of snow around Jan/Feb in the port areas last year so the Pyrenees would have been very difficult if not impassable. Anyway didn't want to risk any bad weather through France.
     
  14. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    last winter was one of the worst in center of spain for years . incredible flooding the river ebro burst its banks for miles . plus incredible snow. coming up through the sierra nevada we followed a snow plough . this was end of march . a dutch van in front of us stopped to measure the snow drift . it was 14 ft. we just folloed the snow plough .luckily it was going the way we wanted to go.
    in the pecos de europa .the roads were being repaired and we were told only the week before it was impassable .
    portugal had a good dry winter so we were told .
    you just dont know where when or if you should go.
     
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  15. Tea Bag

    Tea Bag Funster

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    Hi.
    This winter in Portugal WAS dry,managed to renovate the new house,including,roof off and on again no trouble,however,the year before,it rained for three months.Our location is between Porto and Lisbon,so is a bit cooler than the Algarve in the seasons.
    Might i suggest you do Spain first,nothing would be worse than setting off on a voyage of discovery and getting "Rained Off". A lot of Funsters follow the sun if it is raining in Spain,they nip over to Portugal and the other way to,so go on,enjoy.
    Tea Bag
     
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  16. horshamjack

    horshamjack Funster

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    You in shares with Carlos:LOL:
     
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  17. mrhappydog

    mrhappydog Funster

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    We spent a month in Portugal this time last year and it was wet and cold. We then headed around to Seville, Cadiz then Manilva, near Estepona for the rest of the winter. We then watched the weather in Portugal and the rest of the Spanish coast and we luckily got the best of it.
    Any questions just pm me.
     
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  18. Teuchter

    Teuchter Funster

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    We tour Spain and Portugal for about 8 weeks every year (late Jan to late March) and we have found the best way (in our opinion) is to ferry to Bilbao or Santander then 0ne night stop at Camping El Astral in Tordesillas , open all year and 170 miles from Santander, dual carriageway/motorway all the way and easy walking into town with shops/restaurants.

    Next stop Camping Internacional in Aranjuez, open all year, 150 miles from Tordesillas, all motorway has its own bar/restaurant and is within walking distance of the town.

    Next day head for Alicante/Benidorm area (230 miles) plenty of open all year sites from then on - rest a while then follow the coast South then West stopping at your leisure (spoilt for choice for open sites) all the way round to Portugal (arriving mid March when the Atlantic weather is a bit better)

    10 days or so along the Algarve then head back up to Santander/Bilbao for the Ferry

    Sorted!!! :) :) :)

    Anyway that is our itinerary and we love it but of course - each to his/her own!
     
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  19. zac

    zac Funster Life Member

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    We normally go to spain a week before xmas for 2 weeks (work prohibits anymore), we normally go France but this year we are going Portsmouth to Santander to save some time and hopefully snow (fingers crossed). Going back through the pyranees last year was no joke. That said i hear the weather can be bad at the port so we are rolling the dice. Weather wise we always head straight to the south coast (Totana/Murcia area), we have been lucky as the past 2 years we have had fantastic weather whilst there. Only the odd day raining but nothing compared to the UK.

    We may even get to Portugal this year just for a few days as we will be saving 3 days not going back and forth through France, either way there will be no rushing as things are likely to change as it happens :) the beauty of motorhoming.
     
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  20. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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