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Route to Argave, Portugal

myland rose

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Depends where which part of Algarve your going to; I would go down via Salamanca, Caceres, Merida, then go west via Badajoz, Evora, Beja, to the IP1 to link to the Algarve motorway. If going to the Eastern Algarve I would go via Sevilla.

There are campsites open all year at Salmanca (Regio), Caceres, Evora.

see http://www.vayacamping.net/

Spain is a very mountainous country and which ever way you go you could hit some bad weather, but they are well prepared and delays are usually minamal.

The road from Salamanca has been upgraded to motorway standard and is almost complete as far as Sevilla. However there are few service areas and you will need to divert off to find fuel and food. This is no probelm as they are all well sign posted and there are some excellent Ventas serving menu del dia at around 8-11 euros per head. Just go where the trucks and cars are parked.

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myland rose - 2008-11-05 9:35 AM


What route would someone recommend to S. Portugal leaving in early dec.? Have been down to spain couple times but bit concerned about weather inland spain and places to overnight on route in spain. Any info gratefully received. Anyone else doing same trip?


Hi Richard,


A popular winter route to Portgal is to travel travel down the West coast of France and then, San Sebastian, Irurtzun, Vitoria, Burgos, Madrid, Valdpenas, Cordoba, Seville and Algarve.


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

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. Good night stop marked area for Motorhomes/Caravans which trucks are unable to get into.


There are many aires on the route as well check out http://www.campingcar-infos.com/Francais/recherche.php


In the winter 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.


By taking the A15 from San Sebastian you can avoid the Col. de Etxegarate.


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


We've done this trip many times in the winter. The weather ranged

from very cold to relatively pleasant.


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).


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.


This info was put together some time ago. I've amended where I can, the road numbers can't be relied on as the Spanish are changing the road numbering system. It might be safer using the E road numbers at



Safe travelling



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On Don's recommendations I have also stayed at the aire at St Maure and Labene without incident but share your reservations about services. It can be a bit noisey at Labene, a much quieter spot and very popular aire with motorhomers is the Cap Breton Aire west of Labene. You could find as many as 40 motorhomes there even in winter!



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myland rose - 2008-11-06 2:26 PM


(lol) Hi Don Many thanks for info re winter trip to Portugal we shall study maps for the route. Bit wary of staying at services overnight should I be worried?.


Hi Richard,


Service areas on the Motorways have a reputation of being unsafe especially in high summer and in certain parts of southern Spain at any time.


Pete has mentioned the aire at Labenne, in the past we have used the one at Ondres Plage GPS N43.57711 W1.48751 the last time we were there in the winter it was free.


If you are concerned about the weather you can get a ten day forecast at

Weather.com http://tinyurl.com/5allup this is a ten day forecast for Madrid.


Before we leave home we get a ten day forecast to check out the major towns/cities en route to see if any bad weather is predicted.






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We are also going in september via France but were hoping to go down through Portugal rather than through Spain. Any pointers? Also we would like to leave our Tracker EKS in Lisbon to fly back mid Dec to mid Jan. Any suggestions for this?


Porky well fed and happy despite being credit crunched.

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