I thought I would do a information blog for those boaters and non-boaters who fancy a break from the bleak UK winter next year, or later this year.
Firstly, a bit about Mojacar itself ... it has the most perfect winter climate with virtually no rain, warm in the day but can get quite cold at night. It is very quiet but there are still enough bars and restaurants to keep you busy! There are no fun parks, amusements arcades and no high rises so if you want Benidorm, Mojacar isn't the place for you.
Mojacar is a very Spanish looking place with all the white-washed buildings but about 50% of the inhabitants are from the UK. If you want the real Spain and Spanish culture, however, it is a short drive away.
Regarding accommodation ... I can highly recommend Blue Sea Villas, who are located right on the beach in the area where we all reside, so if there are any problems they are right there. The office is run by Wendy, a very nice lady from Macclesfield! I went in and had a chat with her the other day and mentioned that we may have a lot more narrowboaters coming down next winter. She is very happy to answer any of your queries re dog friendly apartments etc. She suggested that you check out their website and and drop her a line if you see a place that you fancy. Price-wise you are looking at about 425-450 Euros per month for a two bedroom apartment. It may also be possible to negotiate a deal, especially if you are staying a few months.
Wendy also mentioned that a lot more properties come onto the market September onwards, so don't despair if you don't see anything you fancy straight away.
If you see an apartment that you are interested in we are more than happy to go and check it out for you, to see what it looks like in the flesh! We did that for this year's MCC members and I think they were all happy.
Whilst I am happy to check out properties I will not get involved with any price negotiations etc.
I have absolutely no financial involvement with Blue Seas Villas, they are just a well run organisation with a lot of rental properties in Mojacar. Mention my name if you do email her then she will know what area to find you an apartment in.
Check out Blue Sea Villas here.
As for getting here ... Almeria is the closest airport being just over one hour's drive away. The only problem being that in the winter there is not a lot of choice regarding airlines. This last winter it was Monarch from Manchester and Easy Jet from Gatwick. Of course this may change if the demand is there.
Alicante is about two and a half hours drive away and is served by most UK airports.
You can get very good deals on long term hire cars, but be warned Spanish car hire firms are notorious for ripping off the punters. The car hire is so cheap they try to make money elsewhere on exorbitant insurance, fuel rip offs and damage to cars that doesn't exist ... once you are back in the UK they debit your card and you will have to fight to get the money back.
A very kind chap on the Facebook Mojacar Forum, Dave Griffiths, has created an informative document on car hire in Spain and he is happy for us to share it with others. If you would like a copy of it please email me (see the email link in the side bar) and I will send it to you.
Obviously if you have a car it makes sense to drive. You can drive on most UK insurances for anywhere between 90 days to 365 days in Europe. It is always going to be cheaper from Dover to Calais, but if you don't fancy the drive then you can get a ferry from Portsmouth to Spain. From Northern Spain to Mojacar its about a eleven hour drive.
Whichever way you choose to drive it's a piece of cake. The roads are superb and uncrowded, there is no need to plan stops as there are loads of hotels along the route through France and Spain, nearly all being dog friendly. They are generally around the 40-50 Euros a night all up. Of course this isn't 5 star accommodation, it's just a place to have a sleep and get going again in the morning!
If you do choose to go the Portsmouth-Santander or Bilbao route and are bringing dogs. you will have to book up a long way ahead as the dog friendly cabins sell out very quickly.
For ferries to Spain, click here.
If you are driving through France the toll roads are brilliant, but you don't get to see the lovely towns and villages along the route
The Channel tunnel is a good option if you are bringing dogs as you can stay in the car with them. On the cross channel ferry the dogs have to stay in the car and you cannot stay in the car with them.
As regards Currency ... I use and recommend a currency card. You apply for the card in the UK you top it up online and away you go. You are not charged any transaction or management fees and the rate is always better than you will get at a bank, post office or Travelex etc.
The only charge is 1.50 euro if you use a ATM and you can withdraw up to 300 euros a day. Basically it's a Mastercard so it can be used in 99,9% of all shops restaurants etc. There is only one very small draw back and that is if there isn't someone there to put the card through the machine (like an automatic toll or some of the self serve patrol stations in France) it may get declined. It didn't happen to us much but it can happen, so have a back up card just in case. If it's a shop, restaurant or ATM it is 100% OK.
This is the card I use ... we have been using it for two years now. It is so simple, click here.
This is the beach area that the present MCC reside in. We hope to see many more new members next year ...