Travel may be a full-time commitment for us, although each country offers its own special road-trip. We love exploring new territory and despite in our early days chasing the sun, now we have much slower-paced journeys; even if it is snowing and freezing temperatures. We’ve come to appreciate that it is only through slow travel that we get a real sense of a country and uncover its authenticity and cultural uniqueness.
Over the three years we’ve been on the road, Spain has been our choice for winter and spring. And our road-trips in and out of Spain have varied. Sometimes we have crossed the border from France and sometimes we have started in UK. So we thought we’d put together our routes that have taken us into and out of Spain.
We have chosen to focus on routes and POI rather than time and costs. In part because, having done the exercise a number of times, there is little difference in the total cost whether you cross the Bay of Biscay or the Channel. Unless your ferry price tag is over £600 as was quoted for us in January 2019! By the time you have taken into account diesel, travel time, food, LPG, weather uncertainty through France (if travelling in winter) and of course the unseen costs of wear and tear on the vehicle and additional miles on the clock, the Spanish ferry often works out better in many ways.
We hope that our routes offer you some options for your next road-trip, where we feature plenty of off-the-beaten track routes on quiet roads that seem to be populated more by vultures and cattle than vehicles. With a list of related blogs, places we’ve called home, co-ordinates and photo albums, you can explore how your next road-trip to Spain might pan out.
Road-trip 1 – 2016, Santander south
On our maiden road-trip to Spain, we took the ferry from Plymouth to Santander. After an overnight with some elephants, we then headed south towards Cadiz taking in the sights of three UNESCO Cathedrals en route. After a bit of meandering east we finally hurtled our way up the west coast to Roses before we launched ourselves into our French road-trip. Our highlights that year were Segovia, Monfragüe National Park in Extremadura, El Rocio on the south west border with Portugal, Denia on the south west coast and Valencia. Here’s our Maiden Voyage Interactive road-trip map. Click on icon on the top right of the map to enlarge it.
Road-trip 2 – January 2017, Bilbao to Dénia
After Christmas in UK this second road-trip was the infamous ‘Storm in Denia‘ moment. If you haven’t seen Myles two weather report videos, then they’re worth a watch. Weather Report from Spain 1 and 2.
This was a speedy trip south from Bilbao to Dénia, our favourite ‘go to’ place, so not a very exciting offering, although if you need to get south quickly from the ferry, this is how we did it.
Road-trip 3 – December 2017, Carcassonne to Dénia
After housesitting in Carcassonne and St. Gaudin in France, we headed south across the border for Christmas and a rendez-vous with my mum. We took a gorgeous road-trip through the Pyrenees, which included our highlights of Lourdes, Estacion Canfranc – the largest station in Europe which is now sadly abandoned and Albarracín in Aragon. Such a great route, check it out below.
Road-trip 4 – February 2018 – UK Bound for MOT
The back end of that same trip took us north towards the ferry for Caen in preparation for our first MOT. And because we were in no immediate hurry, we tootled north taking an inland route and found some amazing spots, like Girona, Besalú and Peralada.
Road-trip 5 – January 2019, Caen to Dėnia
Our most recent trip to Spain has brought us south from Caen this time. We had some serious fixes that were required, so we had a two month stint in UK over Christmas. Scoobie went in for a little Spa Retreat to get his repairs done and we had time with friends and family. Unfortunately because we didn’t have a fixed date for returning to Europe, by the time we were ready to book, the ferry fares to Spain were extortionate at over £600, one way. So we decided on our favourite Caen route and to drive through France. We had some corking stopovers and had an absolute blast through unchartered territory. We meandered for 12 days from door to door and took in Bilbao and the Guggenheim museum, Castroveijo rock formations in the Duruelo forest and the natural thermal springs of Montanejos close to Valencia. What a great road-trip this was. Check out our road-trip below.
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