What is the real world driving time Calais to Barcelona

Paul an Jane MK

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 20, 2016
435
459
Milton Keynes
Funster No
42,608
MH
Elddis Encore 255
Exp
enjoyed the freedom over the last couple of years but still Wish we could have got away more often
So we did a trip to Isle of Skye last year, all the route planners said it was about 9 1/2 hours drive in total.

In reality I spent 15 hours behind the wheel. I generally cruise at 60mph (indicated 65 on the speedo as we all know they read over,) fast enough to not get in the way of the lorries without going too fast. We broke journey up over many days but none of our stops were far off the route. Plenty of stationary or slow moving on the UK motorway system though.

So two questions really to plan our trip to just past Barcelona to Camping Playa Tropicana (recommended by several Funsters.)

How many hours actual driving will it take if I take the fastest route and how much will the tolls cost?

how much longer will it take going non toll (is it completely toll free, could I select no tolls on sat nav?) presumably more scenic route?

Sorry seem to have squeezed in an extra question. Specifically travelling to Barcelona to meet up with our daughter who works in Bangkok so we won’t have seen her for six months so travel time will be a compromise between spending time with her and spending too long each day on the road.

I would appreciate any information.

Paul
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
32,479
61,831
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 Dynamic Line
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
We never use toll roads, from Dieppe its takes us 2 days to get near the Spanish border you need to add 3½ hours to that from Calais so 2½ days then to Barcelona another ½ day. 3 days on non toll roads, using tolls could save you ½ a day.
 
Upvote 0
Apr 13, 2012
4,924
16,048
Funster No
20,541
MH
Mobilvetta Euroyacht
Exp
1996, then break 'til 2011
Use toll roads and the A75 (toll free), apart from Millau bridge (go through town - free and more scenic)

Spanish toll road from French border (cheap) - 2 days(y)

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Upvote 0

bobandjanie

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 28, 2008
7,224
13,506
Javea, Spain
Funster No
2,360
MH
Pilote V600g
Exp
2007
We don't normally use the toll roads in France, but we towed a caravan down behind the camper so 13 . 6m long and came toll road had one stop and was at villa nova park the other side of Barcelona in two days. :)

Non toll we would have had a steady drive and taken 3 days.:D2
Depending on the time of year on what route we took, if it's winter then down the west coast. (y) Bob.

Ps Should add that would be from Calais or the tunnel.
 
Upvote 0
OP
Paul an Jane MK

Paul an Jane MK

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 20, 2016
435
459
Milton Keynes
Funster No
42,608
MH
Elddis Encore 255
Exp
enjoyed the freedom over the last couple of years but still Wish we could have got away more often
Hi @Lenny HB thanks you, for your quick response. So if I am right you are talking about travelling 7 hours a day is that including stops?

Are non tolls equivalent to our trunk routes of mixed single and dual carriageway with by-passes for big towns?

Paul
 
Upvote 0
OP
Paul an Jane MK

Paul an Jane MK

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 20, 2016
435
459
Milton Keynes
Funster No
42,608
MH
Elddis Encore 255
Exp
enjoyed the freedom over the last couple of years but still Wish we could have got away more often
Hi @bobandjanie, when you were towing on the toll roads to Villa Nova, how many hours were you driving a day do you think?

Paul

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Upvote 0
May 31, 2015
7,442
19,255
Cornwall
Funster No
36,638
MH
In between...
Exp
Getting there..
When a sat-nav calculates a route it will give you times according to the national speed limits of that road, now of course we all amble about at 50-60mph so it always takes longer.... if you put in toll routes it will knock off a few hours because it thinks you will be going faster as the speed limits are higher but if your still going 50-60 it will still take as long except save you a bit of time for not slowing for roundabouts junctions etc.....

There used to be a feature on sat-navs to compensate for the speed you normally drive at but haven’t looked lately as we’re never in a hurry...
 
Upvote 0
Feb 9, 2008
7,448
13,132
Corby, Northants
Funster No
1,455
MH
Coach Built
Exp
Since 2007
you may find this helpful.

