Driving in Spain Including Back Roads

May 28th, 2011, 04:35 PM
  #1  
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Driving in Spain Including Back Roads

We want to know if we're crazy to plan 3 weeks driving in Spain with a good deal of backroad driving. To preface our concerns, we have driven in Northern Italy and had a perfectly fine experience, but many books we've read about Spain have heavy emphasis on safety. Are there really roving bands of thieves & thugs ready to part us from our belongings and corruption running rampant in small towns? We are planning on driving the A4 south from Madrid toward Sevilla, Ronda & hiking hill trails, A7 up the eastern coast to Banyeres de Meriola & more hiking trails, pass thru Valencia to a nature drive & small villages, stay outside Barcelona, visit wetlands & hike hills of Montsant and then work our way back to Madrid. You get the picture, we hope, of us looking at a map in our dining room with no real life experience in Spain. Can anyone tell us if this trip is even feasible?
DOUGCAROL is offline  
May 28th, 2011, 05:43 PM
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I have driven in Spain several times. I never had any issues
CarolA is offline  
May 28th, 2011, 07:02 PM
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Definitely. Spain is a country where any bullfighter will try to kill you just because you are a tourist. Bulls run freely on the streets while bands of gansters keep the population of small towns under siege and corruption is so huge that it´s better to inform the US Army so they can escort you during your trip.

C´mon...
mikelg is online now  
May 28th, 2011, 07:03 PM
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Oh, I just forgot. We kill tourists of any nationality, no special hate for Americans. But always with a smile on our face, we like to feel people comfortable, even when we rob or assassinate them.
mikelg is online now  
May 28th, 2011, 08:02 PM
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Are there really roving bands of thieves & thugs ready to part us from our belongings and corruption running rampant in small towns?

Where did you get this stuff?

But for your information the thieves in small towns are very discerning. They will take the Rolrxes but leave the Timexes, take the Tumi but leave the American Tourister, etc, etc.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
May 28th, 2011, 08:48 PM
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Really? Which books did you read? Or maybe you're confusing Spain with Mexico, or even Southern California?
Robert2533 is offline  
May 28th, 2011, 09:19 PM
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Be sure to visit the Bandit Museum in Ronda. Here you get the stories of the legendary and romantic "bandoleros":
http://www.spanish-fiestas.com/ronda/bandit-museum.htm
http://my.andalucia.com/articles/ban...turn-andalucia
http://www.museobandolero.com/museum.htm
kimhe is offline  
May 29th, 2011, 12:06 AM
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'many books we've read about Spain have heavy emphasis on safety. Are there really roving bands of thieves & thugs ready to part us from our belongings and corruption running rampant in small towns' - Name and shame these books (or are they antiques).
WomBatt is offline  
May 29th, 2011, 12:30 AM
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Yes there ARE bands of thieves.. sometimes on highways and definitely in large cities.. but in the small towns I would not be too concerned. But do NOT leave anything visible in the car no matter where. Enjoy the back roads. You will have a wonderful time.
lincasanova is offline  
May 29th, 2011, 07:59 AM
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We do admit to a bit of silly exaggeration about safety, but did find the concerns in well known guide books: Steve's Spain 2011 pages 754-755 and Frommer's Spain 2011 pages 74-75. We are not afraid of our own shadows and do appreciate hearing from recent travelers. We'd love input on the route we have tentatively planned improvements? suggestions?
DOUGCAROL is offline  
May 29th, 2011, 08:15 AM
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Just be sure to stick to the speed limits. Otherwise, you may return home only to get a very expensive ticket, your speed recorded by cameras !
Bedar is offline  
May 29th, 2011, 09:07 AM
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There used to be a "Peruvian gang" operating on the highway between the French border (La Junquera) and Barcelona.
The gang was dismantled a few years ago.
Pvoyageuse is offline  
May 29th, 2011, 01:32 PM
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The guadia Civil have apparently been told that they must make us their cut wages by issuing fines, so be careful on speed limits which have changed from 120km to 110 on motorways and if you do get a fine pay it quickly as you will get a reduction. The backroads are great or exploring and I have always felt very safe
AndalucianSunshine is offline  
May 30th, 2011, 07:30 AM
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I am a local and never had any issue driving along back roads. Well, on a certain occasion I had to stop for a herd of goats (and shepherd) to cross...
josele is offline  
May 30th, 2011, 08:02 AM
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Another vote for no issues at all.
SloJan2 is offline  
May 30th, 2011, 08:14 AM
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Some close friends drive around in the most remote backroad areas of Andalucía a couple of weeks every year, and this would be the least of their concerns. Not that the concerns are so many, but they are more of a "why isn't this road on any map and why does it all of a sudden end" and "will we have to sleep in the car if we go on to this next little village tonight"-kind.
kimhe is offline  
May 30th, 2011, 08:41 AM
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Last October we drove from Barcelona along the Costa Brava to Cadaques, then to Girona, then spent a day driving through the eastern Pyrenees & had no trouble whatsoever. We did meet up with a long motorcade of motorcyclists in the Pyrenees, so we just had to drive slowly & with caution to avoid an accident. We never felt in danger anywhere on this trip. You will be fine.
Kwoo is offline  
May 30th, 2011, 08:51 AM
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Most of my recent trip was on trains, but I did drive from Sevilla to Zafra and Mérida and then on to Madrid. The only difficulty I had was that I suddenly found myself in Madrid during rush hour. What a nightmare! However, it wasn't as bad as if I'd been in Los Angeles at any time between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
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May 30th, 2011, 08:53 AM
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We have driven in many regions of Spain and never had a problem. My wife and her sister walked the Camino 500 miles across Northern Spain, often on remote roads in remote areas and never even heard a story of such.
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May 30th, 2011, 09:07 AM
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DougCarol:
I suppose this is now a broken record. I have driven thousands of kms. in Spain and Portugal as well as every country in continental Europe. Never a problem that you have described. The backroads are my favorites everywhere (including USA)...some anxious moments in Romania regarding available petrol and miltary roadblocks during Ceausescu's regime...be aware of Franco hiding in the bush (he's alive, y'know)....Go and drive with care and heed speed limits..enjoyablity is yours to have! May the Motor Gods watch over you.
stu
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