We booked a return crossing with Brittany Ferries from Poole to Cherbourg, but we ended up returning from Santander because we ran out of oil in the middle of nowhere. :-((
We began our trip to Portugal by landing in Cherbourg, we spent two weeks meandering down towards the Pyrenees where we could hop over into Spain. Our plan was to stay two nights in Spain but the first night was very noisy which wasn't a good start for Spain and the second location we were not happy with at all, so we kept going and after a long drive we arrived in Breganca at 20:15 in the dark. Spain had gone right down in our estimation and the return trip really put the lid on Spain (more here).
We entered Portugal at Breganca, a medium sized town near the Spanish border. We were meeting our friends here, as they took the ferry to Santander missing France altogether. We stayed on an Aire just below the Castle.
Heading south on the A24
From Breganca we drove down to Vila Velha Da Rodao and stayed on an nice Aire. Here we met a Belgian man who was travelling by himself, he came and joined us (uninvited) and it was quite obvious before to long why he was by himself. Unfortunately we met him again in Sagres on another Aire.
Our next stop was in Evoramonte on a campsite, the ladies used the washing machine and then went for a swim in the pool.
We made our way down to Sagres and stopped at Odeceixe, Pria da Bordeira, and Carrapateira on the way, staying more than one night at most of them. Our first night in Sagres was on another campsite where once again the washing machines were needed. Washing done we moved nearer the beach, and we all went in the sea for a swim the next day. Also tried to catch fish but didn't have any luck. Other places we stayed at are Salema and Ingrena before making our way back north.
September - France First
We took the ferry from Poole to Cherbourg as we did the year before, this time heading towards the east. We were meeting our friends at Lake Annecy in about 10 days time. Our first night was on an Aire at Juvigne, a lovely village with flowers blooming all along the streets.
Our second night in France was at Le Beauhernais, camping on another Aire by a lake. We walked around the lake after dinner.
We had another oil problem which held us up for a few days but we eventually got it sorted.
Moving down through France the weather took control of our plans and we were forced into heading south much sooner than we wanted too. We didn't meet our friends at Lake Annercy but headed south and to the Ardeche Gorge
If you haven't seen this gorge then you are missing a beautiful spot. The road goes up high and looks down on the gorge, it will take the best part of a day just driving around looking at all the vantage points.
Many people see the gorge from ground level, or boat level to be precise. Thousands of canoe's go down the river every day in the summer months
Tarn Gorge is another "must see" place, we camped on the side of the river one night and sat eating our dinner on the river bed. In the above image we are sitting on our new chairs that cost us big time.
We met up with our friends on the French / Spanish border and headed towards Portugal. We used the toll roads this time and it made lite work of the miles. We spent one night in Spain on an aire before arriving in northern Portugal. I wanted to stop at Breganca which was our usual stopping place, but our friends wanted to try somewhere new. It wasn't somewhere we would go back too.
Olive Grove Camping
Overlooking a river to the left, it doesn't get much better
The day I took the above image, England lost to Wales in the world cup, we watched it in the bar on the campsite
Back in England I did a lot of research on river beaches but until this year had only ever seen one, and that was by the sea
If you don't live near the sea in Portugal and you would like to go for a swim, you find a River Beach.