First French Trip

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by GaryW, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. GaryW

    GaryW Funster

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    Ferry is booked for 08/06/13 Dover/Calais :thumb:
    We plan to stopover just South of Rouen then try and get to Valras Plage in the South Of France with just one further stop at Gannat.That would be a 278 mile drive followed with a 247 mile drive,my question is do you think it is feasible or a bit optimistic.
    We don't mind a couple of hard driving days as long as we can rest and enjoy the rest of the holiday.
    With only having 2 weeks away we thought we would try to get down as quick as possible,have 5 nights at Valras Plage then a leisuely drive back spread over the following 7 nights.
    Thought about 1 night around Rodez area,we have booked 1 night at Parc Verger, 2 nights around La Rochelle, 1 night Saumur,1 night around Mont St Michel and 1 night Arromanches les Bains.
    Might try a couple of Aires but like i say this is our first trip to France in the motorhome.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. Stephen & Jeannie

    Stephen & Jeannie Read Only Funster

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    Why Valras Plage ???? Very commercial !! The Camargue much nicer !:Cool::Cool:
     
  3. GaryW

    GaryW Funster

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    No particular reason for Valras Plage :RollEyes:
    Just looked at map and picked there. :Wink:
    Like I say , I am open to suggestions
     
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  4. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    Hi I think you can do 250 miles in a day easy we have to do 440 just to get to Dover and do this in one go, wouldn't want to do it everyday mind you but just like getting to ferry quick :Rofl1:

    If your going to La Rochelle try the Aire at the park and ride we spent two nights there its about 10 euro a night but you get free bus to and from the town all day, also get a small water taxi included in price that takes you from one side of harbour to other this is normally 4 euro per person. The aire is very safe and loads of other Motorhomes.
     
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  5. Nirvanauk

    Nirvanauk Funster

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    Saumur may be worth a two day stop if you can fit it in. Stay on the island as its close to town.
     
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  6. GaryW

    GaryW Funster

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    Yes thanks was thinking of staying on the island,looks really central to everything in the town.
     
  7. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    That kind of mileage is just easy with the roads in France. Enjoy.
     
  8. Roryboys Dad

    Roryboys Dad Read Only Funster

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    From Oldham down to Valras Plage is well over 800 miles in three days in a MH.

    Do you enjoy seeing virtually nothing but grey tarmac whizzing beneath your wheels?

    I appreciate you wishing to get there as quickly as possible but isn't it supposed to be a holiday - not a race?

    The first time we went to France in a MH I spent months cobbling together a definitive list of where we would go, stay and see.

    Within a few hours of arriving in France the list went in the bin.

    We had been delayed by heavy traffic and a Motorway accident and arrived at Eurotunnel 4 hours later than booked, six hours later in France than expected and eventually arrived at Equihen Plage Aire at eleven at night.

    So - we were nowhere near where we'd expected to be
    on the first night and after that we decided just to meander along the Northern coast and stop anywhere that looked ok.

    If you've not travelled in France before you need to get used to driving on the right (driver in gutter), road signs and where all the other traffic is because the open road really is open on most of the roads in France compared to the UK.

    Take your time, long distances are for the more seasoned visitor, and just enjoy what the 'real' France has to offer wherever you decide to go.

    Take the Rough Guide to find those places you'd never even heard of before but are well worth a visit.

    And don't worry, you'll find somewhere to stay every night – everyone else does.

    :france::france::france:
     
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  9. bungy

    bungy Funster

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    Like you, we have limited time (2-3weeks) and tend to take off in September and to get good weather (last few years anyway) we have needed to go south for that...generally Provence as we both love that area.

    I aim for 2 days from Calais to get as far south as we plan to go and then spend a few days relaxing before ambling our way back by which ever route takes our fancy - normally end up with a long last day as well!!

    As others have said the roads are good, so you can cover large distances with little trouble, and if you enjoy driving then why not - and there is the added bonus that if you decide you want to change plans then there are plenty of Aires that you can stop at:thumb:

    Have to say though - you have a well worked out plan...be interesting to see how much you stick to it once you get over there:Rofl1:

    As for campsites... don't forget the municipal ones...generally good value if your not looking for bells and whistles...and out of season the warden may not be bothered to even come and get the money of you!!

