Driving to Andalusia

We’ve driven to Orgiva from the UK twice now and I thought it might be useful to pass on a couple of tips..

We use Brittany Ferries, from Portsmouth to Bilbao. The earlier you book the cheaper it is, though nothing like the discounts you get with air travel. There are two services, one stopping off in France en route, the other direct. The service stopping in France leaves at about 10.30pm and gets in 36 hours later, so you’ll spend two nights on the ferry, but will arrive refreshed in time for the eight hour drive to Orgiva.

Once on the ferry, you’re a captive audience and I’m afraid the prices reflect this. Brittany Ferries run a membership scheme which is well worth it if you use the service more than a couple of times a year – substantial discounts on food and wine. Many people bring there own food and drink and save themselves a small fortune! The ferries advertise internet connection, but my experience has been dismal – dropped connections, pages taking several minutes to load etc. There is a good reason for this –  it’s a satellite connection shared by every cellphone, tablet and laptop on the vessel!

The drive down to Orgiva is excellent – the roads are fantastic and virtually empty compared to UK traffic. One tip – if your car has automatic lights, don’t forget  to switch full beam on when you go through tunnels – I got flashed repeatedly by a very nice Guardia Civil as the tunnel wasn’t dark enough to trigger the automatic change from sidelight to full beam. It’s the law.

You drive a straight line on the main route south, through Madrid (on a motorway) towards Cordoba, then towards Granada and on to Lanjeron and Orgiva. One piece of advice – roads joining the motorway leave little room for overtaking and although the motorway has right of way, I’ve got used to moving into the middle lane to avoid any misunderstanding!

This trip we stopped off once for a coffee  in La Mancha and arrived in Orgiva at 5:30pm in plenty of time for the shops which stay open till 8pm. A really stress free way to get here and if you have time, infinitely preferable to flying.


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