Off to Spain

#1
Hi All
Just thought i'd ask if anyone is heading to Spain for the winter.:)
We are departing Plymouth on the 25th of September for Santander then heading south towards Alecante.
Is anyone going that way on the same date as us? We are newbies to this and would look forward to the company. If anyone has done this before and has information about good sites, places close to the motorways to fill LPG tanks and safe stop-overs and any other helpfull information we would be greatfull
PS we are towing a toad on a trailer

Stu
 

vwalan

Well-Known Member
#2
hi, best dont use m,ways ,head to burgos up the steep hill on the n632 .well worth it beautiful scenery. just after burgos take then234 and visit the park national canos del rio lobos .its a lovelly canyon. there is parkin there good for free camp and water.
then head to soria and work your way through the country to the coast. dont be in a hurry .there is loads to see .inland there are many places to stop. cheers alan.
 

vwalan

Well-Known Member
#4
of course .why would i say it if it wasnt. most of the roads through spain take 40ft trucks etc. n routes were the way only a few years ago. m,ways are a new thing in much of spain. i use a 1974 map very often. its much nicer travel. i also recomend the cepsa mapamax new maps done by the anayatouring club.only 5.9 euro .in spain. we hardly ever use m,ways ,even try to avoid duall carriage ways . the real spain isnt reached by them.
 

BigMomma

Well-Known Member
#5
of course .why would i say it if it wasnt. most of the roads through spain take 40ft trucks etc. n routes were the way only a few years ago. m,ways are a new thing in much of spain. i use a 1974 map very often. its much nicer travel. i also recomend the cepsa mapamax new maps done by the anayatouring club.only 5.9 euro .in spain. we hardly ever use m,ways ,even try to avoid duall carriage ways . the real spain isnt reached by them.
Only asked because many of the articles that I have read about using 'non-motorway' routes in Spain often say 'Not suitable for larger vehicles' but they don't clarify what they mean by 'larger vehicles'. Once again, I bow to your superior knowledge and experience ;)
 
#6
another view: large parts of spain, away from the coast, are made up of deserted villages, industrial or business parks built more in hope, and now abandoned. So, take the free motorways, fantastic roads, get yourself down to the coast and start your trip. This stuff about the 'real' spain is looking back to the times when the kids didn't have shoes on their feet and the churches were full of women covered in black: it's now a modern european country with vibrant music, cinema, fashion and an increasing ownership of campervans - in fact, sometimes there are so many spaniards in big motorhomes there is hardly room for us.
if you are taking the boat you will meet likeminded folk on the boat and dont worry, they will be more than happy to help or even lead you by the nose to their favourite spot. Alicante? wouldn't touch it ourselves, probably because it isn't real spain!
 

vwalan

Well-Known Member
#8
not messed around by fish and chip shops or uk/german bars . there is beautifull country out there .do you like the yorkshire moors or out towards buckston etc. there is open fields with space as far as the eye can see. lovelly villages where people are friendly and ask you about your village in interest. you can visit historical places that were major places in the spanish civil war or just wonder around looking for nice places. to be honest i saw a revue of the little grand canyon in spain .it was in mmm. i followed the directions a few years ago . its brill. we now go there every year and fill with water and enjoy the scenery. try it you might like it. if your going for the winter you have time .
asit is i also know of a good park up right under the flight path of alicane airport. you feel you can touch some of the planes . its right by the beach . water shop. cafe .what more do you want.
or go in the picos de europa.have a mountain experiance.
i like going to the industrial areas as well .there are some massive sand and gravel pits .with huge machinery. always gld to let you stop and look around. i also visit car manufacturing plants where ever i see them. spain as loads around palencia. portugal as well. mitsy ,toyota .vw. ford .citroen.plus bosch etc factories.
just travelling is an adventure in its self . the destination isnt important . they still use bullocks etc even in spain in some places to plough with. or look for the thousands and thousands of stone walls around xabia/javea in fact spain must have the most in europe .see how they terraced the land to scratch a living . so much to see not enoughtime.there are also hundreds of lakes /resevoirs throughout spain most with good parking .many with made beach type areas. see the spanish come and picnic on sundays .whole families baby to great grandma. always friendly.
slow down look around . dont rush. i,ve been visiting spain since being a child still find new things to see ,many of them very old things. but beware in winter it can be bloody cold in the center of spain. we see snow as we land in november and even end of april you see snow land over night as you leave. yes high in the mountains .but can be seen from the coast .its amazing . try it do it find your place. we all like different things .
 

