Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Morning all,

 

Happy new year!

 

Myself, SWMBO and our 4 yr. old daughter are planning a summer trip to Spain this year.

We live in Scotland and plan to drive to Folkestone and stay overnight before boarding the train.

According to the route planners it will then take 14 hours from Calais to the site in Benicassim.

 

Does anyone have any advice on where to stop off in France would look to do 8-10 hours once off the train.

Also doesn't need to be anything fancy as it will be just a legs down stop and something to eat.

 

Thanks in advance

DE

Link to post
Share on other sites

Any of the hundreds (thousands?) of municipal sites will give you what you want - http://camping-municipal. org/index. htm it is in French but easy to understand.

  • Like 1

Discovery 4 XS SDV6 and Airstream 532 plus 1996 MGF owned since new.

Link to post
Share on other sites

DE. I'm afraid your timing is optimistic. With stops for food, fuel and the four year old you are not likely to average more than 50 mph - so the 1000 miles from Calais will take something like 20 hours at best rather than 14 hours - and the four year old will very likely add to that. Put a good site guide in the car door pocket and choose as you go. Take care.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

According to Via Michelin (We always begin our rout planning by using this web site) your driving time will be 16hrs24mins. After crossing the channel in the morning and losing 1 hr, you will be doing well to drive more than 5 or 6 hours that day. If you look at ViaMichelin. co. uk you will see that after selecting "caravan" you will be a bit slower than as a solo car, and you can see where you will be located after say 5 hours or so. Do the same for the second day. Arrive at your Beinnicasim site after 5 hours driving on the 3rd day. This assumes no breaks for rest, fuel, food!

Ern

Link to post
Share on other sites

Deleted my post as Ern (above me) posted pretty much what I had

Bryn.

Edited by Bryn58

To all the insomniacs, look on the bright side there are only three sleeps until Christmas

Link to post
Share on other sites

You may be better off paying the extra and getting the ferry to Bilbao or Santander. If you have the Club card for Brittany ferries, the cost of the ferry is about £100 more than the cost of paying for fuel and campsites in France plus a lot less driving as you get a 30% discount. However if you get the code from a member, then you can still get a 10% discount.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the comments on distance and time. We live in Scotland and drove to folkestone stopped overnight then got one of the earliest trains through the tunnel.

 

We were travelling to the Loire and it still took us about 8. 5 hours.

 

Plan appropriately and accept the extra stops, otherwise you'll end up very hassled and very late.

 

Having said that I hope you have a great holiday whatever you do.

Fire. Now there's a hot topic!

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are no doubt those who will say 'it can be done' but there is some very sensible advice above, and as a caravanner of more than thirty odd years experience, I would say that your timings are wildly optimistic.

 

We've found delays typically occur because it takes longer than you think to get off the ferry, the roads are unfamiliar and it takes time to settle into a suitable driving style, comfort stops (no matter how quick) always seem to add on half an hour to your journey time by the time you have gone off the autoroute, parked, walked to the services, had a coffee (or whatever) and gone back to the car! Then there's the heat of the summer, which even with air-conditioning can be 'wearing' if the sun is in your face and the heat constant.

 

We have once done the return journey from Tarragona (much further north than you) to Calais, with just one overnight stop in the Massif Central - and another in Calais, but arrived home in Yorkshire absolutely jaded and vowed never to do it again (and that was without a small child in the car). Whilst our children always travelled well, we tended to only do a short day (never eight to ten hours) so that they could unwind, relax and use up some energy.

 

Personally I would revise your timings, get a good guide book, and stop when you need to - not when some 'itinerary' or journey planner timing dictates. In France there are plenty of sites (see above) near the autoroutes, and a last night in the very south of France should see you arrive in Benicassim by teatime - but you'll need another stop further north.

 

Have you worked out which route you're using? Using the route we use you're not likely to get much further than Bourges/Vierzon on your first day - and there are campsites in both towns which are fine for an overnight stop. From there you should get down somewhere near the Mediterranean/border area in time for another stop.

Edited by ValA
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with everything that ValA says and also Durbanites advice about taking the ferry to Bilbao or Santander - going that way will leave 5/600 miles to Benicassim which I would still split into 2 days ( at least ). You do not say how much time you have for your holiday, but you will gather from the comments on here that there is no point in breaking your neck to get there ( and back ) and be so tired as not to enjoy it. All might seem very negative but is good advice.

Bessacarr Cameo 525 towed by SsangYong Rexton 2.2 auto in Brown.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I do that trip regular and week before Christmas it took me a week of travelling to get to the uk, I know every route that there is, l left on the Saturday and arrived uk late Thursday night first day was 370 miles.

 

Mind you I am an old man and have a large outfit but there are speed limits and plenty of cops. I did 12 hour stints and 600 miles when younger but not now, get behind a tractor or a wide load and all timings go out the window.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Come on folks - the guy asked for advice on where to stop! And so far all most of us has done is to lecture him on how long he should drive for! Hardly a friendly meeting :)

  • Like 1

Discovery 4 XS SDV6 and Airstream 532 plus 1996 MGF owned since new.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing to factor into the planning. ..the lost hour. We find travelling across the channel late afternoon and overnighting near Calais enables an early start, without losing an hour. We are thus refreshed and able to get further down through France than if we started the day from the UK.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming you are avoiding Paris then the route would be Calais Dijon Nimes Montpellier and then down through Spain.

 

Calais to Langres eg Camping du Lac de la Liez would be a decent run on the first day.

 

The an overnight stop around Montpellier on day 2 with day 3 down to Benicasim.

 

I'd personally get the ferry to Santander or Bilbao and if you arrive early morning then Benicassim is very doable the same day. A longish shift but arriving early and refreshed from the ferry no problem whatsoever.

