Driving from Valencia to Santander

4 Replies

Hi,         Looking for advice.Later this year we will be driving from near Valencia to the Ferry port at Santander. As you will be aware there are two possible routes of similar distance and time. The one I fancy taking is via Madrid-Burgos. This route certainly appears to save on the cost of Tolls compared to the other route via Zaragosa. Which route would you reccomend and any useful tips. Many thanks in advance for your help.


yorkie2-406437 1427218874

I drove up from Valencia last week,do it every year on my way to france,AP7,then AP23 to Zaragoza,then AP68,brilliant road,drive miles with very little traffic and they haven't started charging tolls yet once off the AP7.

peter butterworth 1427316415

Hi yorkie2.


Many thanks for your info. Do you know when they will be charging for the tolls.We will be making our trip in June .

Daniel H-585513 1427449692

My parents-in-law live in Santander so I've driven it  quite a number of times in the last 8 years when the flights have been too expensive or inaccessible.

I've taken both routes you describe (and all the varying ones from Burgos to Santander).

We usually do it in one day and I go via Madrid with my only toll being about €1.75 just on the approach to the capital (optional). Then up to Burgos, at which point a decision has to be made. In my opinion at that point the best route is west to Reinosa and then back in to Santander. However if you're in no hurry and fancy some scenery take the direct route north across the mountains (not recommended if you any see clouds in the distance - its perilous up there if it starts pouring down). If you go east from Burgos you'll end up on the route from Zaragoza to Burgos and have to pay the toll on the 68 to Bilbao.

The route we took in January was via Zaragoza. I did it over two days rather than steaming 10 hours across the country and stopped overnight Zaragoza. Up to Valencia, across to Teruel and then over to Logrono. If at this point you're tempted to take the N road to avoid the toll to Logrono, don't bother. It's horrendous. On the way back I took the toll road and hung the cost (the traffic and speed limits were that bad on the 232!). Depending on how long you're on the AP-68 determines your toll. I remember some 6 years ago coming from Burgos to Bilbao that way and getting hit with a €40+ demand at the machine. As I recall it was nowhere near this amount when I took the toll road for its entire length from Bilbao to Zaragoza two months ago. Maybe the charge is seasonal, I dunno.

Also, if you go via Bilbao, mind the speed cameras. There's no end of them and some are situated at the end of slip roads and sneaky places like that. Stay in the flow of traffic and don't be tempted to go above the ridiculously low limit that they enforce.

So, in short, if you're doing it in a day I personally would go Madrid, Burgos, Reinosa. If you've got a bit of time and don't mind tolls, go via Zaragoza. Also recommend Zaragoza for a place to stay as it's a lovely city with a few Roman remains to look around. The wife and I really enjoyed the Roman Forum and the amphitheatre and also the trip up to the top of the basilica in the glass lift.

And we ate here because it looked nice (and it was) http://www.restaurantelaspalomas.com/v4/index.php/en/

Buen viaje!

peter butterworth 1427484074

Daniel H,

Thank you so much for all of your useful information.I will definitely try the route you suggested.

Regards, Peter

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