vwalan

Well-Known Member
#9
by the way ,every where as a good adventure, uk is great as well. we can visit manchester ship canal or see the remains of the coal industry. ,the tin mines .cross from lancashire to yorkshire .enjoy the moors see the remenants of the dark and gloomy mills. go out to whitby see the old flying dales space satelite or telephone dish thingy. every where is full of fun.lincolnshire with its tulips in new holland. castles all over uk. but no sun in winter .never mind .
 
#10
Northen Spain tends to be greener, but down near Granada is very nice, parts of southern spain are smothered in plastic we stopped at Motril in January, it was a nice site but surrounded on 3 sides by plastic:eek:..................fine if you have a polytunnel fetish:D
Hopefully this is a picture of the view from our pitch in Granada:thumb: DSCN1983web pages.jpg
 

vwalan

Well-Known Member
#11
the plastic area is amazing .you have to see it to believe it .driving slowly it takes days to get away from them every bit of land ,even half way up cliffs have plastic green houses. its really interesting . this is what man does and needs to feed itsself.
 
#12
Thanks for some of the input but as its our first time in Spain wild camping is a no no, until we get used to the area and more confidence in finding areas that are safe. On a lot of forums there is a big debate about the safeness of wild camping even stopping overnight in the rest areas seem to be dodgy unless you park under lights and amongst the lorry drivers. What we really need are a safe simple route, safe stopovers and places where its easy to fill up with LPG when towing a trailer. I've been told there is a brand new motorway from Santander towards Torrelavega and down to Madrid then use the M50 around Madrid.

Stu
 
#13
Thanks for some of the input but as its our first time in Spain wild camping is a no no, until we get used to the area and more confidence in finding areas that are safe. On a lot of forums there is a big debate about the safeness of wild camping even stopping overnight in the rest areas seem to be dodgy unless you park under lights and amongst the lorry drivers. What we really need are a safe simple route, safe stopovers and places where its easy to fill up with LPG when towing a trailer. I've been told there is a brand new motorway from Santander towards Torrelavega and down to Madrid then use the M50 around Madrid.

Stu
Nothing wrong with Motorways. We dont like to wild camp as we prefer security to risk. We tow ands its not always practical to set off down some vague unposted track to get to a 'nice view'. There are plenty of nice views on or around campsites. We drove from Marbella to Almeria thru Madrid & up to Santander in late March this year. There was snow around Madrid BUT the Spanish are brilliant at snow control & clearance; but I would be cautious about towing in snow. LPG is an issue. Its not a commonly available item. Even some garages advertising LPG dont have it! Beware. Do your research carefully if you depend on gas. ( Gaslow). The motorway around Madrid was a breeze. We did it during rush hour in up to 16 lanes of traffic. The Sat Nav did the business with a bit of map back up.

I would agree that caution is wise during the first year. We have learned loads and will now be more adventurous. We have a 8m van & 4m trailer so we have to be circumspect when choosing where to pitch. If one has a lot of experience & a relatively small van then a lot more is possible & practicable. I've seen several wags up to their axles in sand! Also, be aware that many sites in central Spain shut during the winter.

We plan our journeys carefully. We take basic precautions for keeping safe. On the whole, a lot of scaremongering goes on by people who have never set foot across the channel. Generally, people are very quick to relate doom & gloom. Spain is fine and safe. The police are pleasant & helpful & on the whole just ignore Motorhomes & Caravans.

Enjoy your trip - we did & we are going back this winter reaching the Marbella area by early November - Cabopino. checkout www.eastmidlandsdea.co.uk for our story.

