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New Speed Limits from 11th May

New speed Limits from 11th May - There are several changes in road safety that were approved at the end of last year at state level, those changes will take effect from May 11th.

Although not all the rules made by the DGT in November 2020 are not currently active, as is the case with the reduction of speed limits on urban roads. the new regulations for electric scooters came into effect at the beginning of January

The DGT remind us that from May 11th we will have new speed limits in place.  These change that modified the General Regulation of Circulation through Royal Decree 970/2020, of November 10th, was published in the Official State Gazette (BOE) on November 11th.

The DGT points out that this deadline is set to allow citizens to come to terms with the new regulations, and for municipalities to adapt road signage.

The RDL of November 10th states that the "generic" speed limits on urban roads will be: 

20 km / h on roads with a single carriageway and sidewalk platform. 

30 km / h on single lane roads in each direction of travel.

50 km / h on roads with two or more lanes per traffic direction

Take into account that the lanes reserved for the circulation of certain vehicles or users, such as those used exclusively for public transport, are not counted. For example, if a street has one lane but also has one for bus / taxi, the 30 km / h limit will be applied since it is considered that there is only one lane for that direction. In the same way, the new regulations allow these new generic speeds to be reduced by the City Councils if they consider it, although they must first install the signs indicating the different limit.  The Municipal Authority may also increase the speed on roads with a single lane in each direction, up to a maximum speed of 50 km / h.

Fines

Research shows that, REDUCING THE SPEED IN A CITY FROM 50 KM / H TO 30 KM / H REDUCES THE RISK OF ACCIDENTS BY UP FIVE TIMES.

NEW SPEED CAMERAS IN BENIDORM 

Be aware that Benidorm Council have already installed 9 new speed camera,  round the town some of which are quite hidden and fines will be issued for speeding.  These may be in operation from Monday 12th April

New Speed limits

Above - Latest speed cameras in Benidorm

6th April - It seems even these are already causing concerns - Political mess over radars. Benidorm's PSOE has asked the PP's government team to suspend the commissioning of newly installed radars in different parts of the city. A measure that was raised by technicians on a Mobility Council where it received no criticism against it. For this reason, the Councilor of Mobility, José Ramón González de Zárate, accuses the opposition group of "demagoguery" and "having no word".

The boxes where those radars will go have started to be installed on Tuesday although they are not yet in operation. The Socialists have noted that "this is not the most appropriate time" to put in place sanctions-in-action measures, adding that "alternative formulas for speed control should besought." "Given the difficult situation that many of our neighbours are going through, we believe this is not the right time to implement this measure that can financially harm Benidorm families." They have also indicated that the installation of these radars can also affect tourists and visitors who come by vehicle to the city in the coming months.

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Spanish Driving Rules  - Overtaking Cyclists

Spanish Driving Rules Overtaking Cyclists - 27th January, Rules change for drivers overtaking cyclists.  A ROAD Traffic Act reform means the way drivers are required to overtake cyclists has changed, with even more cautious measures set to come into force very soon.  

The exact date on which the new rules will be effective has not yet been revealed, but motorists should act as though they are already in place as failing to do so once it becomes law could mean a €200 fine and three points deducted from your licence.  

Here in Spain, driving licences start off with 12 points when 'clean', and points are deducted for motoring offences, with an automatic ban once all 12 have been used up – reinstating these normally requires paying for specified courses at official driving schools, as points-related offences are never 'spent' after a set time period. 

Until now, drivers have been required to leave a margin of at least 1.5 metres (approximately five feet) when overtaking cyclists on roads, and are permitted to cross the central line, even if it is an unbroken white strip, to do so.  

With the new rules the distance between car and bicycle when passing has increased to two metres (6'6”) and drivers must slow to at least 20 kilometres per hour below the speed limit.  For example, on a road with a 50-kilometre limit, the driver must not overtake a bike-rider any faster than at 30 kilometres per hour, or on a main national highway where the limit is typically – but never higher than – 90 kilometres per hour, motorists should not go above 70 kilometres per hour when passing cyclist.

Crossing the central line and invading the opposite lane is permitted to enable the two-metre distance to be left.  Drivers should not overtake cyclists at all where it would involve moving into the oncoming lane unless it is safe to do so, with no oncoming cars that may be forced to brake or have difficulty stopping in time.

Driving Rules Overtaking Cyclists

Head of Spain's General Directorate of Traffic (DGT), Pere Navarro, announced these measures in a conference organised by Executive Forum involving motorway franchise companies Abertis Autopistas and Indra. It forms part of a raft of reforms to the Road Traffic Law which are expected to come into force in the next few months, which include the number of points deducted from licences rising from three for driving with a mobile phone in one's hand to six, and not wearing a seatbelt, helmet on a motorbike, or with children not in the correct booster seats, to four.

