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grath
14-01-2007, 10:23
Hi everyone,

As you may or may not be aware, I was until a few years ago an International truck driver and I used to go to Madrid about 3 times a month & then on to Portugal to Lisboa, Sines & Oporto once every month. ( In to Portugal from Madrid via Badajos & out back to Madrid via Villaformosa, Salamanca & Avilla.)

I knew the roads very well and we did not use motorways too much as the N roads are just as quick and better with lots of safe overnight parking areas.
eg: to Madrid we did no use the N1 but we went the slightly quicker & may I say nicer route via Pampalona (also easier on the engine)

There are plenty of good eating houses with free overnight parking on this route.

Obviously we transited France and we used Caen, La harve and Cherbourg ports.
From Caen or Cherbourg we would go via Rennes, Nantes, La Rochelle, Bordeaux & then the N10 to Irun. Earlier we used to go via LeMans, La Fleche, Samaur, Potiers & Bordeaux.

I have also been to Italy many times but knowledge is not as good here.

About 18 years ago we went on a camping (tent) holiday down the coast of Yugosalavia & onward to Greece & then we spent about a month in Turkey including the Black sea. This was a long time ago but we will never forget it.

I am no expert,:o: just passing on a couple of tips:)
regards to all,
graham/kath

Forrester
23-01-2007, 14:28
Hi,
We are going on holiday May/June time & are driving down from Calais via Bordeaux & the West coast to Biarritz in our motorhome.
From there we will be making for Barcellona & the Costa Brava. We intend to go via Pau, Biescas, Huesca & Lleida.Do you reckon this is the best way or go via Pamplona? Any advice appreciated.
Forrester.

grath
23-01-2007, 17:38
Hi Forrester, I would go Pamplona direction.
Go through the border into Spain,& within 100 mtrs take the 1st turning to the right which is very sharp and will be signed Pamplona N121A.
This sharp right hander will then go under the main rd that u were on & a roundabout will be within 100 mtrs.( at this stage if u smoke, go all the way around the roundabout into Irun & buy cheap british Cigs)
Otherwise, go straight on towards Pamplona, (good truckstop just after village Sunbilla.
Keep on N121A to Pamplona (big mountain & very pretty), then head direction Madrid (looks like a Motorway for a mile) but bear right on the national rd at Noain) still N121 to Tudela area.
You will come to the N232 signed Zaragoza, take this to Zaragoza.( runs alongside the A68)
At Zaragoza take the N2 to Lleida, Barcelona.
This runs alongside the Motorway A2
On this entire journey, there are many good overnight parking places with good food.
I think that the mountain area before you get to Pamplona is one of the nicest areas of Spain & well worth a few detours!
Hope this helps & have a good time.

regards graham :D

Julie798
05-01-2008, 04:09
Hi Graham/Kath

We are going from Calais to Almeria, and I would appreciate any directions you may know, this will be our first trip and I am sooo confused LOL

Thanks

grath
05-01-2008, 09:12
Hi Graham/Kath

We are going from Calais to Almeria, and I would appreciate any directions you may know, this will be our first trip and I am sooo confused LOL

Thanks

Hi Julie798, I wish that I was going, however if I were this is the way that I would go from Calais.
From Calais I would head for Rouen and down the M way as you only pay for the last little bit and it was about 10 euro last year.
There are several routes from here and one is to keep Rouen City and the river on your right, head for Eveux, Drew, Chartres, Vendome, Tours, Chatellerault, Poitiers, Angouleme to Bordeaux.
or
From Rouen to Bernay, Alencon, Le mans, Saumur, Poitiers, Angouleme to Bordeaux.
There are also a few variations from Le mans via either Angers & Niort or even from Chartres via Orleans, Chateauroux, Limoges, Perigueux, to Bordeaux. Not too much difference in time whichever way you go and no need to use the Autoroutes.
From Bordeaux head along the A10 direction signed Bayonne and worth using the Autoroute as the older road is very time consuming.
When you get to the border I would turn off immediate right and the road twists round and under and heads off to your left to Pampalona (N121A)
This is a very pretty road and after about 20 minutes or so you will come to Sunbilla and a good truck stop and Garage with showers (English spoken) :cool:and next will be a steep climb for about half of one hour and through a couple of tunnels. (one of my favorite roads)
At Pampalona head direction Zaragoza on a free bit of Autoroute but at Noain which is only a couple of miles filter off right on to the N 121 to wards Tudela. In about 1 hour the N121 turns off to your left and you will stay on the main road which is now the N 113 and it will pass Alfaro and go through Cintruenigo (here there is a large hotel and truck stop on your right (good showers and food) :cool:and head on to wards Agreda.
On leaving Agreda, turn off left onto the C101 signed Almenar (it is a very good road) you will come to a main road , turn right onto the N234 signed Soria but in about 1 mile as you enter Almenar turn left again onto the C101 to wards Almazan.
As you enter Almazan turn left onto the N 111 to Medinaceli (you may see a sign for Madrid) (or you could go into Almazan as a good restaurant & truck stop garage:cool: as you leave the town) also STORKS NEST in the church tower and on electricity pylons here):cool:
At Medinaceli (good restaraunt here on the right as you enter with large parking) turn right onto the N11 (N2) to wards Madrid. On the N 11 the best place to stop would be at the 101 Bar which is at Km marking 101. (Showers in the garage)
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE MAIN NATIONAL ROADS FROM 1 TO 6 IN SPAIN ARE IN ROMAN NUMERALS:eek:
Now when I was driving, i would have gone to Madrid and gone around the M40 (Spains equivalent of our M25) and then gone down the N1V (N4) to wards Jaen but there is now a main road that cuts across from somewhere near to Alcala de Henares which is after Guadalajara. I cannot help you with this as I have not used it.
From Jaen you will find your way to Almeria.
The other way would be after crossing into Spain, keep going straight and go down the N1 to Madrid (more ups and downs) as the route that I have taken you is flat (ish) after the first big climb.
Or you could Autoroute it all the way via Barcelona, not seeing a thing and costing you lots of money.
I am sure that some will tell you a different route, that would be mine so it is now up to you.
Good luck and I hope you enjoy!!
Oh, if you do go my way, please look out for the Storks on your left as you enter Almazan. (you will see the nests on the top of the electricity pylons):cool:
I wish I was going, you lucky people!:cool:

grath
05-01-2008, 10:04
If you do decide to go down the N1,and Vitoria (the Basque capital) & Burgos a couple of places worth a visit are San Sebastian,Salamanca and Avilla
San Sebastian is beautiful and cosmopolitan, Salamanca is a University town and Avilla is a very large walled city (I was told that it is the largest in Europe but I cannot confirm that)
It is the one that was blown up by cannon fire in the old Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis and Sophia Lorren film where they dragged a large cannon all over Spain. It was either The Pride & Passion or Pride & Prejudice! I get them mixed up!
Oh and if you don't know, Madrid is the highest capital city in Europe and is also worth a visit.

Enjoy


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