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Old 25 June 2018, 07:36   #1
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Northern Spain & Portugal

After last years foray to Croatia, we're heading down to Portugal this year. Driving down through France across the top of Spain via Bilbao/Santiago de Compostela into northern Portugal. I've already had some good advice & info from Grant Garwood, but if anyone has any info regarding boat friendly campsites/launching spots/must sees (or avoids for that matter) in Northern Spain & Portugal, it'd be very welcome.
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Old 25 June 2018, 17:08   #2
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Driving down through France across the top of Spain via Bilbao/Santiago de Compostela into northern Portugal.

Bonjour, Hola, & Ola Pikey ............


We are only 30 mins form Plymouth so often go across on the Plymouth Santander ferry. I have found this much better than driving down through France and the cost is slightly cheaper (but not a lot in it), however, with the recent fuel price hikes in France it maybe a better option for you.

Portsmouth Bilbao is also an ok crossing, but I prefer Santander.

Northern Spain is a lot like Cornwall in many ways ........ some stunning beaches, and dramatic cliff views. There is also some fantastic Bass fishing along that coast. We have done the trip from Santander to Porto many times and it is always a great trip, however, it is possible to do it in about 6 hours non stop !

We donít take the RIB as we have a good number of friends in both Northern Spain (Asturias & Galicia) and Portugal so there is always a boat that can be 'borrowed' for a few trips. Probably a bit easier for us as my wife speaks almost fluent French (she used to teach it) and I speak reasonable Spanish & Portuguese (also Italian and German) so we can usually find a common denominator for communication. Northern Spain has its own strange dialect and even if you speak really good Spanish it can be a struggle at times.

Canít help you with campsites as we only normally do 4 & 5 star hotels these days, but it certainly is a trip worth doing.

Once on the Portuguese coast, keep a careful weather eye for the famous Atlantic swells as they can catch you out .......... I have been out in almost mirror calm and then had to come back in swells of 30ft or more......... bear in mind that you might be asked for your ICC when launching and mooring in Portugal ÖÖ.. Spanish seem pretty uninterested about it !

Have a safe trip and enjoy ...........
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Old 25 June 2018, 17:22   #3
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Originally Posted by gpsguru View Post
Bonjour, Hola, & Ola Pikey ............


We are only 30 mins form Plymouth so often go across on the Plymouth Santander ferry. I have found this much better than driving down through France and the cost is slightly cheaper (but not a lot in it), however, with the recent fuel price hikes in France it maybe a better option for you.

Portsmouth Bilbao is also an ok crossing, but I prefer Santander.

Northern Spain is a lot like Cornwall in many ways ........ some stunning beaches, and dramatic cliff views. There is also some fantastic Bass fishing along that coast. We have done the trip from Santander to Porto many times and it is always a great trip, however, it is possible to do it in about 6 hours non stop !

We donít take the RIB as we have a good number of friends in both Northern Spain (Asturias & Galicia) and Portugal so there is always a boat that can be 'borrowed' for a few trips. Probably a bit easier for us as my wife speaks almost fluent French (she used to teach it) and I speak reasonable Spanish & Portuguese (also Italian and German) so we can usually find a common denominator for communication. Northern Spain has its own strange dialect and even if you speak really good Spanish it can be a struggle at times.

Canít help you with campsites as we only normally do 4 & 5 star hotels these days, but it certainly is a trip worth doing.

Once on the Portuguese coast, keep a careful weather eye for the famous Atlantic swells as they can catch you out .......... I have been out in almost mirror calm and then had to come back in swells of 30ft or more......... bear in mind that you might be asked for your ICC when launching and mooring in Portugal ÖÖ.. Spanish seem pretty uninterested about it !

Have a safe trip and enjoy ...........


Thanks for all that, appreciated Re. The ferry, we have friends in Normandy so like to incorporate a few days there at the end of the hols, so we use Newhaven/Dieppe as a rule. We looked at Santander & notwithstanding them being fully booked, the prices were astronomical, around the £1500 mark return, Newhaven is £357 return including the boat
Do I need a fishing permit in Spain? I know I do for Portugal.
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Old 25 June 2018, 17:43   #4
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Thanks for all that, appreciated Re. The ferry, we have friends in Normandy so like to incorporate a few days there at the end of the hols, so we use Newhaven/Dieppe as a rule. We looked at Santander & notwithstanding them being fully booked, the prices were astronomical, around the £1500 mark return, Newhaven is £357 return including the boat
Do I need a fishing permit in Spain? I know I do for Portugal.

Yes for Spain and easy enough to get.


Ok about ferry costs, I guess you must be going in August ! .......... based on your price the same trip for me as a frequent traveller is about £800 - £900 ......


If you are going in late August the trip across France can be slow and painful as that is when all the french have their holidays and all the factory's close down ............ that time of the year I tend to travel at night.



We are going to the Vendee in August ......... not my choice of timing, but my son's family are also coming with us so it has to be in the school holidays ............ I have already organised a boat to be available to me for the 2 weeks
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Old 26 June 2018, 02:47   #5
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Originally Posted by gpsguru View Post
Yes for Spain and easy enough to get.


Ok about ferry costs, I guess you must be going in August ! .......... based on your price the same trip for me as a frequent traveller is about £800 - £900 ......


If you are going in late August the trip across France can be slow and painful as that is when all the french have their holidays and all the factory's close down ............ that time of the year I tend to travel at night.



We are going to the Vendee in August ......... not my choice of timing, but my son's family are also coming with us so it has to be in the school holidays ............ I have already organised a boat to be available to me for the 2 weeks


Yeah, school holidays for us this year, hopefully for the last time. Mrs Pikey takes early retirement at Christmas, so next year we'll be freeeeee!!!!!
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