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North East England To Southern Spain


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We plan a month in Southern Spain and are considering the options for the journey there and back. Living in the North East we like using the DFDS ferry to Holland as it is only 40 mins from home. Using rough costings based on projected mileage and ferry prices from the CC, I have calculated the costs of the DFDS route vs the Channel route. They are

 

Overall cost of ferry and fuel - DFDS £1023, Channel £850

Return distance - DFDS 2904, Channel 3308 (assuming most direct route to Malaga return using Via Michelin)

Time to Malaga including driving and ferry - DFDS 46 hours, Channel 40 (notional non-stop driving at average of 50mph)

 

I know some of my assumptions are unrealistic but they are for the purpose of comparison only. Obviously non stop travel isn't viable and averaging 50mph is most difficult to achieve

 

Based on these figures, does anyone have any advice/observations? Suggestions welcome!

Edited by mw3230
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Might be worth including in your cost comparisons Brittany Ferries Portsmouth Santander. Further to go to the ferry, and more expensive, but you would be saving fuel and also a couple of overnights.

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£850 channel crossing - what route is that? Shop around - P&O Dover - Calais are usually very inexpensive when booked through the Camping and Caravanning Club website - I do not think you have to be a CCC member to book ferries.

 

I would be looking at no more than £200 Dover - Calais, Ramsgate - Ostend, Eurotunnel etc? A good route for Spain is Newhaven - Dieppe.

 

When I plan journeys, I plan to average 40 mph overall - it generally works. Calais to Strasbourg is about 400 miles and usually takes ten hours with a comfort stop, fuel stop etc. Obviously it could be said it is 8 hours at 50mph plus time for stops. I have however done the journey in less than eight hours with stops!

 

Russell

Online blog and travels, although sometimes there is a lack of travel due to work!

 

It's an uncharted sea, it's an unopened door but you've got to reach out and you've got to explore.

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£850 channel crossing - what route is that? Shop around - P&O Dover - Calais are usually very inexpensive when booked through the Camping and Caravanning Club website - I do not think you have to be a CCC member to book ferries.

 

I would be looking at no more than £200 Dover - Calais, Ramsgate - Ostend, Eurotunnel etc? A good route for Spain is Newhaven - Dieppe.

 

When I plan journeys, I plan to average 40 mph overall - it generally works. Calais to Strasbourg is about 400 miles and usually takes ten hours with a comfort stop, fuel stop etc. Obviously it could be said it is 8 hours at 50mph plus time for stops. I have however done the journey in less than eight hours with stops!

 

Russell

 

 

Hi Russell

 

The £850 is the price for ferry and estimated fuel to Malaga area. The ferry itself is about £300.

 

Haven't considered the other routes as yet except to more or less rule out the long ferries direct to Spain as we are not keen on the very long time onboard. We've used Plymouth to Santander many years ago however

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mw3230

 

Based on Russell's suggested average speed of 40mph, you appear to be reducing your driving hours by 10 hours using the Channel route and saving nearly 200 squid. The main disadvantage of the Channel route from the north east seems to be the clockwise section of the M25.

 

DeeTee

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Have you considered Dover - Dunkirk with NorfolkLine (now DFDS) They do some good prices - I think I saw £37 each way for an outfit. You are about right at 50mph average speed for towing. Personally I calculate on 48mph and I find arrival time in the evening fairly accurate. I do the journey from Calais to Malaga each winter and I allow myself four days to do it.

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

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Hi mw3230,

From the North East a steady drive down MI-A43-M40-A34 to Portsmouth, overnight to St Malo or Caen, shower and breakfast on boat, you can easily be below Bordeaux for your first night stopover then on down to your destination. Enjoy,Catch ya later,indoors.

NB: 6hrs driving each of the first two days.

Edited by indoors
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Kontiki's suggestion of Newhaven Dieppe is worth considering. There is an evening boat at 10:30 ish which you should make driving down from the North East. A cabin or a free reclining seat will give you a bit of kip, then off the boat at 4:30 am to get through Northern France before the traffic starts. We did this last year and got as far as St Emilion (Bordeaux) first day, mainly toll free, without too much trouble. Stopped in an Aire south of Tours (our only stretch of toll road) for a short kip then bacon & eggs. Mind you we only live five miles from Newhaven so we had not had the long drive the previous day.

 

From there, down to the Spanish border at Irun then across central Spain. Alternatively over the old Camino de Santiago route from St Jean Pied de Porte to Pamplona ( a pass through the Pyrennees that is fine for caravans)and down the Rioja/Ebro valley to the Med.

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Hi mw3230,

From the North East a steady drive down MI-A43-M40-A34 to Portsmouth, overnight to St Malo or Caen, shower and breakfast on boat, you can easily be below Bordeaux for your first night stopover then on down to your destination. Enjoy,Catch ya later,indoors.