Cyclists are some of the most vulnerable road-users, especially on fast-moving inter-provincial highways, and although motor vehicle crash death figures have generally been improving in the last few years, this is not the case with cyclists – last year, when fatality rates for all other types of road transport reduced, those of cyclists saw the smallest reduction, and in 2019, bicycle crash deaths actually increased.

For other Travel information check out this section of the website 

Drink Driving Rules in Spain

For daily updates and local information join Benidorm Seriously on Facebook

Travel by Train, London to Benidorm

Travel by Train, London to Benidorm

Put your feet up & relax, watch the pretty French villages of the Rhone Valley and the stunning Spanish countryside pass by as you travel by Train from London to Benidorm.

Sometimes its not about how fast you get somewhere, but the adventure of the journey itself.

Coronavirus - Please check with the relevant government websites with regards to the latest rules and regulations for travel, Masks must be worn on all public transport.

Step 1 London St Pancras to Paris on the Eurostar

Eurostar

The average train time from London to Paris is 2h 20m, although it takes just 2h 16m on the fastest high-speed Eurostar services. There are around 15 trains per day running from London in the UK to Paris in France, passing 246 feet under the Channel Tunnel (also known as the Chunnel) on its way between capital cities. 

All trains depart from London St Pancras International station.

All trains arrive into Paris Gare du Nord station

213 miles (342 km)

Tickets

Tickets go on sale between 138 and 190 days before departure. ticket prices are based on demand and availability, tickets for this journey start from around €50.50 when booked in advance.

Children under 4 travel free

Discounted prices for under 12s and groups

Eurostar

Travel by Train, London to Benidorm - Step 2 Paris Nord to Paris Gare De Lyon

Trains every 15 minutes, journey time 7 minutes or grab a taxi.

The Paris Nord Train Station (Gare du Nord) was originally built in 1846. Shortly after, it was rebuilt three times to increase the size of the station due to increasing traffic. The new and improved station was fully functional by 1864. The name was decided with the notion that travelers would be able to travel to Belgium, the Netherlands, Northern Germany and the Scandinavian countries.

Paris Nord

Travel by Train, London to Benidorm, Paris Nord Station

Travel by Train, London to Benidorm - Step 3 - Paris Gare de Lyon to Barcelona-Sants

Two trains a day Journey time 6h 38m, 1,079.5 km

Barcelona Sants station, also known Sants Estación is Barcelona's largest train station and provides rail services both in and around Barcelona and for the whole of Spain and beyond.  The station itself can prove quite a confusing place to be as it is so large and there are often large numbers of passengers there

Travel by Train, London to Benidorm, TGV train

TGV Train

www.renfe-sncf.com

Step 4 - Barcelona-Sants to Alicante Termino

Direct train departing from Barcelona-Sants and arriving at Alicante-Termino. The fastest journey time by train from Barcelona to Alicante Terminal is 4 hours and 25 minutes.   There are 4 direct trains from Barcelona to Alicante Terminal each day. 

Non direct trains the average journey time is  about 7 hours and 43 minutes, with around 6 trains per day.

Trains going from Barcelona to Alicante travel at an average speed of 86.4 km/h, although at times they can reach much higher maximum speeds.  Distance is 54 miles (408 km) 

Train operator Renfe.  Prices can start from as little as 15€ up to 76€ so shop around for the best deals.

Step 5 Alicante to Benidorm (Alicante Metro Tram)

Catch Line 1, journey time aprox 1h 8m, every 30 minutes.

More information here

TOTAL JOURNEY TIME AROUND 14 HOURS

Tips

Fares vary like air fares, so book as far ahead as you can:  Fares for Eurostar, TGV & Spanish long-distance trains are yield-managed like air fares, cheaper in advance and on less busy days & dates, more expensive closer to departure and on busier dates & days, so book as early as you can and search for the cheapest departures, for example mid-week.  Remember that the cheapest tickets are for a specific train only, limited or no refunds or changes to travel plans. .

Booking usually opens 120 days ahead.  Eurostar opens up to 180 days ahead, Paris-Barcelona TGVs up to 120 days ahead. Prices can vary between 231€ - 515€ so shop around for the best value.

The website Trainline quite often have tickets earlier and at good discount prices so is well worth checking out.

