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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello I am currently in the UK with UK and US nationality.

I would like to buy a small property to live in Spain, initially 6-9 months a year, maybe more. My work alllows me to be based anywhere (preferably an hour or 2 to an airport) and depending on 'what's what' with Brexit, I would like to apply for residency.

My main concern is travelling back and forth to the UK by car. Initially I thought the ferries would be the obvious option but they seem expensive and limited on (acceptable) carriage of dogs.

I've been to Barcelona and Marbella and loved everything I saw. Ibiza and Mallorca...not so much although each trip has been very short and some of it work so not enough to really justify my opinion.

I am originally from Miami and would be able to work on my Spanish (I did find Catalan to be a bit confusing in Barcelona). I make friends easily so I am not worried about being right in the middle of things.

I would be grateful for suggestions of places to live that are straightforward to drive to from the Eurotunnel (if that's not possible then I will revert to the ferry plan) and get the most sunshine (I don't care if it's a little chilly in winter if the sun is shining!) The ocean is my happy place, it does not need to be a popular beach, just being by the sea is enough. I'm in my 40's and I would like to be away from the touristy areas but not too rural.

I have read a few posts on the forum and can look up hours of sunshine but it's hard to say if driving is easy (mostly motorway). I am planning a visit this fall so that I can the feel for it and to see if this is even feasible.

Thanks for any info!
 

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The Basque coast between Bilbao and San Sabastian/Donostia is beautiful with some lovely little towns and villages. Not cheap though. It's pretty easy to drive up through France from there, although the cost of tolls and buying fuel at motorway service stations can make it almost as expensive as getting the ferry.

NB if you think Catalán is confusing, try Basque ... though everyone understands Castellano.
 

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You need to do some route planning on www.viamichelin.fr/ A drive from the tunnel to the Med is 750 miles and should take about 11 driving hours; going to the Atlantic will add another hour. Fuel is only half the cost as motorway tolls are almost the same again, about 200 euros in total. Some free roads can be quicker and have less traffic, which is why you need viamichelin.

You also need to get a telepeage token so that you do not have to pay as you go, and therefore have to queue to collect and pay for motorway tickets. Most big exits have a rolling 30 km lane to help you keep moving and are a boon if you are driving a right hand drive car. Look for www.aprr.fr/

A word of warning about French motorways, they become free ring roads around the major towns and thus much busier and often snarled up. Today the queues totalled 500 miles throughout France as people were coming and going from their holidays, but 3 hour queues, around Bordeaux for example, are not unusual during the working week.
 

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The Basque coast between Bilbao and San Sabastian/Donostia is beautiful with some lovely little towns and villages. Not cheap though. It's pretty easy to drive up through France from there, although the cost of tolls and buying fuel at motorway service stations can make it almost as expensive as getting the ferry.

NB if you think Catalán is confusing, try Basque ... though everyone understands Castellano.

Come to Asturias as it's still ( Up North ) and only 2 hours to the Car Ferry in Santander or 2.5 hrs to 3 hrs max to the Bibao
car ferry terminal as well.
Best of all - NO TOLL CHARGES - in Asturias or anywhere along the A8 Motorway to the Car Ferry terminals.

Finally were still hoping to re-enact Dunkirk and Boris Johnson hopes to command those little ships that will be picking up
stranded and forlorn Expats in Northern Spain, if we should fall upon a Hard Brexit in 2019.
 

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Hola

I drive through Eurotunnel twice or three times a year with a dog; I tried the ferry but it is not nice in rough weather. I reckon 50€ a day for fuel, the same for hotels, and 120€ tolls each way -travelling to Seville area.

Davexf
 

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Hola

I drive through Eurotunnel twice or three times a year with a dog; I tried the ferry but it is not nice in rough weather. I reckon 50€ a day for fuel, the same for hotels, and 120€ tolls each way -travelling to Seville area.

Davexf
For me - there's no contest, if I'm taking the car it's the Brittany Car Ferry every time.
So let the ferry take the strain.
Finally I've met many dog loving passengers on the ferries and I've never met any of them who complained about the
provision for pets. Of course they are kept in the Car Ferry kennels for the duration of the voyage which is normal.
Of course there's a charge for the kennel accommodation, £69 I believe on the Car Ferry between the UK &
Spain but it seems reasonable enough for me.
In fact if I was so hung up about accommodation prices on Car Ferries, I'd no doubt be booking the Car Ferry that
boasts Lounge Seats ( for £10 ? ) every time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
For me - there's no contest, if I'm taking the car it's the Brittany Car Ferry every time.
So let the ferry take the strain.
Finally I've met many dog loving passengers on the ferries and I've never met any of them who complained about the
provision for pets. Of course they are kept in the Car Ferry kennels for the duration of the voyage which is normal.
Of course there's a charge for the kennel accommodation, £69 I believe on the Car Ferry between the UK &
Spain but it seems reasonable enough for me.
In fact if I was so hung up about accommodation prices on Car Ferries, I'd no doubt be booking the Car Ferry that
boasts Lounge Seats ( for £10 ? ) every time.
Hello thanks for your reply, very appreciated. I have 2 dogs actually and they are simply 'spoiled rotten' and staying in the car is not an option :). One of them could happily go in the kennels but the other would definitely be in a cabin with me which I don't mind the extra cost. I agree the ferry would be the first choice but I have to be realistic that I am not British thus I do not plan my holidays/journeys 6 mths in advance LOL (sorry had to say it - no offence) and with my job I travel so I need to be able to say OK I have no travel for 2 mths so I am heading to spain...so just having a look at ferry options this summer, it doesn't seem like a last minute option as I could not find any ferries with dog cabins available. I probably could have rang them and maybe they would find something but I just want to be able to get up and go. :) Maybe I should be looking at Devon he he! My heart is set on Spain though so I do appreciate all the input and advice!!!
 

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Brittany Ferries from Santander or Bilbao is a 24-hr crossing. We've done it, and driven the whole way through France, and the time and costs are similar. The long ferry trip allows you to arrive more refreshed, however, as long as you're a good sailor. The Bay of Biscay is infamous for rough seas at certain times of the year.
 

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Hello thanks for your reply, very appreciated. I have 2 dogs actually and they are simply 'spoiled rotten' and staying in the car is not an option :). One of them could happily go in the kennels but the other would definitely be in a cabin with me which I don't mind the extra cost. I agree the ferry would be the first choice but I have to be realistic that I am not British thus I do not plan my holidays/journeys 6 mths in advance LOL (sorry had to say it - no offence) and with my job I travel so I need to be able to say OK I have no travel for 2 mths so I am heading to spain...so just having a look at ferry options this summer, it doesn't seem like a last minute option as I could not find any ferries with dog cabins available. I probably could have rang them and maybe they would find something but I just want to be able to get up and go. :) Maybe I should be looking at Devon he he! My heart is set on Spain though so I do appreciate all the input and advice!!!
Speaking personally, I've never ever once booked the Car Ferry 6 months in advance, in fact most times it's
only a little over a month in advance for me but I reside in Spain and the trips back to the UK are for
family reasons.
So these are not really holiday trips either, finally if your susceptible to sea sickness, Stugeron 15 does wonders
for keeping any queasy sick feelings at bay.
I've had no difficulty booking the Car Ferry online ( even during the summer season ) and although perhaps some
of the cabin accommodation might be sold out, I can still get a berth.

Madliz rightly points out that the long car journey through France, can be really tiresome whereas with the Car
Ferry, you arrive refreshed and relaxed at your destination.
 
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