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Dec 11

Posts: 1

Bikerboy650 says:

First Ride to Spain


I was wondering if someone could help me, i am planning on taking my bandit 600 to Spain next year to see some relatives but the only thing that i can't seem to get my head around is French motorway tolls and navigating in France. I know which way i am roughly wanting to go and just wanted some advice on if it is a good route or not.
I am planning on going south vie Reims, Dijon and Lyon and maybe even detouring to see the Millau bridge.
When heading back to the Uk i was thinking about the other side of France going north via Toulouse, Bordeaux, Tours and then maybe detouring to see Le Mans. Will these routes be pricey due to the tolls etc?

I have never done anything like this before and to be honest i only have a few years of riding under my belt,
I am also unsure on whether the channel tunnel or a ferry is better.

Any advice you could give me would be very much appreciated.

If you are wondering where i am going from and heading to. I am travelling from Edinburgh to Ontinyent just south of Valencia


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  • Posted 3 years ago (08 December 2011 22:06)

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Mar 10

Posts: 159

big trip!

You should take a look at where you can enter start end towns, select motorcycle and fanny about with the route and it tells you how much the tolls will be.  A quick go on Calais to Valencia apears to take you straight down the middle of France, Celement-Ferrend, Massive Central, the Millau bridge, Bezier then perpignon to Barcelona, to Valencia.   85Euros tolls (65 on another route).

As a personal choice, I go for the Channel Tunnel, but then I do get sea sick!  Coming from Edinborough, you may find getting a rest on the ferry suites you better.

If I may make a suggestion, you could get a ferry to northern Spain, ride over the Pyrenees to you friends.  Then when coming home take the autopista back into france, then go north as you wish.

I've done all the routes you mention.  One thing you don't mention is are you stopping at these places?  I think one thing you may find is that you'll want to go back but next time less motorway, more mountains!

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Mar 09

Posts: 37

dd1965uk says:

Take the ferry!

Personally, i would take the Plymouth to Santander ferry outward, then ride back avoiding most of the motorway.

I'm travelling to Scotland in April. Any good places to stay in Edinburgh?

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Apr 10

Posts: 11

skill says:


Thats a big run for your first but doable, im from the toon  and went to Murcia/Benidorm on my own for my first trip. I agree with  Happylemon and go by ferry to Spain then back through France, that way you get a rest on ferry then a belt to Valencia. Northern Spains very green and good roads, the scenery gets browner the further south you go. It took me 8hrs from Bilboa "508mls" just one toll 17,50 euros.  Best ting ive done and never looked back, cant get enough of european riding now, done 12000mls over two summers. Go for it.

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Feb 11

Posts: 17

GPSRepublic says:

Ride to Spain

Thats a serious long run for your 1st time to Europe. I certainly suggest taking the ferry to Santander also unless you planning on taking the time to explore France a bit. If your thinking of just belting your way through France the motorways and fuel will cost you with 1.78 Euro a letre on the motorway petrol stations. Dont plan more that 2 days in a row on the motorways, you will go mad and hate it.:wink: 

If you get off in Santander you have some fantastic roads through the Pryenees, look up Route des Cols Pyrenees which is a 900km route over the highest passes with the Spanish side having some of the best roads in Europe. Alot also depends on how long you intend to take? Definetly brush up on the driving laws in Spain though as the cops are always looking for money and make sure to bring you vehicle tax registration form as the euro cops can impound your bike if you dont have it, I had to show mine twice this year.

I've ridden from Cherbourg to Alicante the last 5 years running taking various route's. Ive uploaded the trip reports, pics, maps and downloadable GPX files and KML (Google Earth) files on my biker blog with videos of the roads on my YouTube Channel There is also plenty of tips there for riding in France and Spain.

When planning your route I find Google Maps-Get Directions function is  really good, you can print directons out for your tank bag, it's also the most up to date.

Hope this helps, enjoy..

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May 09

Posts: 90

johnrodgers says:

Heading throgh France

The main goal when riding through France is to at all costs avoid Paris. If you choose to take the E route heading S the motorways will take you towards Dijon anyway so you will be safe. Heading N. you need to careful. You are aiming to pass to the W. of Paris but you will find the gravitational pull is strong. Once you get to Rouen there is free motorway all the way to Calais.There is also a lot of free motorway from Orleans to Clement Ferrand and further. (you will have to check but I seem to rember most of the E11 was free)

Whichever route you take N or S.try to go across as much of the Pyrenees as possible, you won't regret it.

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Jul 08

Posts: 4458

ninjachica says:

Ferry to Spain

Although pricey, for a first trip, I would recommend the ferry, then ride through France on the way back up.  You don't want to get bored on your first trip overseas.

Head to Pamplona, then across to Saragossa / Zarragossa, down to Teruel, then hop down to Valencia. There are no tolls on this route, and the scenery is stunning.  From Valencia, pick up the A7 'Por Interior' route to get to Ontinyent.

Seriously, you will pass within 1 mile of my house.  :sunglasses:We live half way between Ontinyent and Xativa.  Give us a shout, and we'll buy you a drink. (inbox me if you like)

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Oct 11

Posts: 21

raindancer says:

First ride to Spain

I would recommend, getting the Ferry to Bilbao, and ride from there. Were in Spain are your friends? I do motorcycle

holidays in Southern Spain, check out if they are anywere near Malaga. it may be better to get a cheap flight to Malaga. I could pick you up at the Airport, and take you to collect a hire bike.



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Aug 02

Posts: 817

steveb says:

Our first European trip

We road from Oxforshire to St Gery  (about 90 km north of Toulouse in a day. Spent the following day off roading. (mate used to run Lot Valley Enduro). Following day riding to Barcellona, we were planning to do this through Andorra but were warned off as there was still a lot of snow around at the time (March). We did a couple of days on track at Alcaraz, Then spent the next day riding to Bilbau for the ferry home.

To be honest I would seriously recommend getting the ferry home from Bilbau or Santander rather than there. The ferry home is serious unwind time, whilst reflecting about your trip over a beer or 12. 

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Mar 12

Posts: 1

livinlos says:

vehicle tax registration form


Heading from Edinburgh down to the South of France at the start of April and probably a loop accross the top of Spain before heading back up to Calais.

Noticed that someone said that its important to take the "vehicle tax registration form" with you. Whats that, the normal reg doc / V5 for the bike or something else entirely?

Also anyone know if its law in France yet for the yellow bibs?


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Jul 08

Posts: 4458

ninjachica says:

Travelling overseas

Yep, you need your V5.
Plus, Insurance document and driving licence (both parts).

You must have these with you at all times.  Don't leave them in your hotel, or wherever you are staying.  I keep mine under the seat, in a plastic bag.

Also, in Spain, the police don't like the paper driving licences, so, if you still have one, keep your passport with you too (for photographic ID).

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