Upgrade to 1st class on the TGV, often for little extra cost!  1st class on a TGV can cost little more than 2nd class and can sometimes even be cheaper because of the way the price quotas work.  With Raileurope.co.uk you can easily see if there's a cheap 1st class fare for the Paris-Barcelona sector, without necessarily also upgrading to first class on the Eurostar, which can be expensive.

First class on board a TGV Duplex Train

Classes:  Turista, Turista Plus, Preferente...  Renfe offers two classes, Turista (2nd class) and Preferente (1st class), but on the best high-speed AVE trains it also offers Turista Plus (premium 2nd class), which means Preferente-type 1st class seats but without the Preferente weekday at-seat meal service or access to the Sala Club lounges

Food & drink:  On most long-distance trains there's a cafe-bar serving tea, coffee, drinks and snacks.  Of course, you're also free to take your own food and even wine or beer onto the train.

Children & infants:  Children under 14 pay the child fare.  Infants under 4 travel free as long as they don't occupy a seat, but since 2014 it's been mandatory to get a free infant ticket before you travel  You will get the necessary free infant ticket If you book all your tickets at Raileurope.co.uk or renfe.com as you can simply add your child to your booking entering their age.  You cannot book an infant ticket alone without any adults, so if you forget to add them to your original booking, you need to get a free infant ticket at the station ticket office before you board.

Seniors over 60:  If you are over 60 you can buy a Tarjeta Dorada card which gives a 25%-40% discount on Renfe's Flexible full-price fare - You can only buy a Tarjeta Dorada card at Renfe stations or agencies when you get to Spain, and you can only buy reduced-fare tickets at stations or online at Renfe.com when you have the card number.  You'll find full details if you go to www.renfe.com and look for the Tarjeta Dorada page.

Disabled facilities 

Eurostar  

People traveling in their own wheelchair and taking up an H-type seat (only for disabled individuals).

People traveling in a folding wheelchair and taking up a regular seat.

People with visually or hearing impaired persons with or without a guide dog.

People with reduced mobility

RENFE

The Renfe Atendo service and SNCF Acces Plus work together to offer free care for people with limited mobility (both permanent and temporary) from the start of their journey to the end. The cooperation between these two services ensures that Renfe-SNCF in Cooperation customers will be cared for in both Spain and France.

This is a specialized service that provides guidance and information and helps passengers with limited mobility access move through the stations, as well as providing assistance when boarding and disembarking from the trains.​ ​The Atendo and Acces Plus personnel are all properly trained and are sensitive to the care requirements of people with disabilities.

ADDITIONAL SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH LIMITED MOBILITY

Adapted services during the journey: Adapted WC with a bell to alert on-board staff in the event of any problem.

Accompanying personnel available during the journey: on-board staff will attend​ to any specific needs that may arise during the journey.

Places specifically for passengers travelling in wheelchairs: In the TGV Dúplex/Eurodúplex trains, there are 2 specific places on the lower deck of the first Preferential/1st Class car (car 1 or 11).The journey can be made in the wheelchair or the passenger can ask to be transferred to a seat.

In the AVE S-100 trains, there are 2 seats located in Tourist/2nd Class car 8. The journey can be made in a wheelchair. Customers who use a folding wheelchair and who want to be transferred to a seat can travel in any regular seat by asking for assistance at the Renfe Atendo Central Office (ACO).

​When a specific place is requested for a passenger in a wheelchair, the request for care is automatically sent to the Atendo/Acces Plus service. 

Guide dogs can travel with their owner​ without any fee or ticket on board all trains.

Travel by Train, London to Benidorm

CORONAVIRUS TRAVEL RULES - TRAVEL TO AND FROM FRANCE 

Travel between the UK and France Please check official entry requirements, full details can be found on the French Governments website

Entry Requirements into Spain

For entry requirements back to the UK please check government websites for updates.

OTHER OPTIONS

THE CHANNEL TUNNEL

FERRY UK TO FRANCE

FERRY UK TO SPAIN

DRIVING FROM THE NORTH OF SPAIN TO BENIDORM

DRIVING FROM FRANCE TO THE COSTA BLANCA

TRAINS FROM SANTANDER TO BENIDORM

 

Train from Santander to Benidorm  

A good alternative for those that don´t want to fly. Enjoy the sights, read a book, watch a film, listen to music. relax and enjoy the journey by train from Santander to Benidorm.

Travel by Ferry as a foot passenger  - UK to Santander

Coronavirus updates

You are required to wear a mask in most transports when you travel.

Overland travellers to Spain and those transiting are not currently required to present a PCR test or Health Control Form on entry by road or rail.

Train from Santander to Benidorm 

The Alvia train runs between Santander and Alicante passing through Madrid. The trains generally stop in Villena, Albacete, Cuenca, Segovia, Valladolid, Palencia, Aguilar de Campó, Reinosa and Torrelavega.

