userDon Madge
Posted: 5 January 2007 2:58 PM

Epic contributor

Posts: 1869
Location: Rustington, West Sussex

We will be leaving home on the 11th January and travelling to Spain/Portugal via the west coast of France.

Calais, Rouen, Tours, Bordeaux, St Jean de Luz, San Sebastian, Vitoria,
Burgos, Madrid, Granada and Malaga that's if we are heading for Morocco.

If we are going to Portugal it will be Madrid, Cordoba, Seville, and the

If you want to visit northern Portugal and come down the west coast to the Algarve then a good route is, Burgos, Valladolid, Salamanca, Villa Formosa, Guarda (the highest town in Portugal), Viseu and Aveiro. Then follow the coast south to the Algarve.


A good over night stop in Boulogne is on the Quai Gambetta, leave the A16 at junc 3, take the D96, then at the roundabout turn left and take the D940 for Boulogne.The parking is on the Quai Gambetta behind the Jardin de Nausicaa. The area also doubles as a coach park. We have parked there many times over the years without any problems. I 'I've never been parked there without a least another couple of vans even in winter. You can sit and watch the Speedferries craft coming and going. It's about a 15 minute walk into town along the Quai.

This a link to the map of Boulogne.


There are numerous places to stay en-route (wild) here are a few:-

Ste.-Maure-de-Touraine (south of Tours) Aire de Repos in village well signed from N10.

On the A63 Bayonne Service Area Labenne East & West is good night stop with marked areas for Motorhomes/Caravans which trucks are unable to get into.

There's Aire at Ondres Plage (10 ks north of Bayonne on the N10) it was not open the last time we visited (Jan ?) but there are two/three very large sea front car parks that are OK for an over night stop. The car park is free in the winter but you have to pay in the summer

Ondres Plage is 4 km of the N10 on the D26 and is signed as you enter Ondres from the North.

You can check out the place with Google maps type in Ondres Plage, France. Click on Satellite and zoom in. You can see how many vehicles there are in the car park. I find this facility very useful
for checking out places.


In the winter in Spain on this route most restaurants and garages will allow you to park overnight if you use their services.

I would suggest you use the Peage (A63) from Bayonne to San Sebastian as the coast road (N10) gets very busy and goes through all the towns.

The motorway AP8 from San Sebastian to Bilbao gets very busy at times.

We've never been snowbound (yet). The Spanish are on the ball with their
snow clearing. The ploughs are out along the Autovia long before the snow
starts to fall. Two places where you could have problems. The first at the
Puerto de Somosierre (Alt.1440metres) between Burgos and Madrid. One winter we went over the Pass behind a snow plough.

Snow chains are compulsory over the pass after a snow fall.

The other place you could get delayed is through the Gorges south of
Valdepenas. This is a spectacular road, good scenery. Some truck drivers
treat it like a grand Prix circuit. It's a dual carriageway but the road
twists and bends. (The first time we went that way we thought it was
dangerous. Now we find it exciting).

It can get a bit hairy around Granada when there's snow about.

There are plenty of night stops as far as Valdepenas after that they are few and far between.

If you want a camp site in the area I can recommend Camping Despenaperros at Santa Elena. Leave A4/N1V E5 at KM 257 enter the village and follow the camping signs. If you arrive in the dark be careful as you enter the site as the entrance is offset to the road. The gate is wide enough but you will need to take care.

There is a very convenient site at Aranda de Duero about 50 miles south of Burgos.

Camping Soto del Castillo at Aranjuz which is a
very popular stop over for the Brit's going south for the winter is closed
for pitch renovation and will not be open this winter.

There are two alternative sites north of Madrid at Manzanares El Real and

There are also three sites at La Cabrera which is about 60 km north of