Aires

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Cavendish, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. Cavendish

    Cavendish Read Only Funster

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    Next year we'll be heading to France for the last two weeks of the summer holidays (end August/first week September) and staying for some of the time at Camping Haliotis near St Malo. We're considering using aires along the way for the first time. We've got two options;

    a, Sail down to Bilbao, stay on a campsite around Biarritz for a couple of nights then travel north to Camping Haliotis (nr St Malo) stopping at aires along the way and return to Folkestone

    b, Folkestone to Calais and travel around Normandy/Brittany incorporating a stay at Haliotis.

    Favouring option b at the moment, the £400 odd ferry fare to Bilbao is putting me off :Eek!:

    Do you think we'd have any problems getting onto aires at that time of year and do we have to move on after 24 hours or could we stay for two nights?

    Advice very much welcome. :Cool:
     
  2. geoff1947

    geoff1947 Read Only Funster

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  3. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    Hi
    We have done France for the past 5 years last 2 with M/H and we have never even booked a campsite, we have traveled both July and Aug. We have found some lovely Aires and never had a problem getting on them but while on them some people have arrived late and couldn't get a space so arrive early we normally try and get to one before 4pm at the latest.
    Some of the Aires we have stopped on have been stunning and some have just been a big carpark but most are close to town/villages, best thing to do is buy the all the Aires book tell you where they all are and what they have.
    We also joined France passion which our now 12 year old daugther enjoys more than most campsites as she gets to meet and see real french familes, dont know if you no about these but you buy the book every year and get a sticker you can then stay at these places for free. They do range from small holdings to vineyards some have no facilities and others even have ehu. The book will give you all the info you need i know they can be hard to find at times but in my opinion well worth the effort.
    Gerry
     
  4. Vennwood

    Vennwood Read Only Funster

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    The route is obviously down to your preference. The French peak holiday period finishes around 25th August (depending on what date Sat falls) so you should be ok if you go after then. There are dozens of Aires along your route either to are from Biarritz, many along the coast all the way to St Malo. Vicarious books sell a book called "All the Aires" and it lists 1600 Aires in France. This is by no means comprehensive as there are reported to be over 5000. One point to note is that the French tend to arrive at Aires from mid afternoon onwards so if you arrive between 10 and 12 noon you will find a place even at the height of the season.
     
  5. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Don't forget to inform the Guinness Book of Records. That will qualify as a world record cost to get to St Malo.

    In my humble opinion, you've got it part right, Biarritz is a lovely place. Loads of options afterwards. Carcassonne being one. Then Argles Plage. Up to Millau. Fontainbleau. Then St Malo.

    Though you may be committed to St Malo in which case you'll miss some seriously good France. Not that St Malo is not nice but so close to UK they suffer similar weather.
     
  6. Cavendish

    Cavendish Read Only Funster

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    We've not committed ourselves to anything yet, still very much in the planning stage and open to options. :sin:
     
  7. plemet

    plemet Read Only Funster

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    The route is a matter of choice but if cost is an issue this year we crossed from Dover to Dunkerque on Norfolk Lines £46 return.:BigGrin:

    Plemet (John)
     
  8. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Well by the time this thread dies down you'll be so confused you'll decide to stay at home.

    We'd done the Bilbao ferry three times, always on a bike so it was just about affordable. It's very boring but a very efficient way to get out of our northern weather. Which is more important on a bike. Going to Morocco this year there was no way we'd pay the Bilbao prices so we went Dover/Calais.

    First time to Bilbao we hired a flat in Argles Plage, a very pleasant holiday town. Nothing terribly special. Second time were were heading for a boat the Canal du Midi, a wet MH holiday, excellent. Third time we were heading for Nerja, an almost unspoiled narrow street town with the Balcon de Europa.

    From Bilbao the south coast of Spain is do-able in a day though we did stop in Toledo for a few nights.

    To get to Biarritz for Morroco we went Dover/Calais, stop near Tours, stop near Biarritz.
     
  9. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Sorry but this is plain daft IMO. You are missing out on northern Spain and the Aquitaine...ile de Rae, and the other islands... La Rochelle etc etc.... to get back up to St Malo? where it will be 10 -15 deg cooler, def colder at night and probably raining to boot:Wink:

    If you wana visit St Malo just head there and save a bundle......Aires in land should not be a problem, particularly in the north. but don't leave it to late in the day as they fill up.
     
