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2020 My likely Route touring through France, Northern Spain , Portugal & Spain South


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I plan to take my Bailey Unicorn Seville touring through France, Northern Spain, Portugal & Spain South,

Among the first things that I did was investigating likely costs associated with ferry crossings from UK Ports to Europe setting off early January.

The estimated Ferry crossing costs indicate that least cost is;

P&O Ferry return £290,  

Newhaven to Dieppe DFDS return £326

Portsmouth to  St. Malo return £635 and

Portsmouth to Santander return £1,144.

In the past I have used all  these ports either using a bicycle, Motorcycle and car and never a Caravan.

Key places that I want to visit include Saint Jean de Luz, Santiago de Compostela and Portugal coastal route west to the Algarve. I know some campsites when in the past visiting Santiago de Compostela, Oporto, Sesimbra Portugal, Quarteira, Seville, Cadiz, Tarifa and Rhonda.

Now I understand those campsites open all year France, Spain and Portugal.

What I do need to know is if anyone can recommend campsites if I book ferry crossing Calais, Dieppe and St. Malo heading to Saint Jean de Luz please?

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Sites at Paris, Tours, Poitiers and Bordeaux are open all year if you are heading to St Jean de Luz and starting from Calais - or sites at Rennes, Nantes and Fouras are open all year  if you are starting from St Malo and going down the coastal route.   Google will give you those site names and details, although your ACSI guide will have info about most  of them too. 

Edited by moorgate
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1 hour ago, Casique said:

I plan to take my Bailey Unicorn Seville touring through France, Northern Spain, Portugal & Spain South,

Among the first things that I did was investigating likely costs associated with ferry crossings from UK Ports to Europe setting off early January.

The estimated Ferry crossing costs indicate that least cost is;

P&O Ferry return £290,  

Newhaven to Dieppe DFDS return £326

Portsmouth to  St. Malo return £635 and

Portsmouth to Santander return £1,144.

 

 

I think you need to spend a bit more time on your research.   Your outfit is similar in size to my own.   I've just done a hypothetical booking for car and 7 mtr caravan with cabin from Portsmouth to Santander out in January - back in March, and the fare comes in at £825 return.   That could be reduced by using a 'friends' membership.    My own booking for this winter (Portsmouth/Santander - November/February) comes in at £650 return .

With the increase in French fuel prices over the last two years, the Spanish ferry has become more reasonable.   From Calais to Santander at around 30mpg, your towing fuel cost return, will be in the region of £350.      Add another £150 for only some toll roads, plus around £100 for a few overnight campsites, plus what you would pay for Dover/Calais, and the Spanish fare becomes a bit more realistic.

Then there's the winter weather in France to contend with!   Nuff said!

 

 

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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FWIW ....

Date or even month of departure or have I missed it ??

Lots of other sites are operating through Winter in France - search UK  Campsites or ACSI using the filters. Too many to start listing them all given vague arrival Port in France & routing.

M

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I would chose the route from your home as easy as possible and affordable to Santander or Bilbao. Start with the assumption that a long drive South through France may be poor weather, and not that enjoyable. Get the best ferry price using Brittany Ferries with a 10% fare reduction from a BFCV friend. Next get a similar deal from CMC - you may be surprised how good that is if you book it now and just pay the deposit. Now you have a cost base to use - adding what you chose for the rest of the journey. Next do the costing for a leisurely drive all the way, using the lowest cost Channel crossing  so that you have a comparison between the most practical/ the cheapest possible. Journey costs across France are more expensive than obvious so take care of the Toll costs and chose safe night stops which may be dearer than the cheap/free ones. The day light driving days are short so you may need more stops than in summer weather.  There are no short cuts to this work as every case is personal to you.    Read some of the blogs on here from people like Jaydug.

Ern

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2 hours ago, Casique said:

I plan to take my Bailey Unicorn Seville touring through France, Northern Spain, Portugal & Spain South,

Among the first things that I did was investigating likely costs associated with ferry crossings from UK Ports to Europe setting off early January.

The estimated Ferry crossing costs indicate that least cost is;

P&O Ferry return £290,  

Newhaven to Dieppe DFDS return £326

Portsmouth to  St. Malo return £635 and

Portsmouth to Santander return £1,144.

In the past I have used all  these ports either using a bicycle, Motorcycle and car and never a Caravan.

Key places that I want to visit include Saint Jean de Luz, Santiago de Compostela and Portugal coastal route west to the Algarve. I know some campsites when in the past visiting Santiago de Compostela, Oporto, Sesimbra Portugal, Quarteira, Seville, Cadiz, Tarifa and Rhonda.

Now I understand those campsites open all year France, Spain and Portugal.

What I do need to know is if anyone can recommend campsites if I book ferry crossing Calais, Dieppe and St. Malo heading to Saint Jean de Luz please?

Why do you want to take a ferry to France when you are going to Spain?

I use either the tunnel or the ferries to Spain. The ferry crossings to France are  time wasters.

 

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Some interesting points.

We have not contemplated such a trip, at that time of year, however I know people that will not consider a ferry crossing on a flat calm sea and the Bay of Biscay at that time of year may not be doing anything like an impression of a flat calm sea.

On the other hand the tunnel is a time waster when you live where we do so that would not come into our thinking.

 

Looking at prices this morning BF direct and CMC are coming out  at the same for my outfit and if taking a Spanish route then Portsmouth -Santander is cheaper than going to Bilbao.

A couple of years ago our MH buddies were almost snowed in after leaving a crossing to Santander in January so that maybe gave them as many problems as driving through France.

If seeing some of France is part of the appeal then a Spain out France back might work, and gives a balance of costs, with the outward leg via Santander then as described in the OP, and  return leg passing via St Jean Du Luz area and the  North to Caen for the return.

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3 minutes ago, Allan Guest said:

On the other hand the tunnel is a time waster when you live where we do so that would not come into our thinking.

I would not consider the tunnel either if I lived in Cornwall but OP lives in Boston.

9 minutes ago, Allan Guest said:

A couple of years ago our MH buddies were almost snowed in after leaving a crossing to Santander in January so that maybe gave them as many problems as driving through France.

 

Snow is common but not a problem with a caravan since they have huge parkings where the police will wave you in. Snow will be cleared in a day or two.

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7 minutes ago, AndersG said:

I would not consider the tunnel either if I lived in Cornwall but OP lives in Boston.

Lincolnshire or the other one?!!

 

Boston to Dover is 179 miles and to Portsmouth 190-I would have assumed a far bigger difference so just shows.

Edited by Allan Guest
Would check tunnel prices.
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Very quick comparison using viamichelin , eurotunnel and BF websites shows single journey costs of;

Tunnel   £197

Ferry       £445 Portsmouth to Santander with cabin.

Journey £315 from Cocquelles to Santander

 

And the journey costs do not include enroute sites.

Edited by Allan Guest
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We head for Spain or Portugal  in the Spring and even then we have not always enjoyed the driver through France and having to go off our desired route top find sites open. Last 3 years we have use Portsmouth Bilbao out and Caen Portsmouth back which lessens the costs a little and gives us time in France.

I did some calculations comparing a single to Bilbao with a two day drive through France from Ouistreham   and I think it costs around £140 to avoid those 2 days on the road when fuel, sites and tolls are taken into consideration and so far with smooth crossings we have felt it worthwhile.

David

Various vans 78-2019,  currently  Hobby Excellent 540 FU and Mercedes E220 CDI Estate

www. caravan-europe. co. uk

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