Distance 633 km

Average speed - 78.1 km/h

Average Ticket prices between 65.00 and 105€

Train from Santander to Benidorm Map

OR take a Train from London to Benidorm

What are Alvia trains?

Alvia is the name given to Renfe’s high-speed, long-distance trains connecting major cities in Spain. They can hit speeds of 250km/h - marginally slower than the 300km/h top-speed of AVE trains, but still very speedy!

The trains are built to run on both the high-speed rail lines and the slower, “classic” railway lines. During journeys, Alvia trains will switch between the two, this essentially means that Alvia trains can connect smaller, regional stations to the high-speed rail arteries that run between Spain’s big cities, resulting in reduced travel times for passengers.

Alvia trains come in three different models – Class 120, Class 130 and Class 730. The latter two types have distinctive, duck-billed train noses, so much so that they’ve been nicknamed patitos (ducklings) by local travellers. 

Series 120 trains entered into operation in May 2006. Manufactured by CAF, 120s are comprised of 81 Preferente Class seats and 156 Turista seats, distributed across four coaches.

series 130 was manufactured by Talgo. With 63 Preferente seats and 236 Turista seats, they have 11 coaches - one of them a Cafeteria - and 2 power cars, so they can travel in both directions.

Alvia Series 730 (Hybrid)  Also manufactured by Talgo, the Series 730 trains are an evolution of the Series 130. They run on a mixture of electric and diesel power, making them the most environmentally friendly Alvia model. They have 216 Turista seats, 46 Preferente seats and a Cafeteria carriage. They entered service in June 2012.

All trains offer:
- 2nd (Turista) and 1st (Preferente) class available
- air-condition, reclining seats that can be turned in direction of travel
- four seats per row in Turista, three seats per row in Preferente; all in open-plan configuration
- audio and video entertainment system
- cafeteria
- equipped for passengers with reduced mobility
- power plugs on some services

Once in Alicante catch the tram to Benidorm (Alicante Metro Tram)

Catch Line 1, journey time approx 1h 8m, every 30 minutes.

More information here

How long does the train from Alicante Terminal to Santander Estación take?

The average journey time by train between Alicante Terminal and Santander Estación is 10 hours and 15 minutes,  journey time may be longer on weekends and holidays.  There are normally 2 trains per day. 

What's the fastest journey time between Alicante Terminal and Santander Estación by train?

The fastest journey time by train from Alicante Terminal to Santander Estación is 8 hours and 35 minutes.

How much does the train from Alicante Terminal to Santander Estación cost?

Train tickets from Alicante Terminal to Santander Estación can start from as little as €40.85 when you book in advance and are usually more expensive when purchased on the day. Prices can also vary depending the time of day, route and class you book.

How to buy Alvia tickets

Tickets tend to go on sale 62 days in advance of the travel date.

Alvia Fares explained

Renfe offers three different fares for Alvia trains: Promo, Promo+ and Flexible

Promo

Promo tickets are the cheapest fare. They work like advance tickets in the UK – you can save up to 70% on high-speed and long-distance trains. There are a limited number of Promo fares for any given train so they will often sell out for busy routes. These tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

Promo+

These are very similar to Promo tickets but slightly more expensive. Booking Promo+ tickets far enough in advance can earn you savings of up to 65%, and they come with more flexibility than the cheapest fare type. Should you not be able to make your train, a Promo+ ticket entitles you to a refund of 70% of the ticket value, up to 5 minutes before departure.

Flexible

As the name suggests, Flexible tickets offer the most flexibility to amend or refund your booking. Tickets are refundable for 95% of the value up to 5 minutes before departure. However, these tickets are the most expensive of the three. Flexible tickets can come in handy if there’s a chance you might miss your scheduled train.

Alvia ticket prices

The price of Alvia tickets is determined by Renfe’s dynamic pricing system, which works in a similar way to airline tickets. Tickets are cheaper the further in advance you book them. This applies to Promo (the cheapest) and Promo+ (slightly more expensive, part-refundable) fares. The price of Flexible (the most expensive) fares is fixed – this ticket type allows you to change your booking to another train at no cost.

Be flexible with your travel times

Many of the train services in Europe are also popular commuter services, lots of train companies increase ticket prices during “peak hours” (generally between 06:00 – 10:00 and 15:00 – 19:00 on weekdays). If you can, consider travelling outside of peak hours to find lower priced tickets.

