Driving from Ireland (Wicklow) to Alicante, Spain

Discussion in 'Overseas Travel,Holidays,Hotels & Airlines' started by SBK11, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. SBK11

    SBK11 Guest

    I'd love to hear from anyone who has taken this journey via France. My husband will do this in July and we'd love some realistic ideas on timings/places to stop etc.
  2. muzaway

    muzaway Frequent Poster

    viamichelin.com suggests a drive time from either Roscoff or Cherbourg of about 17 hrs.

    Does your husband want to just get the drive done (e.g. in two days) or take his time, four plus days

    If the former then he'd probably just end up making as much progress as possible and stopping after 8 or so hours somewhere along the way.

    If more time is being alloted then you are in a position to examine the recommended route(s) and start seeing where might be nice every 3 or 4 hours along the way, or where might be nice to deviate to, e.g. Saumur in the Loire valley after 4hrs from Cherbourg, Bordeaux after another 4 hrs driving, San Sebastien in Spain the next day etc.
  3. babaduck

    babaduck Frequent Poster

    Alternatively, you could go via the UK - ferry to Wales & then Brittany Ferries on the Plymouth-Santander route. Santander-Alicante is about 8h 30 of a drive.
  4. SBK11

    SBK11 Guest

    Thanks for the response. His plan is to drive straight to Alicante ( 2 days).
    Stopping and touring would be lovely but this trip is mainly to carry items that won't fit in an Aer Lingus plane.
  5. rgfuller

    rgfuller Frequent Poster

    I have driven though france about 550miles from the Roscoff/Cherbourg ferry, stopping for petrol and food-stretch breaks, this takes 7-8 hours with about 85% on motorways. I wouldn't recommend driving for much more each day as you get exhausted by such a long run. 500-650 miles should bring you close to the spanish border.
    Try to avoid clashing with french/spanish holiday periods as this usually means more accidents and more traffic jams on the motorways.
    If travelling on a Sunday in France not all petrol stations are open, so make sure you have enough fuel to get to the next open one (motorway service stations are usually open - but at times can be a big stretch between them)).
    Bring cash for the tolls.
    If you don't have air-con it can get very hot inside a car moving or stopped when the weather is hot in france/spain - so watch out for heatwaves, bring water to drink.
    I'd just pre-book a target convenience hotel (e.g. http://www.hotelformule1.com) (near the motorway) about 600 miles along the route, bearing in mind the timings of when you'll arrive given your ferry times.
    Make sure you have some sort of roadside assistance in case of breakdown or 2x flat tyres.
    Make sure your vehicle insurance covers you and notify them that you are driving in Europe.
  6. michaelm

    michaelm Frequent Poster

    I drove from Kildare to Tarragona the summer before last. Got the Cork to Roscoff ferry which got in around 7am. 10 hours driving and stayed somewhere past La Rochelle then another 10 hours to Tarragona. My wife did some of the driving. I reckon one could maybe drive to Alicante in two 12 hour stints (3 x 4 hour shared driving shifts) with one overnight somewhere past Bordeaux. We used tolled motorways.
  7. Mel

    Mel Frequent Poster

    Has anyone done this spread out over more days?
    How does the pricing work out?


    Would love to do something like this during the summer, but I haven't organised anything yet.
  8. ALEXA

    ALEXA Frequent Poster

    We have driven a few times from Dublin to Alicante as we have a house there and spend a number of months there each year. We have always taken the Rosslare to Cherbourg ferry and travelled towards Rennes, Nantes, Bordeaux, Biarritz before crossing over the Spanish border and continuing on by Pamplona, Zaragoza, Teruel, Valencia and Alicante. We usually take 3 days to cover the journey stopping overnight in France twice but I know other people who have done the same journey in 2 days and would be possible with 2 drivers but is very tiring. We usually do from the French border to our home in Cabo Roig(south of Alicante) in one day setting off about 9.00a.m. and getting there about 20.00pm. The motorways in France and Spain are great. We have a left-hand drive car but should be no problem in right-hand drive provided you have someone in passenger seat to pay the tolls. Tolls come to about €50 for that journey, petrol would be costly in France at the moment maybe €300-400 for the whole journey. A friend of our's went over recently by car and went from Dublin to Holyhead then drove down to Plymouth and got ferry to Sanatander then drove to Alicante so that's another route to consider. I think it cost her €700 altogether. Enjoy the journey!
  9. SpainFtW

    SpainFtW Guest



    Im new to this forum and was wondering what would be the quickest route from laois (Ireland) to calpe (spain) in a jeep.. I am hoping to make the journey in early augest, and any advice that you think i would need would be much appreciated.. i.e price of ferries, diesel, tolls, best roads etc..