NB: 6hrs driving each of the first two days.

 

That's the way I'd do it if coming from the North East.

 

Did the first day of holiday drive from St. Malo to Bordeaux this summer and it was really easy.

 

HTH

 

G.

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This post encouraged me to research the subject for our February trip next year. The full findings are on my blog, but it is Calais without a doubt for us. Figures based on 9 metre motorhome, 24 mpg and £5. 50 per gallon of fuel.

 

Leeds - Santa Susanna (near Barcelona), including fuel, Dover - Calais Ferry and a couple of overnight stops came in at £690

 

Leeds to Santa Susanna via Pompey - Santander came in at £1280

 

Leeds to Malaga via Dover totted up to £970

 

Leeds to Malaga via Pompey came in at £1370

 

The calculations are all on my blog page, under "Spain"

 

Dover Calais for us without a doubt.

 

Russell

Online blog and travels, although sometimes there is a lack of travel due to work!

 

It's an uncharted sea, it's an unopened door but you've got to reach out and you've got to explore.

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This post encouraged me to research the subject for our February trip next year. The full findings are on my blog, but it is Calais without a doubt for us. Figures based on 9 metre motorhome, 24 mpg and £5. 50 per gallon of fuel.

 

Leeds - Santa Susanna (near Barcelona), including fuel, Dover - Calais Ferry and a couple of overnight stops came in at £690

 

Leeds to Santa Susanna via Pompey - Santander came in at £1280

 

Leeds to Malaga via Dover totted up to £970

 

Leeds to Malaga via Pompey came in at £1370

 

The calculations are all on my blog page, under "Spain"

 

Dover Calais for us without a doubt.

 

Russell

 

Hi Russell,

 

Have watched and appreciated you posts on toll free routes. . and now these on ferries etc.

 

But for me it isn't about doing it the cheapest way (I know it is for you and that it's satisfying if you come from that viewpoint).

 

For me it's ease of use, relaxation, limiting the stress on us and the car/caravan. .. OK my way costs a bit more. .. but h**l it's only money and we can't take it with us and the kids have got enough already and they will get even more when we leave our stuff behind (house etc)....

 

Just MHO!

 

G.

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For me it's ease of use, relaxation, limiting the stress on us and the car/caravan. .. OK my way costs a bit more. .. but h**l it's only money and we can't take it with us and the kids have got enough already and they will get even more when we leave our stuff behind (house etc)....

 

Just MHO!

 

G.

 

I agree G, my wife is fond of the saying "There's no pockets in shrouds" as she arrives home with another M and S carrier bag!

 

I think my figures in the OP are perhaps a little rough and ready but they show that, for us, the Newcastle to Holland route is not too much more expensive or longer. In any case, and not to ignore the advice given above, we always seek to avoid the Channel crossing looking to avoid that sinking feeling (which strikes on that climb out of Dover) of having to drive 350 miles on UK roads after the relative traffic free good condition roads sur le contininent.

 

Thanks to all for the suggestions which we have considered

Edited by mw3230
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Hi

 

Yes I appreciate the cost v comfort routine too, but my logic just won't allow me to pay that shipping cost. I grew up with coach holidays, worked on coaches, have been a coach tour rep etc so maybe I am used to being bounced about (sounds fun) on the motorway day in and day out. I am more than comfy in the motorhome, stopping when I want, eating the food I want and so on. As a side issue though, as I get older I do slow down a bit, for example. ..

 

Motorhome trip to Lake Garda used to be - home - Dover - Calais - Strasbourg on day 1 (650 miles in total) and then on day two on to Garda - another 360 miles. Nowadays, it is day 1 to Dover, day 2 to Strasbourg for a couple of days and then finally to Garda. My point being the comfort and rest of the en route stops is more important to me than an extra day at Garda.

 

I will say though on a couple of coach charter jobs to Lourdes, we used the Pride of Bilbao. This was nice in so far as very little driving to be done, but the food was lousy - and that was in the waiter service commercial drivers lounge. We got an "upgrade" to the waiter service passenger restaurant and I would not have served that food to a hungry dog. I contacted P&O about this and compared the food on "Billy" to "slops" whilst the North Sea Routes from Hull were akin to many a good quality restuarant. I have not sailed on BF for many years so cannot comment on the food.

 

The other aspect of going through France for me is the overnight stops. Last trip to Spain we had a night in Calais and shopped at Cite Europe - ok, nothing exciting but my mate had not been there before. We then had a couple of nights in Paris, a night in the Loire valley, a night in St Pourcain, a night in Millau and then finally we rolled into Spain about a week after we left the UK!

