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Driving to Algarve from UK

Driving to Algarve from UK

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Old Oct 22nd 2017, 5:41 pm
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Default Driving to Algarve from UK

What is the best route please, the speedier the better as will have dogs in tow. I have looked at farries to Spain but at £600 that's a little steep.
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Old Oct 22nd 2017, 5:43 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Algarve from UK

I think £600 compares fairly favourably with the cost of a channel crossing, plus tolls, plus petrol, plus at least one, and probably two, nights in hotels.
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Old Oct 22nd 2017, 10:41 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Algarve from UK

Would agree with Pulaski, we have done Calais to Algarve many times but next year we have booked boat to Santander. By the time you factor in all the costs, not withstanding just how knackered you are if you are time limited, it makes sense to us to shorten the drive.
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 12:32 am
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Default Re: Driving to Algarve from UK

We have done it a few times now and quite enjoyed the experience.

Last time we took the ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe arriving around 2pm then drove 300 miles to Poitiers in France.

Day two on to Valladolid in northern Spain, about 500 miles so eight hours or so.

Day three onto Tavira another 460 miles.

Two overnights which you can do for about €40 per night but we spent about €80 because we wanted somewhere we could enjoy. Two and a half tanks of diesel about €125 and about €70 for the ferry. We didn't keep a log of the tolls, but I would guess at €100.

We just treated it as part of our holiday, enjoyed seeing some new places along the way. As long as you don't mind driving and have a comfortable car, would say it is more pleasurable than the Bay of Biscay.
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Old Oct 24th 2017, 10:57 am
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Default Re: Driving to Algarve from UK

I done the ferry last winter after and after taking into account hotels, road tolls & fuel, it was a no brainer to do the ferry, costs we almost exactly the same and the ferry is stress free and enjoyable. Perhaps in the summer with high prices I would re-consider. I assume 600€ is return?
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Old Oct 28th 2017, 6:27 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Algarve from UK

Thannk you for the comments! If I did the ferry to Santander, is it then driveable to Tavira in Portugal or would it need an overnight? If the latter, where would be equidistant please?
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Old Oct 28th 2017, 6:42 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Algarve from UK

Originally Posted by bantockboy View Post
Thannk you for the comments! If I did the ferry to Santander, is it then driveable to Tavira in Portugal or would it need an overnight? If the latter, where would be equidistant please?
it's about 900 km , doable as a day drive as the roads are excellent via Salamanca. If you want to stop probably Caceres just over half way may be an option. Gives you an easy drive the next day
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Old Oct 28th 2017, 6:42 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Algarve from UK

It's do-able in a oner, depends on your arrival time and how well you slept on the crossing. We are going down next week via Santander and considered heading straight to the Algarve after a mid afternoon arrival, but decided to stop in Salamanca because it's only another 6 hours or so the next day and we like Salamanca as the pet friendly IBIS is only a ten minute walk from the fantastic Plaza Major and next to a park.
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Old Oct 28th 2017, 9:41 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Algarve from UK

I have done it many times to Lagos and averaged 11 hours with 4/5 stops for tea and pee.
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Old Jan 30th 2018, 7:10 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Algarve from UK

we have done Santander to Faro twice in one hit. its Knackering but not too bad if you stop every few hours for a brake. We even did Calais to faro once on the Motorbike, took us 3 days Very hard riding.
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Old Jan 30th 2018, 7:28 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Algarve from UK

+1 for Santander or Bilbão

Done it many times both Cherbourg and to N Spain, latter much better not just in terms of cost but in relaxation and peace of mind too

Easily do-able in one day Santander to Lisbon, and Algarve isnt that much further is it?


I did Lisbon to Hannover once non-stop in a clapped out 1970 VW camper but shudder to think of it now
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Old Jan 30th 2018, 8:08 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Algarve from UK

It's an easy journey down took us 10 hours lots of roadside stops good roads not too busy so nice drive.
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Old Jan 31st 2018, 8:07 am
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Default Re: Driving to Algarve from UK

If you want to avoid the direct crossing the middle of the Bay of Biscay then choose the Brittany Ferries crossing to Bilbao on a Sunday night. It stops at Roscoff for crew change and refuelling etc and then sails along the coast of France rather than across the open sea. Although both ferries are fully stabilised and it's never as bad as it's made out to be.
Another tip: If you arrive into Bilbao then before heading south go via Santander and then down towards Valladolid you will avoid the tolls. It's still motorway all the way to Sevilla and then to the Algarve but no more tolls. It's more or less exactly 1000kms to the Portuguese border from Bilbao and then another 35 to Tavira.

Last edited by MikeJ; Jan 31st 2018 at 8:10 am.
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Old Jan 31st 2018, 10:08 am
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Default Re: Driving to Algarve from UK

As mentioned up the thread we went down with a stopover in Salamanca last time.
On the way back we had planned to travel straight up in a oner to Bilbao and stay overnight there for a morning sailing back, but again changed our minds and booked a night in Valladolid to break the journey and boy are we glad we did. What should have been an easy 6 hour trip turned into 10 due to being stuck in snow just south of Salamanca! Many Spaniards were stuck on the motorway for 15 hours the night before, so if you are planning a non stop trip; check the weather!

Last edited by Lelandy; Jan 31st 2018 at 10:53 am. Reason: Typo
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