Travelling down to Spain/Portugal

Merv-IOM

Subscriber
We use a combination of All the Aires, Camperstop, ACSI & Boardatlas books along with Campercontact online.

One app that is brilliant is 'Prezzi Carburanti' (on Google play store). It covers Spain, France, Germany & Italy and shows where the cheapest fuel stations are, together with the prices.... saved us a fortune!
 

LordElpus

Well-Known Member
Wow, wow and even more Wow! Thanks for all the helpful hints, tips and advice. Will make a point of taking it all on board to ensure we have a relaxed and enjoyable time. Can’t wait for the adventure to begin.
 

sundowner

Subscriber
We don't really see the need for campsites while 'travelling' you just need to dump and re fill with water as needed ----everything else should be taken care of while driving and with solar. When you want to stop for a week or more in one place then often a campsite is practical (or the new places that are sold as Aires but are really campsites without all the complex planning regulations!!!!) Wild camping for long periods in one place is becoming less acceptable, some local councils are moving vans on and sometimes fining ---- this is mainly in coastal regions in Spain/Portugal where hoardes of wildcamping motorhomes are becoming a nuisance!!!!, many dumping in a reckless manor___ virtually all euro vans need to empty loos every 3-4 days, 20 or more vans parked together without proper facilities can be quite an issue!!!!!
Enjoy your trip
Nigel and Pamala
 

LordElpus

Well-Known Member
We don't really see the need for campsites while 'travelling' you just need to dump and re fill with water as needed ----everything else should be taken care of while driving and with solar. When you want to stop for a week or more in one place then often a campsite is practical (or the new places that are sold as Aires but are really campsites without all the complex planning regulations!!!!) Wild camping for long periods in one place is becoming less acceptable, some local councils are moving vans on and sometimes fining ---- this is mainly in coastal regions in Spain/Portugal where hoardes of wildcamping motorhomes are becoming a nuisance!!!!, many dumping in a reckless manor___ virtually all euro vans need to empty loos every 3-4 days, 20 or more vans parked together without proper facilities can be quite an issue!!!!!
Enjoy your trip
Nigel and Pamala
If we wild camp it is usually only ever for one night, if more than that we find a cheap site or a pub car park etc. We have a philosophy that when we leave, unless you actually saw us parked, you wouldn’t have known we’d been there! Even stayed on a few Aldi car parks in our time. The managers are often quite happy for us to keep an eye on the place overnight!
 

Gordven

Subscriber
We’ve been in Spain and Portugal for 6 months now. CamperContact is a really good App but if you can’t get WiFi or 3G then the Aires books are invaluable. Buy the set of three LPG adaptors for Europe before you set off and of course you will need the one for your onboard gas tank. When in Spain if you are onsite for a while you will need a ‘extenda-stay kit’ so that you can use the local Repsol gas bottle instead of the onboard gas and then you will need to buy a free-flo adaptor to go on the gas bottle, only about 12 euros. Also get the adaptors to connect your hose to the water tap, you will need 1/2, 3/4 and 1 inch. A macerator and a length of lay-flat hose can be useful to empty the tanks as some of the dump points are raised and as we all know - shit doesn’t flow uphill!
 

Skirmishguy

Subscriber
Camper Contact is downloaded on the full version of the app (£5.00 per year I think) so is fully available offline. Just run the update from time to time when you have a connection. Well worth the money! Still a good idea to have the books though as a backup.
 

Pedro1122

Subscriber
This is an old thread,not sure lordelpus is bothered about routes to Spain anymore. Not been on here for ages
I'm interested! Any info is good info. However I am heading the opposite way. Couple of days in Spain then a drive back , West coast of France.
 