 

A lot depends too on the time factor. The journey above for example would not have worked too well on a 14 day holiday!

 

Interestingly though, some long ferry routes are cheaper than driving. We looked at sailing from Barcelona to Rome in April last year - about 24 hours at sea - so not too unlike the Pompey routes. The cost was 400 euro return. Mmmm, makes you think about the BF routes to Spain and the prices. Oh silly me, there are two different operators on the Barcelona to Rome route competing for your hard earned.

 

Russell

Online blog and travels, although sometimes there is a lack of travel due to work!

 

It's an uncharted sea, it's an unopened door but you've got to reach out and you've got to explore.

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I've done the calculations, too out of interest for our route to a site in Southern France towing a caravan and using the same dates as we've already booked, but overnight cabins where appropriate:

 

Route 1 Home/Dover/Dunkerque/Site, fuel consumption at 33 mpg and £5. 50 gallon (Kontiki's costs)

 

Return mileage 2116, Fuel £352. 65, Overnight stops (2 each way) £52. 00, Ferry cost £58. 00

 

TOTAL: = £462. 65

 

Route 2 Home/Hull/Zeebrugge/Site

 

Return mileage 2042, Fuel £340. 38, Overnight stops (2 each way) £52. 00, Ferry cost £506. 50 (inc cabin)

 

TOTAL: £898. 38

 

Route 3 Home/Portsmouth/Caen/Site

 

Return mileage 2024, Fuel £337. 31, Overnight stops (1 each way) £26. 00, Ferry cost £622. 00 (inc cabin)

 

TOTAL: £1085. 31

 

For us it's just a No No to go any other way than the short crossing. The difference in cost more than covers our site fees (at around £13. 00 per night average for 22 nights) and quite a bit of holiday spending!

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. .... As a side issue though, as I get older I do slow down a bit, for example. ..

 

Motorhome trip to Lake Garda used to be - home - Dover - Calais - Strasbourg on day 1 (650 miles in total) and then on day two on to Garda - another 360 miles. Nowadays, it is day 1 to Dover, day 2 to Strasbourg for a couple of days and then finally to Garda. My point being the comfort and rest of the en route stops is more important to me than an extra day at Garda. ...

 

Russell

 

Hi again Russell,

 

We did Lake Garda last year.

 

Our itinary. .

 

Ports -> Caen (overnight at Camping Pommiers)

Caen -> Avallon - 281 miles - (overnight on the Municipal)

Avallon -> Chamonix - 232 miles - (two nights at Village Center site at Sallanches)

Chamonix -> Lake Garda - 247 miles - (3 weeks at Camping San Fransesco, Sirmeone)

 

I like to keep it under 300 miles a day but have done 350 miles when it's 99% autoroute.

 

G.

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Having crossed the Bay of Biscay twice in the last 10 days in a ship twice as large as the ferries used on that route I think I will stick to the land route if I was visiting Spain :unsure: Its sometimes easier to make the journey part of the holiday rather than just rushing through. BTW if you get anywhere near Cadiz its a lovely City to visit although I expect its going to be a bit far from what you are planning.

 

David

David - Milton Keynes

Bailey Alliance 66-2 Motorhome for holidays and a Kia Venga for home.

 

Caravan Travels

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The way I would do it is (we did it the other way round 2 weeks ago, car+2pax, NO Caravan) Ld line Portsmouth /Le Harve, @£76 then LD Line, St Nazaire (Nantes)/ Gijon ,£146 inclusive of cabin.

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If you live in the north, why not stay over on the Black Horse CC site at Folkestone and use the tunnel. You'll be half way across France by tea time. We use Tesco vouchers for the Eurotunnel.

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As we all have our priorities and spend our money differently there is obviously no one answer to "which route to choose" however since most of the contributors seem to have had their calculators or spreadsheets out on this one I have also.

For the next trip to Portugal in the spring we have booked Portsmouth Caen for £327. 65 (and that included 7 Camping Cheques)

The cheapest alternative seems to be £68 on DFDS.

I calculate that the Dunkerque route would add 400 miles and 2 days to our return journey, this would equate to about £90 in fuel.

The route south from Caen to the Spanish border can be done largely toll free (we pay some for convenience) but we would probably incur more on the longer route (not calculated)

My conclusion is for us we could save around £160 (not including the camping cheques deal) and spend an extra 2 days in the car.

Since our 3-month trips cost around £4000 it doesn't seem worth inconveniencing ourselves for a fairly small saving. However "you pays your money and takes your choice"

Edited by David in Cheshire
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Thanks again for the input. I've just done some more research. I can get the crossing from Newcastle to Ijmuiden for £288. 20 in a standard two berth cabin (upgrade to Commodore class is £412). This includes free caravan by selecting certain days and booking via CC

 

Hull-Zeebrugge was well over £400 and of no advantage

Eurotunnel was approx £212

DFDS Dover to Dunkirk was £214 Including supplement for 13m outfit

Newhaven - Dieppe in the region of £500!!!!!

