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Driving to Spain

Driving to Spain

Old Apr 27th 2008, 9:07 pm
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Default Driving to Spain

We need to drive over, not only to bring the car but also the dog and cat - we were thinking of taking the Dover to Calais crossing and then driving down but we are unsure about how long it would take (To Villamartin area) has anyone taken this route or perhaps the Santander crossing who could give us some help before we make any arrangements.

Our previous question about living in Villamartin received a poor response!!! Should we read something into this or does noone live in this area?!?!?

Thanks
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Old Apr 27th 2008, 9:50 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Spain

If you're taking pets I'd allow Three days with an overnight stay in France and in Madrid.

My preferred route is an overnight in Orleans (or, somewhere in the very beautiful Loire valley) after clearing the channel and by-passing Paris. It's then a very long stint down to Madrid crossing the border. Allow 6 hours at least from Madrid to Seville.

Might even be better to do Three overnight stops!
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Old Apr 27th 2008, 10:04 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Spain

What do you do with the dog and cat though while you are staying in a hotel? Do hotels allow cats to stay in your room with you?
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Old Apr 27th 2008, 10:31 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Spain

Firstly look into using the Channel Tunnel is may be marginally more expensive but it's a lot faster (45 mins) and you get to stay in the vehicle with your pets to keep them calm/happy.

The ferry can take anything from 90mins (rare) to 1.5hrs (Dover-Calais) and a lot more if it's winter so the crossing is rough (most it's taken me is 6hrs) so you get none of these 'unknown factors' taking the Tunnel.

You also have to leave your pets in the car while you have to go on deck.

Also you will only get held up by customs (both UK & French) at one side using the Tunnel (dover side) with the Ferry it'll be both sides.

Driving down it all depends on how you drive and your pets stress levels.

If you take it in turns to drive (one sleeps, one drives) you could do it non-stop, it's doable but it will be rough and not recommended unless you're used to driving long distances.

As mentioned you could find pet friendly hotels/b&b and there are a fair few of those in France/Spain it's just a matter of asking about on here for recommendations or doing a Google search.
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Old Apr 27th 2008, 10:36 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Spain

Having done the short ferry and long drive versus long ferry and shorter drive, I much prefer the latter. Plymouth to Santander is much better than Portsmouth to Bilbao and from Santander it is possible to make south, ie Sevilla / Malaga etc., in one go but it is about a 10 hr drive. For Sevilla the ruta de plata is very good, avoiding Madrid and toll free. Pick it up at Burgos and there is a lot of new dual carriageway. The ferry has special animal quarters and you all arrive at Santander refreshed and if you need to stop over, one night half way is not too bad.
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Old Apr 27th 2008, 11:57 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Spain

Thanks for all the information, my husband is going to drive over on his own and I will fly over with the 3 children because it would be too much for them in the car. The long ferry trip does sound better, especially for the pets because they get kennels. Once the car is over, we are also anticipating at least one van trip with furniture etc so maybe the drive through France wouldn't be so bad for this.
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Old Apr 28th 2008, 2:04 am
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Default Re: Driving to Spain

Look out the Ibis & Camponile chains of hotels, they all take pets. The Ibis are in most of the navigators, We prefer the Camponile chain, pets are free, wifi is free, the restaurants all have a very similar menu which is actually nice to know what your getting & there is 'usually' somewhere to exercise the beasties.
Ibis charges for the pets & the wifi but have a similar set up.
The F1 & Etap chains are very basic, but still a place to kip.
If we really have to go to the UK we usually go Calais - Dover as it's a nice short crossing in the day time. We crossed this february, Calais where very efficient in processing the beastie checked the chip & passport, gave us a doggy label for the car, so the loading officer could put us in a nice place upfront in the fresh air. Drove straight off at Dover, no one showed any interested.
Return trip out of Dover she may as well not have been in the car. Zero interest from any one, oh no sorry the docker man told us to put our hazard lights on so the loading officer knew we had a dog in the car. Yeh right..

The only place we have found trouble finding a doggy friendly hotel was SPAIN !
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Old Apr 28th 2008, 5:33 am
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Default Re: Driving to Spain

Ive done this run on numerous occasions. As stated, use the tunnel ... you'll be with your animals. If you arrive at Calais first thing in the morning you should make Valence, easily first day, maybe a little further, say Montpellier. Then we usually make Gandia area by late evening day 2.
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