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Mini Tour of Spain (& South West France)

Big Momma

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Now back from a wonderful 25 day mini tour of Spain and thought I would share some information on sites used as well as some useful (I hope) facts and figures. Where I convert Euro's to £'s this is based on the rate I exchanged at before departure from UK which was £1=1.12 euro. Fuel in Spain averaged 0.96Euros per litre (£0.86). Fuel in France averaged 1.16Euros per Litre (£1.04)


Ferry Booking and all Sites were booked through Caravan Club. must mention that when booking was originally made in November 2008, deposit taken and was given invoice for total price. However, praise to caravan club, initial booking was done on early booking deal with P&O but in January 2009, P&O reduced prices again for new bookings. Caravan Club cancelled my original booking and then re-booked with cheaper deal saving me over £100 !! (Same sailings and top spec accommodations).


Left on Saturday 25th July and returned on Tuesday 18th August.


Swindon - Portsmouth P&O Ferry terminal 87 miles (Just under 2 hours)


Portsmouth - Bilbao (36 Hour crossing, wonderful enforced relaxation with 2 nights on ferry)


Bilbao - El escorial campsite (35Km NW of Madrid) GPS: N40.37'.37" / W04.06'.00" 256 miles (5 hour drive) Tolls 24.15Euros (£21.56) Fuel 32Euros (£28.57). Roads excellent most of the way, some poor surfaces on motorways in parts but minimal. Campsite excellent, very large pitch 135 square metres. Lovely pool complex (3-4 full size pools with grass surrounds for sunbathing). Short walk to top of campsite road to catch bus direct to Madrid (40 minute journey, air conditioned coach, 6.70 euros each return (£5.98)) Excellent facilities on site and not noisy.


El escorial to Bonterra Park (1 hour north of Valencia) GPS: N40.3'.27" / E0.4'.20" 312 miles (6 Hour drive). Tolls 2.90Euros (£2.58) and if I had not elected to tell Sat nav to use 'Fastest Route' I would have missed out the this small section of Motorway and it would have cost me nothing in Tolls. The route from El escorial almost all the way to Bonterra Park was on Toll Free Motorway ! Fuel 85Euros (£75.89) we were not sparing the horses on this leg of the journey hence the high cost in fuel. Smaller site than previous with only just over 200 pitches. The pitch was fully serviced (electric, water and drainage) and was a good 90 square metres with hessian shading across the top well above the height of the van and which created no problems for receiving satellite signals on TV and mobile phones. Fantastic Pool and other very good facilities on site. 10 minute stroll to gorgeous wide sandy beach (temperature of sea water was like getting in to a hot bath) and lovely Esplanade (Lit up at night and populated with lots of people strolling in heat of evening). Town (Benicassim) 15 minute stroll and Railway station a good 30 minute stroll with trains direct to Valencia (1 hour) or Barcelona (2 hours). Return train tickets to Valencia 11Euros each (£9.82).


Bonterra Park - Vilanova Park (30 minutes South of Barcelona) GPS: N41.13'.52" / E01.41'.39" 135 miles (2.5 hours Drive) Tolls 19.76Euros (£17.64) Fuel 29Euros (£25.89). Minor Road start and end of Journey, otherwise all Motorway and no problems. very large noisy site, large pool complex but always crowded and not enough sun loungers. Pitch size reasonable and more than adequate but not as spacious as previous two. Bus from site gate to rail station 1.10Euros each (£0.98 single trip), Train to Barcelona Centre 5.60 each return (£5.00), City bus Tour (2 day ticket) 27Euros each (£24.10) hop on/off service, 2 main routes taking in all main city and suburb sights. Barcelona fantastic cosmopolitan city well worth the two days we spent looking around.


Vilanova Park - El delfin Verde (2.5 Hours North of Barcelona) GPS: N42.0'.41" / E3.11'.36". 119 Miles (2.5 Hours drive) Tolls 7.25Euros (£6.47) Fuel Nil on this leg. Journey good with last 30 minutes of journey on local roads (equivalent to UK country A class road). Massive site with lots of facilities, holiday village in itself with big supermarket, 2-3 restaraunts, bars, very large pool complex etc. etc. Private access to wide sandy beach. very large pitch 120 square metres. Nice site, nice beach, excellent facilities but not good if it is a quiet peaceful location you are seeking as noise in evening from on site entertainment is very loud followed by parties on pitches into small hours (we would not go again).


El delfin verde - Pavillon Royal (Biarittz - South West corner of France). GPS: N43.27'.17" / W01.34'.50". 377 miles (7 hour drive) Tolls (Spain to French Border) 3.80Euros (£3.39) Tolls (France) 56.90Euros (£50.80) Fuel 80Euros (£71.42). Motorway all the way, up east coast of Spain in to France towards Perpignan and then across Pyranees (East - West) via Toulouse to Biarittz. Once again long journey so did not spare the horses. Site 10 minute bus journey outside Biarittz 2Euros each single trip (£1.78). The site is small with just over 200 very good individual hedged pitches (100 metres square) with electric, water and drainage. idyllic, peaceful, freindly. nice sized pool but private access gate to wonderful sandy beach with masive Atlantic Breakers, absolutely fantastic location, fantastic site. Biarittz brilliant, not glitz and glamour as seldom advertised but a beautiful refined but freindly, relaxed city. So impressed that have already cancelled next years plans to do Italian Lakes so that we can travel down from North France and finish up at Biarritz (14 Nights), yes it really was that good !!


Pavillon Royal - Bilbao P&O ferry terminal GPS: N43.19'.57" / W3.1'.50" 98 miles (1.5 Hours drive). Tolls (France) 5.55Euros (£4.95) Tolls (Spain) 7.60Euros (£6.78). Fuel (Spain) 60Euros (£53.57) topped up tank ready for home. Easy route and no problems getting to ferry terminal.


Bilbao - Portsmouth 29 hours (1 Night) with 87 mile journey home.


Sites used either 2 pin plugs or Blue Euro Plugs and varied between 6-10 Amps more than sufficient for our needs and this included constant use of Air Con.


Total mileage door to door 1,471 miles

Total Fuel Costs £255

Tolls (Spain & France) £114.20


"Dotty Doris" (Alpine Sat Nav) performed beyond our wildest expectations and rarely gave us any major problems (Used map as back up but was primarily redundant) as Dotty Doris got us to the front gate of every camp site.


Big Momma - Fantastic, no technical or mechanical problems and we pushed her hard on 3 of the legs.


El Banditos - NIL (too busy blowing up majorca I believe :D )

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