Firstly, routes and route maps for France and Spain. This first link is an award winning database about France. It’s big and with a host of information on best routes to many locations. I have selected the famous N10 route from Calais to Irun which is used by many motorhomes when travelling to Spain. It’s almost Toll free (more on that a little later) and almost all duel carriageway from start to finish with the exception of about 100 K. This route is great for motorhomes small, medium and large. Note: (HGV’s are not allowed on French roads, Sunday’s, so plan your journey over a weekend if possible).

https://about-france.com/tourism/no-tolls-routes.htm

Tolls: We avoid the toll road from Calais to Abbeville and save 12.50 Euros. The non-toll route is quite scenic and fairly straight forward, between Boulogne-sur-Mer and Abbeville.

At Abbeville, join the A28 and cross the river Sein at Rouen. We take the second exit immediately after crossing the bridge (about 50 m past the first exit at the end of the bridge), swing down and under the bridge you have just crossed and continue on this road and join the A13 motorway until the N154 which takes you down to Evreux. (Note: there are a number of different options for getting through Rouen and no doubt other members will have their own preferences. We find this very straight forward on both outward and return legs). Approaching Tours on the D910 join the A10 toll road at Jct. 19 and exit at Jct. 23. This will take you through the city via the toll road, (about 2.50 euros). At Jct. 23 take the exit lane for Montbazon which returns you to the D910. (Reverse for the return leg). That’s the last toll to pay until you hit the bottom of the A63 after Bordeaux.

To save toll fares on the A63 south of Bordeaux please read the route recommendations in the above link. Do not come off the A63 near the bottom as all roads will be heavily congested and it’s worth paying the last few tolls. (Fuel costs approx. €126.72. (Based on 1056 K @10K per Ltr. @€1.20 per ltr. 3.5T motorhome)). This route is also recommended during winter, due to its proximity to the Atlantic ocean, which means little to no problems with ice and or snow, unlike using the A75 to cross the Massif Central. Although the A75 is quickly cleared, it is advisable to have winter tyres fitted and there may be some small delays due to snow ploughs clearing this route.

If heading to the Mediterranean side of Spain, it’s worth taking the N121-A to Pamplona after crossing the Spanish boarder on the A63 at Irun. It’s clearly sign posted (Large white sign) about 300 m after passing through the last toll booth and crossing the river. You will find more details in this link for the N121-A and how to navigate Spain toll free.

https://about-spain.net/travel/no-tolls.htm

If you decide to pay Tolls in order to save time getting to Spain, your best route options are in this link.

https://about-france.com/tourism/routes-to-spain.htm

Should you choose to plan your own routes anywhere in Europe and also establish Toll costs, (or toll free costs) use this link. Under route options, select caravan then select toll roads. Toll costs for a class 2 motorhome will be calculated for the whole journey. You can also choose Non toll routes and other options. This is currently one of the best online free route planers.

https://www.viamichelin.co.uk/

As for stop overs on routes, you can’t go wrong using the App below which is free but I would recommend getting the paid version for about £6.00 which you can then use off line. You will find numerous places to stop along the above route and I have deliberately not made any recommendations so drivers can make their own choices. This app is also brilliant for finding other places too and highly rated by many users.

https://www.campercontact.com/en/content/app

There is another popular app/website that is used which you may also find useful if you’re doing a lot of wilding and looking for free overnight stops. It too is used by many motor homers in Europe. Get the paid version to use off line for around £9.00

https://www.park4night.com/

Finally, probably the best off line maps ‘App’ and used by many. It also includes a sat-nav function which is quite good and can also be used off line. Again many motor homers use this, especially in Morocco.

http://maps.me/en/home

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Upvote 0

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
32,479
61,831
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 Dynamic Line
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
Hi @Lenny HB thanks you, for your quick response. So if I am right you are talking about travelling 7 hours a day is that including stops?

Are non tolls equivalent to our trunk routes of mixed single and dual carriageway with by-passes for big towns?

Paul
We are not very good at setting off early so often don't leave until gone 10 and try and stop by 6 - 7pm, stop for about an hour for lunch and at least another ½ hour stop if not more. So about 6 - 7 hours driving.
Most of the main trunk routes through France are good with little traffic, a high proportion of the towns & villages have bypasses but your satnav will often try to take you through the town centre.
I take it you are not used to driving through France, road classification may catch you out. Some years ago the they reclassified most of their roads and a high percentage of RN (Route National) often just refered to as N the equivalent to our A roads became D roads. A D road can be anything from a single carriageway to a dual carriageway with a hard shoulder no rhyme or reason. Also your map may say D1220 but the old road sign is still there which says N220.