Good luck

Billkce
 

vwalan

Well-Known Member
#14
but remember the N roads are equivelant to our A roads . all n roads are well signposted and you will find campsites in the country .yes in winter most are closed but then inland spain can be covered in snow . but give them a go. the map to look out for is a cepsa mapamax. less than 6euro and very up to date. just keep to the n roads you cant go wrong. motor ways are ok if you are in a hurry. you have the rest of your life whats the rush. if you are only there for a few weeks i can understand the race is on. but relax enjoy the drive . i tow just about every where.
cheers alan
 

John and Joan

Well-Known Member
#15
Hi All
Just thought i'd ask if anyone is heading to Spain for the winter.:)
We are departing Plymouth on the 25th of September for Santander then heading south towards Alecante.
Is anyone going that way on the same date as us? We are newbies to this and would look forward to the company. If anyone has done this before and has information about good sites, places close to the motorways to fill LPG tanks and safe stop-overs and any other helpfull information we would be greatfull
PS we are towing a toad on a trailer
Stu
Hi Stu
We made the trip for the first time last year. Autogas LPG in Spain is very sparse. We went overland down to western France then across the border. We filled up in France the next gas was at Repsol in Alicanti. There are more LPG stations opening each year in Spain. There are stations listed with fotos in the Spanish Aires book from Vicarious Books and also GPS coordinates on the net.
We used non pay roads down through France. We used the motorways to cross the border then reverted to N roads and non pay motorways all the way down. We went by Pamplona and Zaragosa. We found campsites to stay at as we were also unsure of Spain. We filled up the gas in Alicanti and went to find a site at Elche. They had changed the road junction numbers so we gave up and kept going toward Murcia. We stayed in the Santomara service area in with the trucks with no problems at all that night and then drove to our destination at El Portus near Cartegena the next day. I had to return to Alicanti a month later to fill the gas up again 286k return trip.
To avoid that trip again we got two gas bottles from a second hand shop in Cartegena and swapped them at the local garage. This worked out cheaper as Autogas was 0.688€ per litre and bottled gas was 0.50€ a litre. I fed the gas in through the barbecue point as we have a fixed 85litre tank. You have to have an empty bottle you cannot just get a bottle from a dealer as in the UK. To get a bottle officially we were quoted between 160 and 200€ for an inspection of the gas fittings and equipment in the motorhome.
On our way home we used Motorways all the way. It took a day less to reach France. We stayed on Motorways services all the way back with no problems at all. On most roads in Spain there are no services, but signs direct you off to the nearest village where it is perfectly safe to park and get fuel.
 
#18
further to the 'real spain' thread, we met two spaniards in a market selling jamon and chorizo - did a bit of spanish chat and talked about where they thought 'real spain' was: they were very specific . . . and its not the costas, naturally, which they considered to be for tourists.
the comments about the polytunnels seem mixed. Over time we have learned to appreciate the job they do and how they have turned difficult environments (very windy, blinding heat) into economic successes, more so than empty hotels and bars and restaurants forever changing hands
 
#19
Their are around 60 sites in Spain now selling Autogas, not many I know, but they are spread out around the country so you shouldn't have to much trouble finding one.

My map which John has given the link to above is fairly accurate, if you drill down most of the stations are shown on google street view, so while I can't guarantee they are still there, they where when google took the pictures.

Ian
 

Dunroamin

Well-Known Member
#20
Their are around 60 sites in Spain now selling Autogas, not many I know, but they are spread out around the country so you shouldn't have to much trouble finding one.

My map which John has given the link to above is fairly accurate, if you drill down most of the stations are shown on google street view, so while I can't guarantee they are still there, they where when google took the pictures.

Ian
The real Spain, Alan think about it 90% of the Brits and North Europeans aren't in the slightest bit interested in the real Spain only sunshine,security,fish and chips, schnitzel,matjes,borscht and cheap alcohol. You are wasting your time trying to interest them. We dont do the coast other than for business. Behind every coastal town there is a refuge for the Spanish population , a designated picnic place or area de recreativo where wild camping is never a problem and like you say nearly always beside reservoirs I am very wary of telling strangers where I stay. I can
understand the people who are frightened to wild camp but I dont really feel that I have anything in common with them and I dont feel that they can say that they live in a motorhome , they live on a campsite,well that ought to put the fox among the pigeons. Not so long ago we were asked how long have we lived in our motorhome I said 12 years they said we have lived in ours for 15 years, they forgot to tell me that they lived in it on a campsite and only left now and again for a short holiday is that motorhome 365 ?
 

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