Driving from UK to Ibiza

Jessie_G

New Member
Hi there!
Can anyone offer advice and a simple breakdown of what we would need to get and do to ensure we are safe and legal ie: permits, insurance, kits to ensure the car is roadworthy etc
TIA
 

Amp and Deck

Active Member
reflector stickers on your headlights
red triangle
hi viz vest
i worked on assumption my insurance covered me anywhere within EU (best to double check with your provider)
don't keep vehicle in Spain after 6 months otherwise you can get done - or have to get plates changed + re-register it as spanish vehicle
 

Amp and Deck

Active Member
also..

I tend to drive a lot faster on french autoroutes - far fewer cameras and the further south you go the faster the general traffic gets. you can easily get sucked into 90-100mph without realising it. when you get to the pyrenees, stick to motorway. follow the toulouse to carcassonne route - avoid the mountain road through Foix. looks like a shortcut on the map - it really isn't! the ibz ferry from barcelona is pretty easy - virtually no facilities at the carport though. take your own supplies. it can get very hot there whilst you're waiting.
 

Amp and Deck

Active Member
yes Stivi is right - carcassonne is beautiful. go for a meal in the cite, where the castle is

montauban is nice too

use the 'aires' - rest areas on side of autoroutes to stop off when you need a rest from driving - be aware though that many french toilets do not have seats! make contingency plans

I also noticed the village catalan stop-off on the spanish border serve some really nice food for a service station!
 

Vinyldreams

Active Member
My vans do this trip every week if you like driving head for Lyon from Calais then head barcelona

If you don't like driving but like boats go Portsmouth to Bilbao then on to Valencia

The driving part is 14-16 hrs through France 2 it's a 2 dayer
 

Prime.mover

New Member
also..

I tend to drive a lot faster on french autoroutes - far fewer cameras and the further south you go the faster the general traffic gets. you can easily get sucked into 90-100mph without realising it. when you get to the pyrenees, stick to motorway. follow the toulouse to carcassonne route - avoid the mountain road through Foix. looks like a shortcut on the map - it really isn't! the ibz ferry from barcelona is pretty easy - virtually no facilities at the carport though. take your own supplies. it can get very hot there whilst you're waiting.
If you want to make a real holiday of it and add an extra day to your journey. then do go through Foix -- you can spend the night in Andorra. Well worth it for the scenery alone.
 

white_isle_calling

Well-Known Member
BUMP

We did the Pompey to Bilbao ferry route to Spain on the way out and then cross country to Barca and ferry across. Left it too late to secure a pet-friendly cabin on the way home, so looks like driving through France is our only option.

Regarding the debate of toll-routes/non toll routes: aren't we just gonna burn more fuel than we save in going a longer route?? Or is the longer route more picturesque, so worth it? Doesn't seem to a be a great deal of difference time-wise. Not enough to swing it either way, anyway.

We plan to get an overnight room in Denia/Valencia after crossing, then up early the next morning for 10 hours of driving - stay somewhere over night - and then finish the drive to Calais on the third day. Where would be a good place to stop in France? Accommodation option needs to be somewhere that would allow a cat - any recommendations?
 

jimmiz

Well-Known Member
You will find plenty of pet friendly hotels without problem.
Forget the non-toll routes imo. You will need another day to join Calais with this option 😂
 

jimmiz

Well-Known Member
Avoid the one by Paris of course, the traffic is horrible at any hour of the day...
It's a shame because on this one you take the most beautiful highway in Europe imo, between Montpellier and Clermont-Ferrand... But crossing Paris is a nightmare 🙄
 

jimmiz

Well-Known Member
The only problem is the traffic in Bordeaux at the peak hours.
I would personally try to arrive around Bordeaux before 5pm and stop after Bordeaux to not have the traffic jam the morning after.
 

Kim Wrong Un

Active Member
In my experience, the fastest (if not quaintest) route avoiding Paris heading north is bcn - la jonquera - carc - toulouse - limoges (sleep) - orleans - chartres - rouen - dieppe (very nice crossing approx 4 hrs) - newhaven. Total journey 17-20 hrs
 

white_isle_calling

Well-Known Member
In my experience, the fastest (if not quaintest) route avoiding Paris heading north is bcn - la jonquera - carc - toulouse - limoges (sleep) - orleans - chartres - rouen - dieppe (very nice crossing approx 4 hrs) - newhaven. Total journey 17-20 hrs
I have a story about Rouen. One of my first "clubbing" stories, not that it was really clubbing of any description, but the absurd nature of it fits the same kind of bracket.