Portsmouth - Spain we've ruled this out as we have two dogs and whilst they will put up with the crossing, Brittany Ferries site insists that they must wear muzzles and this seems an unnecessary imposition!

 

Some of these prices seem at odds with those reported by forum members but I am perhaps not adept at finding the cheapest. I do not have any promotion codes to try.

 

As I said above, our preference is to sail from Newcastle to Holland. It is 40 mins from home and in our experience the driving on the continent is less stressful

 

I'll keep watching for helpful tips, however. Thanks again

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Some really good figures and snippets here.

 

I am with you Val - 100% - the extra cost/saving would almost cover the next trip! :D

 

Chapmag - that's a very interesting route to Garda and at first glance of a map, one (that sounds posh) would think the distance would be higher than that, yet it is pretty much the same as Calais to Garda. Very interesting.

 

Another thought for some to save miles and driving is the Stena Line Harwich to the Hook of Holland route - overnight crossings with cabins and payable via Tesco. From my next of the woods, the journey to Harwich is pretty much the same as Dover, but the overnight crossing would give you a good start for the day ahead etc.

 

Russell

Online blog and travels, although sometimes there is a lack of travel due to work!

 

It's an uncharted sea, it's an unopened door but you've got to reach out and you've got to explore.

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. ....

Chapmag - that's a very interesting route to Garda and at first glance of a map, one (that sounds posh) would think the distance would be higher than that, yet it is pretty much the same as Calais to Garda. Very interesting. .........

 

Russell

 

Hi again Russell,

 

Obviously my departing from 3 miles away from Portsmouth Ferryport has a bearing on crossings versus those living oop North (Lancy Lad here so don't take offense anyone! :D ).

 

As previously posted regarding my trip to the Algrave next Autumn.

 

*******************************************************************************************************************

 

We live 3 miles from Portsmouth International Ferryport. .. so. ..

 

it really is a bit illogical to drive to Kent unless we are travelling to Northern Europe.

 

I'm currently looking at 3 months in the Algarve in Autumn 2012.

 

Portsmouth -> Dover _> Calais -> Alvor Beach,

 

Portsmouth -> St. Malo -> Alvor Beach and

 

Portsmouth -> Santander -> Alvor Beach . ..

 

Option 1 is 3100 miles round trip, Option 2 -> 2440 miles and Option 3 -> 1330 miles.

 

in financial terms it equates to approx. £1200 (option 1), £1100 (option 2) and £1250 (option 3) return. ... that's fuel, ferries, transient sites and tolls. .... excludes site fees for our stay on the Algarve.

 

Option 1 takes a minimum (which we would not entertain) of 7 nights to arrive at our destination.

 

Option 2 5 nights,

 

Option 3 2 nights. ....

 

. ...But given wear and tear on car and 'van on the longer journeys. .. Option 3 looks very attractive. .....

 

. ...TIA,

 

G.

 

*****************************************************************************************************************************************

 

In the end we settled for Portsmouth Caen out and Santander -> Portsmouth return (24 hours on the ferry versus several days driving up through Europe in late November/early December!).

 

P. S. What did you mean by "that sounds posh"??? :blink:

 

Cheers,

 

G.

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"That sounds posh" - referred to me saying "one would think. ..." re the distance etc. Normally I would say "I would think" so I have no idea where "one" came from!

Online blog and travels, although sometimes there is a lack of travel due to work!

 

It's an uncharted sea, it's an unopened door but you've got to reach out and you've got to explore.

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"That sounds posh" - referred to me saying "one would think. ..." re the distance etc. Normally I would say "I would think" so I have no idea where "one" came from!

 

Crikey! I had to read that twice to work out what you were on about. ... :lol: :lol: :lol: G.

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I can get the crossing from Newcastle to Ijmuiden for £288. 20 in a standard two berth cabin (upgrade to Commodore class is £412). This includes free caravan by selecting certain days and booking via CC

 

I've watched this thread with interest as we find that Dover is cheapest by far if we're going South to France, but we use DFDS for Austria, Germany or Italy as the price difference taking everything into account is neglible.

We're thinking of Austria next year in June, coming back July, using DFDS, but the cheapest fare I can find via CC is £320. 60 for 12m outfit. Could you say what month and days you are using to get that fare?

 

John M

2017 Skoda Superb Estate 2. 0 Tdi 190; 2014 Swift Challenger 530SE + Powrtouch Evolution

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