Crossing the Pyrenees: France to Spain (Calonge and Sitges)

October, 2015

Crossing the border from St-Jean-Pla-de-Corts (France) to Calonge (Spain) today as planning to spend some time in Spain and meet up with our great travel buddies of long ago…well, since 2011 anyway.

calonge, spain, motorhome

Calonge beachfront

Apart from seeing the Pyrenees along the highway to a distance, it is quite a dreary drive…and it’s wet. Surprisingly, there isn’t even a border stop, just a sign to welcome you to Spain so that you know you’ve crossed over.

The rain set in all day so quite wet when we arrived at the very very hilly campsite. This didn’t dampen the spirits as it’s a new country with new experiences!

Surprisingly, the Toll wasn’t too exorbitant today either – I’ve heard that Spanish tolls are just as expensive or only marginally cheaper than France; so far so good then…

These days, it only takes us about 15-20 minutes to set up Reg and have the kettle on for tea and well-earned snacks…a motorhome is so easy.

There seems to be a gypsy camp set up just below, on the next level down. About 6 campervans with over 20 adults and their children of varying ages; one particular whingy child was going on during his waking hours for the whole 3 days of our stay. Not to mention the copious amounts of washing hanging out everywhere, which kind of spoils the ambience a little. Circle the wagons! They’ve all but taken over this whole section of the site.

Note: A point on the ablution blocks and French campers; noticed this also in France. It seems that French men don’t mind wondering in and out of the women’s shower block, so be prepared. Although this doesn’t phase me at all, it’s probably typical in France, but this is Spain and a different culture.

Calonge, Spain, motorhome

Spot the tourist – Proper Job bags give it away!

Took a quick walk from the campsite (about 2 kms) to Carrefour’s for a few staples (milk and wine mainly) then onto the seafront.

Although there are hundreds of apartments everywhere you turn, everything seems ghost-like and shuttered up, for the winter no doubt.

The seafront is also quiet with only a few people jogging, cycling, or roller blading. Perhaps all I’m seeing now are the locals not tourists, which is a nice change. Gorgeous view along the waterfront.


St Jean, Calonge France, Spain, motorhomeSummary

Distance: 120 kilometres

Diesel: €1.06/litre

Roads: A9, E15, C-65, C-31, GI-665, C-253

Tolls: €7.65

Campsite: €22.33/night including power (with ASCI Camping Card)

Camping Internacional De Calonge – Wow, what a huge site!  Some pitches overlook the sea. There are over 300 pitches accommodating tents, caravans, and motor homes, but also Bungalow hire.

Reception is very efficient and helpful; English, French, and Spanish spoken.


Decided on a longer stroll today, so walked along the Mediterranean waterfront from Calonge to Sant Antoni de Calonge then on to Palamos. A return walk of about 12kms.

Calonge, Spain, Motorhome

Calonge from the hill

There doesn’t seem to be much open along the way at this time of year; a few restaurants, a couple of bars and that’s about all. Although, looking around at the plethora of holiday units everywhere and high density living almost all of which are shuttered up and closed, paints a different story; one of which it would be absolutely heaving in the summertime!

Walked to the Palamos Marina but couldn’t get on to check out all the beautiful luxury yachts as sadly, it’s gated, understandably.

If you decide to walk along here, stop off for a great coffee, delicious chocolate coated and Nutella-filled croissant, or an ice-cream at the La Gelateria del Passeig (Passeig del Mar, 43). Everything is absolutely scrumptious and the lady is super friendly and lovely.

The seafront is a peaceful place for a promenade this time of year. After you run out of beach and head back towards Calonge, there’s an incline and a lovely walk up the hill and around the headland, if you feel like a good walk to get the heart rate up a bit!

mermaid, Sitges, Spain, motorhome

Mermaid near La Punta

 

SItges, Spain, motorhome

Ancient alleyway

 

Calonge to Sitges

After a 3-night stay in Calonge, have to push on to meet up with our good travelling friends, Gordon, Wendy, and meet their newest family member Cusco (pooch) in Claude (motorhome). These guys are the reason for the detour to Spain. After the morning shower with all the gypsy gang it seemed (quite busy in there with male, females, and children), packed up the van, and set out on the road again.

Reg drove the highway/s to Sitges with Lizzy leading the way. All I had to do was check every now and then along the way. The chosen route took us north of Barcelona (as we didn’t want to go through this mad city in Reg) and back down towards the coast.

Lizzy found the campsite easy enough…it’s always a relief not to get lost, especially towards the end of the day. Off to explore tomorrow as only staying here 2 nights.

 

 

Sitges, Spain, motorhome

Modern waterfront

 


Calonge Sitges, Spain, motorhome

Summary

Distance: 170 kilometres

Diesel: €1.11/litre

Roads: C-65, C-35, AP-7, C-31, C-32, B-211

Tolls: €8.65

Campsite: €19/night including power (with ASCI Camping Card)

El Garrofer – Even bigger than the last site, this site has 500+ pitches of which almost half are home to permanents; bungalows are also available. Very friendly reception staff. There’s a restaurant on site but it’s closed for the winter. The site is about a 15-minute walk to the sea.

Washing machine: €5/load


Sitges, Spain, motorhome, La Punta

Church of Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla (La Punta)

 

Stroll into Sitges along the seafront or along one of the 17 sandy beaches for some photo opportunities. As one of the most expensive property areas in Europe, there’s no shortage of flashy homes and ‘beautiful people’ wanting to be seen.

Apart from the modern day feel, this town is older than the Middle Ages, so there’s still much beautiful architecture around even though it seems like it is being swallowed up by modernity.

Sitges is renown for its carnival, which has been celebrated for over a century and film festival, sadly of which neither were on during our stay.

This town is also the Gay capital of Spain and apparently, has become the gay capital of the world. So understandably, there’s quite a liberal and comfortable view on same sex relationships here.

 

 

 

Onwards to Cambrils

Heading out to Cambrils tomorrow as we’ll meet up with Wendy and Gordon for more drinks, frivolity, and fun!

Visit my Nilla’s Photography Galleries for more images. More posts on Touring Spain at my Image Earth Travel site.

Spain, toll, motorhome

From Reg’s windscreen – view of a Spanish Toll

15 thoughts on “Crossing the Pyrenees: France to Spain (Calonge and Sitges)

    • Excellent that you like my posts. I still have so much to upload here as I’m very behind having left Australia over 27 months ago and still on the road. 🙂
      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment – much appreciated!

      Like

    • Me too on the memory and wish I could have stayed longer!

      Off to Italy in a few weeks but not with Reg (yet), in a cheap car as if things don’t pan out, it will be a quick exit after 3 months out of Schengen; can’t do ‘quick’ in an older motorhome. 😉

      Trying to start the Italian Citizenship process…wish me luck! BTW Love your puppies!

      Liked by 1 person

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