Driving down from Calais

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gruff
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Driving down from Calais

Postby gruff » Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:17 pm

We are planning to drive down to the Malaga area with 2 dogs (setters) mid December. Starting from Wakefield and using the chunnel. Never done it before. Because of the time of year (weather) we are thinking the route to the south of France and down past Barcelona might be "easier". I do know it is longer but I would like to get to our destination with some nerves left unfrayed. Any opinions please?

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Re: Driving down from Calais

Postby poppylou » Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:46 pm

We have just done the journey ourselves this week by Chunnel with 2 dogs, but we do go via Biarritz/San Sebastian.

A good aire for the dogs just after the tunnel is Baie de Somme. Head for the caravan area, and there is an open field for letting the dogs off lead.

Rouen is a bit difficult to travel through with the Pont Mathilde works going on until 2015.

Most Accor hotels (Ibis/Novotel/Mercure) accept dogs to stay, albeit with a charge.

Spanish motorways are much better equipped for snow than British ones appear to be - the snow ploughs are usually in position and ready to go if needed.

Good luck

Poppylou

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Re: Driving down from Calais

Postby costakid » Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:26 pm

We have driven down many times, my favourite for less stress is via lyon, girona, barca, alicante, granada and onto malaga. It is longer in miles but no paris and madrid traffic. I always stay at the novatel next the A7 at girona.

The other way is straight down the middle of france and via burgos,madrid and onto malaga. Burgos is a nice place for a night stop.

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Re: Driving down from Calais

Postby Enrique » Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:42 pm

Madrid is good if you use the M-50 then R-4 to Ocaña to pick up A-4 .
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Re: Driving down from Calais

Postby MartinEB » Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:39 am

My wife and I (and our Springer Spaniel) drove down to the Costa Blanca from Calais (Chunnel) one year starting on Boxing Day and were dreading the weather. There was a lot of snow en-route, but every motorway in France and Spain was well cleared and good going. We stopped over in dog friendly hotels twice (pre-booked) and it was actually a very nice journey - no rush, nice and calm and good roads.

Be mindful of the British Consulate advice on driving a UK plated car;

Be aware of ‘highway pirates’ who target foreign-registered and hire cars, especially those towing caravans. Some will (forcefully) try to make you stop, claiming there is something wrong with your car or that you have damaged theirs. If you decide to stop to check the condition of your/their vehicle, stop in a public area with lights like a service station, and be extremely wary of anyone offering help.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advic ... d-security

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Re: Driving down from Calais

Postby Julie » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:33 pm

We have done tunnel Almeria route a few times via villages and via motorway, but I would recommend ferry to Santander (Pont Avon) the difference in cost is minimal .

The snow has never been a problem but the rain has :(
No soporto ver la casa sucia, ahora mismo me levanto y apago la luz.

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Re: Driving down from Calais

Postby BENIDORM » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:29 pm

This subject has been covered several times and if you check back through the Topics I'm sure that you will find some very useful information.
I favour the route to Santander and use the route down to Seville , and have always preferred the Calais to Bayonne route through France.
Over the years I have tried most routes, but would recommend the above.
Bonne Voyage ....

Regards,
Gordon

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Re: Driving down from Calais

Postby Terryd1963 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:49 pm

Hi I am also moving to Andalusia to Guaro in the Malaga province in March and typically I was going to post the same question. Having read all the replies I would presume that I would be better getting the tunnel and then heading to Burgos and then down past Madrid. I am travelling with my wife and 3 cats.
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Terry

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Re: Driving down from Calais

Postby gruff » Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:26 pm

I have checked the other threads. I raised this one for a number of reasons. The time of year we are travelling, to get members views on how the weather could affect us. The fact we have 2 dogs with us, big dogs, to see members experiences finding big dog friendly hotels/ hotel chains. To find out if anything had changed since those other threads were written and to get views and comments from members who had joined since those threads.

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Re: Driving down from Calais

Postby Enrique » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:19 pm

Hi gruff,
Further to your last post...........as an all season road traveller I favour Portsmouth to Santander.

Use the A-67 and A-231 to Burgos if the weather is bad. The scenic routes to Burgos N-627 or N-623 can be challenging in the winter weather.

Dog friendly hotel just south(33km) of Burgos on A-1 at Lerma.........
http://www.hotelalisa.com/ingles.html
Last bill .....circa 100euro for evening meal with drinks, breakfast, garage for MPV and room for two. Dogs can go to room or left in Garage.

Another one (km112) South of Madrid on A-4
http://www.hotel-santaana.com/

I normally travel with my three Huskys and a JR-x

Sometimes they close hilly sections of the motorways to lorries but cars with snow chains can proceed.
Only use service stations you can see from the motorway as some signed service stations can be well off the road.
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Re: Driving down from Calais

Postby BENIDORM » Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:15 pm

Gruff,
Certainly some things have changed since the first time we started travelling to and fro UK, but over the past few years it's been pretty much the same.Of course the weather can change matters dramatically, we've driven through France in horrendous conditions, and been forced to stop overnight because of blocked roads near Barcelona and North of Madrid...several times.
But most of the time it's been fine and whatever route we've taken from Northern Spain has got us down to Granada area within 10-12 hours, we could do it faster but I like to drive at realistic speed and always stop for a breather every 2 hours.
The route and stop off hotels suggested by Enrique are as good as they get, if you choose that route.

