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Old Sep 25th 2017, 7:12 am   #1
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Question Easy Route through the Pyrenees?

Hello all, I wrote an introduction 'post' a few months back and your replies were all so helpful. Thank you. I need some advise again.

Good news: we are currently en route to a new life in Portugal. Have travelled successfully from Edinburgh to northern Netherlands, where we've been holidaying for three weeks. But we're about to set off again:

Belgium > France > Spain ... and then final stop > Portugal

We have a Volvo estate with a full load (containing our lives) And I now wonder if anyone has any thoughts on the best route from France to Spain.

Is there a recommended (easy inclines) that would suit our 1990 Volvo 240, not to mention me... I've only held my license for 3 months. But absolutely loving driving.

We are in no rush what so ever and plan to take many breaks, B&B's en route from the Netherlands. Anyway- must finish packing. Thank all.

- Callum, Cloggie and the Dog (Flynn).
ps. previous to leaving Scotland my father, a mechanic of 40 years, gave the car a full service... everything that could be replaced was, so its essentially in tip-top condition. new breaks, belts, bushes, etc.
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Old Sep 25th 2017, 8:33 am   #2
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Default Re: Easy Route through the Pyrenees?

I have driven this route a few times, when Rosyth/Zeebrugge ferry was in operation. I usually used a sat nav and set it for toll free as the toll roads did not buy me enough time for the outlay. The best bit of advice I can offer is the following website for cheap but clean over night stops in France that welcome dogs. Budget Hotels in France – Find a cheap or budget hotel in France I like an ensuite so I avoided Formule1. If you don't have a sat nav then via michelin will show a route I can also give you some dog friendly hotels in Spain. If you are coming to Algarve come via Seville as the Spanish roads are better and toll free. Safe journey and welcome to Portugal or gawnyersel
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Old Sep 25th 2017, 10:23 am   #3
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Default Re: Easy Route through the Pyrenees?

We too are driving down in December from Dieppe,via Poitiers,Bordeaux,Burgos. Have done it a few times before and the only time we will use the tolls is before the border between France/Spain,crossing the Pyrenees. (are you crossing on thewest coast of France?).We have done it non toll before but it is just a hassle of small winding roads through villages etc that using the toll can avoid this and perhaps save time especially if the weather isn't good.
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Old Sep 25th 2017, 2:16 pm   #4
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Default Re: Easy Route through the Pyrenees?

I would have thought Volvo should sponsor you for this trip - good marketing for them! Good luck anyway!
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Old Sep 25th 2017, 2:57 pm   #5
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Default Re: Easy Route through the Pyrenees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by callumalden View Post
.... We have a Volvo estate with a full load (containing our lives) And I now wonder if anyone has any thoughts on the best route from France to Spain.

Is there a recommended (easy inclines) that would suit our 1990 Volvo 240, not to mention me... I've only held my license for 3 months. But absolutely loving driving.
If you want to avoid hills, the only logical choice is the A63 along the northern coast to San Sebastián.
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Old Sep 25th 2017, 3:41 pm   #6
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Default Re: Easy Route through the Pyrenees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by callumalden View Post
Hello all, I wrote an introduction 'post' a few months back and your replies were all so helpful. Thank you. I need some advise again.

Good news: we are currently en route to a new life in Portugal. Have travelled successfully from Edinburgh to northern Netherlands, where we've been holidaying for three weeks. But we're about to set off again:

Belgium > France > Spain ... and then final stop > Portugal

We have a Volvo estate with a full load (containing our lives) And I now wonder if anyone has any thoughts on the best route from France to Spain.

Is there a recommended (easy inclines) that would suit our 1990 Volvo 240, not to mention me... I've only held my license for 3 months. But absolutely loving driving.

We are in no rush what so ever and plan to take many breaks, B&B's en route from the Netherlands. Anyway- must finish packing. Thank all.

- Callum, Cloggie and the Dog (Flynn).
ps. previous to leaving Scotland my father, a mechanic of 40 years, gave the car a full service... everything that could be replaced was, so its essentially in tip-top condition. new breaks, belts, bushes, etc.
head down to the French/Spanish border at Hendaye, motorway to Bilbao then to Vitoria. Pick up the "Ruta del Plata " , Burgos , Salamanca, good main road all the way to Sevilla and onto Portuguese border if you are heading into the Algarve
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Old Sep 26th 2017, 8:34 am   #7
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Default Re: Easy Route through the Pyrenees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loafing Along View Post
head down to the French/Spanish border at Hendaye, motorway to Bilbao then to Vitoria. Pick up the "Ruta del Plata " , Burgos , Salamanca, good main road all the way to Sevilla and onto Portuguese border if you are heading into the Algarve
In fact this the best way to all of Portugal.

If heading to the North of Portugal, keep straight on at Salamanca and cross the border at Vilar Formosa.

If Lisbon, Alentejo, hang a right at Merida and then go through Badajoz into Portugal at Elvas.

If the Algarve, use Loafing along's instructions.

Don the run several times.

Hendaye/Irun is the best crossing point.

