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Flying to Faro to visit Coto Donana (1 Viewer)

kilbey252

Dave Kilbey
Hi all

I'm hoping to head off to Huelva (Coto Donana) next week and looking at flights from Bristol - the one to Faro appears best value and closest. Has anyone done this when visiting Spain? I need to hire a car and wondered whether I'll have any problems flying in and out of Faro but immediately heading into Spain. Do hire companies allow this? Are there any other obvious issues I might need to consider?

Many thanks

Dave
 

Barred Wobbler

Well-known member
You'll need to take out extra insurance to use the car outside Portugal (tell the hire people you need to do it), but apart from that you should have no problem.

Fuel is cheaper in Spain than in Portugal (or it was the last time I was in Portugal), so if you need to fill up, do it on the east side of the bridge.
 

---

Veteran of the Battle of Peppa Pig World (2022)
United Kingdom
Portugal has this weird auto-toll system. so you need to decide to either pay tolls, and possibly extra to rent the toll reader in the car, or stick to smaller roads may be a slower, but cheaper option
 

john-henry

Well-known member
I've done this several times but recently most car hire companies charge 30euros to travel into Spain, the best one I've found is 'Travelrent', booked through 'Economycarhire', they only charge 10euros.
The toll road is the only practical route into Spain so you will have to use it and probably pay the car hire to do so, Travelrent will charge you 20euros up front, with no rebate if you don't use 20euros worth on the road, I don't know how this compares with other companies, perhaps you could find out before you go because you will only be on the toll road from Faro to the Spanish border and back, even less if you use the N-125 as far as Castro Marim.
One other alternative you might look at is flying to Seville or Jerez, it's closer to Donana and cuts out cross border charges and road tolls.
 
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Andrew

wibble wibble
You can travel into Spain from Faro for free on the N125 but I would advise using the toll road as it is quicker and much easier for someone who has not been in the area before. Just tell the car hire company when you collect the car and most will just note it down. Some will charge a small fee.
 

john-henry

Well-known member
You can travel into Spain from Faro for free on the N125 but I would advise using the toll road as it is quicker and much easier for someone who has not been in the area before. Just tell the car hire company when you collect the car and most will just note it down. Some will charge a small fee.

How can you do that Andrew, you can only cross into Spain on the toll road, isn't there a toll checkpoint at the border?
 

Simon Wates

Well-known member
How can you do that Andrew, you can only cross into Spain on the toll road, isn't there a toll checkpoint at the border?

Sorry to butt in John and Andrew!

The tiny bit of A22 motorway between Castro Marim and Spain is toll free - so if you get on the A22 from Castro Marim you don't pay. On the way back I'm not sure how it works though - for someone who gets straight off the A22 back into Castro Marim - I think you just do it.

Anyway - my take on all this palava is if folks can afford to come on holiday and rent a car (I know lots of birders are on tight budgets!) its far better just to arrange toll payment with the car hire firm - they will not overcharge you. The best zero hassle way is to rent a car with a "transponder" fitted - the car hire company then deal with the payments and you can drive anywhere blissfully - without the slightest worry about tolls.

I'm sure paying 20 or 30 Euros for this pleasure is money well spent and far better than stressing out your holiday because of the bloody tolls!

If you don't have anything in place for toll paying on the A22 and you just drive on it - you can pay afterwards (48hrs after) at Payshops or the Post Office by just quoting the vehicles registration plate - if you don't pay you will not have the traffic police bothering you as they have nothing to do with the tolls. Your car hire company could however, chase you up for the cash but in practice this is very unlikely ;) ;)

Anyway - as I said, its best just to get a hire car - tell them you want to use the A22 and pay them for the tolls automatically and just concentrate on enjoying your visit.

I worry that some folks are really paranoid about these tolls - stop! You won't have your time here interrupted by any authorities regarding the tolls, whatever you do.
 
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Simon Wates

Well-known member
In terms of hire car companies I always recommend LuzCar - no waiver, only CDS fully comp insurance and competetive prices. Also - no charge for visiting Spain. They are friendly and reliable and make everything free of hassle:

http://www.luzcar.com/

Also, from a birders perspective, they don't mind you using tracks and won't charge you for scratches. I know that some companies use a mirror to chaeck to see if the underside of the car is dusty - and charge for cleaning if its filthy. Beware that some companies will charge you premium repair prices then not carry out the repair: Example: A tiny little little scuff on the plastic bumper cost the price of a spraying the whole bumper - I was charged 140 Euros. Weeks later, I spied the car - and it still had the little scuff! (I could name and shame...).

Note that whatever hire car company you use, as from March there is a new "airport tax" of 15 Euros for collecting and returning. To avoid this you can arrange to have your car delivered to your hotel.
 
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john-henry

Well-known member
Sorry to butt in John and Andrew!

The tiny bit of A22 motorway between Castro Marim and Spain is toll free - so if you get on the A22 from Castro Marim you don't pay. On the way back I'm not sure how it works though - for someone who gets straight off the A22 back into Castro Marim - I think you just do it.

Anyway - my take on all this palava is if folks can afford to come on holiday and rent a car (I know lots of birders are on tight budgets!) its far better just to arrange toll payment with the car hire firm - they will not overcharge you. The best zero hassle way is to rent a car with a "transponder" fitted - the car hire company then deal with the payments and you can drive anywhere blissfully - without the slightest worry about tolls.

I'm sure paying 20 or 30 Euros for this pleasure is money well spent and far better than stressing out your holiday because of the bloody tolls!

If you don't have anything in place for toll paying on the A22 and you just drive on it - you can pay afterwards (48hrs after) at Payshops or the Post Office by just quoting the vehicles registration plate - if you don't pay you will not have the traffic police bothering you as they have nothing to do with the tolls. Your car hire company could however, chase you up for the cash but in practice this is very unlikely ;) ;)

Anyway - as I said, its best just to get a hire car - tell them you want to use the A22 and pay them for the tolls automatically and just concentrate on enjoying your visit.

I worry that some folks are really paranoid about these tolls - stop! You won't have your time here interrupted by any authorities regarding the tolls, whatever you do.

Thanks for clearing that up Simon, only I remember a while ago they were planning for a toll station at the border, obviously they didn't do it.
Coming back from Spain providing you exit at the Castro Marim/Beja junction you miss the toll checkpoint, that starts just after you join the A22 coming out of Castro Marim.

Agree with all you say about paying tolls via the car hire firm and just getting on with your holiday.
 
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