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Driving To Spain In January


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We are driving down to Spain in January,We are not taking the caravan but wondered if we went down through France via Biarritz and on to Pamplona would there be snow and would we need snow chain if so we would go via Toulouse Carcassonne or Lyon to Montpellier. We don't want to go on toll roads all the way down so the Biarritz route looks like we could do a lot of the journey off the toll roads. I know there are people who go down to Sunny climes in the winter. So if you can help I would appreciate it thank you.

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I suggest looking at a weather forecast two or three days before you set off. They are pretty accurate over that time scale and you can decide your route then. But as we once got stuck in January between Cornwall and London, and other people were held up just outside Calais, it's hard to predict what January 2016 will be like, but the motorways usually get cleared before the other roads, so you might end up paying tolls. Good luck.

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I agree with Moorgate. Additionally I would bite the bullet and use the autoroutes, travel is easier, quicker and if there is snow they get cleared first. Travel safely and hopefully without the white stuff.

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Have you looked at taking the ferry to Santander or Bilbao and cutting out France altogether? You might still meet snow in Spain as far down south as Madrid but the roads get cleared very quickly.

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Agree with Ivan. Probably not as cheap but I'm not sure there would not be much in it in terms of cost.

The Spanish are excellent at keeping major roads open despite snow. The last time we went home via Granada,the snow ploughs were all waiting on every slip road,engines running before even a dusting of snow appeared-put UK efforts to shame!

Even if the snow becomes really heavy there are massive refuge areas situated near restaurants and hotels for exactly that eventuality.

Also,at the first sign of ice on the road they spray concentrated brine to melt it. It works.

Edited by paulthomas
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We are taking the caravan from the Costa Blanca to the UK at the end of January.

We will take the shortest route, in case of bad weather, ie via Santander ferry.

We will use motorways and travel via Madrid, as has been said here, the Spanish are excellent at keeping motorways open.

We will also keep a good watch on the weather forecast!

Good luck

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For a lot of years I travelled in the car solo from my site in Malaga Province to the UK before Christmas, and then back again in early January to spend time with the family. (Now they fly out to Spain for Christmas instead1). My route was the A4 then the A1 through Spain, across the border at Irun, then the short length of the A63 toll road and the N10 up to Poitiers. I then joined the A10 through Tours then the N154 to Rouen and the A28/A16 to Calais. Very rarely was I inconvenienced by snow on the roads. As other have said, it just needs the likelihood of snow in the forecast for the Spanish snowploughs and gritters to be deployed. Only once have I met snow on the N-roads through France and that didn't delay me too much.

 

 

Again, as others have said, consider Portsmouth/Santander. At first thought it may appear expensive but deduct Dover/Calais crossing, 1300 miles of fuel costs, two maybe three nights accommodation in France, and the price then seems more realistic. Also there are forum members who may supply you with their details so that you receive a 10% discount.

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We have used roughly the same route as Jaydug suggests many times in December, January and February towing our van and sometimes have met snow anywhere on a line above Madrid, the Spanish put the UK to shame with their organisation and equipment to deal with snow. A few times we have been 'convoyed' through the snow from one snow plough to the next one with us and other traffic following behind with no problems at all so you going solo would be quite ok. Please bear in mind carrying snow chains is the law in Northern Spain between September and March. Suggest down through France to Bayonne and then cross into Spain for Irun, Pamplona and keep mostly to toll motorways.

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