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quickest way to the sun


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we are heading for southern spain in january for some much needed warmth. this will be our first trip abroad in our new motorhome so we have a lot to learn and would appreciate some advice. we don't know whether to head straight for the coast (say barcelona) and follow the coastal route to malaga, or go cross country and head straight for malaga.which route can we expect the best weather? we will setting off from calais and aren't sure what route to take. we would rather not use toll roads if possible and are hoping to stay overnight at some aires. again, are these better/ more plentiful on certain routes.it all seems quite daunting at the moment, but i suppose it will all sort itself out once we are on the road. we have tom tom to help us, and i am going to get an acsi card. is there anything else we need to buy to assist us on out travels.any tips much appreciated, thank you.
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If not already aware, do bear in mind that central France, and central Spain, can be extremely cold in January.  It is not unusual to pass signs warning of Verglas (black ice) right down near Bordeaux.  Whatever route you select, I think you will be wise to plan on sticking to main roads in lieu of minor roads (the latter being lower priority for salting/gritting), and on a broadly coastal route rather than an inland route.  That is to say, roughly, via Rouen, Bordeaux, Perpignan and Barcelona rather than down the middle of France via Paris and Clermont-Ferrand or Reims and Dijon.  If you eventually opt for the autoroutes you should find they are OK - though I'm not sure I'd use the Clermont-Ferrand route if snow is forecast.  Discounting the Alps and the Pyrenees, the Auvergne has some of the most extreme weather in France as it rises to around 3,500 ft, but more importantly, the A75 runs at around 3,000 ft for miles.
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Buy wine.


'Cos drinking it of an evening whilst on tour stops you worrying.


Slightly tongue-in-cheek; forgive me.




But don't be daunted. Look forward to it. Hugely.

Many tens of thousands of people have done what you're about to do...and a part of the adventure is, well, the adventure.

It means newness. Uncharted personal territory. New sights, new experiences, new things to learn, to adapt to. And that's fun.

That's brilliant fun.


By and large you'll meet fantastic people.

You'll get lost.

You'll eat a whole range of wierd and new foods.

Something in your van will break down. And someone you meet will fix it...generally for free (or a bottle or two of plonk).

You'll struggle to say more than two words in a foreign tongue. And when you do, the person you're speaking to will smile, and the ice will be broken and they'll help you.

You'll wave at MH's from all over Europe and further afield as you pass....both of you involved in the same common purpose - adventuring.

You'll lose something. You'll fret about it. And then you'll realise that it wasn't important and that life goes on just as wonderfully without it.


And when you get to the sunshine, and you have your first afternoon stretched out in your loungers, glass of cava in hand, with the prospect of a BBQ meal that evening, or a meal in a little local bar, and you're looking out over the clear blue Med, then you'll know why you are doing it.


Enjoy. :-D

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If you want a fast route why not go by ferry to Nth Spain it's much cheaper this time of year then your about half way to Malaga.If driving then

Rouen,Le Mans,Poiters,Bordeaux,Bayonne,Burgos,Madrid,Granada,Motril ( about 1375 miles from Calaisto Malaga)you can travel Toll roads through France cost about 100e to the border these roads are good and should be kept snow free.Then non toll in Spain again good roads kept clear.

Depending on how much driving you want to do each day it is quite doable in 2 days Bayonne is half way. Calais to Bayonne is about 10 hours of driving time plus stops I usualy take 12 hours then a little longer say 131/2 hours to Malaga/Motril from Bayonne the roads while good are a bit twisty in places but nothing to worry about dual all the way.

You can expect far better weather in Southern Spain than the Nth of the Med also if you come that way it's tolls all down the Med but again good roads.

Have a great trip


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thanks for replies. we will only take the dover to calais route, purely because we both hate ferries and (rough) water. the shorter the crossing the better.as we love driving, that doesn't present a problem. have taken onboard your comments, will get the map out again and follow your advised routes. thanks again.
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