I would seriously look at the Portsmouth -Santander route if travelling in December though, I know it can be a bit more expensive but you have to also take into consideration wear and tear on your vehicle and yourself....Anyway hope that you have a pleasant and safe journey. :wave:

Regards,
Gordon

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Re: Driving down from Calais

Postby gruff » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:49 am

Thanks Gordon,
Some years ago we a took a pet with us on the ferry to the Isle of Man.
It was then we found out what "sick as a dog" really meant!
Having said that worth looking into.

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Re: Driving down from Calais

Postby Devils Advocate » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:42 am

Are you guys using the main toll roads on the blast through France (from Calais) or opting for toll free routes?

We are going to drive over this year and hopefully have a few days in France, both on going and return.

I've done it three times now in recent years but not with the OH whilst taking cars over there. She'd now like to do this as part of the holiday.

It's always been a mad 24 hour blur getting to Andulicia from the NW of England in order to pick OH up at the airport the next day :roll: .............silly really.

Always done the tolls and aimed for Bordeaux, swinging left at Bilbao and doing the Burgos,Madrid, Granada treck......................in all a very boring, but quick route IMHO.

Next time we will try to get there with an "off the beaten track" route.

We have friends who live in Lamongerie who we've said we'll visit when we do it.............but looking on google earth it seems an awkward place to fit in without a really major detour, although in reality it may not be, I don't know............anyone passed this place by chance en route to Spain?

Cheers
Property owner in Andalucia since 2002. How time flies.

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Re: Driving down from Calais

Postby costakid » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:44 pm

Do the ferries run in the winter months? I thought Plymouth Santander finished around now until february. If its rough 36 hours on the long route to Bilbao might be a bit much for pets.

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Re: Driving down from Calais

Postby masterob » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:56 pm

The Portsmouth - Bilbao/Santander ferries do. I think it's only the Plymouth route that may be seasonal.

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Re: Driving down from Calais

Postby Julie » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:10 pm

No soporto ver la casa sucia, ahora mismo me levanto y apago la luz.

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Re: Driving down from Calais

Postby Enrique » Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:19 pm

Its 22- 24 hours these days for the trip.
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Re: Driving down from Calais

Postby Nimrod » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:06 pm

masterob wrote:The Portsmouth - Bilbao/Santander ferries do. I think it's only the Plymouth route that may be seasonal.


A tip,
if you book a cabin keep well away from the bow end,you hear every wave crashing and the Bay of Biscay can be rough.

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gruff
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Re: Driving down from Calais

Postby gruff » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:57 pm

DA, going to use the toll roads. It's more important to get to Malaga sane then rich.

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Re: Driving down from Calais

Postby gus-lopez » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:28 am

Devils Advocate wrote:Are you guys using the main toll roads on the blast through France (from Calais) or opting for toll free routes?

We are going to drive over this year and hopefully have a few days in France, both on going and return.

I've done it three times now in recent years but not with the OH whilst taking cars over there. She'd now like to do this as part of the holiday.

It's always been a mad 24 hour blur getting to Andulicia from the NW of England in order to pick OH up at the airport the next day :roll: .............silly really.

Always done the tolls and aimed for Bordeaux, swinging left at Bilbao and doing the Burgos,Madrid, Granada treck......................in all a very boring, but quick route IMHO.

Next time we will try to get there with an "off the beaten track" route.

We have friends who live in Lamongerie who we've said we'll visit when we do it.............but looking on google earth it seems an awkward place to fit in without a really major detour, although in reality it may not be, I don't know............anyone passed this place by chance en route to Spain?

Cheers


No, but if you used the centre route through France it wouldn't be far off track to visit.

The route I used this year was tunnel , Abbeville, Rouen, Evreux, Dreux, Chartres, Orleans, Vierzon , Clemont-Ferrand & all way down to Millau, so you get to see bridge as well. Then down to beziers & join the route to border at La Jonquera.
You'd only have to take the right at Vierzon to Limoges to get to your friends & then you can either continue down on that road through Toulose & to Narbonne , or cut back across if you want tosee the Bridge.Most of this road from Rouen is free , except the Millau bridge.
In July/August,There is not a lot of difference between the west route on tolls, the east route on tolls or the centre route which is mainly free. The tolls are free flowing except when you are approaching toll booths. It is not unusual on saturdays /weekends to see 17kms of barely moving vehicles queuing for the booths & this for ones with 24+ kiosks !
The centre route has stunning scenery is just as congested at weekends. At one point I saw 42kms of barely moving traffic going southbound on the saturday morning.

Rouen can be a nightmare ,especially so as at the moment the main bridge carrying north-south traffic is out of action due to a fire in 2012 & no signs of when it is likely to be replaced! It was difficult going north to get through( only because there diversion signs are rubbish ! ) but coming back they divert you via the Pont De Normandie bridge & in from the west , Although I didn't go that way & found it quite simple . Just ignored the diversion signs, same as everyone local :lol: , on entering Rouen follow diversion signs & at roundabout /lights turn right, follow road along & at 2nd bridge turn left & left at other side. You are now on road out! simple . :thumbup:
Todos somos Lorca.


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