  10. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    in the winter the spanish ferries are a god send but in summer just stay in france . aires every where or park in a village by the church ,never been moved on. in winter its as cheap to go to spain by ferry as it is to drive in a larger m,home and you get there tomorrow. north coast of spain is a very beautifull place theres enough there to not drive back through france. do france one year spain the next .there is too many places to visit the world is an adventure playground.cheers alan.
     
  11. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    We were in Normandy and Brittany at the beginning of June and also the middle of August. You will always find somewhere to stay and nobody will care if you stay more than one night. Im not sure if you have kids or what your ideal place to stay is but we perfer to wildcamp first and use Aires second. There are loads of fantastic spots to wildcamp in both Brittany and Normandy. The Aires by the sea (hence the question about kids) are not necessarly the nicest and can be very crowded in peak season. You often find some real gems just by going inland a bit and theses are nearly always free (usually a charge for water though). The weather in June was very nice but rubbish in August. One thing we did was to download all the aires for europe as point of interests for the TomTom. As we were wildcamping a lot we just set the tomtom to ping if we were within half a mile of one. we then drove to the Aire filled and emptied and drove off to find our next stop. France is simply fantastic for MH's and I cant wait to get back. Might even go for Christmas!:Smile:
     
  12. jaygee

    jaygee Funster

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    spent the whole of August this year travelling round France.
    Went Dover to Dunkirk £95 return. Route - Ypres (Belgium) to see WW1 sites, down to Annecy, up across France through Loire Valley to Mont St Michael then across to Normandy for the last 10days to visit WW2 sites etc.
    Has fabulous time, stayed on aires and campsites, didn't book any in advance and had no trouble finding anything Aires in Normandy are mostly car parks but very good. Found best campsites to be municipal ones ranging rom 10-15E with basic amenities (i.e. no pools etc ).
    Have good campsite about 1/2 hr from Calais with pool. bar etc if need somewhere to start or finish before catching ferry. Can't remember the name off hand but have it written down somewhere.
     
  13. cater_racer

    cater_racer Read Only Funster

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    Port Louis on the south coast of Brittany is fantastic, unspoilt, nice beach and three great Aires you can stay for free. The town is easily walked in 5 mins, there's night market on Tuesday evenings during the summer. Not a Mac Donalds or KFC for miles, just cobbled streets and unspoilt France.

    One of the town Aires looks over the Petite mere de Gavre, beautiful.
     
  14. marymo

    marymo Read Only Funster

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    Aires/ France

    We travel to France each year end of June and return end of August - when leaving we know where we are landing and where we are coming back from - after that it is in the lap of the gods. 90% of time we stay on Aires and have no difficulty finding. The rest of holidays are spent in municipal sites and as we have four children aged 4-10 we try to find ones close to a swimming pool/beach.
     
  15. lisab

    lisab Read Only Funster

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    We did Poole - Cherbourg last year in late July-early August and did aires for most of the time and 2 sites - 1 in Carteret - Lovely and one in St Malo Ville Huchet -yuk! Sorry.!
    Carteret was not booked and was lovely. St Malo was booked - it was our first time and a/v.v.v expensive and b. not that nice IMO. We weren't too lucky with weather too - it was hot and then broke. Just the same as say Cornwall.

    This year we went the Wednesday before Bank Hol and stayed in Calais aire 1st night then drove all the way to Ile de Re (7 and 1/5 hours) its stunning and whilst it did rain first thing next morning it got hotter and hotter, the site was full again by weekend, the french "weekend" the same as us, so bear that in mind.

    Also arrive at aires early to mid afternoon, we travelled back up through Brittany, not such good weather, but there was the tail end of the hurricane about!
    All on aires and no probs, used the vet in Honfleur and back home via Carrefour. Magic! Enjoy!:thumb:
     
  16. Cavendish

    Cavendish Read Only Funster

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    Thanks everyone but it looks like we'll no longer be going overseas. We're getting a puppy in the spring and from what I've read it won't be vaccinated against rabies in time for August. Wales here we come! :Rofl1:
     
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