Aires, not that impressed really...

Discussion in 'France' started by snowdrops, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. snowdrops

    snowdrops Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    456
    Location:
    Wales
    We bought the Aires book 2 yrs ago and the ACSI app and membership very soon after. Is it just me who feels the book/aires are really not all it's meant to be ? We've ended up using ACSI sites 99% of the time. Most of the Aires need you there not long after noon to get a spot and some are only a few euros less than wonderful campsites with pools, bars, restaurants etc.

    We did love the Dinan aire and the only other one was Neufchatel, tho we've arrived there many a time and it's full. The rest have been packed in or not in great surroundings. I do know I suppose that for some people they just use them to sleep, but if you need to park up by lunchtime that's your day gone.

    Opinions please ? :) PS I probably shld have added that we spend most of the time down south of France. Provence, Cote d'azure etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
    • Like Like x 5
  2. Fenman

    Fenman Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2014
    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    1,028
    Location:
    Correze, France
    Just my guess but if it was me I would probably be one of those getting there early, parking up, getting out to explore the village/town or whatever is nearby and only coming back for evening meal or sleep.
     
    • Like Like x 11
  3. Stroppy Bird

    Stroppy Bird Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2014
    Messages:
    412
    Likes Received:
    374
    Location:
    Lincs
    I think it depends on how and when you use them.

    We tend to travel out of the main holiday season so many campsites are closed and aires are the only option for us.

    We've also changed the way we use them. Instead of getting to them early evening, sleeping, having a look round and then moving on early afternoon, we now get to an aire reasonably early, look round, sleep, get breakfast then move on to the next aire by mid/late morning. This way you're more likely to get a good spot. Obviously if where you want to visit doesn't have an aire and you still then need to find one later it doesn't help with that. Doesn't really affect us too much because as I say, we travel out of the main holiday season.

    We also may use one aire to visit a place but because it's not really that nice (i.e. just an area of a towns car park) we may then move on to a nicer one to stay overnight on.

    Also worth downloading the park4night app. It's free and has aires in addition to the ones in the Aires book, along with reviews (albeit mainly in French but it has star ratings if you can't read French).
     
    • Like Like x 7
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,500
    Likes Received:
    3,697
    Location:
    Lost in La Mancha, Spain
    Not sure which Aires your using, but in 4 years of MH'ing France never paid for one yet! Granted some of the better ones you do need to get there around 12:00/13:00 to get in, but that then leaves the rest of the day to explore or just chill out. As we do not use sites that have a pool, washing machine, showers, toilet, bar etc etc etc the aires are great. Some are not good and others are having EHU, grey waste etc etc, but again it's knowing where to look. This for us is half the pleasure exploring France.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  5. Glandwr

    Glandwr Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Messages:
    618
    Likes Received:
    1,693
    Location:
    the Berwyn Mountains
    Try the CamperContact and or CCinfos apps. Available in iTunes or Playstore they knock the Aires books into the second division AND cover the whole of Europe. CamperContact is in English, CCinfos in French but easily understandable. Both also have a website for searching.

    Dick
     
    • Like Like x 3
  6. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Messages:
    5,627
    Likes Received:
    9,895
    Location:
    East Sussex
    Have you considered joining France Passion - stay on Farms, wineries etc free of charge
    Membership is about £20 from memory
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    5,437
    Likes Received:
    11,130
    Location:
    Kettering
    Not sure which ones you're using. We usually arrive mid to late afternoon and have never not been able to park.

    Aires are not campsites and 99% of them don't pretend to be. That's the attraction for us.

    If you want pools and bars and restaurants on site then aires aren't going to be for you. They are parking places, nothing more.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  8. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,045
    Likes Received:
    4,127
    Location:
    Cotes d'armor, France
    I think the new 2 book edition of All the Aires is pretty bad. Lots of stuff well out of date and no really up to the minute information. We still use it though, with caution.
    Our method of travelling suits using Aires we tend to get to Aires around mid day and leave mid morning. Very few don't have spaces at that time, but if they are full or not too nice, we always have a couple of back ups.
    Obviously, Aires aren't for everyone, and there are some pretty naff ones, but overall, we have been impressed with them and wouldn't think of using campsites. We never stay longer than 2 days, and even that is rare. There's so much to see!
     