Electronic tickets

When you buy your ticket, you will receive an email with the purchase confirmation, your trip details and an electronic ticket in PDF format. When travelling, you will only have to show the ticket on your mobile or tablet (but you can print it at home for extra peace of mind). Tickets are valid for 4 hours from the train departure and do not require validation.

Train from Santander to Benidorm Renfe Train

Classes of Service

1st Class - Preferente.

First Class carriages are more spacious with wider seats. You’ll receive headphones, food, drinks and daily newspapers at no additional cost, as well as a free parking service at the station of origin (except Madrid Atocha) for 24 hours and access to Club Rooms at Renfe stations.

Seats have head rest, fold-down table, foot rest, individual adjustable light and power sockets.

2nd Class - Turista

Turista is the name for Standard Class on Alvia trains. The arrangement of the seats in all the carriages is 2 + 2, with a mixture of normal and table seats. There are usually more Turista seats on an Alvia train than Preferente seats.

Second Class options will provide a comfortable and saving option for you as well. Although it has a little bit less space in general when compared to 1st clas, it´s still a viable option when you want a saving option. You will find comfort in 2nd class specially when travelling in big groups.

Second Class brings you seats with head rest, a fold-down table, foot rest and an individual reading light for your maximum

The bar has a wide selection of meals and sweet snacks available to satisfy everybody's hunger. Eat at the bar or take them back to your seat. Great meals and tasty snacks waits for you on this trip.

Disabled facilities on the train from Santander to Benidorm

All trains are equipped for passengers with reduced mobility

Children

Children under 4 years old travel free on an adult’s lap on board Alvia trains but must carry a Niño gratuito (“Free Child”) ticket. Just make sure you add them to your booking when you book.  Children under 14 receive a 40% discount on a standard price ticket.

Renfe allows children between 6 and 13 years old to travel alone as long as they do it in Preferente class. This service can only be booked at the ticket offices of the stations.

Train from Santander to Benidorm

Animals

Dogs, cats, ferrets or birds weighing less than 10 kg can travel on board Alvia trains with a ticket as long as they do so in a carrier or cage that does not exceed dimensions of 60 x 35 x 35cm. Tickets cost 25% of the price of a Turista Class ticket. In Preferente, animals go for free.

If your pet weighs more than 10 kg, it cannot travel with you.

WiFi

You can connect to the Renfe WiFi network through the PlayRenfe platform. There are two access options:

  • Basic: 20 MB of data and access from 1 device. It is free for passengers in Preferente Class. It costs €2 for all other passengers.
  • Premium: 100 MB of data and access from 3 devices. Free for Preferente class travellers and customers of the +Renfe program. It costs €4 for all other passengers.

Bikes

On Alvia trains, bicycles will be considered hand luggage if they are disassembled and stored in a case with dimensions that do not exceed 180cm when added together.

Those that exceed this measure will be considered “special luggage” and must be disassembled, with the pedals removed and the handlebar turned 90º, and stored in a case of the following maximum dimensions: 120 x 90 x 40 cm.

Luggage

When you travel in Alvia you can take up to 3 suitcases with you. The sum of their weight must be less than 25 kg and the combined dimensions cannot exceed 290cm. Renfe considers baby carriages and instruments smaller than 30 x 120 x 38cm hand luggage.

Enjoy your journey by train from Santander to Benidorm and share your experience in comments below.

OR take a Train from London to Benidorm

N.B. You are required to wear a mask in most transports when you travel.

Links to Passenger Locator forms

Driving Routes, France to Spain

Driving Routes, France to Spain

This page will proved some of the most popular driving routes from France to Spain specifically to Benidorm and the Costa Blanca.

The first thing you need to do if you’re driving to Spain is to get across the English Channel.

There are two ways to get to France from the UK with your car: you can either take the ferry from various ports in the UK or the Channel Tunnel from Folkestone.

Here are a few routes to look into, obviously there are lots of variations so these are just a guide.

Looking for somewhere to stay along the way -  The motorway-side hotel chains in France are excellent for convenience and amenities. They are situated on the outskirts of most of the major towns, have free parking, are fairly clean and cheap.

When driving across the Pyrenees please Do NOT do it this way

Coronavirus Please follow all the rules of the countries you are driving through.

From 30th March - Travel by car from France to Spain. PCR Tests Mandatory!!! Published in the Official Bulletin;

Anyone intending to travel from the UK to Spain should be aware that from 30 March, all overland travellers (excluding children under the age of 6 years old) who wish to enter Spain by road or rail from France, are required to present a negative PCR, TMA or LAMP test taken within 72 hours prior to entry. The following groups are exempt from this requirement:

Haulage workers, Frontier workers, Residents of border regions within a radius of 30 km

Please also remember that you must make sure that you satisfy both the requirements for leaving the UK and those for entering Spain, bearing in mind that they are not the same.

