can you drive from the uk to spain

3 Ways To Reach Spain From The UK Without Flying | Ultimate Guide

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If you are from the UK and you want to plan a trip to Spain, you might want to try travelling without flying. With such a large amount of people who don’t like to fly these days, you can still plan your perfect trip to Spain and avoid air travel completely.

In this article, you will learn all of the alternative modes of travel from the UK to Spain to suit your preferences and budget. Can you drive from the UK to Spain? Can you take a ferry from the UK to Spain? And how can you get a train from the UK to Spain? Let’s get into it…


Travel By Car To Spain

If you have your car and want to drive, yes absolutely you can drive from the UK to Spain for your next Spanish adventure. It could even be a better choice if you plan on going for longer and want to pack a whole car for the journey.

Plus, it could even work out cheaper to travel by car. Of course, the costs of flights can widely vary, but if you’re travelling during peak summertime when the kids of off, you could easily pay upwards of £1000 for flights to Spain for a family of 4.

However, your drive will be much longer than if you were to fly, so you may need to make stopovers, switch drivers every now and then…and of course a fantastic music playlist and something to keep the little ones entertained!


Drive to Folkestone and take the ferry to Calais, France

The most common and quickest way to drive to Spain is through the English Channel. Your route will start from Folkestone, then cross the channel to reach Calais in France via Eurotunnel.

In approximately 35 minutes, you’ll reach France, and you can be on your way to Spain for another 12-hour ride.

The cost of a car on the Eurotunnel is around £120, but you can find tickets as low as £45 on discount sites if you’re lucky enough.

From there on, it is around a 13hr drive to reach Barcelona, 15.5hrs to Madrid, or a little more gruelling 20hrs to Malaga on the Costa del Sol. But still, if you don’t mind driving or quite like the adventure of making a couple of stopovers on route, then this option could totally be for you.

The 2,000km drive from Calais to Malaga will set you back at around £250. That’s including the cost of fuel and the tolls you might need to take to get down. Obviously, this will be less if you’re only visiting the north of Spain.

driving from uk to spain map


Ferry To Spain From The UK

If travel by sea is more your thing, and soaking up the view from aboard a ferry, then you’ll be pleased to know this is also totally possible. There are 3 ferry routes operating from UK to Spain, getting you safely to your destination with the tranquillity of the sound of the sea.

Your are probably wondering which ferries go from UK to Spain. The 3 routes are:

  1. Plymouth – Santander
  2. Portsmouth – Santander
  3. Portsmouth – Bilboa

Each ferry company operates 2 weekly crossings How long is the ferry from the UK to Spain? We’ll, it can take from 9hrs up to 20hrs depending on route and company. Not bad going if you like an easy, stress-free mode of transport. You can compare and book your tickets at Direct Ferries.

The route from Portsmouth to Santander or Bilbao will take 20 to 33 hours, with Brittany Ferries offering two trips every week. It can be pretty expensive, but some sites offer discounts so be sure to check around

You’ll pay at least £170 per head; it can go lower or higher for a round-trip ticket depending on when you booked your trip and how heavy your luggage is.

Meanwhile, it will cost £85.00 for a one-way trip from the UK to Spain using the Plymouth to Santander route for those who live near Plymouth and takes around 20hrs. The travel time is a lot shorter travelling from Portsmouth though, arriving to Spain in under 10 hours

Brittany Ferries offers all routes, with two available trips on each route every week.

can you take a ferry to spain from the uk


Train Travel From UK To Spain

Can you get a train from the UK to Spain? Yes, absolutely you can, and its our favourite way to travel. Plus, its also the best for the environment. Problem is, it isn’t always cheap so shop around

Train travel from the UK to Spain is super easy. You can catch a train from the UK to Spain without any issues since there are several train options from London using the Eurostar. It is a super traditional way to travel, and it’s definitely a lot of fun.


London to Barcelona by Train

If you don’t have a car or don’t want to ride the ferry because you think it’s a bit long and expensive, perhaps you can try riding a train.

The most common train route that people use to travel from the UK to Spain is the London-Barcelona. You’ll ride the train from London that will bring you to Paris, which starts at £70.

From Paris Gare de Lyon, you will ride the train again and stop at Barcelona, Figueres, or Girona.

Overall, the trip will last about nine to ten hours; two to three hours from London to Paris, while seven hours for Paris to Spain.


can you take a train from uk to spain


Wrapping Up

Regardless of whether you’re going to drive your car, board a ferry, or catch the train, there are enough travel options if you want to get from the UK to Spain whilst keeping your legs firmly on the ground (or the sea…).

Enjoy the adventure these alternative modes of transport offer and make the most out of your trip, however you choose to go

Also, pro-tip…when buying tickets, book in advance because purchasing tickets on the same day of your departure or shortly before will be considerably more expensive!







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