Driving Paris to Madrid and return

Mar 15th, 2006, 05:42 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Driving Paris to Madrid and return

We are flying into Paris at the end of April then driving to Madrid. We want to get there quickly, but I expect it will take 2 full days of driving. Is that doable? Any suggestions on route and overnight point?
We then have a week to return. Is it possible to swing through the western edge of Italy and back to Paris, or are we pushing our luck, timewise? It doesn't look far, but do we have to deal with traveling through/close to the mountains?
tcwood is offline  
Mar 15th, 2006, 09:12 PM
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It is a long way from Paris to Madrid by car so why not fly into Madrid than drive back to Paris. Open jaw it. I would not recommend wasting two days driving on the rather boring autoroutes. Remember there are tolls and petrol is expensive. Renting a car 1 way is more expensive than round trip rental but I rather doubt that the loss of two days and the costs of gas and tolls would be worth it for you. This will give you more like 9 days to drive from Madrid to Paris unless you plan on visiting Madrid for a few days in which case you have less time for your Madrid to Paris drive. A stop in Madrid in your original plan would give you even less time for your drive back to Paris. Remember Spain and France are rather large countries and if you are trying to cover large distances by car you will be on large highways which are not particularly scenic.
mjs is offline  
Mar 15th, 2006, 10:42 PM
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viamichelin.com says it's about 1,300km. And toll costs alone is 63 euro.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 15th, 2006, 10:44 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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I also advise against this drive given the short time period you have. Why not take the overnight train Paris-Madrid and rent a car at the train station if you want to see the Spanish countryside... In Paris, a car is not at all practical.

I've taken the Train a couple of times if you have any questions.
moxie is offline  
Mar 16th, 2006, 12:59 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Your post implies that you want to see little or nothing on the drive to Madrid...if that is not the case then perhaps you could make it more clear.

That said, I would fly on EasyJet from Paris to Madrid and forget about any driving problems, petrol costs, toll road costs, etc.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2006, 02:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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If you decide to drive, head the autoroute towards Bordeaux. Keep heading south until you get to Bayonne or Biarittz (spelling??) or if you want, cross the border and stop at San Sebastion.

Then the next day it's an easy drive to Madrid.

San Sebastion is worth the visit anyway, so maybe the drive would be fun.

blackduff is offline  
Mar 16th, 2006, 02:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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The road routes from Paris to northern Spain are among the most sight- and history-packed bits of territory anywhere on the planet.

Personally, I'd put Madrid somewhere between Bootle, Lancs and the Nova Huta steelworks in my list of places to see in Europe and wouldn't bother driving much beyond Barcelona. Even if you don't share my indifference to Madrid, the drive across Spain has by far the lowest interest per mile of your proposed route.

I've spent a very pleasant four days on the Paris-Geneva-Turin-Marseilles-Arles-Barcelona-Toulouse-N20/A20-Paris drive. Eleven days would be an extremely leisurely saunter.

If you HAVE to go to Madrid, then you've got a couple of days' dead time. But nine days back via Liguria, Piedmont and Val d'Aosta would be fine. The toughest mountain passes will still be closed anyway, so you can do the crucial bit through the Mont Blanc tunnel, which involves some nice, but not always spectacular, views and undemanding driving.

Prettier if you do it in the daytime, and so undemanding even I don't worry about it, is the route from Turin through the Grand St Bernard tunnel to Montreux, Lausanne, Besancon and Beaune. But there are dozens of routes between Turin and Dijon, and all are wall-to-wall terrific. Just look at a decent road atlas and choose the one that scares you least.
CotswoldScouser is offline  

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