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Thread: Traveling through France/Spain end of March/April

  1. #1

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    Traveling through France/Spain end of March/April



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    Hello

    Having not driven through to Spain in April before, I was wondering what I can expect weather wise and if there is any extra planning needed due to the time of year?

    We are leaving on the 27th March and planning on getting to Spain around the 3rd April - can I expect most of the main Aires to be open and do I need to plan in advance for crossing the Pyrenees, we will be crossing from Toulouse to Girona. Would it be wise to pack snow chains or will the main route over be clear?

    Any feedback would be appreciated

    Many Thanks

  2. #2
    Pauljenny's Avatar
    Pauljenny is offline Failed jackpot winner
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    I presume your Transit is rear wheel drive ?

    If so, you should have no trouble, if you stick to the main roads.
    If heading East to the Costas, watch out for the Basque Country and the highlands around Madrid.
    You should keep to motorways,if the weather is really bad.
    It's not where you live... It's HOW you live..
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    We have done this trip at this time of year for the last two years and not had an issue, we are also going again on the 22nd March, so if we have any problems we will post it here
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    We are on the aire at Bonneval on our way to Valencia for Las Fallas. Horrendous rain,sleet and wind such that we left our non toll route and took to the motorway. Never used the route around Paris heading west we thought wed give it a try. Bad move as we almost found not one but two 2 metre b underpasses. Spent a happy hour negotiating back streets of 11th district before finding A10 . Heading down west coast thro Arun and then across Spain so will let you know of any probs.
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  5. #5

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    Further to my last reply, there are notices to say the Bonneval aire and adjacent car park is closed from 9th to 26th March. Looks like resurfacing and general clean up. Also the potable water is turned off and the toilet emptying is blocked and running over!!! Anyone going this way might give it a miss till end of March
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauljenny View Post
    I presume your Transit is rear wheel drive ?

    If so, you should have no trouble, if you stick to the main roads.
    If heading East to the Costas, watch out for the Basque Country and the highlands around Madrid.
    You should keep to motorways,if the weather is really bad.
    Paul, sorry but I think you are been alarmist! Must be something to do with you living in that very warm dry place! ( you lucky bu$$er) Keep the wine on chill, for a few more weeks!
    Week in and week out for 12 years I trucked to Madrid, via the old N121a from Irun to Pampalona, then the C101 to Almazan to the N11 (2) at Medinaceli (spelling) then on the N11 to Madrid, and only once did the snow stop me and only for a few hours!
    This is the quickest way to Madrid, for people in the know, and much better on fuel than the N1 up and down the sierras!
    Don't forget, motorhomes do have a kitchen, bed and toilet, so a little delay is not a problem!
    Just go for it Guys, don't worry, you will get there!
    By the way, people don't realise that Madrid is the highest capitol city in Europe and Spain can be bloody cold and it can snow, BUT the Spanish are really good at sorting it out, not like the British wimps who stop at half an inch of snow, and make it wall to wall news for hours and hours!
    Last edited by grath; 08-03-2018 at 19:18.
    Tramping the Dream, Enjoying the Pot of Sunshine at the Rainbow end!
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  7. #7

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    We're just ahead of you

    We are currently in Marmande on our way down and still pondering best route. Our first trip to Europe and Bessie the Burstner is an old lady who runs out of puff quite easily on the hills so discretion is probably the better part of valour.

    Had intended to do the Pyranees for the views but may opt for the safe option - we'll keep you posted 🤔
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by grath View Post
    Paul, sorry but I think you are been alarmist! Must be something to do with you living in that very warm dry place! ( you lucky bu$$er) Keep the wine on chill, for a few more weeks!
    Week in and week out for 12 years I trucked to Madrid, via the old N121a from Irun to Pampalona, then the C101 to Almazan to the N11 (2) at Medinaceli (spelling) then on the N11 to Madrid, and only once did the snow stop me and only for a few hours!
    This is the quickest way to Madrid, for people in the know, and much better on fuel than the N1 up and down the sierras!
    Don't forget, motorhomes do have a kitchen, bed and toilet, so a little delay is not a problem!
    Just go for it Guys, don't worry, you will get there!
    By the way, people don't realise that Madrid is the highest capitol city in Europe and Spain can be bloody cold and it can snow, BUT the Spanish are really good at sorting it out, not like the British wimps who stop at half an inch of snow, and make it wall to wall news for hours and hours!
    Better to be cautious, when travelling for the first time through strange country. Particularly in an elderly van, possibly without turbo? Perhaps without experience,language skills and a backup network that Truckers have developed,over the years?

    If you take a pessimistic view... The only surprises you'll get, will be pleasant ones.

    With the changes in the Gulf stream, the weather is unpredictable.
    Trust me, we learned the hard way.
    Bon voyage.
    It's not where you live... It's HOW you live..
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  9. #9

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    I was hoping to meet up with you when you said the 27th but unfortunately you are going through France wheras I am taking the ferry to Bilbao.
    I have spent the last two Aprils in northern Spain and it can be quite cool and rainy. Lots of free aires and of course you can use the out of town car parks. The picos de Europa is a must and the official parking is at a monastery with the best view in the world.
    I go via Beiritz. I went over the Pyrenees once and never again.
    There are other mountain ranges in Spain ( not got my map open at the mo, round Madrid?) and it is best to avoid them as they still have snow and the cold can blow down, once woke up to frost on the windscreen.
    I find it very un- Spanish in the north but very lovely with a coast line like Cornwall.
    Enjoy your trip.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulandSam View Post
    We are currently in Marmande on our way down and still pondering best route. Our first trip to Europe and Bessie the Burstner is an old lady who runs out of puff quite easily on the hills so discretion is probably the better part of valour.

    Had intended to do the Pyranees for the views but may opt for the safe option - we'll keep you posted 🤔
    I think If I were you I would take the East coast down, just to be on the safe side... Not as pretty but not also not very hilly. Last summer our headgasket went in Granada and we had to pick the least hilly way out of spain and back to the UK. The East coast was pretty smooth sailing all the way apart from 30mins of climbing up into Perpignan.
    The west coast road from Henday is amazing but very slow (my van is 1989 with no turbo so 30km/h was max at times) Save that route for the summer

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