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Mike ingham

Winter wondering to tow or not to tow spain to Portugal

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hi there,

wondering if I can pick brains

as a newbie towing a caravan for first time

to algarve for winter break

weather wise is there a good website to watch for adverse conditions 

are there alternative routes to avoid possibility of snow re Spanish mountain areas

im travelling from Santander in early December but may also consider early January 

ive done the obvious motorway route a few times in small motorhome 

palencia valladolid Salamanca plasencia seville huelva etc.

last year missed the snow but terrible winds and rain.

any advice re preparation of vehicle and unit would be very helpful.

not getting paranoid just want to be safe and get there.

also wonder if I’d get away with an overnight stop at cabacerno safari park near Santander 

(usually I only see motorhomes there.) but would be there at about 18. 30 and leave at 7 am the next day.

vehicle will be Volvo v70 I think not sure of unit (looking for cheap unit at present.)

will drive most of day and stop off near cacares Spain then to Lagos area. portugal.

if the weather is pants re Spanish ranges is it possible to cut across n Spain  north Portugal and drop 

down main motorway towards Porto area then do it that way.

lots of questions I know . .but hope a few of you have done this before and will appreciate any help.

regards mike.

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I've been travelling to southern Spain during the winter for many years - leaving home in early November but often driving home solo for the Christmas period.    In that time, I have sometimes had to drive slowly because of road conditions but never once have I been held up because of snow.    Spain is very much 'on the ball' when it comes to wintry conditions on the road.    At every motorway exit snow ploughs and gritter lorries are deployed even when there's just a hint of snow in the forecast.   

Probably your best route from Santander would be the A67/A62 to Salamanca then the A66 to Merida.    I do a slow journey through Spain every year, trying to take a different route each year.    If you can afford the time, do stop off to visit places on your route.    Spain has a wealth of interesting places and things to see.     For the route you might want to take, see my blog here.

 

PS.    If you want an overnight stop close to Santander, see http://campingvirgendelmar. com/en/

From the dockside, it's about 5 miles across town but easier to do the ten miles on the motorway.    You'll also find a review of the site on my blog site. .

Edited by Jaydug
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Mike, You say you are travelling from Santander in "early December, but may also consider early January". That seems to say you haven't booked the ferry.  Do they  still have vacancies for car plus caravan at those dates? 

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Try Meteoblue. com.  Very comprehensive weather site for just about anywhere.  

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www. meteoalarm. EU is good for a quick overview of weather problems. Click on each country for a more detailed map.

Only shows today and tomorrow.

Edited by AndersG
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9 hours ago, Mike ingham said:

weather wise is there a good website to watch for adverse conditions

19

 

I find Meteoblue good for continental forecasts which come in a seven-day listing.     You can enter any town you wish to check on.    For instance, here's the 7day forecast for Santander

 

Meteoblue.thumb.jpg.a9080b30485c0a568194cd2ba4e902cf.jpg

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Mike, the blog is very good news for us, as we're off for a tour of Extremadura next May (not using the van, but by air to Madrid, then to Zafra, Caceres, Trujillo). 

 

We'll save Avila and Segovia for the year after, God willing.  Great photos by the way!

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What a great blog.   Thanks for posting and the costs were also useful, although I should imagine gone up considerably since then.   Plus the great unknown of the Pig's Breakfast.

 

Four months is a long time to be away.   There must be another blog somewhere on the preparations and admin to be completed beforehand I guess good neighbours are an essential.

 

Very tempted to overwinter once I retire next year.   Must be strange after 40 years or so of 2 or 3 fortnightly holidays a year!

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12 minutes ago, meadowsweet said:

Four months is a long time to be away.  

 

 

Yes - four months is a long time.    But some of the friends I meet up with in Spain ask "You going home already?"   That's because they stay for six months.     But as I wrote in another part of my blog,   when I first started to winter travel, we just went for four weeks.

 

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Cant contribute much about the snow risk only to repeat JayDugs observation about the state of readiness the Spanish exibit if there is any chance of snow, we saw it in May one year .

However having been down to Lagos ourselves a good few times we have preferred the cross country route from Badajoz via Evora and I have described it      here     . There is a splendid small site Camping Alentejo near Evoramonte close to the main road and fine for a night halt before the Algarve

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21 hours ago, Jaydug said:

I've been travelling to southern Spain during the winter for many years - leaving home in early November but often driving home solo for the Christmas period.    In that time, I have sometimes had to drive slowly because of road conditions but never once have I been held up because of snow.    Spain is very much 'on the ball' when it comes to wintry conditions on the road.    At every motorway exit snow ploughs and gritter lorries are deployed even when there's just a hint of snow in the forecast.   

Probably your best route from Santander would be the A67/A62 to Salamanca then the A66 to Merida.    I do a slow journey through Spain every year, trying to take a different route each year.    If you can afford the time, do stop off to visit places on your route.    Spain has a wealth of interesting places and things to see.     For the route you might want to take, see my blog here.

 

PS.    If you want an overnight stop close to Santander, see http://campingvirgendelmar. com/en/

From the dockside, it's about 5 miles across town but easier to do the ten miles on the motorway.    You'll also find a review of the site on my blog site. .

Many many thanks to all who replied to my forum request to toe or not to tow

santander to algarve. very helpfully info re: state of roads in winter forecasts and stops and the attached blogs were great. thank you all for your time.

regards mike Ingham.

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On 26/10/2018 at 18:19, David in Cheshire said:

Cant contribute much about the snow risk only to repeat JayDugs observation about the state of readiness the Spanish exibit if there is any chance of snow, we saw it in May one year .

However having been down to Lagos ourselves a good few times we have preferred the cross country route from Badajoz via Evora and I have described it      here     . There is a splendid small site Camping Alentejo near Evoramonte close to the main road and fine for a night halt before the Algarve

 

Camping Alentejo is indeed a splendid site and is often used as a  one night stopover which is a pity as there is so much to see and do in the area it really does pay dividends to stay longer.

Steve

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