I was just entering sixth form and in the first fortnight of the first term, the lower sixth go on a "cultural trip" to Loire Valley. It's basically a thinly veiled attempt to assimilate the new intake of girls (only boys at my school years 7-11) but of course it descends into coupling-up and underage drinking. This is all speculative/largely exaggerated - see this, as a reference - you hear the stories in the lower years and you look forward to when the time comes yourself, but you always expect it to be a bit naff.

Anyway, we cross the Channel on the ferry and it's all good. Somehow some of us manage to get served on the crossing. Of course, we're inexperienced and with low alcohol tolerance, so it doesn't take much to get us merry. On the other side, we drive for what seems like forever (probably only 4-6 hours in reality). Then the coach breaks down and in their infinite wisdom, the school hasn't sent a single French teacher or indeed French-speaker out of the six or so staff members who went (some of the students could actually speak French to a decent degree, but apparently this was considered improper to have them translate).

We got towed to a garage and were told that the replacements parts weren't readily available and the earliest the coach would be fixed was two days away = no Loire Valley for us. Insurance company put us up in a 2* in the closest town away until a replacement coach could be dispatched: Rouen.

The faculty, cleared dejected by the experience - and probably annoyed that their own drinking and bunk-up plans had been sabotaged - just gave us free-reign to do what we wanted. And that's exactly what we did. Havoc ensued.

It all started off so civilised, we even visited a lovely cathedral or at least an impressive church in the town centre. I can't remember what day of the week it was, but these trips were usually Monday-Friday, so not a weekend. Can't imagine that Rouen has much of a nightlife at the best of times, but during the week less so. Anyway, we were determined.

We found a gay bar - touchy territory for immature 16-17 y.o.'s who hadn't quite grasped nuance and their own sense of identity. They were happy to serve us, no doubt delighted that they had 20 eager drinkers in their venue on a Monday afternoon. Needless to say, we soon outstayed our welcome. Swiftly students got ejected one by one, finally resulting in a mass clear-out.

Next we decided it was probably wise to eat something if we were to carry on drinking. We found a mexican restaurant with a loco bar tender. He introduced us to Corona with a shot of tequila in the neck. Revolutionary at the time (to us, at least). So that kind of offset any hope of sobering up by eating.

By now it was dark and we had a midnight curfew. We went looking for a "club". We didn't find one, of course. What we did find was something called the Big Ben Pub - that presented itself as a British pub from the outside. Absolutely ghastly place, with 80s carpet on the f***ing walls. But again, they were happy to serve us, and they were playing french touch and commercial electro house. I have fond memories of being absolutely out of my box with all my mates to Benni Benassi - Satisfaction. Typically I would cringe at such a thought, but I knew no better at the time and I was having the time of the life.

We wanted to buy fags and - bizarrely - this is when we started getting questioned about our age.

Our new friend Gemma - one of the few of us who spoke French quite well - asked a group of guys at the bar if they would mind buying us some. She was a very attractive girl, but very petite - and clearly not 18. They start hitting on her and are all too happy to buy us fags for pimping our mate out. Soon we're doing shots with them and downing pints. I wish I could go back and watch this scene as a fly on the wall.

One or two of them are trying their luck with Gemma, and fair play to her she is entertaining them whilst maintaining her honour. They're chatting in French and of course, we can't understand a thing that's being said then all of the sudden Gemma starts laughing uncontrollably. She's in hysterics and we have no ideas what's been said or what's going on. Takes around 5 minutes for her to catch her breath and tell us what's so funny.

They're f***in' cops. All of them. They even show us their badges.

Final memory is us all dancing on the tables to Daft Punk Around the World before we had to race back to the hotel to be back just on the turn of midnight.

Such a funny night. Don't think the co-habitants at the hotels were all too impressed with the noise and mayhem when we got back.
 
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