Cheapest Way to Reach Spain from London via a Boat or Hitchhiking?

At the moment, I’m staying with a good friend in London and then a few nights with a CouchSurfing host. My next stop is Spain, to volunteer for a few weeks. I’m looking for the cheapest way to get to Spain (northern coast, next to Bilbao) – by boat or hitchhiking, if possible. If you know of a good way to cross from England to France / Belgium / Spain, please share.

Question Geography | Country: Spain
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Answers ( 12 )

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    I think that Brittany ferries are the only boat service that goes to Northern Spain these days. Either Portsmouth to Bilbao or Plymouth to Santander. Only ever done it with my van and that’s pricey. Might be ok as a foot passenger as it’s price is about 65 pounds total.

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    You know their holiday season is on the rise.. so no problem to go by Autostop to Bilbao. The holiday season in Northern Spain is not busy. Especially further west you go Asturias and Galicia especially.

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    In the past, I’ve done Portsmouth-Caen/St Malo by ferry (£24 with day return offer) and then hitchhike down stopping at Rennes, Nantes, Bordeaux, and Bayonne. It can be done in 2 days easily.

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    It’s so easy to hitchhike in France and a lot of fun! I really recommend it. We hitchhiked Scotland – England – France a couple of years ago and tried to find a free way to cross the water, we failed and had to pay. Though we got a super discount on the ticket from the guy who sold it when we said who we were and that we just wanted to leave the UK somehow. Very kind man.

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    If you could avoid Belgium you should. I had a hard time hitchhiking there. England, especially, getting out of London or even from the airport to the center is quite troublesome.

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      Belgium is not hard to hitchhike at all – a decent sign should do. I got everywhere in almost the same time as I would normally drive. Max 5 min waiting.

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    I took a ferry from Portsmouth, England to Caen and hitchhiked all the way down to Bordeaux and then to Auch, France. I didn’t hitch all the way to Spain, but it was super easy to hitchhike in France. Never waited more than 15 minutes! Good luck!!!

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    Well hitchhiking across the tunnel is a possibility, especially from Britain to Europe, the other way around is heavily controlled. Plus before someone wants to go through the tunnel they need to tell how many people they are taking. But I do think there are buses that go that way. If you’ve money, check out ferries 😀

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    Checked Megabus? They have cheap tickets from London to France/Belgium and other places! Megabus to Paris. In Porte Maillot (Paris) you should be able to get on a Flixbus, I think to Santander. From there I would say, the national bus company. [ALSA])

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      I checked their prices. It’s really expensive.

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        Ah, I use them really often within the UK and I’ve gotten tickets for like 1 pound. I’m picking my sister up from London to go to Norwich next week and managed to get 6 trips (me to London, us back to Norwich, us down to London, me back) for 16 quid in total.

        I also used it 2 years ago to go to Belgium and me and my two sisters went back and forth from London to Belgium for 64 quid total.

        But Megabus now works with Flixbus so maybe that’s why the prices have gone up (I’ve just noticed).

        But I found a ticket where you can go from London to Paris for 24 euros though, dunno if that’s within your budget or not but then you could find other ways to go down to Spain from Paris?

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          I saw that price as well. The only problem is how to get out of Paris to a highway from which I can catch a ride.

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    Megabus can cost e1 in advance from London to Barcelona, cost 25e nearer the time. To get from Barcelona to Bilbao, look at “ALSA bus” as MegaBus/Flixbus / no one else operates after Barcelona except ALSA. Alternatively, you could get a cheap bus (Megabus/FlixBus) to Paris and research the overnight train to Hendaye/ Irun. In advance, you can get this train for as little as 29e. Then you are just around the corner from Bilbao.

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    Ask if you can join some car on the ferry, it costs less because they pay 1 total price for a car including 4 passengers and you can just offer to pay them your share.

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      That a great advice. Thanks 🙂

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    You can take a train from London to Dover and go to the Harbor (only a 10/15min walk) for hitchhiking with the Ferry to Calais. It worked out really well for me. But I can’t remember the how much the train ticket costs.

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    Hey there, just letting you know that Ryanair flies to Biarritz (40min from San Sebastian, Basque Country) from London Stagnated and it sometimes has incredibly cheap tickets (you could find some for £12). You might actually want to hitchhike, as it’s an amazing way of traveling, but I let this here just in case you are interested.

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