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Driving from Bilbao to Lagos

Driving from Bilbao to Lagos

Old Dec 10th 2023, 1:45 pm
  #1  
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Default Driving from Bilbao to Lagos

For the last 15 years we've always flown to Faro and hired a car. In April next year we've booked the ferry; we're landing at Bilbao and driving down to Lagos. I'm very comfortable driving in Europe but there are a couple of journey specific questions. I know from a friend it can be driven in a (very long) day but we want to stop overnight en route.

My questions are,
Have any of you a personal recommendation where to stay on the journey down, say a couple of hours south of Bilbao?
What's the situation paying Motorway tolls in Spain?
How do I register my car for the Motorways in Portugal?
I've looked at the maps for a route and it seems straightforward but have any of you a suggestion for a route you've personally driven?
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Old Dec 10th 2023, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Bilbao to Lagos

Originally Posted by westernliving
For the last 15 years we've always flown to Faro and hired a car. In April next year we've booked the ferry; we're landing at Bilbao and driving down to Lagos. I'm very comfortable driving in Europe but there are a couple of journey specific questions. I know from a friend it can be driven in a (very long) day but we want to stop overnight en route.

My questions are,
Have any of you a personal recommendation where to stay on the journey down, say a couple of hours south of Bilbao?
What's the situation paying Motorway tolls in Spain?
How do I register my car for the Motorways in Portugal?
I've looked at the maps for a route and it seems straightforward but have any of you a suggestion for a route you've personally driven?

Motorway tolls in Spain, get ticket at barrier, pay when you leave the motorway...
Some however make the charge as you enter (Barcelona) and its a one off.

Cant answer any of the other points sorry
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Old Dec 10th 2023, 3:51 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Bilbao to Lagos

Originally Posted by Barriej
Motorway tolls in Spain, get ticket at barrier, pay when you leave the motorway...
Some however make the charge as you enter (Barcelona) and its a one off.

Cant answer any of the other points sorry
Thanks for the information. One less thing to organise.
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Old Dec 10th 2023, 5:13 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Bilbao to Lagos

I have always driven down from Bilbao using the toll free roads, only adds about an hour and is roughly the same distance in miles.
Cannot help with an overnight stay as I do it in one hit.
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Old Dec 10th 2023, 6:48 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Bilbao to Lagos

Portugal Toll Roads, I used Easytoll to pay for the SCUTS automatic tolls entering into Portugal on the A-24 and registering my debit card. Used it several times and never had a problem. I always stopped and paid at the manual booths for the other toll roads.
Easytoll
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Old Dec 10th 2023, 7:13 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Bilbao to Lagos

There are various routes but if you are coming directly without sightseeing, I would recommend Bilbao - Burgos - Madrid - Seville - Huelva - Ayamonte - Portugal A22. Madrid and Seville both have outer ring road bypasses. Burgos is about 2 hours south of Bilbao, bit less on a good day. and there are lots of hotels. I have used the Hotel Rey Arturo several times. It,s not the Ritz but it,s clean, the food is ok and you can park right at the door. I,ve never had problems with security. Also, the hotel is on the main road south so it,s not necessary to go into the busy and congested town centre.
I,m not aware of any registration for traveling through Spain. As long as you have road tax, mot test and green card insurance there should not be a problem.
Also, best to have hi viz jackets and warning triangle on board in case of accidents or police checks. You will need thse for Portugal anyway. The route that I listed had no tolls but that may have changed. No problem if you have a front seat passenger as the auto pay machines are on your left side. Carry some euro coins or keep cc handy
Entering Portugal register at the bridge turn off - all instructions on the cc machine.
Hope this helps
and safe journey.
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Old Dec 10th 2023, 8:22 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Bilbao to Lagos

Agree Bilbao-Burgos but personally I'd avoid Madrid, got caught there twice with very heavy traffic, quicker and more direct via Salamanca and then down to Seville and A22 to Lagos.

We have had nice stops at both Plasencia and Caceres on the way down.

Alternatively as you're going west in the Algarve cut across from Badajoz.

Mainly toll free in Spain or pay at toll booth, Portugal has Easytoll plazas at the two entry points mentioned or you can sign in in advance. https://www.portugaltolls.com/en#como-pagar
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Old Dec 10th 2023, 9:48 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Bilbao to Lagos

Originally Posted by appman999
Agree Bilbao-Burgos but personally I'd avoid Madrid, got caught there twice with very heavy traffic, quicker and more direct via Salamanca and then down to Seville and A22 to Lagos.