Tanya_and_Mick

Subscriber
From Tonka on sister site MHF

hope it helps


This is designed as a quick guide for any new travellers, over the years we have done the trip from the Midlands down to Benidorm many times and made a few notes on routes and stopovers that may help others. Use as a guide only as so many things can change like weather, time of year and people’s driving preferences. Special note if you have never been before, There are no cats eyes used on roads in France and they don’t use street lights at night unless they really have to, this can make night driving just that little bit harder and especially in bad weather. Take care.
UK (Midlands) – Benidorm.
We always use Dover - Calais so journey is starting from there, most times we book an evening crossing and have our first night near Calais.
This is based on a toll free trip but certain sections can be used to gain time.
MAIN ROUTE
Calais - Abberville - rouen - Everuex - Druex - Chartes - N10 Tours - Poitiers - Angouleme - Bordeaux
From Bordeaux there are 2 options;
Winter - Bordeaux – Bayonne (toll) – Irun (toll) - Pamplona ( N121a or A15 depend on weather) - Zaragossa - Valencia - Benidorm
Summer - Bordeaux - N10 jn18 via Mont de Marsen - Orthez - Oloron - Somport tunnel - Huesca - Zaragossa - Valencia - Benidorm
Recommended Aires and stops.
CALAIS AREA.
We usually now stay at Cite Europe, follows signs for Bus parking and then you will see camping car signs. 50.932293, 1.810949
Overnight parking allowed, many vans stay there. No facilities.
If you dont fancy that then about 10mins away is Wissant, they have a free aire. Easily signposted from the motorway.50.886876, 1.670583 However this can be busy in summer and weekends.
Archen Bologne. Fuel station that also has a camping car bourne for water, toilet dump and drive over grey waste. Not overnight but can’t see any reason why you could not, lots of large car park. This is a large commercial centre a very short distance from the main road.50.732394, 1.668200
BAIE DE SOMME. If you decide to take the A16 toll motorway between Calais and Abberville. Approx 1 hour south is a service area. At the rear of the services is an area for parking of caravans and motorhomes. An ideal looking spot and nice in summer BUT very isolated and quiet in winter so not advised for overnighting at that time of year. Better to park up the top near the shops. There is a water supply and toilet dump up near the wind turbine. Motorway services areas are not always recommended but it is one we have used several times. Just be cautious.
BUCHY. (North of Rouen)
Few kms off the A28 just north or Rouen. Nice aire next to school. All signed as you enter the vilage.49.585313, 1.363595
PONT DE LA ARCHE (South of Rouen)
On the Seine following the N road. Newish aire just under the river bridge. Well signed as you enter the village from the south.
If coming from the North you need to turn left at the end of the river bridge.
4 places but some also park on the car park. There is a dump / bourne nearby just outside the campsite gates. 49.305476, 1.157538
NONANCOURT.
Aire in village, signposted and next to fire station. Never stayed overnight but has water, dump etc. 48.772646, 1.192608
MARBOU
1/2 hour South of Chartes on the N10 you will come into Marboue. As you go along the main st there will be an "aire" sign. Aire is a few hundred meters down a side road by the bakery. Lovely spot facing a park and open area. Bourne with usual facilities also when open a separate toilet block. Free parking, Play area for kids. In summer there is an open air swimming pool nearby.48.112480, 1.328881

CHATEAUDUN
Another 10 mins south of Marbou. Head into town and you should then find some camping car signs to follow. Free overnight
Car park where there is a dump spot for toilet and grey waste, there are toilets and many people get water from the tap inside. Nice spot next to Loire river and overlooked by the Chateau. Watch where you park as it's used as a turn around spot by the local bus. 48.071352, 1.324016
VENDOME
Drive along main N10 and pass McDonalds and the carrefour. After that look for signs for the campsite and a right turn at some traffic lights.
Follow signs to campsite and outside the gates are 6 dedicated free overnight bays marked for motorhomes. If they are ever full there is a huge piece of land at the side where many do park. Facing large parkland. No facilities except for a lift up drain where you can dump grey and toilet.47.791289, 1.075749
MONTBAZZON (South of Tours)
Just south of Tours on the N10.
As you come to the Village nameplate for Montbazon, on the left will be an Intermarche. Look out for camping car sign.
There is a left turn and only 20mtrs off the main rd is a small aire. Not the best BUT the water is free and you can get to dump grey waste. 47.291865, 0.719913
A little further on at the lights is a left turn to VEIGNE, just a few km off the N10 and there is a campsite there with a free aire outside the gates. 47.289056, 0.733912
There are many other aires along this next stretch just check out the aires book. I am listing main ones we use or have some interesting points like free water etc.
LA CELLE-saint-avant
This was new Aug 2015. As you approach the village, left at the roundabout. The Aire is signposted but signs are small. Down a short distance and then a right turn. Next to a lake with marked out large plots, own water and electric post. This is chargable and €8 a night, pay by credit card on entry. You get water and some electric included. Drive over grey waste dump.47.012501, 0.611495
DANGE SAINT ROMAN
The N10 passes through this village. If you turn at the church, right as you go south, left as you come north.
Behind the mayors office is a large car park. Slept there many times BUT park away from the school gates as the kids come early.!
No facilities but a safe place to stop if needed. 46.937134, 0.603260
VIVONNE
South of Poitiers. Nice town with aire facilty. Look for tourist office and parking / aire is there.
Never stayed overnight but popular town with river. There is also a campsite very close by.
ROULLET
South of Angouleme, take the exit for Roullet centre, so not the first one. Camping car signs will take you to a free large aire. 45.580819, 0.044397
Drive over grey waste, toilet dump and a free water tap. In winter it usually still works.
CAVIGNAC
Just before the N10 joins the A10 motorway north of Bordeaux.
Leave at signposted junction and you will know if the right one as there is a McDonalds and Lidl there. 45.100420, -0.390924
Follow into town. Left at the T junction and follow signs. Nice big gravel parking area next to church and graveyard.
Also, SAINT SAVIN / SAINT YZAN as nearby, These both have parking areas, also on the opposite side of the N10 at Laruscade is another aire. All fine for free overnight stops.
GAREIN
On the D834 between leaving the A63 / N10 and Mont de Marsan. As you come into the village there is a sign for truck parking. Turn in and there are several parking bays. We have stayed and no problems. A few trucks come and go during the night so a little noisy. No facilities.44.045746, -0.651469
MONT DE MARSDEN
Not used this but advised by a Motorhome Funster. Former municipal campsite now made into an aire. €7.50 a night. Access via a barrier off a main road, some noise at night. 43.889780, -0.475534

