Destinations Magazine

Road Trip Through France & Spain in a Campervan

By Davedtc @davedtc

Our adventure started in France – we were so excited. Our road trip was planned; it would be our first adventure together. It happened so quickly – at the beginning of last summer. My girlfriend and I booked a campervan equipped by Campy Camper, in Biarritz, France for one week. We both had been dreaming of traveling this way for a long time – in fact ever since we read “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac… So we took a train to Paris (where we live) for this trip from Biarritz to “freedom”. Once at the railway station, our Campy was waiting for us as well as many tips for our trip. Indeed, we had a very warm welcome from the rental company along with clear explanations about how to operate the van. So now the campervan was ready, we just had to get on the road!

First stop on our trip: visiting Biarritz before leaving for Spain.

We loved this town, with its scenery of cliffs, ocean, greenery and historic stone houses; Biarritz is full of charm and beauty. We strolled on foot all day, visiting local stores and then enjoyed lunch in a small fisherman’s restaurant on the vieux-port. The meal was delicious and the views were beautiful. We will treasure those great memories forever. After Biarritz, it was time for us to hit the road. We drove along the coast, admiring the scenery, stopping every now and then to visit small typical Basque villages such as Bidart, Guéthary or Ciboure. And then, the first day ended with beautiful images in mind.

A good meal and a good night in our Campy allowed us to be back in top form for the morning. This had to be so because we took the road to Pamplona, Spain to take part in its famous festival of San Fermin! After crossing the Basque mountains by taking small roads surrounded by gorgeous scenery, we arrived at our destination to participate in the festival (which takes place over several days). The city of Pamplona was full of people, all dressed in red and white – it was amazing to see, people came from all over the world – I have never seen so many people in one place! We attended the famous bullfights in a huge arena where bulls are released; it was an emotional moment! Then we continued to party with everyone until the end of the night, with great joy and a festive mood; it was truly an enjoyable evening.

After this late night we decided to hit the road again, even though the temptation to stay for a few extra days of partying was very tempting. However we didn’t lose sight of our primary goal which was to travel and discover many more villages and landscapes. So we returned to our van Campy Camper to Yesa, a small Spanish town renowned for a huge lake with turquoise waters. Better than any hotel, our “room” was a window to an spectacular view – it was simply breathtaking. Alone in the world facing this spectacular sight, we were the happiest of lovers.

After a day of walks by the lake, we spent a night full of dreams and happiness and then we had a breakfast at the edge of the lake. Afterwards we took the road to the small village of Murillo de Gallego. This charming village is close to the Rio Gallego, a beautiful river crossing the mountains. It is there that we decided to settle down after visiting the village. Again, we were faced with a fantastic landscape. The program of our day was a follows: picnic, swim and sunbathe.

Then we decided to leave in the morning to the Sierra de Guara. Indeed, the Campy Camper team advised us to go hiking through the canyons; we decided to do this as it did sound very exciting. We were not disappointed, it is a special place. We spent the day on the trails bordering the mountains, overlooking the river… It was a completely new experience for us, the beauty of the place shall remain unforgettable for my girlfriend and I.

After staying two days in the gorge of Sierra Guara, our trip was sadly nearing its end. But we did not want to go without having visited the desert of Las Bardenas Reales. This is when we hit the road again to reach our destination. As we advanced, the landscape was quickly transformed. We left the green mountains to find a real American western decor where vegetation disappeared and desert with dry land and impressive rock formations appeared. It was a special feeling similar to crossing Monument Valley in Colorado, rolling in the middle of nowhere with loud 70′s music playing through our open windows. Throughout this beautiful day, an incredible feeling of freedom washed over us. These moments will always remind me of this quote from Jack Kerouac: “Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road”. It could not be more true at this point…

Unfortunately for us, this dream ended. It was time to return the deposit on the camper van and return to our normal lives. So we came back – re-visiting the mountains and the Basque landscape on the way once again, to Biarritz. Soon we returned the van at Campy Camper, but not without some nostalgia … We had so many magical moments with this campervan; we found it difficult to separate from her. But this was only a postponement until the next adventure…

1 biarritz
2 Sanfermin
3 sanfermin arena

4 sanfermin
5 lake of Yesa
6 lake of Yesa

7 lake of Yesa
8 rio gallego
9 rio gallego

10 rio gallego
11 sierra de guarra
12 sierra de guarra

13 sierra de guarra
14 sierra de guarra
15 sierra de guarra

16 desert of las Bardenas
17 desert of las bardenas
18 desert of las bardena

19 desert of las bardena
20 Back home road


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