Driving from Ibiza to the Uk – November 2018
There are several routes you can take when driving from Ibiza to the Uk. Over the past 15 years I have driven most of them. On this occasion the route I am taking is the shortest ferry crossing from Ibiza to Denia and then drive to Northern city of Santander before catching the ferry to the UK. This is my preferred route as I will be driving in a van and with a dog (who doesn’t like to travel).
This way the journey is broken up but does take longer, certainly a route if you are not in a rush and wish to enjoy the journey.
Balearia and Trasmediterranea are the two main companies that sail from Ibiza to the mainland. Due to their departure times i have always travelled with Balearia. Previously in November I have only had the option of the regular ferry which takes 4-4.5 hours to reach Denia. Balearia have a new super-fast ferry “Cecila Payne” so the journey time is reduced to 2 hours.
The price for a 4×4 vehicle and one passenger was 92€. The price for a ford transit van with two passengers 134€ (these prices are with Balearic residents discount). 10€ is the price to add a pet to your reservation.
Driving From Ibiza to the Uk
Day one – Ibiza to Utebo, Zaragoza
Arrived at the port for 09:45 and very simple check in procedure. The Balearia ferry terminal in on the Talamanca side of Ibiza Town and so there isn’t anything in the immediate area. There is a small café serving coffee / breakfast pastries inside the ferry terminal.
Boarding started just after 10am and by 10:50am the doors were closed for a punctual departure. With a dog it is a bit of a mission as you have to climb two sets of steep stairs, go through the main deck café and out onto the top deck. The pet area is located at the back of the boat and you will find 20 or so cages. Throughout the crossing you can visit your pets but for departure you have to leave them. This time someone had a chicken in a cage which was a first!
For the short crossing the facilities on-board are fine. You will find a bar, cafes a very small shop and plenty of comfortable seating. Wifi is also available free (just ask for the code) and there is even a Tv area to watch a movie (in Spanish of course).
As soon as the ship leaves the harbour, the engines kick in full steam ahead and its like being on a speedboat (almost). Then sure enough in just under two hours we docked in Denia and the drive began.
Denia to Santander is approx 830 kms and can take 8-9 hours so I have purposefully planned to stop halfway and stay the night. This means only driving in daylight hours as sometimes it can rain quite a lot in central Spain in mid-November – luckily this time it didn’t.
Utebo on the outskirts of Zaragoza is just over halfway from Denia to Santander and it was here i planned to make the first overnight stop.
Depart Denia and head North passed Valencia and then inland towards Zaragoza. The motor ways and toll roads are of a very good standard and It takes approx 4.5 hours to drive.
Every 50km or so you can find service areas or small towns to take a break from driving.
Utebo is an industrial area situated just off the motorway so very convenient. I stayed at the Hotel El Aguila. which is superb value for money, parking included and pet friendly. I paid 35€ per room + 5€ for buffet breakfast. The hotel is simple but offers comfy rooms and also a bar/café serving very reasonable priced meals. For only 14€ the hotels restaurant offers a three course menu so there are plenty of dining options.
Check the availability of the hotel I stayed in here:
The total road toll costs for this leg were 9.50€
Driving From Ibiza to the Uk
Day 2 – Utebo, Zaragoza to Santander
After a quick fuel stop I was on the road by 9am and due to advanced warning of the ferry being delayed by 5 hours I was in no rush.
Logroño service station is approximately 1.5h / 160km drive and so this was the planned stopped and as Spanish services go this is a decent one. From here continue North West through La Rioja region (look out for the vineyards). Then simply follow the signs for Bilbao and then from here on towards Santander – this leg of the journey is 235km.
In previous years when driving from Ibiza to the Uk I have always been pushed for time but this year made a planned stop at a town called Castro-Urdiales. It is only a short detour but if you do have time it is a fantastic seaside town. Amenities include a beach, plenty of cafes, restaurants around the marina and typical bars.
A further 40 minutes drive from here I had arrived in Santander. After 824kms all that was left was the 26h crossing and then that was driving from Ibiza to the Uk.
The total road toll costs for this leg were 40€
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