Official guidance about entering France from the UK can be found HERE

Driving Routes, France to Spain

Calais  to Costa Blanca, toll route via Paris -  Arras to Paris to Orleans to Bourges to Clermont Ferrand to Beziers to Perpignan to Barcelona to Tarragona to Valencia to BENIDORM - VIA the AP7 17 hours 34 minutes, 1,823km, 

Driving Routes, France to Spain, Calais to Benidorm

Driving Routes, France to Spain

Calais to Costa Blanca Non Toll Route -  via Rouen - Tours - Poitiers - Angouleme - Bordeaux - Bayonne - into Spain -San Sebastian - Pamplona - Zaragoza - Teruel - Valencia - BENIDORM Scenic route, 21 hours 13 mins, 1,754 km

Driving Routes, France to Spain

Calais to Costa Blanca, this route has some tolls - Calais to Rouen - Orleans - Châteauroux - Limoges - Toulouse - Perpignan - border - Barcelona - Tarragona - Valencia - Direct south, mainly motorway route, some free, generally bypassing all towns & cities, 20 hours 26 minutes, 1,914 km

Driving Routes, France to Spain

Calais  to Costa Blanca, Motorway and tolls - Calais to Reims - Dijon - Lyon - Montpelier - border - Barcelona - Tarragona - Valencia - Benidorm - 19 hours 41 minutes, 1,908 km

A lot of monotonous motorway traveling, and costly due to the tolls, but it is the best route if you want the shortest channel crossing and the simplest, sign-posted, mostly traffic-free, motorway route 

Driving Routes, France to Spain

The routes above can also be taken from Dunkirk which is 47km from Calais

From Caen/Le Harve/St Marlo or Cherbourg to Costa Blanca - Le Mans - Tours - Poitiers - Bordeaux - Langon - Pau -  border - Huesca  - Zaragoza  - Valencia - Benidorm From Caen 17 hours 3 minutes, 1,546 -  From Le Harve 17 hours 42 minutes, 1,582 km, From St Marlo - 17 hours 24 minutes, 1,574 km, From Cherbourg 18 hours 05 minutes 1,652

 Driving Routes, France to Spain, Caen to Benidorm 

Ideas of where to stop overnight with your Caravan/Motorhome in France

Motorhome stopovers, known as Aires are mostly public parking areas and some private land where motorhome and campervan users may stop overnight for free or for a small fee,  New Aires are opening all the time.

Calais - Aire (N50 57 56 E1 50 35)  Flat asphalt near harbour 

Boulogne - Aire (N50 44 44 E1 35 53)  Large paved or gravel area beside D940 north of town. 

Le Touquet - Aire (N50 32 10 E1 35 33)  Flat asphalt at marina, 

Berck-sur-Mer - Aire (N50 23 48 E1 35 50)  Flat gravel with 75 bays at Base Nautique. 

St-Valery-sur-Somme - Aire (N50 10 55 E1 37 44)  Landscaped gravel for 60 vans in quiet area. 

Forges-les-Eaux - Aire (N49 36 22 E1 32 33)  Flat asphalt for 30 vans. 

Pont-de-l’Arche - Aire (N49 18 21 E1 9 27)

Brezolles - Aire (N48 41 26 E1 4 10)

St-Maurice-les-Charency - Municipal Campsite (N48 38 46 E0 45 16)  Small flat grass site in village centre

La Suze-sur-Sarthe - Aire (N47 53 20 E0 1 51)  Flat gravel for 20 vans beside river close to centre

Chalais - Aire (N46 57 36 E0 6 18)

Vivonne - Aire (N46 25 34 E0 15 47)  

Nersac - Aire (N45 37 34 E0 3 0)  

Bordeaux - Village du Lac Camping de Bordeaux.  (N44 53 52 W-0 34 58)  Flat site some hardstands

Sanquinet - Aire (N44 18 38 W-1 5 28)  15 flat gravel pitches.

Biscarrosse - Aire (N44 25 50 W-1 10 5)  Sandy gravel for 30 vans beside lake. 

Mimizan Plage - Aire (N44 12 18 W-1 17 49)  Flat asphalt for 70 vans. 

Capbreton - Aire (N43 38 8 W-1 26 48)  Spacious flat asphalt for 50 vans. 

Anglet - Aire (N43 30 25 W-1 32 1) Sheltered asphalt parking for 50 vans .

Biarritz - Aire (N43 27 56 W-1 34 18)  Slight sloping asphalt for 40 vans. 

