Advice on route

Discussion in 'France' started by dotplus6, Jul 6, 2014.

  1. dotplus6

    dotplus6 Read Only Funster

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    We're planning, all being well, to leave on 18th September & travel to Zeebrugge via Hull then after a few days in Holland we want to travel down through Belgium & the east coast of France, hugging the coast along the South of France, down east coast of Spain, South of Spain & planning to arrive in Vilamoura, Portugal around the 20th October to meet with friends who've booked a hotel. From Holland I've worked out on the AA Autoroute that it's about 50 odd hours driving from Holland, avoiding motorways.

    1) Has anyone else done this?
    2) Does anyone know if the roads are ok to do this as we prefer to stick to roads with scenery rather than getting there quicker.
    3) Are there any mountainous roads involved with cliffs as I'm terrified of driving along with steep drops beside me.
    4) Does anyone know of a good campsite in or near Vilamoura - my friend stayed last year & said there were lots of motorhomes right beside the beach beside her hotel (Crowne Plaza) but I'm wondering if it's still ok to do that. The only campsite she saw was in Quartiera and she wasn't impressed with it & googling hasn't shown up anything much either.
    5) The route home will be up the west coast of Portugal & the west coast of France so any good recommendations for sites or aires appreciated.
    6) Any other tips gladly accepted.

    Dot
     
  2. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    Hello, looks like quite an adventure, can't add much, but do you realise you are landing in Belgium not Holland?
     
  3. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    IMG_0414  Looking down into the Gorge du Verdon-reduced.jpg I would surprised if you didn't drive along any cliffs in the south of France. There are some blinders down there such as the gorges of the Tarn and Verdon (see above). I can only suggest checking your route with Google Street view.
     
  4. dotplus6

    dotplus6 Read Only Funster

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    David - Thanks :oops: - No - I thought Zeebrugge was Holland but it's the easiest way for us to get there - I think. I did it years ago & it must be pretty close to the Dutch border.

    Devon Beekeeper - Thanks for the picture. I'm going to have to map out a route over the next few weeks & see exactly what we're letting ourselves in for. I don't want to be in a position where we're along a narrow road with not much between us & a huge drop at the side & being in a position where we have to reverse - maybe I've been seeing too much of that program my husband watches - trucks that go up mountains & there's only room for one with no-where to pass. I don't remember feeling this cautious last time we had a MH - I definitely felt more carefree back then. I still don't have the confidence driving this new vehicle that I had before (it's longer & wider) - or maybe it's just because I'm getting older.

    The lower road doesn't scare me so much as the place where you're taking the picture from - and what do they hope to achieve from that blow up tube near the top or is that just my eyesight?

    Dot
     
  5. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    Got me intrigued about where the border was, you do have an option to change the ferry crossing to Rotterdam from Hull still

    However, I am amazed how close Holland is to Zeebrugge and Bruges

    DBK mentions Gorge du Verdon, amazing place well recommended but you should not get anywhere near there unless very lost this time at least

    No knowledge of serious mountains in Spain / Portugal, we went to Spain via Biarritz so avoided all issues with the Pyrennes

    So to end again, have fun
    David
     
  6. Mikeco

    Mikeco Funster

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    I've always fancied visiting the east coast of France but never managed to find it.:)
    I don't know how many miles you are doing but by not using toll roads you will average no more than 35 mph.

    Mike
     
  7. Zains Pops

    Zains Pops Funster

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    Do the French now appreciate their new East Coast?

    Will le Tour be taking in this new geographic feature? Is it flat or hilly?
     
  8. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    [QUOTE="dotplus6, post: 1051930, member: 28420"

    The lower road doesn't scare me so much as the place where you're taking the picture from - and what do they hope to achieve from that blow up tube near the top or is that just my eyesight?

    Dot[/QUOTE]

    Sorry to tell you this,but the 'lower road' is actually the Tarn river in the valley bottom. :laughing:
    My estimate is 500ft below.
    And that blow-up tube is a steel barrier on top of a 3ft thick cemented stone wall....a bus wouldnt get through that.

    Travelling the med coast you will find some cliff side roads but they are relatively wide and safe with concrete and stone barriers.
    Also remember you will be on the right hand side of the road so wont see the drop.

    If you travel through the masif central in the lower half of France you will cross the millau viaduct standing at 890ft above the valley floor but you have more chance of falling off a curb than falling off that.....the safety barriers are so secure they block the view of the valley below.
    Or you could always go the old route through Millau and into the valley and up the other side.

    Its easy to say but there really is no concern regarding safety on the high cliff roads.
     
  9. makems

    makems Funster Life Member

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    Re parking by the Crowne Plaza, I think all the vans got cleared off that patch a couple of years ago. In fact the day after we left after staying for a couple of weeks.
    Its a shame as it's a great spot near the fish market in Quarteira with a nice walk along the Quarteira promenade, easy walk to the shops, plenty of inexpensive restaurants around.
    Kiwi Coss tried going back last winter and was told to keep moving.
     
  10. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    A75 (Toll free except the bridge), and the millau bridge, is the easiest way to the south of France, which is where the op is heading, and the coast road into Spain.

    The op is confusing east with south.
     
  11. dotplus6

    dotplus6 Read Only Funster

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    Thanks David - I will have a look at it as we haven't booked yet and after speaking with a friend last night she has advised us to wait until May to visit Holland to see the tulips so maybe we will just go Calais & go straight to France instead. Hopefully my nervousness will disappear nearer the time.

    Dot
     
  12. dotplus6

    dotplus6 Read Only Funster

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    Pappa John - Thank you :) It was like an illusion & now that you have pointed it out I can see it clearly now - except the river - it still looks like a road to me but I'm glad it's a river as it wasn't doing anything for my confidence!! I have a fear of heights but so long as there are barriers I'll be fine - I've been watching those trucker programmes too much! Plus the point that we'll be on the right side of the road is very reassuring. I might try to do a motorhome manoeuvre course before I go as hubby doesn't like driving on the continent - I love driving but for some reason I'm just nervous this time with the bigger van - by the time I get to France I'll no doubt have my confidence back.

    Mike / Zains - don't report me to the education board ( I home educate).

    Thanks for all replies - has 'thanks' button been removed from the features?

    Dot
     
  13. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Funster

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    We were there in March but not in the van, we did see 4 or 5 vans parked up there for a couple of days at a time, never saw anyone moved on although there were a lot of police around as there was a local carnival on and they had closed the beach front road off.
     
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