I haven’t actually booked our return trip from Spain, and am considering two options.
- Sail from Santander to Plymouth, a night or two on the north coast to leave us close to port on the required day. Considered the Picos too, maybe a ride on Fuente de, still spitting distance to Santander.
- Drive up through France and sail from Caen to Portsmouth. Could stop off in Torla to scope out Ordesa national park for a longer visit another time. Prob a night in Caen ready for the afternoon sailing.
Costwise quite similar-one route involves less fuel & hotels, other route scores on ferry cost. So what would you do? And any info on worthwhile stops along either route would be appreciated. What yoú got folks?
PS this will be by car, FYI
Personally I would ride up through France and then channel tunnel. I don’t much like ferries, not a great sailor. I therefore much prefer riding than sailing.
I’d rather shove wasps up my arse than travel via Dover, if l’m honest…
Definitely Plymouth to santander. Nice to chill and when you add up costs etc, about the same really!
And, you get to play bingo in the bar…!!!
I just did the trip from Plymouth to Santander in July/Aug, around northern Spain inc the Picos and fuente de, then back via france and Caen to Portsmouth. If you’ve got the time the French route was far more enjoyable than the boring 24hr ferry to Santander.
Unfortunately I caught covid on the trip so was under the weather in France and in a heat wave, but I still preferred it to the ferry. Although I could be heard saying ‘I just want to be home’ on a couple of days when I felt really bad. I think it shows what I think of the ferry to Santander. It was my first and probably last time I’ll use it.
I like being surrounded by mountains and seeing wildlife and have visited ordesa in the past, well worth it in my opinion. So my vote goes to… 2.
But then again the Picos are so beautiful…
The Picos Europa are a spectacular ride, have a night out in Guijon-some brilliant Basque bars and restaurants and coast ride to Santander for the ferry.
I forgot to add, that I was travelling out/back via brittany ferries and so I called them up and asked about their ‘package holiday’ where you have to have 3 nights in one of their booked hotels and they reduce the price of the ferry. Basically I got 3 nights B&B in Spain for an extra £38 in total over the straight ferry ticket. I don’t know if that is something you could do?
I’ll have a bit of a sniff at that one. Ta. Possibly going one way only might scupper it, but worth finding out
By the way @wattie seen dolphins regularly on the Santander ferry, there were some fin whales visible this trip, although l missed them. Incredibly deep in parts, did the guy say something like 4,000 metres?
Yep, just checked. At the deepest point 4,735 metres
Having done both I prefer riding down through France and coming back from Santander on the ferry or the ferry to Santander and then riding back through France. Both are equally enjoyable for me.
Yeah, I was on deck with my binos watching for hours, lots of different birds (feathered) one possible brief fin whale sighting and no dolphins… just not lucky I guess, I had high hopes for it.
I’ve done Plymouth to Santander and then home via Roscoff to Plymouth many times and will continue to do Europe that way. Plymouth being only 1-1/2 hours away has something to do with it but find it a chilled way to kick off the holiday (provided it’s not blowing a hooley, + SWMBO’s not a good sailor). I’ve not done it the other way round as sailings per week are limited for Santander, if plans go to pot the Roscoff ferry allows more flexibility for the return.
As you are driving my option would be up through France, way more chance of adventures and interests en route
I’m heading to Spain/Portugal via Plymouth next week. Anybody on here been recently and have any comments on the final 3 miles into the ferry terminal? I’ve heard of 20mph speed limits and more scameras to catch the unwary…
I’ve done both by car and had nasty weather in the Bay of Biscay
My vote would be up through France and across the channel to Pompey.
Yes, last couple miles is through city centre and full of cameras, some average IIRC, haven’t been recently so can’t say if the 20mph is true but it does seem to be getting more common. If you’re taking the Sunday crossing traffic will be negligible, obviously Wednesday busier but still not bad by “up-country” standards. It’s well signposted, biggest worry is keeping to speed limits.
I think you have nothing to worry about Paul. It’s just another city with all the shit that entails. A lot easier than getting across Nottingham. We’ve really enjoyed our two sailings from there this summer, not given the drive into port any thought at all, if l’m honest.
Thanks Col and Rev. I think we’ll just ride straight there then, instead of taking the bypass over the top and down the west side.
Port is on the east side of the Tamar, so best from that side (A38 is ideal), you avoid the bridge holdups that way.
I think we’re going to do Santander. Slightly off piste route via Torla, for a quick butcher’s at the Pyrenees and national park, over to Laredo on the coast, no more than 30 miles to the ferry. It’s actually the motorway junction where we got a puncture last time. Hope that’s not a portent!