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Trip to Andalucia


As we plan for our rescheduled Colletts Mountain Holidays trip to Andalucia for 9th - 16th October 2021 we are still in lockdown. Whether or not we will be able to fly to Málaga in October is a key question; but the second question is whether we will want to fly until Covid is well behind us. Hence these notes are aimed at exploring the possibility of driving to Málaga.

Option 1. London Málaga to via Eurotunnel

This is a journey of 1,300 miles taking 19 hours 51 minutes to drive through France and Spain from Calais



How to split up the drive from Calais to Canillas de Albaida? We drive to Cornwall frequently which is 345 miles and takes just under 6 hours; if driving through France and Spain to Canillas de Albaida we would not want to drive for more than 350 miles or 6 hours in any one day. This journey lends itself to 4 stages from Calais.

Stage From To Miles Time
1 Calais Tours 323 4H49
2 Tours Bayonne 332 4H50
3 Bayonne Madrid 314 4H58
4 Madrid Canillas de Abaida 334 5H32

Stage 1 Calais to Tours

Stage 2 Tours to Bayonne

Stage 3 Bayonne to Madrid


Stage 4 Madrid to Canillas de Albaida

Option 2. Ferry to Bilbao and then drive Bilbao to Málaga
(Note: There is an alternative Portsmouth - Santander)

This is a journey of 217 miles from London to Portsmouth and 614 miles from Bilbao to Málaga. London to Portsmouth is 3 hours 54 minutes driving; Bilbao to Málaga is 9 hours 38 minutes driving. Sue and I have done the Portsmouth-Bilbao ferry twice and found it very convenient. They have a very good French restaurant on board for the evening meal and then you can retire to a cabin for a good sleep, ready for disembarkation the next day.

The above shows Plymouth - Santander route but Portsmouth-Bilbao is similar.

The downward and return journey could be made into a holiday in itself by breaking the journey several times and staying at The Parador Group hotels. The chart below shows major towns and tourist spots en route as possible break points.





From the above and the Brittany Ferries website it is possible to build a tentative schedule, matching the ferry timetable with 3 to 4 days travelling in Spain.

Tentative Schedule


Date From To Miles Time Accommodation
4th Oct
Portsmouth 17-00 hrs 23hrs 30 min     Ferry
5th Oct

Arrive Bilbao 17-30 hrs
Drive to Lerma.

121 1H56 Parador de Lerma
6th Oct


141 2H38 Parador de Ávila
7th Oct
Day trip to Segovia (41 M 52 mins each way) 82 1H44 Parador de Ávila
8th Oct
Ávila Toledo 110 1H48 Parador de Toledo
9th Oct
Toledo Canillas de Albaida 301 4H56 Colletts
Colletts Andalucia Programme
16th Oct
Canillas de Albaida Toledo 301 4H56 Parador de Toledo

17th Oct

Toledo Salamanca 177 2H46 Parador de Salamanca
Salamanca Burgos 151 2H20  
19th Oct
Burgos Bilbao 20-30 hrs (25 hrs) 109 1H44 Ferry
20th Oct
  Portsmouth 20-30 hrs      



Tuesday 5th October 2021 - Driving Time 121 miles 1H56

Arrive Bilbao Ferry Terminal at 17-30 hrs

Drive to Lerma, South of Burgos 121 miles 1H56


Parador de Lerma


Hotel: Parador de Lerma, Plaza Mayor, 1 09340 Lerma Burgos,+34 947177110

The amazing ducal palace at Lerma, now a Parador, is located in the upper part of the city. The hotel features a central courtyard surrounded by lovely columned galleries. The elegant majesty of this palace from the era of the Hapsburgs and its lovely interiors, with beautifully designed lighting and décor, will make your stay an unforgettable experience.

The Plaza Mayor (Main Square) is opposite the main façade of the palace. At night, the lights of the Parador make it look even more magnificent and stately. The medieval quarter, Arch, Cárcel Bridge, San Blas Convent, Santo Domingo Monastery, Pasadizo del Duque (Duke's Passage) and former collegiate church of San Pedro are just some of the treasures you won't want to miss.




Wednesday 6th October to Ávila - Driving for 141 miles taking 2H38



Ávila  is a city of Spain located in the autonomous community of Castile and León. It is the capital and most populated municipality of the Province of Ávila.

It lies on the right bank of the Adaja river. Located more than 1,130 m above sea level, the city is the highest provincial capital in Spain.

Distinctly known by its medieval walls, Ávila is sometimes called the Town of Stones and Saints, and it claims that it is one of the towns with the highest number of Romanesque and Gothic churches per capita in Spain. It has complete and prominent medieval town walls, built in the Romanesque style; writer José Martínez Ruiz, in his book El alma castellana ("The Castilian Soul"), described it as "perhaps the most 16th-century town in Spain". The town is also known as Ávila de los CaballerosÁvila del Rey and Ávila de los Leales ("Ávila of the knights", "Ávila of the king", "Ávila of the loyal ones"), each of these epithets being present in the town standard.


Parador de Ávila

Ávila City Walls

Ávila Cathedral


Thursday 7th October Day trip to Segovia - Driving Time (Return) 82 miles 1H44


Segovia Cathedral


Friday 8th October Avila to Toledo - Driving Time 110 miles 1H48



Parador de Toledo



Toledo Alcazar



Saturday 9th Toledo to Canillas de Albaida - Driving Time 301 miles 4H 56



Saturday 16th October Canillas de Albaida to Toledo - Driving Time 301 miles 4H 56


Sunday 17th October Toledo to Salamanca - Driving Time 177 miles 2H46


Parador de Salamanca


Old and New Cathedrals

Plaza Mayor

Casa de las Conchas

The Roman bridge from 89 AD, the era of Emperor Traianus. It was an important part of the
Roman Silver Route, because it connected Merida to Astorga. Only the first 15 arches
closest to the city are original. All the other arches were destroyed in a flood of 1626



Monday 18th October 2021 Salamanca to Burgos - Driving Time 151 miles 2H20



Burgos Cathedral


Tuesday 19th October Burgos to Bilbao - Driving Time 109 miles 1H44