  10. horusd

    horusd Frequent Poster

    Spain FTW You might get a better response if you start a new thread, and include proper title as this poster has done. You could could input your travel into google earth for a route.
  11. silverwake

    silverwake Frequent Poster

    My husband and I generally get to Gerona on day 1, provided the ferry arrives to France at around 7am or so.
    We (obviously) arrive at around 10pm or a bit later.
    Then it's another 7-8 hours to Alicante for the next day.
    It's ok-ish on the way there, but once you have arrived and think that you have to do all the way back in a few days, you really want to cry...
  12. jonocon

    jonocon Frequent Poster

    I drive to estepona in southern spain every year. Ferry Rosslare to roscoff/cherbourg. drive to Biarritz on first day, madrid on the second and estepona on the 3rd, stay in "B&B hotels or formula 1 hotels, cheap and cheerful, great drive , roads perfect specially in france, tolls about €100 for them all, hotels about €100, €110 diesel (mercedes c class, incredible value), ferry, depending on when u go it costs about €150 return. i highly recommend it, great trip
  13. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

    Don't prebook the hotel as you never know what will happen. Others have mentioned not to travel at peak times and holidays, there are website which indicate this.

    Don't do it in 2 days if you're not used to it. It's a heck of a long way. Hope he's not doing it on his own. Don't push yourself too much. It is NEVER worth it. Take breaks. In relation to petrol stations and Sunday's that's not an issue on the motorways, there are signs continously indicated how many kilometers to the next service station.

    Hope the bulky items you are bringing are worth it as in that it wouldn't be more worthwhile buying the items on location.

    As an aside I met the typical French on a ferry to Ireland from France once heading to the wilds of Kerry and they had their van packed to the rafters and they were even bringing wooden posts to make a fence. Thought it was very funny.
  14. Sumatra

    Sumatra Frequent Poster

    Did Wicklow to Brive (France) via Holyhead, Folkstone a few years back in a day. Think it was 1300 km. Made Barcelone next day.
  15. marycaffrey

    marycaffrey Guest

    Hi was very interested in your post may drive that very spot myself have a house there too live in cavan.
  16. mgctx

    mgctx Guest

    Hi. I'm planning to drive from Dublin to the Nerja area at the beginning of April and would love to pick your brains if possible! Ferry doesn't get in to Cherbourg until around 4pm so am wondering where we could realistically aim to stay that night (we'll have three dogs with us). Have you ever done the journey not on the motorway?
  17. Leper

    Leper Frequent Poster

    I have driven from Ireland to Costa Almeria (2 hours drive south of Alicante). The cheapest route probably is via the UK and on to France. Motorway tolls in France are not cheap. It used to take me two full days to get to the south of Spain. The journey is enough to try the happiest of marriages and convert the most cherubic of us to the most foul mouthed beings on earth. There were six of us and the only word I can describe the journey is Martyrdom.

    There are Garage Sleepovers along the way i.e you sleep in your car and use the toilet and shower facilities in the Sleepovers. You can eat in these places also.

    Nowadays we just rent a car in Alicante airport (www.economycarhire.com).
  18. peralta

    peralta Guest

    We're planning on driving to Alicante for the first time - but with our dog, as we are going for 3 months. We have not got the pet passport or rabies vaccinations yet. I see mgctx that you are bringing 3 dogs with you. The requirements have changed since Jan 2012 - if you or anyone has advice it would be a great help as I'm finding it a bit confusing. We've been getting conflicting advice from vets etc about it taking 6 months or longer to process everything. Thanks
  19. DK123

    DK123 Frequent Poster


    Are there any additional documents [Paperwork] required for crossing the borders apart from Drivers License and Passport.
  20. dereko1969

    dereko1969 Frequent Poster

    No, however in France you need to have your own breathalyser, I believe the ferries sell them on board. You will also need a hi-vis jacket and a warning triangle.

    Also remember on some of the tolled motorways they will check your end to end time and you may be fined for exceeding the speed limit.