NAVARRENX
Never stayed overnight but there is a parking area that looks ok for overnighting. We often use this as a tea break stop. 43.323874, -0.758088
OLORON ST MARIE
In aires book, aire for parking and facilities. Next to river, short walk into town.
If you have a long van take care turning in as entrance is narrow but plenty of room once turned. No issues with our 7.5mtr van. 43.183937, -0.608732
SPANISH STOPOVERS
MARLOFA (Zaragossa north)
On the N232 10km before you get
some dedicated bays are marked.
It's a free stop BUT noisy with
bays but they usually move on.
Last time we were there we found electric points at the back and plugged in !! This site may not suit everyone. **** SEPT 2015 – ADVISED THIS HAS NOW CHANGED AND OVERNIGHT BY MOTORHOMES NOT ENCOURAGED, AWAITING MORE INFO ***
JACA – If using Somport tunnel. This is stop that is now very popular but I have not used as yet. Been told a €4 charge. 42.5678, -0.54518
SABINANIGO - Another one if using somport. Again not used and told €5 charge. 42.505686, - 0.356917
CARINENA ( A23 Zaragossa south)
Half hour 30km south on the A23. Follow signs into town and onto the old main road.
There is a petrol station on one corner and a truck park / resturant on the other.
We have always stayed there free, no one came and asked for anything. Usually caravans and campers park around the back.
Small resturant and bar inside. Local wine sellers nearby. 41.339932, -1.219760
There is now also an aire within the village by sports ctr. Dump and water facilities.
TERUEL
A23 - Here there is a Dinosaur museum, Dinopolis. Very well signposted, big purple signs.
It has a huge car park, so ample free parking and quiet at night.
Supermarket and petrol station by entrance.
From reading other people comments it was said that the local Mayor had no issues and encouraged people to stop.
In summer very busy but by 6.30 it's empty.
Lots of locals pass you going on their evening walks etc. Stayed several times. 40.332437,-1.086612
SERVICES
A23 Just south of Teruel at exit 92 is a Cepsa garage. At the rear is a French style bourne where you can empty toilet and grey waste.
Also has fresh water for €2.
40.219904,-0.939431
SERGORBE
A23 - 20km North of Valencia.
There is a free aire with toilet and waste dump. Water may be off in winter.
Follow aire signs through town or the railway signs as it is roadside parking near the station. Not stayed overnight as yet.
You are parked alongside the road and the street light are close to the edge. So if you have a large rear overhang, just watch out for your back end as you pull out. 39.847379, -0.482367
To Benidorm and in winter i usually do following but it all depends on what time you like to catch ferry, how long you like to drive etc.
Night one - Calais
Night two - Marbou or Vendome
Night three - Cavignac
Night four - Zaragossa (carinena) Zaragossa - Benidorm
to Zaragossa is a truckstop. There are signs for motorhomes and all the trucks and sometimes you get small vans parking in the

TOLL's and time saving options.
1. The A16 between Boulougne and Abberville can save 45mins, cost approx €13
2. Rouen- Lots of talk about issues with Rouen BUT it’s very easy. Follow blue signs for A13 (Paris) and you take a sharp right bend once you have crossed the river. Follow the road out of town and join the A13 motorway. It is free for a while then turns into a toll motorway. DON’T PANIC ! You only do a very short section before reaching the A154 / N154 an there is then a small toll of about €3 to join the N154 down to Evereux.
3. Tours - Watch your sat nav here as it may try and take you through the city. You can join the A10 free to cross the city at JN 20 as follows:
As you come south on N10, pass airport and watch out for a roundabout with a KFC on the left. Go left there and it will take you to the motorway. Join motorway south and Once over the river you can leave at jn 22 before the toll starts and go back to the main road. OR carry on to First Junction no 23 and leave there for Montbazon. Toll is small, less than €2 and does save a few tricky roads.
4. Bordeaux - This is a big city and like all others is very busy at times. Try and plan your trip to avoid rush hours and holiday peaks.
5. The A63 after jn 18 is a Toll motorway. There are 2 toll booths, each will be €5.30 for a class 2 motorhome.
If you are taking the Somport tunnel route then you can leave at JN 18 and go via Mont de Marsan, Orthez, Oloron.
TIP... You can leave at Jn18 before the toll booths, follow signs “S1” or study map and re-join at Jn 19.. Sneakily missed out one of the toll booths.
6. After Valencia you can use the coast road down to Benidorm. Using the AP7 will save an hour on this section but costs around €12.
SPECIAL NOTE SPANISH MOTORWAYS... From January 2019 the Spanish government are removing tolls from some motorways and reducing them on others. Spain has always been far cheaper than France and motorhomes are charged same rate as a car.
BE AWARE. Late 2018 and Early 2019, Changes were made in France and Spain to speed limits (lower) on national roads so best to check up on those before travel
 
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