Where to stop overnight in Spain with your caravan/Motorhome

Pamplona - Camping Ezcaba.  (N42 51 22 W-1 37 24)  Flat grass site beside N121 

Pamplona - Aire (N42 50 29 W-1 39 58)  In northwest suburb of Berriozar. 

Olite - Camping Ciudad de Olite.  (N42 28 51 W-1 40 42)  

Villafranca - Camping Bardenas.  (N42 15 48 W-1 44 19)  

Zaragoza - Camping Ciudad de Zaragoza (N41 38 15 W-0 56 34)  Municipal site in southwest suburb with flat gravel pitches, 

Morella - Aire (N40 37 28 W-0 5 32)  Flat gravel free parking for 20 vans directly beside the N232. 

Navajas - Camping Altomira (N39 52 29 W-0 30 37)  

Driving in France

Driving Routes, France to Spain, Driving in France, tips

Fuel is more expensive in France and be very careful when it comes to gas stations in France. Avoid at all costs the ones which ask you to authorize your card at the pump before allowing you to put petrol in the car (Total Stations in particular). They will try to block 150 euros on your card and you will have to prove to your bank that you did not spend that much money on petrol, to get it back. If you need to refuel in France, usually BP is a safe choice.

Driving licence laws in France

Visitors must be aged 18 or over and hold a full, valid driving licence to legally drive in France. Riders of mopeds or motorcycles up to 125cc must be aged 16 or over.

Driving licences issued in EU and EEA countries are accepted. International driving permits are recognised but not required.

Things to take when driving in France

Vehicles from the UK can be temporarily imported into France for up to six months in any period of 12 months. In order to stay on the right side of the law, the following documents should always be carried:

  • Full, valid UK driving licence
  • Proof of ID (passport)
  • Motor insurance certificate
  • V5 registration document

Do I need a GB sticker for driving in France?

You will need a GB sticker on your car to drive in France unless it’s equipped with EU number plates, which show the country code in a circle of stars on a blue background.

You will also need a GB sticker or number plate on anything you’re towing.

French 'clean air' stickers (Crit'Air vignettes)

You now need a clean air sticker - called a Crit'Air vignette – displayed on your car when travelling to certain cities.

This six-category sticker system is designed to identify what emissions vehicles produce and are categorised based on your vehicles Euro emissions standard.

Other items for driving in France

You are required by law to carry the following items:

  • Reflective jackets – One for each occupant, these must be kept inside the vehicle within easy reach
  • Warning triangle – Compulsory in every vehicle with four wheels or more
  • Headlamp beam deflectors – Depending on your car, you will either need deflector stickers or have to adjust the beam manually
  • Breathalyser/alcohol test – As of January 2013 the French government announced that the introduction of an €11 fine for not carrying one had been postponed indefinitely. However, law still states that drivers and motorcyclists must have an alcotest ready for use in their vehicle even though no penalty will be imposed if they cannot present one during a police road check
  • Spare bulbs – It is recommended but not mandatory that you carry a spare bulb kit for your vehicle
  • Snow chains – May also be needed in some areas during winter. These areas will be indicated by signs and are compulsory, so it is worth having them in your car if you’re visiting during winter
  • Safety helmets­ – For motorcyclists and their passengers

A French driving kit will have the items you need 

If you’re camping, it may also be worth carrying a Camping Card International to give you additional proof of identity, third party liability insurance, plus discounts at a wide range of campsites and tourist attractions.

French rules of the road

Overtaking and passing in France

As a general rule, drive on the right, overtake on the left. However, where traffic is in lanes, vehicles may overtake on the right of other vehicles in slower moving lanes.

On steep gradients, vehicles travelling downhill must give way to vehicles travelling uphill.

Overtaking trams in motion is normally permitted on the right only; it is permitted on the left in one way streets, if there is not enough space on the right.

Who has priority on French roads?

At intersections, you must give way to vehicles approaching from your right, unless otherwise indicated.

Drivers approaching a roundabout must give way to traffic already on the roundabout.

You must also give way to emergency vehicles with flashing lights and sirens.

Warning of approach

Horns may only be used to give necessary warning to other road users.

Between sunset and sunrise, warning must be given by flashing passing lights. The horn may be used only in cases of absolute necessity.

In all built-up areas, use of the horn is prohibited except in cases of immediate danger.

The use of multi-tone horns, sirens and whistles is prohibited.

Towing in France

On a standard driving licence, motorists are allowed to tow a trailer with a maximum authorised mass of 750kg, including the trailer and its load.