    • Like Like x 3
  9. chaser

    chaser Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Messages:
    7,142
    Likes Received:
    7,757
    Location:
    uttoxeter
    Get this app for android devices,
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.tbag.aires&hl=en_GB
    You will always be less than ten miles from another aire if it's full, another one is park4night, free on all platforms, don't know what time of year you go , we go spring and autumn and have never found a full one and mostly free but the paid ones are rarely more than a fiver.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  10. The Wino

    The Wino Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    1,118
    Likes Received:
    2,015
    Location:
    leicester
    We think they are great never stayed on a site in France the aires and free parking places are so good wish we had them here can't see the point in paying asci as we don't use sites anyway!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. snowdrops

    snowdrops Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    456
    Location:
    Wales
    Not really, as our 5 weeks in France are our only hols, we tend to make sure we have lots of pool/chilling time and the rest of the time we explore, lots of the places we've seen or yet to see don't have aires near enough and the Passion would be the same. A friend of mine loves the Passion farms too. May look to that some time in the future :)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. dabhand

    dabhand Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    Messages:
    1,408
    Likes Received:
    2,471
    Location:
    Staffs
    There are lots of Aires that are not in the actual all the aires book, as the above posters have said Park 4 night, camper contact, and Archie's all very good, recently spent a month in Brittany and just drove around, didn't plan anything, when I fancied the look of a place just got my phone out and checked out the above apps, always found a place to stay, yes, even occasionally paying, (such as 4 nights under the viaduct in Dinan) for me the beauty of not planning and part of the fun of motorhoming, is I still find places perfectly suitable to stay the night that are not listed anywhere, and are invariably free. In Grand Camp Maisy in Basse Normandy ( I know, not in Brittany, but wanted to see some of the D Day landing beaches) the circus had completely taken over the large aire, which happens a lot in France by the way, so parked up on the harbour wall, harbour one side sea the other, lovely little spot, no signs anywhere, on this occasion we walked to the tourist office and asked them if this would be ok, they rang the local police for us who confirmed that, as long as we didn't "camp", chairs and table out etc, it would be fine, and it was.

    On another coast road found a small bottle bank in between two villages, just big enough for a couple of motorhomes yet leaving enough room for the locals to park up for the beach and to dispose of their bottles, it was actually one of my favourite night halts, nothing around but the rocks and the sea, I appreciate its not everyone's cup of tea but the wife and the dog both loved it!
     
    • Like Like x 3
  13. snowdrops

    snowdrops Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    456
    Location:
    Wales
    Yeah I do get that peeps hol in different ways. We did try a few aires. Maybe we were just unlucky. Tho as I said, a lot of the negative for us is needing to have the van stay put to have a space. With the sites we found staying on one for 3 days, we could have some pool time and also leave to explore further afield and still come back to our same pitch. It's all very interesting. Only been home since yesterday evening and desp to go back.
     
  14. snowdrops

    snowdrops Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    456
    Location:
    Wales
    The Dinan aire was my fave eva, loved it. We don't plan our sites either, we use the ACSI app and wherever we are or are headed I'll look for the nearest or most suitable. Sometimes we end up staying 4 days if we love it, Parc Bastide in St Remy is a fine example of that, we return every year now lol. We've got lost a few times and ended up on little acsi sites in the most quaintest of villages.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,510
    Likes Received:
    8,267
    Location:
    NW England
    It all depends on how much you want/need what campsites have to offer. Of course you're not going to rate aires if you want pool, club, bar, restaurant, and your own designated pitch.

    No need to buy aire books if you've got the free CCI satnav POI files and mobile App, which are updated daily.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. FIDGET

    FIDGET Funster

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,878
    Likes Received:
    5,962
    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    Hi, As I said in my thread , where can you park /stay for 16 nights 47 euro's, 14 aires , 2 c/sites
    All of the aires were within 200 yards from either a beach , lake or river. ( I do my homework/research)
    I couldn't fault the aires we visited. but it was mostly Brittany & 3 in Normandy & it was Sept . didn't have to pay for water .
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Granjan

    Granjan Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2013
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    5,381
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    I am with you on this @snowdrops for most of the time, especially in the south of france I want some space around me, a sense of security, my air con and gadgets. I will use aires occasionally for moving about but I am happier with a toilet block, a nice long shower a swimming pool and a settled place. Campsites can be expensive in summer though.
    I like to see all the campers enjoying themselves and laugh at all the little dramas that unfold. Its nice to sit out all evening too and have the awning groundsheet and chairs out.

    Out of season, in cooler weather, touring and for an extra cheaper break aires are Ok.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  18. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,545
    Likes Received:
    2,716
    Location:
    Suffolk
    You are seeking opinions but have already decided Aires are not for you so whatever opinions you get they probably won't change your view of Aires.

    I would say that the book you refer to should be renamed, "Some of the Aires on France" because there are a hell of a lot of delightful ones that's are not in it. Some prefer Aires, some prefer campsites. I think for long term touring campsites would be too expensive for us. Being way four months of the year just wouldn't be possible without Aires.

    Personal choice really.
     
    • Like Like x 7
  19. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,500
    Likes Received:
    3,697
    Location:
    Lost in La Mancha, Spain
    And @iansm has hit the nail on the head. Personal choice, each to his/her own.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  20. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,782
    Likes Received:
    6,034
    Location:
    Sarth London
    Have always felt similar. Tend to use them on route and touring around but much prefer campsites. as My wife is in education still have to go away in peak times...Aires not so great in high summer! packed with litle or no shade ( I know there are exceptions)

    This attitude may change when wife retires and money will be tighter, we can then go away on the shoulder months rather then peak.
     
    • Like Like x 3
Loading...

Share This Page