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Driving from Barcelona to Provence - What to expect @ Border

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Driving from Barcelona to Provence - What to expect @ Border

Has anyone driven the coastal route from Barcelona to Provence and back before? What can I expect at the border? DH is a US Citizen and I hold a passport from Taiwan. Do we park the car and get processed inside a facility at the border?

(Note a week before I would have already entered France via the Paris Airport.) Thanks in advance!

How long does the "processing" usually take? DH is worried the red-tape for a return trip (crossing the same point 2x) would offset the monetary benefits of renting & dropping a car in the same country.

Thanks in advance!

Bradford, Yorkshire
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1. Re: Driving from Barcelona to Provence - What to expect @ Border

The quick way on the autoroute A9 (France) / AP7 (Spain) has a border post but I have only once been stopped in 6 crossings in a UK regisered car. Going north one lunchtime the officers were actually snoozing in the post with caps over their eyes! The old road through Le Perthus which follows roughly the same route still had a border post a few years ago but I wasn't stopped.

If you mean the slow route from Llanaca to Banyuls along the Cote Vermeille, the road is very scenic along cliffs and deffinately worth seeing. The border is between Portbou and Cerbere at the top of a steep hill. I've crossed many times and up to a couple of years ago there wasn't a border post. Someone may be able to confirm this is still the case.

You could try lunch in Portbou. Two establishments on the short promenade do silver service restaurant meals at self service buffet prices.

Perpignan, France
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for Languedoc-Roussillon, Perpignan
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2. Re: Driving from Barcelona to Provence - What to expect @ Border

If you take the motorway, you probably won't get stopped at the border. "Probably" means that you may be stopped and have your car searched if you look suspicious enough ! :-)

In other words it is more a question of customs and search for drugs than of police.

Sometimes there are queues, it depends on the traffic but it will take you at most 15 minutes to cross the border.

I do not advise you to go through Le Perthus which is always very crowded and difficult to cross.

There are usually no check points on the coastal road.

3. Re: Driving from Barcelona to Provence - What to expect @ Border

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