We have had nice stops at both Plasencia and Caceres on the way down.

Alternatively as you're going west in the Algarve cut across from Badajoz.

Mainly toll free in Spain or pay at toll booth, Portugal has Easytoll plazas at the two entry points mentioned or you can sign in in advance. https://www.portugaltolls.com/en#como-pagar
Salamanca used to be my favoured route too until a friend was pulled over on that road by two(fake) policemen in a fake police car.
He was relieved, at gunpoint, of his wallet, phone, watch, and uk reg.car, before being left stranded at the side of the road .
Never used that route again and now stick to the main artery roads
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Old Dec 11th 2023, 8:08 am
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Default Re: Driving from Bilbao to Lagos

Sorry to hear that, it must have been terrifying.

The route through Salamanca is all motorway so I'm not sure the risk is any greater than any other route?
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Old Dec 11th 2023, 10:08 am
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Default Re: Driving from Bilbao to Lagos

We've always crossed to PT via Salamanca/Cuidad Rodrigo ,but for the Algarve we used to cross at Badajoz to Elvas.Down to Evora and then Ourique, Albufeira and west to Lagos. No need to use any toll toads in Spain.Most dual carriageway and not too busy.
Depending on the ferry arrival time... if late Burgos(Hotel Cuidad de Burgos is very close to the route south and inexpensive.By Rubena just before Burgos). ,or earlier Tordesillas,(Parador) Salamanca,(Parador, Hotel Eurostars in town) Elvas(Vila Gale)would be reasonable stops.
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Old Dec 11th 2023, 1:41 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Bilbao to Lagos

If you head for Santander then you can drive all the way toll free as far as the PT motorway.

Personally we stop at the Valladolid Ibis most of the time as not far from motorway and okay.

The route via Seville is the best imho, with a stop at Leo services near Monesterio on the E-803. When you enter Portugal pull off at the ist lay-by and enter your card details for automatic toll payment.
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Old Dec 11th 2023, 4:15 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Bilbao to Lagos

Originally Posted by 1Steve
Portugal Toll Roads, I used Easytoll to pay for the SCUTS automatic tolls entering into Portugal on the A-24 and registering my debit card. Used it several times and never had a problem. I always stopped and paid at the manual booths for the other toll roads.
Easytoll
That's a great link, thanks. You say you used your debit card, it obviously worked. The reason I mention it is, the site says a credit card but can I assume from your experience its either?
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Old Dec 11th 2023, 4:17 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Bilbao to Lagos

Originally Posted by Dafty
Salamanca used to be my favoured route too until a friend was pulled over on that road by two(fake) policemen in a fake police car.
He was relieved, at gunpoint, of his wallet, phone, watch, and uk reg.car, before being left stranded at the side of the road .
Never used that route again and now stick to the main artery roads
We were intending to go the Salamanca route because this is what was recommended to us. How long ago was the incident?
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Old Dec 11th 2023, 4:26 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Bilbao to Lagos

Originally Posted by Lelandy
If you head for Santander then you can drive all the way toll free as far as the PT motorway.

Personally we stop at the Valladolid Ibis most of the time as not far from motorway and okay.

The route via Seville is the best imho, with a stop at Leo services near Monesterio on the E-803. When you enter Portugal pull off at the ist lay-by and enter your card details for automatic toll payment.
I assume when you leave Monesterio you travel to Seville. It seems a long way round to get to Lagos or is it because the roads are better using that route?
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Old Dec 11th 2023, 4:36 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Bilbao to Lagos

Originally Posted by toots sweet
We've always crossed to PT via Salamanca/Cuidad Rodrigo ,but for the Algarve we used to cross at Badajoz to Elvas.Down to Evora and then Ourique, Albufeira and west to Lagos. No need to use any toll toads in Spain.Most dual carriageway and not too busy.
Depending on the ferry arrival time... if late Burgos(Hotel Cuidad de Burgos is very close to the route south and inexpensive.By Rubena just before Burgos). ,or earlier Tordesillas,(Parador) Salamanca,(Parador, Hotel Eurostars in town) Elvas(Vila Gale)would be reasonable stops.
The ferry is due to arrive at 8.00am subject to weather. I'd like to drive a reasonable way down before we stop but it depends on my partner; she's not a good sailor and we may not get off the quay side if it's been a rough crossing!

Last edited by westernliving; Dec 11th 2023 at 4:47 pm.
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