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ROUTES TO SPAIN - AVOIDING TOLLS


Domino

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Leaving 7 April, and avoiding high ground, could some of you well travelled people kindly suggest routes for me to get into Spain, Begur (near Barcelona), avoiding tolls. I don't mind using them to avoid certain busy stretches, but don't really want to spend lots of euros when I'm not in a particular hurry.

I found a route which went something like Calais, Le Mans, Limoges, Toulouse, Perpignon. I think I saw a thread about 'N' routes running alongside motorways - but typically can't find it now. This is my first time in France and Spain, so any advice much appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance.

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I do the run twice a year, I never use the toll roads in France, just plot a route using your Tom Tom (what do you mean you haven't got one? Go and buy one straight away!) and trundle along merrily.

 

Do not let Tom Tom take you through any cities (like Le Mans) it has a tendency to do so. Use a map to check the route and make some decisions yourself.

 

The joy (at least for us) is not to travel to far in one hop, to stop at as many small villages and towns as we can, in short to enjoy the trip down. There is a lot to see in France. You will need to stop at the local shops and buy bread, wine and cheese, and fuel is cheaper at the supermarkets.

 

 

Your route is one (among many) that I have travelled, you will find the French roads good and as long as you slow down through towns and villages you will not have any problems.

 

In Spain use the motorways, the tolls are not bad and it is a lot quicker. There are many free stretches as well.

 

In short, relax and enjoy.

 

Hallii

 

 

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olley - 2010-02-11 1:59 PM

 

Hi i did a similar route a couple of years back, Calais, Rouen, Evreux, Chartres, Orleans, then I went on the A71 toll, which is free after Clemont F apart from the bridge. but of course its a bit hilly this way (lol)

 

Olley

 

Hi Olley

We are thinking of this route early May.

Is it too early for crossing the Pynenees at that time of year or better to cross over to the East (Perpignon) (?)

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John.N - 2010-02-12 8:25 AM

 

We are going to Spain at the end of the month but I am planning to go east of Paris via Reims, Dijon and the Rhone valley thus avoiding the high ground of the Massif Central.

 

What are the pros and cons of each route?

 

Where in Spain are you heading?

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derek500 - 2010-02-12 8:04 AM

 

John.N - 2010-02-12 8:25 AM

 

We are going to Spain at the end of the month but I am planning to go east of Paris via Reims, Dijon and the Rhone valley thus avoiding the high ground of the Massif Central.

 

What are the pros and cons of each route?

 

Where in Spain are you heading?

 

Calpe south of Valencia

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John.N - 2010-02-12 9:29 PM

Calpe south of Valencia

 

Abbeville, Rouen, Chartres, Tours, Poitiers, Bordeaux, Biarritz, Hendaye, Pamplona, Zaragoza, Sagunto. Valencia then the N340 where the A7 goes peaje.

 

Two days from Dunkerque to Biarritz. Sometimes we take three, but in the winter there is not much point stopping, we prefer to get to home quicker.

 

We did Biarritz to home in Valencia last friday and we were home in daylight. That included a two hour stop at Ikea in Zaragoza. Calpe should be no problem.

 

I just set the TomTom to fastest route and have 'always avoid tolls' set. As we don't go at the speed limit, I have a quick look at the 80kph maximum speed route and that gives us a good indication of our ETA.

 

Incidentally, Valencia is just about on the Greenwich meridian and the above route near enough tracks it.

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Hi Domino

We've used the route that Derek500 suggests and found it very good, although we took it slightly slower. On the way down through France and back, we stopped off south of Tours on an Aires, "Sainte Maure de Touraine 2" which is free, and then again near St Jean de Luz, at Urrugne on a campsite "Camping Larrouleta". Once in Spain we again broke the journey at an excellent municipal site at Zaragoza "Camping Ciudad de Zaragoza (www.campingzaragoza.com).

Alan

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Thank you for your recommendation Derek. Clearly from your experience of regular trips to and from Valencia you have sussed out which is probably the best way. However I have one query - the direct route from Hendaye to Pamplona takes you over what appears to be from the map a winding hilly single carriageway through the foothills of the Pyrenees which might not be very suitable in winter. Do you use that or do go round by San Sebastian and the A15?

 

Alan has suggested a few suitable overnight stops. Do you have any other recommendations?

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John.N - 2010-02-13 3:17 PM the direct route from Hendaye to Pamplona takes you over what appears to be from the map a winding hilly single carriageway through the foothills of the Pyrenees which might not be very suitable in winter.

 

That's the N121a and has recently been upgraded and bendy bits have now gone!!

 

As for overnights, if you're doing three days then the aires at St Jean de Luz (bit noisy by the railway) or Biarritz (police are now collecting 10€ fee, if you want electricity take a double euro adapter as piggy-backing is the norm).

 

For second night, somewhere between Poitiers and Tours like Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine or Montbazon.

 

We usually book an early ferry and overnight at the port in Dover/Boulogne or Norfolkline's carpark.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions of routes and stopovers. I will let you know which way we go and how it goes when we set off on 7 April. Am travelling with Domino, our dog so will be taking it slow - as he needs his exercise.

 

Have just paid for van MOT, service, plus cambelt plus 2 new tyres, and have just found the water pipe to drinking filter has split - water everywhere so that has been removed, as I'v never yet used it. This is my excuse for not buying a Tom Tom though the 'avoid tolls' option sounds good. Our inbuilt NavTech has discs for countries, but no avoid toll option. However am saving for newer van in 2012.

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going the reims troyes etc,way, is more interesting(pers op).and has more access to overnight stops.Itend to take autoroute to reims then nat roads to avoid boring northern france its fairly flat and the countryside has plenty of interest. beaune onwards is really nice to the border.Going through lyon is o.k. :-)
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