The IBIS Hotel at Irun is dog friendly.
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Old Sep 26th 2017, 2:22 pm   #8
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Default Re: Easy Route through the Pyrenees?

If as you say in your original post

"We are in no rush what so ever and plan to take many breaks, B&B's en route from the Netherlands"

why not drive down the Eastern side of France (especially if starting from the Netherlands) and enter Spain through Catalunia, which by staying on the A75 gives you the opportunity to cross the Milau Bridge (a truly remarkable feat of engineering). You could then veer right towards Zaragoza which then gives you the choice of going to Madrid or Burgos to pick up the road down to Seville.

Whilst I appreciate this may not be the most direct route but what you cover in crossing Spain you save by not crossing Northern France, from the Netherlands you could come through Belgium or Germany depending on your start point (maybe Luxembourg) and pick up the road heading towards Lyon.

I am suggesting this route based on the "we are in no rush" and having done both routes I find the Eastern side of France a more rewarding drive.

NB. Unfortunately if you did this route and decided to stop over in Lyon your car would not be allowed in!!

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/ne...sible-100-fine

Somewhere if you search it tells you what year of car etc is barred.
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Old Sep 26th 2017, 2:45 pm   #9
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Default Re: Easy Route through the Pyrenees?

Use the N10 from Chartes [just south of Paris] to Bordeaux. It's a nice road and free.

But hop on the A10 toll road between Tours and Poitiers. that section of the N10 is local stop and go.

On my last drive down [from NL], I avoided all toll roads. It wasn't easy, but I saved hundreds of euros. You need good a navigation system to do that.
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Old Sep 26th 2017, 3:16 pm   #10
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Default Re: Easy Route through the Pyrenees?

I was interested in the east route so I could stop to visit a friend in Barcelona; as I recall, it's an extra 600km!
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Old Sep 26th 2017, 3:23 pm   #11
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Default Re: Easy Route through the Pyrenees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by liveaboard View Post
I was interested in the east route so I could stop to visit a friend in Barcelona; as I recall, it's an extra 600km!
Yes it will be more but was basing my suggestion on the op's "not in any hurry" basis. For a change from Portugal next year we are going to drive / tour the Balkans, which will be done at ease in no hurry, take a few wrong turns etc. I just applied our "we'll get somewhere eventually attitude" to the op's post😎
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Old Sep 27th 2017, 6:56 am   #12
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Default Re: Easy Route through the Pyrenees?

Fantastic advise, I realise now that I forgot to mention what the destination is... Coimbra! And we have successfully made it to the Dijon, en route to Bordeaux for a few days.

San Sebastián > Bilbao sounding like the most obvious crossing.

I appreciate everyone’s specific preference... and wouldn’t mind a scenic route though we must avoid the worst inclines! Volvo doing well so far, before we left I tried to get my mate (head man at ‘autosccene’ to sponsor the trip in return for a few articles... to this day I think he believes the whole emmigrating plan was a joke).

Keep the advise coming.

- Callum

Last edited by callumalden; Sep 27th 2017 at 7:01 am.
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Old Sep 27th 2017, 7:45 am   #13
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Default Re: Easy Route through the Pyrenees?

If heading to Coimbra area, suggest Salamanca, Vilar Formoso, Guarda, Viseu route!

Love Coimbra. Spent a bit of time there.

My friends João Farinha & co from Fado do Centro singing the famous song about the city....

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Old Oct 3rd 2017, 9:24 am   #14
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Default Re: Easy Route through the Pyrenees?

Thank you very much, each and every one of you helped reduce our fears. Of course it was incredibly simple in the end and we enjoyed whizzing through the beautiful landscape on the empty toll roads (Sunday).

Salamanca, Vilar Formoso, Guarda, Viseu was the chosen route.

The only tricky bit was that electronic toll for foreigners, which would not accept our: Mastercard, Visa credit, Visa debit etc.

Picked up a pre-paid card at a gas station near Guarda... but I wonder if they will deduct the cost of the toll road from the frontier to the point at which we registered the card, or is the card only valid from that point on. Is there a way of retrospectively paying the toll?

Anyway, what a beautiful country. Off to explore Coimbra today. Then it'll be time to get on with life (and work!)

Thank you.
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Old Oct 3rd 2017, 10:08 am   #15
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Default Re: Easy Route through the Pyrenees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by callumalden View Post
Thank you very much, each and every one of you helped reduce our fears. Of course it was incredibly simple in the end and we enjoyed whizzing through the beautiful landscape on the empty toll roads (Sunday).

Salamanca, Vilar Formoso, Guarda, Viseu was the chosen route.

The only tricky bit was that electronic toll for foreigners, which would not accept our: Mastercard, Visa credit, Visa debit etc.

Picked up a pre-paid card at a gas station near Guarda... but I wonder if they will deduct the cost of the toll road from the frontier to the point at which we registered the card, or is the card only valid from that point on. Is there a way of retrospectively paying the toll?

Anyway, what a beautiful country. Off to explore Coimbra today. Then it'll be time to get on with life (and work!)

Thank you.
Yes you can pay a toll retrospectively . You can check everything on this site in english :
http://www.portugaltolls.com/en/web/...portagens/home
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