You’re not allowed to tow a motor vehicle except in the event of a breakdown or an accident and if the distance to be travelled is short. This practice is banned on motorways where the assistance of a recovery vehicle must be sought.

It is forbidden to carry people in a moving caravan.

France seat belt law

If seat belts are fitted to your car, they must be worn by both drivers and passengers. The driver has a responsibility to ensure that all passengers under the age of 18 are suitably restrained in the car.

The fine for failing to wear a seat belt is set at €135, reduced to €90 if paid within 15 days. 

Can I use headphones in my car while driving in France?

As of March 2017, it is illegal to drive a car in France using headphones or earphones. Be sure to take off your headphones once you cross the Channel, otherwise you could be fined on the spot.

Traffic lights in France

The international three-colour traffic light system is used France. However, there is no amber light after the red light.

A flashing amber light indicates caution, slow down or proceed but give way to vehicles coming from the right.

A flashing red light indicates no entry. It may also indicate a level crossing or exit used by emergency vehicles.

If a red light is accompanied by a yellow arrow, you may proceed in the direction indicated by the arrow, provided you give way to vehicles travelling in that direction, as well as to pedestrians.

French speed limits

France uses the metric system for all road signs, meaning speed limits and other road signs including distance are indicated using kilometres and metres.

Speed limits are lowered in rain and other adverse weather conditions, while special speed restrictions apply to certain classes of vehicle, including coaches and cars with trailers, so check before travel.

There is a minimum speed limit of 80 km/h on motorways for vehicles travelling in the outside lane

In an emergency

Important: Because French motorways are privately managed, you’re not allowed to request your own assistance company to attend to you if you break down.

If you do break down, you should use the orange emergency telephones that are situated every 2km along main roads and motorways to call the police or the official breakdown service operating in that area.

Alternatively, if no orange telephone is available, you should call the emergency services by dialling 112.

Driving in Spain Tips

Driving Routes, France to Spain, Driving in Spain, tips

You’ll be driving in the opposite direction, don’t forget that you’ll be driving on the right and anti-clockwise around a roundabout. You should give way to the traffic already on the roundabout. 

Carry the correct documents and certain items with you at all times.  

Valid UK driving licenses will be accepted in Spain but you must ensure you have at least third-party cover. You should automatically have this with your UK insurance but it is always best to double check.

Make sure you have the following on you at all times:

  • Valid driving license - You can drive in Spain on your full UK driving licence (provisional licences are not valid for driving in Spain). Driving licence rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020, after that time international driving permits may be required. Check HERE
  • Proof of insurance - If you are taking a vehicle abroad that you’ve hired or leased in the UK, you’ll need a VE103 certificate.
  • Proof of ID
  • Proof of ownership (if applicable)

It’s the law to carry certain items while you’re driving in Spain – you can receive an on-the-spot fine if you don’t. This includes:

  • GB Sticker or Euro plates
  • Warning triangle
  • Reflective jackets (if you breakdown on a motorway, you can be fined for not wearing one)
  • Headlamp converters  
  • Spare wheel (and the tools required to change it)

Know your speed limits

  • Motorways (autopistas) = 75 mph (120 km/h)
  • Dual carriageway (autovia) = 62mph (100 km/h)
  • Other roads = 56mph (90 km/h)
  • Built-up areas = 31mph (50 km/h)

It’s also important to note that there is a minimum speed limit on motorways and dual carriageways of 37mph (60 km/h). In some residential areas, particularly around schools, the speed limit will be 13mph (20 km/h).

Make sure you don’t let your petrol get too low.  Ensure you have plenty of petrol, particularly if you’re going to be driving on more rural roads. You’re unlikely to find any petrol stations open through the night and they’ll potentially be closed for a couple of hours over lunchtime too.

Unleaded = 95 octane – green pumps

Diesel = gasoleo – black pumps

You can only use your lights and horn at certain times

Don’t turn your full beam on in built-up areas and make sure you use dipped headlights in tunnels. In urban areas, you can’t use your horn but if necessary, you can flash your lights. It’s also advisable to flash your lights to warn vehicles you intend to overtake and you may notice cars doing this to you.

Wear your seatbelt and make sure children travel in the back

As in the UK, you must wear your seatbelt both in the front and rear seats. Children under 12 are not allowed to sit in the front of the car, unless it is a rear-facing seat for babies.

All children under 12 (or below 1.35 metres tall) must be in a suitable car seat

Emergencies:

Emergency telephones linked to an SOS telephone network are installed at two km intervals along the motorways.

Useful numbers:

  • 112 - you can dial 112 from anywhere in Europe and an operator will connect you to an emergency service in the country you're visiting. Operators can answer your call in their native language, English, and French

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