Compared to the UK driving through France is a really plesent experience.
 
Upvote 0

two

Aug 4, 2011
4,408
3,446
West Midlands
Funster No
17,624
MH
A-Class Fiat
"Real Time" will depend on your travelling style. I prefer (and sometimes need) to stop every couple of hours and I like to explore the places I land at before moving on. Three days would be more of a race for me. I think I took five when I went. If you avoid the tolls, the journey is much more interesting (and less soporific) but slower due to the speed restrictions through towns. Best not to be too ambitious, to reduce the stress. You won't need to book stops ahead, so see how each day goes. Some days happen to go better (in terms of miles travelled) than others.
Enjoy your trip!
 
Upvote 0

mikebeaches

LIFE MEMBER
Feb 22, 2010
4,138
4,956
Bristol
Funster No
10,377
MH
Rapido V68 Van Conversion
Exp
Since 2009
As rogher says, it will largely be determined by your preferred driving style.

For us, our daily driving tends to to be limited to around 250 miles when mostly on motorway; and less on non-motorway roads. And that is when we are wanting to make progress ie getting south and to the sun.

But everybody is different. Obviously, when we were younger we thought nothing of driving 12 hours or more, with just two or three very short breaks for fuel and comfort stops. Not any more, however.

Given that you have an important rendezvous, all I would say is that, the longer you can afford to allow for the journey, the less stressful it is likely to be, especially if you're unfortunate enough to encounter a serious traffic hold up, or worse, a puncture or other mechanical difficulty.
 
Upvote 0

bobandjanie

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 28, 2008
7,224
13,506
Javea, Spain
Funster No
2,360
MH
Pilote V600g
Exp
2007
Hi @bobandjanie, when you were towing on the toll roads to Villa Nova, how many hours were you driving a day do you think?

Paul

Can't remember now, it was over 4 years ago, but we would have stopped for coffee food and walk the dog. :LOL: We have done many miles since then. :D2

It was not like when we caught the old Sally line ferry at Ramsgate in the car, and Janie and the girls woke up in Italy the following morning, :rolleyes: but then I was a truck driver. (y) Bob.
 
Upvote 0
Jul 24, 2009
3,992
58,497
South Yorkshire
Funster No
7,631
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
Since 1999
All I can tell you is that it takes us one overnight stop when travelling from Dunkirk to L'Estartit in NE Spain. That is using tolls and driving for about 8 hours each day with a stop for lunch.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Upvote 0
Aug 18, 2011
250
223
Widnes
Funster No
17,809
MH
Elddis Supreme 155
Exp
2013
upload_2018-2-12_12-8-49.png


Using Tolls = 822 miles 12.5hrs.

upload_2018-2-12_12-10-28.png


Non Tolls = 850 miles 17 hrs.

The both above is from AutoRoute driving at 60mph and no stops Calais to Barcelona
 
Upvote 0

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
32,479
61,831
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 Dynamic Line
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
"Real Time" will depend on your travelling style. I prefer (and sometimes need) to stop every couple of hours and I like to explore the places I land at before moving on. Three days would be more of a race for me. I think I took five when I went. If you avoid the tolls, the journey is much more interesting (and less soporific) but slower due to the speed restrictions through towns. Best not to be too ambitious, to reduce the stress. You won't need to book stops ahead, so see how each day goes. Some days happen to go better (in terms of miles travelled) than others.
Enjoy your trip!
Like you our prefered method of travel is slow but it doesn't always work out like that. The last time we came back through Spain we found loads of interesting places we got side tracked to, we spent 2 or 3 days longer in Spain and ended up with a two day dash from a 100 miles inside Spain back to Dieppe.
We can't get away until the 12th March this year and want to meet up with friends near Valencia at the end of the week so it looks like another 3 day dash. Would rather do it slowly but it will give us more time to meander around Spain & Portugal.

