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Trip to Spain - Joe 90
I am going on a trip to Malaga via Bilbao in March; however, the diesel car I will be going in has only done about 2,000 miles, any advice on maximising engine life? Any thought on the extended use of cruise control?

Also if you have any tips, ideas etc about where to stay, sites to see places to avoid etc I would be grateful.
Trip to Spain - oldtoffee

Ideal journey for the car ? long runs with the engine and oil warm ? cruising at 70-80 isn?t going to stress the engine. Frequently varying the speed/revs a bit will help. Have a look at number 13 in HJs FAQs for excellent advice on how to run a diesel engine in. If you?re going to use cruise control don?t let the car sit at the same speed for long periods.

Madrid would be my advice for a visit ? its 250 miles from Bilbao leaving you 350 on day 2. Enthralling city. Or if you fancy cracking 500 miles on day one Cordoba is fascinating (Roman and Muslim architecture). Or, Granada (Alhambra palace) but then you're only a skip and a jump from Malaga so probably too far but if you get the chance, IMO a day out not to be missed.

Trip to Spain - DavidVince
Doing it myself, bilbao in one day from midlands can be done, in a new diesel should be a doddle. Have fun!
Trip to Spain - PhilW
\"bilbao in one day from midlands can be done\"

Concorde still flying?
That\'s a long way in a day, and you won\'t see much of France. Course, if time is limited then it may be necessary but if you have time take it easier and sample some of France on the way - do so. Places to stay? - try Logis de France website and book. Small French hotels, family run, en suite (double)rooms from about £25 a night. Often excellent local food/wine at reasonable prices also.
Otherwise lots of \"motel\" chains - prices from about £20 (Formula 1) to £40 a night (Ibis)Also, B&B, Kyriad, etc. All are bookable on the web. Better ones have en suite, bar and restaurant with standard but good value meals.
Places to visit on the way - depends on your route - down west (coast)route (Calais, Rouen, Tours/Nantes, Bordeaux, Biarritz) or \"east\" via Lyon (long way round but all motorway) or even down the middle via Paris, Cahors Toulouse(?)
I\'d prefer the west route but wouldn\'t try it in a day!
some very picturesque towns, forests, Loire Valley chateaux, ports (La Rochelle), islands (ile de Re, Noirmoutier, spectacular coasts, from the edges of Brittany (sandy/rocky coves) to Les Landes (100 miles of forest and sand dunes and surfing)and resorts (La Baule, Biarritz, Arcachon Basin). Wine areas (Loire, Cognac, Bordeaux)And that\'s all before you get anywhere near Bilbao!!
Can I come with you?
Trip to Spain - PhilW
Oops!! Should have read the post a bit more carefully shouldn't I ????????!!!!
Where's the "delete" button. Good job you can't see my red face.
Apologies for my stupidity!
Trip to Spain - stokie
Phil, don't worry about it, your French places sound more appealing than the Bay of Biscay
Trip to Spain - El Hacko
perhaps cheaper, certainly quicker and more relaxing to fly (cheap route from both Stansted and Gatwick) to Bilbao and hire a car - unless you want to see the glorious French countryside fly by.
Trip to Spain - Honestjohn
Visit Segovia, Burgos. Consider staying at Chinchon, south of Mardid near Aranjeuz. Wonderful medieval town the town square of which doubles as a plaza de toros in the summer.

Trip to Spain - Mapmaker
Leon, Santiago, Haro (where Rioja comes from), Seville. My favourite part of the world outside the UK, may I come too?

This could be the start of Honest John's coach tours... But I'd fly to Jerez de la Frontera, taste the sherry and then go on if I really wanted to go to Malaga.
Trip to Spain - helicopter
Got to be one of my favourites too -

The Alhambra Palace in Granada is a must - Seville and Jerez both worth a visit but if you visit the bodegas in Jerez I suggest that you should stay the night before driving anywhere as the bodega end of tour 'dispensing 'is very liberal, ie help yourself.

You'll be in no fit state to drive.

If you are in that area try Barbati or Chipiona on the Costa de la Luz .

