View Full Version : Snowbirding

12-06-2015, 11:20
We are looking to have a couple of months away after the new year in 2016 leaving mid January to mid March traveling to Portugal any info would be helpful,ie best time to book ferries/route?and best route from Spain into Portugal we will do a bit of W/C but most will be on campsites on the coast or a bit inland.

13-06-2015, 15:49
I am going to assume you will be entering France via Calais, as we prefer this, so head for Rouen , good free roads all the way, choice of Pay Motorway if you prefer,plenty of Aires and free camping on this route, get the Vicarious book "All the Aires France " very easy to use and all in English,after Rouen head for Le Mans, Poitiers ,Bordeaux and Bayonne, again many Aires open on route even in winter most if not all free , but sometimes water will be off so get it when you can,toilet dumping will still be available.cross into Spain at Donostia san Sebastian,head for Vitoria Gasteiz [free Aire ] Burgos [Aire ] Zamora. then you decide if you are going to enter Portugal around here, but if like us you want to head South carry on to Salamanca ,Casares, super old town well worth a few days great at Christmas time and a free Aire, on to Valverde de Camino another great stopover Aire free and a nice town to explore.Carry on until you meet the A49 E1 free Motorway going into Portugal , you will cross a bridge on this Motorway that is the Border, turn off here for Castro Marin and you are then on the Algarve, lots of other routes but that is our preferred one at the time of year you are planning.May see you on route.

13-06-2015, 15:55
WILD CAMPING 1 by vindiboy1 | Photobucket (http://s358.photobucket.com/user/vindiboy1/library/WILD%20CAMPING%201) Some pictures showing a typical trip to one you are planing.

13-06-2015, 16:14
PTGL West Coast by vindiboy1 | Photobucket (http://s358.photobucket.com/user/vindiboy1/library/PTGL%20West%20Coast) Some west Coast Portugal if you decide that route, book your ferry on line at aferry.com, other sites available but that one is good for us, it seems to make little difference if you book early or a few days in advance as we do as regards price, we generally get a one way ticket and phone the Camping Club from Calais or where ever we decide to cross back to England from for a ferry and it is always cheap and no pressure, you will NOT need to book any Campsites for your trip,[ with the exception of Benidorm if you decide to go there] as there is always availability in all Sites even Benidorm you will get in but it is a very popular place to be Winter time and lots of fun and sites can be full but as I say you will get in as there is a big turnover there.Supermarkets , Fuel Stations, LPG gas filling available and ATMs for cash everywhere ,using a Post Office Master credit card works for us no charges on purchases in Europe and a great exchange rate always ,charge for cash from ATMs however,so that is for you to decide.Portugal has number plate recognition on many of their Motorways but the Motorways are easily avoided and no need to use them, your choice again.

15-08-2015, 10:45
hello cycleman, I been that direction in the last few years............you can find a route on google maps by typing in your start and destination, and you can filter out toll roads if you want, and add scenic routes as well if you find the right button...........I never bother to book at dover, if you have enough time simply pull into the terminal, go to one of the 2 check in desks (P&O and dfds, if my ferries is now gone), and negotiate your cheapest crossing direct (usually in the middle of the night when they are empty), Literally ask them for the cheapest crossing they got.....I do. I got my van fitted out for permanent wilding, and would only hook up for some reason in emergency. The alternator on my trigano tribute seems to supply everything needed. If you head southwest through france towards biarritz, thats a lovely resort worth a stop, the wildcampers are on the cliffs on the west (spain) side of town there, (surfing) and if you go along the north spanish coast its spectacular.......you cant go wrong. I am organising my van again at moment, and hoping to be away towards gibraltar this time for the winter asap ......good luck.....steve bristol