When we do have the time we often plot a route that will take us to something/village that is interesting to look round on the way, it can put a 100 or more miles on our route but a much nicer way to travel.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Last edited:
Upvote 0
Nov 18, 2011
10,809
29,975
Funster No
18,938
Any time we have done it we usualy alow 4 days but most times five as we always find sumthing different and intresting that ads a bit of time on just enjoy the trip time is not inportant once your in the van your on holiday any way
Bill
 
Upvote 0
OP
Paul an Jane MK

Paul an Jane MK

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 20, 2016
435
459
Milton Keynes
Funster No
42,608
MH
Elddis Encore 255
Exp
enjoyed the freedom over the last couple of years but still Wish we could have got away more often
@PhilandMena
Thank you, so much for all the info, will have a good look through all the links. I already have campercontact downloaded on phone and iPad and have now found the upgrade button in the app.
 
Upvote 0
OP
Paul an Jane MK

Paul an Jane MK

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 20, 2016
435
459
Milton Keynes
Funster No
42,608
MH
Elddis Encore 255
Exp
enjoyed the freedom over the last couple of years but still Wish we could have got away more often
We are not very good at setting off early so often don't leave until gone 10 and try and stop by 6 - 7pm, .

Well that sounds familiar, it is normally gone 10 before we leave as well and even if trying to get somewhere I am ready to stop by sixish

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Upvote 0
OP
Paul an Jane MK

Paul an Jane MK

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 20, 2016
435
459
Milton Keynes
Funster No
42,608
MH
Elddis Encore 255
Exp
enjoyed the freedom over the last couple of years but still Wish we could have got away more often
@mikebeaches I am with you, even when I have somewhere to get to I would limit it to 240 mile on motorway and 160 mile on single carriageway which equates to about 5 hours. I really enjoy driving our camper but 5 hours behind the wheel is enough now, getting old
 
Upvote 0
OP
Paul an Jane MK

Paul an Jane MK

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 20, 2016
435
459
Milton Keynes
Funster No
42,608
MH
Elddis Encore 255
Exp
enjoyed the freedom over the last couple of years but still Wish we could have got away more often
@gradyp Great info, thank you. The toll looks tempting on the way back as the extra time will be useful to get doggie wormed and a gentler non toll route on the way down.
 
Upvote 0
OP
Paul an Jane MK

Paul an Jane MK

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 20, 2016
435
459
Milton Keynes
Funster No
42,608
MH
Elddis Encore 255
Exp
enjoyed the freedom over the last couple of years but still Wish we could have got away more often
Thank you, everyone for so much info.

Will allow four days each way from Calais. It sounds like it is easier to cover the miles on the continent than the UK. Would prefer to take longer but time restraints don’t allow it but if it can be done in 3 then I should be okay with 4 days.

Have travelled through parts of Europe in the car but never so far and with trip to Scotland it took 60% longer which got me worried I might never get to Spain.

Thank you all so much and looking forward to our first trip to the sun under our own steam
 
Upvote 0

suavecarve

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 18, 2009
4,510
23,278
Surrey/Hants
Funster No
8,035
MH
Rollerteam 690
Exp
July 09
I must be a fast driver !
Fairly certain i/we would make it in 2 if we needed to. We have made rocamadour in one day plus 120 mile to Dover and the tunnel on non toll roads using the Rouen/Evreux/Chartres route. (We did leave about 0530 so in France by 0915 local time)
Thats over half way, so if you want to make sure you have earnt your holiday 2 days is the way to go !!!!!!!
We met one guy at Souillac who had left Somerset in the morning (something like 0800) in his car and used the tolls and was drinking wine with us in a bar by about 2000 hrs. I thought that was ridiculous.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Upvote 0
Jun 13, 2017
257
283
Wokingham
Funster No
49,020
MH
Rapido 9095DF
Exp
Since June 2017
For the past 10 years or so I have organised and planned a European road trip for myself and a bunch of mates, we normally cover between 2 and 2.5k Miles, I now use the rule that TomTom is 99% accurate (annoyingly so) BUT add in 20 mins per 2 hours for fuel, 1hr for a scoff, 1hr for a nosey at something interesting. Each year we do the planning and get all macho about our faaaast cars, then remember that we’ve never beaten TomTom over a long distance!

Jim
 
Upvote 0
Top