In the harbour at Barbati is a fishermans cafe where you can get fresh tuna steaks , prawns 'pil pil ' and calamari straight from the sea to plate for around a fiver. The taste is out of this world.

Try the road from Algeciras to Ronda ( magnificent mountain views ) and view the gorge and the plaza de toros in Ronda.

Gib is worth a visit too if you get short of bacon or marmite but the border queues can be horrendous.

Enjoy your trip .
Trip to Spain - scotty
I did some touring in Spain 18 months ago. Returned via Bilbao to Portsmouth on P&O - is that how you're getting to Bilbao.

If it is, I can't say I enjoyed the ferry much - but take your binoculars because what I did like was watching out for whales and dolphins in the Bay of Biscay - I only saw the water spouts but SWMBO saw much more. Tuna feeding was cool too. Quite the thing to do on the ferry.

As mentioned above Madrid is good to visit - but perhaps more manageable for a visit as break a from travelling (and well worth it) is Toledo just south of Madrid.

Enjoy your trip!
Trip to Spain - malteser
"Try the road from Algeciras to Ronda (magnificent mountain views) and view the gorge and the plaza de toros in Ronda."

Be aware that the road from Algeciras to Ronda is "cortado" for road works about 10 km from Gaucin, There IS a diversion, which takes one, via a minor road, through some really beautiful countryside, down into a valley with orange groves and thence to Ronda.
We did this trip, although not starting from Algeciras as we are somewhat closer to Gaucin, about a fortnight ago. Ronda is one of our favourite local trips for a nice day out! At weekends beware the boy racers on powerful bikes who use the road from Ronda to San Pedro,(where you pick up the N340 for Malaga), as a TT circuit!

Last August we drove all the way from home,(on the Costa del Sol), to Sheffield, via Madrid, San Sebastian, Paris & Calais. We did the trip in three days, staying overnight just south of Madrid and then Paris. One could do Bilbao to Malaga in one day if there are two drivers.
Trip to Spain - Marcos{P}
Go to Madrid, it's like no other city. I have just bought a new flat there so I will hopefully be spending more time there over the next few years. Fabulous city and if like me you like nightlife then your sorted. You can make London to San Sebastian in a day quite happily as I have done on many occasions but if you try for Madrid 1100mls it takes about 15-20 hrs of driving so can be done in a stint but is hard work. I've done it this way a few times but it is much better to take it easy and stop a couple of nights.
BTW Penafiel, about 2hrs north of Madrid is well worth a visit for the wine (Protos Ribera Del Duero) and the best lamb restaurant in the world.
Good luck whichever way you choose.
Trip to Spain - Pugugly {P}
Superb roads in France (if believe JC paid for by the long suffering British Taxpayer) I am biased but superb driving country. Look out for eccentric cambers !
Trip to Spain - Pugugly {P}
For France read Spain. Geography software not loaded tonight....
48 hours so far this week in work !
Trip to Spain - malteser
May I also mention in Madrid - visit the Palacio Real, (The Royal Palace) - the Armoury in particular is superb. A little further out, see the monument to the Civil War,The Valley of the Fallen, built by Franco (he's buried there). It is a huge cathedral tunnelled into the side of a hill and surmounted by a HUGE stone cross. You really should also take the time to visit the Escorial monastery, which was the summer retreat of the Spanish Royals. There is there, amongst other delights, a massive underground burial chamber richly decorated, which holds the caskets of Spanish Monarchs who ruled many,many years ago.
Trip to Spain - Marcos{P}
Nice choice Malteser. I am now going to go and visit the Escorial Monastry when I'm there in a couple of weeks. Last time I went I was about 8 and I can still remember the place.
Trip to Spain - malteser
Marcus, I am sure you will enjoy the Escorial again
We keep on promising ourselves another trip to Madrid!
I was also hugely impressed by the Mesquite in Cordoba. For those of you who don't know it - it was, probably the largest mosque in Spain during the reign of the Moors. When they were defeated the Christian victors built a Cathedral INSIDE the mosque! WOW!
Trip to Spain - Joe 90
thanks for all your replies, keep them coming,we cannot fly for medical reasons.

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