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England to Spain via France

Celebrating our 25th next year we plan to go to Europe. The one sure plan is that we will land in London and spend a few days visiting my family and have the idea of crossing The Channel and driving up to Spain. Our timeline is 2 weeks for France and Spain but where we should visit is the stumbling block. We are not beach people but enjoy food, wine and local culture but having said that don't want to be stuck in Cities the whole time. Córdoba interests me as does, white towns and Seville. any suggestions or recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks:) P.S don't need any travel advice on the UK being English and visiting several times a year but very out of touch on Europe.

Posted by
21717 posts

First, I would call it driving down to Spain since it is south of England but that is just my preference. Given the distances involved if you flew open jaw. For example - into London and home from Malaga. Would be cheaper and a time saver. Without a better plan at the moment it could make for sense to use the train (or budget airlines) for the longer distance and rent a car locally if you want to spend some time in the country side. Since you have time, hit your local library and check out all the DVD travel logs, guidebooks, etc. and spend some time viewing the possibilities that appeal to you. You need to narrow what interests you before anyone can respond with anything other than shotgun blast.

Posted by
4125 posts

Hi Laurcus. A lot depends on what you like to see and do and also when you will be traveling. Assuming you take the train to Paris or a boat to Normandy or Brittany, there enough to see between northern France and the border with Spain that you will have to pick and choose if you are going to have any time left for Spain itself.

If you like driving you might find the Michelin green guides helpful, they are very automobile oriented. Nonetheless the fast trains in both countries are so much quicker than driving that you might consider them for some legs of your trip, for instance to get to Cordoba from, say, Barcelona (if you go that way).

The trains also give you the option of multiple paths to Spain: if you are interested in Provence, for instance, you can travel there quickly on the train (and then explore and drive west towards Spain). You'd spend a lot of time driving to Provence and then to Spain.

Most car-rental companies charge a pretty stiff fee for drop off in a second country. Since an efficient itinerary would be open jaw, you might consider renting twice, once in France and once in Spain. There generally isn't a drop-off charge within the same country.

This doesn't tell you where to go, but I hope gives you a sense of some of the logistical considerations that should inform your planning. Have a great trip!

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you both for your replies and yes, it would be driving down! I think it is good advice to use rail links or even narrow it down to one other European country other than the UK.

Posted by
16883 posts

If you're not excited about anything specific in France, then Spain has plenty to offer for two weeks, and I'd even say that it needs two weeks. Flights from London can be cheap to many Spanish destinations, such as Bilbao and San Sebastian in the north, as well as the bigger cities and more options further south; see www.skyscanner.com.