:excl::excl::excl:    Spanish Trip 2020 - :excl::excl::excl: - Time to bailout...

Subscribe to our Blog at the website below and read the diaries of many of our expeditions.

Caravan Ramblings blog

Link to post
Share on other sites

Appreciate all the advice guys,

 

Wasn't sure on the best route and we have 2. 5 weeks for our holiday.

The ferry seems a good idea. Could I get to Bilbao or Santander from Portsmouth? We are CC members too

 

It is easy to take the advice of the route planner which is what I did and that did say 14. 5 hrs I did factor another couple of hours in for towing the van as she is a fair size. 7. 18m long

 

Maybe now think about going the other side nearer to Santander. .....

 

Although now got me thinking!!

 

Thanks again

DE

Link to post
Share on other sites

Brittany Ferries run from Portsmouth to Bilbao and Santander- check out their website for pricing but I'd expect it to be around GBP 1200. Although a lot of money I do think it compares favourably with the much longer Calais drive and toll fees.

:excl::excl::excl:    Spanish Trip 2020 - :excl::excl::excl: - Time to bailout...

Subscribe to our Blog at the website below and read the diaries of many of our expeditions.

Caravan Ramblings blog

Link to post
Share on other sites

My daughter is similarly limited to 2. 5 weeks holiday and says she would find a flight from Scotland to Spain for £100 return and rent car and accommodation over there. She says taking a caravan is OK for you Dad, but not for us time limited folk.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks,

 

SWMBO has once again been trawling the CC site and now has agreed that we will do a 2 night stop on the way to the Spanish boarder.

She has now also decided that maybe beniscassim is further than we actually need (Not that I've been saying that for the past week!!! LOL)

 

So now the area of Girona is throwing up a few good sites. With a stop over in Bourges and then close to the Spainish boarder then final drive to Girona.

 

I agree with the comments about time limits however love time away in the van and can't get passed the fact I can take it instead of a hotel!

 

Cheers

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, but another problem/consideration -

Whilst you sleep on the ferry its not really a good night's sleep. So if you arrive Santander or Bilbao 08. 00/09. 00, you may not want to plan a long day's drive.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In the Girona area, we very much liked Camping L'Amfora at St Pere Pescador, but there are loads of lovely sites in the Bay of Roses area and just south along the Costa Brava. I'm sure you'll find the sort of site to suit you because everyone has different 'wish-lists'.

 

In peak periods the Santander crossing may be filling up already - and if you've thought about driving through France then the A10/A71/A75 is a super route, through some lovely scenery once you're south of Paris.

 

On the way south Bourges (Camping Robinson) is a good stopover - and there is a nice municipal site at Loupian just at the end of the A75 - with an excellent fish restaurant (looks a bit 'shack-like' but serves the nicest fish dishes, especially the daily specials - also does a children's menu). From there it's an easy drive down to the Girona/Bay of Roses area.

 

When are you travelling - because it may be better to recommend a slightly more inland site than Loupian for an overnight stop, though we had no problem finding a pitch there in July 2015.

 

Good luck with your holiday!

Edited by ValA
Link to post
Share on other sites

Come on folks - the guy asked for advice on where to stop! And so far all most of us has done is to lecture him on how long he should drive for! Hardly a friendly meeting :)

 

I certainly wouldn't call giving advice on driving times 'unfriendly'.

 

If the OP hasn't done that particular journey before then advice based on experience seems perfectly reasonable to me at least. :)

 

plus it will of course affect chosen stopping sites.

Edited by Tin_Snail
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

L'Amfora was the site we both quite liked, We see they have various different pitches available standard EHU pitches then bathroom pitches? As we haven't really toured in Europe this was the first time we had come across these.

 

So after a discussion this evening it looks like we will be going to L'Amfora but with 3/4 days travel each way going to book 3 weeks off to allow for travel and drive down through France and enjoy the sights

As that's what the touring caravan is all about. .......

 

Once again though I really appreciate the advice on the travelling and journey times

 

Looking forward to getting the van in the next couple of months

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

L'Amfora was the site we both quite liked, We see they have various different pitches available standard EHU pitches then bathroom pitches? As we haven't really toured in Europe this was the first time we had come across these.

 

So after a discussion this evening it looks like we will be going to L'Amfora but with 3/4 days travel each way going to book 3 weeks off to allow for travel and drive down through France and enjoy the sights

As that's what the touring caravan is all about. .......

 

Once again though I really appreciate the advice on the travelling and journey times

 

Looking forward to getting the van in the next couple of months

A long way to go for 2 weeks in Spain but I am sure you will enjoy it. You could cross a Calais and then get the ferry back from Bibao thus extending your holiday in Spain and arriving back in the UK relaxed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, there are pitches with private bathrooms at L'Amfora, but the newest of the sanitary blocks is like a five star hotel - glass, marble, polished wood, and chrome - absolutely lovely. It's the one on the southern boundary of the site.

 

Have a great time. Nice to know that you appreciated the advice on driving times!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don,t know were the figure of £1200 for the ferry comes from we travel on the spain route quite a lot & usually

pay around £750 return including an outside cabin & a kennel for the dog.

As for sleeping on the ferry,we find that we sleep like babies. It,s the steady hum of the engines & the movement

of the ship. Plus of course the bottle of red with dinner it all helps.

We wake up completely refreshed & ready for our drive down to Almeria.

 

 

PS If anyone wants to use my membership No to obtain a 10% discount just PM me. You are welcome.

  • Like 1

van Bessacar 625 towed by Mercedes M class 3. 2 cdi.

we do 6mths at home (winter) 6mths touring (summer)

Retired & loving it.--------- :D Adventure before Dementia. :P

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...