Is the ferry to Spain worth it?

It’s an age-old question: “I’m short of time but want to explore Spain and maybe Morocco. Should I ride down through France or take the boat?”

For many people a headline ferry ticket price looks too expensive, but we’ve been wondering exactly what the costs might be to go from the UK to northern Spain overland. So we’ve decided to find out, and on 30th March – day one of Brexit if there aren’t more changes – we’ll be riding a Ducati Multistrada 1260S down there and saving every single receipt, as well as assessing tyre and chain wear and just how much time it takes.

However, we are not going to blast down a motorway in some crazed attempt to set some heroic record, as we are firm believers that every bit of overland travel, in the time you’ve got to spare, is an opportunity for a great experience and the possibility to see something new.

Instead, we’ve drawn an almost direct line from Calais, where we’ll pop out of LeTunnel, to Santander, going through Le Mans, Saumur, probably Cognac for medicinal reasons and Hagetmau before crossing into Spain and enjoying a few twisties in the Basque Country.

We want to consider that the time in France is part of the trip, not a chore, so we’ll total all the fuel on our big red Ducati, the accommodation, any tolls we might have to encounter and we’ll consider the time. Will there be delays in Folkstone or Calais? Who knows what’ll actually happen after Brexit, or even exactly when Brexit will be, but Article 50 says the UK is leaving at 11pm on March 29th, so let’s just see!