aires by canals/cycle paths

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by june123, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. june123

    june123 Read Only Funster

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    Hi everyone

    On the way to Annecy soon from Calais. Got route planned up to a point but would like some help finding attractive aires with easy flat cycling to nearby towns/beauty spots perhaps by lakes, rivers or canals. Have three weeks to meander down and back. Noticed a few in aires book but would love some personal recommendations.

    (Realised I'd put this in the wrong place but have managed to transfer it. I'm a bit of a novice!)
     
  2. gillnphil

    gillnphil Funster

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    Calais to Annecy

    :Smile: Hi you lucky people, we just did this trip and more besides. Annecy is a lovely town on the lake and very cycle freindly. Lots of places to stay, but our route took us through, Alsace,fantastic, down the eastern borders with Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Regions such as the Jura, Rhone alps, etc were stunning, just kept getting better, too many to reccommend, but using the Aires and France passion worked a treat. If you go into the Dordogne, Sarlat is a must, and Perigueux has an aire right on the river 5 mins from town, and a great Saturday market AM.
    Have a good time.
    Phil and Gill :Smile:
     
  3. FIDGET

    FIDGET Funster

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    Hi , Try Catillon sur Sambre , 2 aires 1 canalside 5or 6 euros with electric, the other gloryfide car park but only just across the road behind some buildings free, we stayed at canalside one a lovely aire ( have a look at my photo album France loire 2011) Terry:Cool:

    Also nice lakeside aire just a few miles from Annecy called La Balme de Sillingy with bar and some lovely walks etc
     
  4. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    Hello

    Here's a canal map of France, there are over 6000 km's of them http://www.eurocanals.com/Waterways/francewaterwaysm.html

    Probably the most beautiful are the 3 in the center in Burgundy, but the canal(s) running down from Reims to close to Dijon are pretty nice too.

    Most of the canals have towpaths but not all, it's a bit pot luck. As a French canal dweller for 5 years I can say with some certainty that there are aires all over the canal system, they are at almost every boat stop on the canal. If there is a small port or even smaller halt it is ok to park up overnight. If it is commune owned then the water will be free and sometimes electricity.
    If you turn up at one of the privately run boat stops you may or may not have to pay, but at almost all you will be made welcome.

    In the center of Burgundy there is a small (but important in the past for barges) town called St Jean de Losne. They have 3 ports there plus another 5km upstream.
    It caters well for visitors without being too touristy, their main buisness is serious inland waterway stuff including repairs and servicing the large number of boats staying or passing through.

    It's on the river Saone, one of the most beautiful in France and if you cycle on the right hand side going upstream you will come across a river lock (about 5 kms upstream on the edge of a small village St Symphorien).

    Say hello to Claude from me (Jamie) he's the river to canal lock keeper and he's a great Frenchman, plus he speaks good English.

    Possibly the most beautiful canal in France is the Nievre, but harder to get to.

    The French canals and canal side life is worth sampling wherever you stop and cycling is a dream.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
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  5. june123

    june123 Read Only Funster

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    canals

    Thank you so much for your lengthy reply. I've printed it off as it does seem to fit nicely with our meander down to Annecy. We'll definitely try to look up Claude and remember you to him. Thanks again. Just noticed you're an Essex boy. I'm an Essex girl (lived just outside Chelmsford) but am now in Staffordshire

    June
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
  6. ojibway

    ojibway Funster

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    Lac du Der-Chantecocq, a man-made lake, has a cycle path all the way around.
    Stay on the aire at Giffaumont-Champaubert - http://www.flickr.com/photos/58109210@N08/5336213468/
    (you'll see a map link for the location). Loads of room, free but you pay for water.

    Also Froncles - http://www.flickr.com/photos/58109210@N08/5373202906/in/photostream , a beautiful little aire located on the Marne canal just off the N67. Free but has electric hook-up for 1eu (may have gone up), also showers available..

    We may head to Annecy next month. We were last there in 1970 or 71 in our home converted VW camper!:Smile:
     
  7. june123

    june123 Read Only Funster

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    aires for cycling

    Thanks a lot. Very helpful. Personal recommendations are so much better than a book..

    Fancied Froncles but was told it could be closed. Does anyone know?

    Our first van was a VW home conversion. Loved her. Loads of character. Non turbo so hated hills - we had to pull over and let the queue go by.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. canopus

    canopus Funster Life Member

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    We were at Froncles in June and it was very busy with French & Belgians. There were several boats moored up too, one with some Irish and another with English on board. Beautiful spot and 2 immaculately clean showers at the Halte Nautique station.:thumb:

    We travelled to Froncles from Lac du Der (Chantecoq) and pitched free at Giffaumomnt-Champeaubert with views over the lake. 2 euro to empty waste and fill with fresh if I remember.:thumb:

    http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en...ei=LFMzUI3pEsqb0QXx5IGQBg&sqi=2&ved=0CI0BELYD
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  9. june123

    june123 Read Only Funster

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    cycling aires

    Thanks so much for the info re Froncles. Really fancy it but as I said was told it was closed. Partner now worried as he's heard it's a very narrow lane to access it with no room to reverse. How true is this?
     
  10. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    We were at Froncles about two years ago...I can not see why they would close it...the lane is single.BUT NO Problem

    This is the Froncles site. Below..beautiful...there a large area like a island in the middle you can turn around when coming back if you are that big...but looking at your van no problem you could even turn around where you park...as far as it being closed !! it is a canal stop off point. I would not think it has been closed..also there is a washing machine there if required you have to ask the person in charge, electric..the wife is looking at some stops for you as we have done many of the canals,lakes and rivers, will post when done,.... it is a wide-ish single road in but not a problem...look at my van in the picture and the road:thumb:
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  11. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Aire Recommendations

    Hi there, you won't have any trouble finding lovely places to stop on your way to Annecy and here are a few aires which we would recommend following on from Catillon which Fidget recommended:

    Montherme (not the one in the aires book as that is the service point), here's the coordinations N49 52.188 E004 44.134 - at the side of the river, free

    Charleville Mezieres

    Mouzon (not in aires book), a halte nautique N49 36.407 E005 04.633

    Stenay

    Dun sur Meuse

    Dieue sur Meuse

    Pont a Mousson

    Commercy

    Hope this list helps

    If you click on my Picasa aires link at the bottom of my reply you will probably find photos of the recommended aires and if you go in to 'French Aires' on the front page of Motorhome Fun you will find links to all the aires listed by typing the name of the aire in the search box.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  12. june123

    june123 Read Only Funster

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    aires foir cycling

    Marvellous thank you. We are used to finding our way around armed with the aires book but you can get some disappointments. Recommendations take some of the danger away.
     
  13. FIDGET

    FIDGET Funster

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    Hi, Another good source of aires info is motorhomingfrance.co.uk costs £12 a year but v.good info in english good map refs ,photos and reviews all very good. Terry:Cool:
     
  14. ojibway

    ojibway Funster

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    Yes, Charleville Meziers is fabulous. You can stay on the aire for free or the municipal site next to it. The location is stunning as is the town. We have stayed here several times.
    Why can't we do things like this here?!:shout:
     
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