    PS - I have done Calais to Montelimar in one run before - 562miles...it was a long haul on toll roads but we set off from calais at 0700 and were parked up for the night at montelimar services by 2000 and were pitched up on our target site by midday on the second day of the hols
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  10. FIDGET

    FIDGET Funster

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    Hi , Coincidence my first trip to france was to valras plage we did in just under 2 days but used peage (toll roads) damned expensive we did calais to just south of lyon first day but I was then only 25, young and impetuous (also silly)
    now a days I usually only do 180-200 miles a day when travelling to the area that we are heading for, then just plod around the area not more than 40 miles a day so as to see explore & appreciate the surroundings then allow similar number of days at same sort of mileage to get back to dunkirk , usually spend first and last night at ferry terminal car park. We have been to france now 7 times personally I prefer it to the UK, but the wife (bless her) likes UK so have to alternate now
    Another coincidence is I see see you also have cocker spaniels ,we are currently on our 4th she's called Emily, a bit of a handful. We are off to Brittany for 2 weeks in sept.
    Take it easy and have a good holiday
    Terry:sin:
     
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  11. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    Hey Valras is not that bad ! You have all sorts of little shops and a big indoor market with fresh fish ! The port is very nice and not that busy... a lot of little restaurants ... very typical!

    Of course you have places less charming in Valras , like in many other towns !

    A lot of wine to buy directly from the "récoltant" !

    Have a look around ! You have as well Vendres-Plage.
    And you have horse riding in the area

    In Vendres-plage (look for camping les vagues direct access to the beach on your left when facing the reception of the campsite) you can walk along the beach for a long long moment but on dry and hard sand (well assuming the sea didn't get that far as it is usually the case in winter) Dogs love to be walked there! Not far from there (I have to remember the name of the town ...will look for it!) you have a permanent fair!

    I spent a few years in this area with my children for summer holidays! We loved it each year!

    Amicalement

    Frankie:Smile::Smile:
     
  12. mondo

    mondo Read Only Funster

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    I reckon 250-300 miles a day is do able..we used to work on around 300 miles a day starting at 08:00hrs with a break after a couple of hours for an hour..for her not me (I'm an ex truck driver I can do more) then off again and maybe a break fo lunch at around 13:00hrs for 30 minutes then carry on til 16:00hrs then look for an Aires to park at by that time before they get too full so at around a steady 50/55 MPH you can cover a fair bit of mileage..that's how we did it and it wasn't too tiring..mind as I said I'm an ex truck driver so 250-300 miles a day was easy pickings for me..
     
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  13. Philcott

    Philcott Read Only Funster

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    I want to go to the continent this year - will be my first time, but don't particularly want to book a set date and time to come back.

    Is it easy enough to get a ferry back without booking in advance and is it a lot more expensive than booking a return trip?
     
  14. hdvrod

    hdvrod Read Only Funster

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    Shame to hurry through France,last year we just told the sat nav no tolls no motorways,and came back from the South of France through places we would never have seen and missed so much.
     
  15. mike mcglynn

    mike mcglynn Funster Life Member

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    First trip to France

    Hi,Garyw I made my first french trip last year and found the toll roads quick but very expensive, so I decided to use the N roads which were very good and you will see so much more of everyday France which we found to be a delight:thumb: however make sure you have a good breakdown /recovery in place as we found out to our expense that they are not all the same .:Doh:
    mike
     
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  16. mondo

    mondo Read Only Funster

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    Philcott try this link for tickets to France http://www.dovereurochange.co.uk they have very competative rates we used them everytime we went on the continent..tell them what date/time you want to sail and they will do their best for you..
     
  17. ValinFrance

    ValinFrance Read Only Funster

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    We drove our Hymer back home to near Poitiers (just over halfway down on west side-ish) after Xmas and spent around 88 euros on tolls - not something we would normally do, but I had to do all the driving as OH was ill with migraine and man-flu.....

    Great roads if you're in a hurry though!
     
  18. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  19. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    if we're wanting to get from A to B we'll do around 300 a day on toll roads without thinking about it too much. We don't hammer it and I reckon that's about six hours' driving on average, which we share. French roads are nowhere near as stressful as English roads.

    I'm not very much into the romance of crawling through endless empty small towns at 20mph, but maybe that'll come with age and pensioner poverty ;-)

    I'd second the earlier favourable comments about the La Rochelle Park 'n' Ride Aire (Ave Jean Moulin), but I think it may be exit only on a Sunday, so don't try to get in then. It's spacious, there's usually free parking spots, and it's full of other Motorhomes in the high season. Only downside is the proximity of the station so you get routine bingbong platform announcements for most of the day and night. Probably no worse than the Kid's Club Cacophony on a (more costly) campsite though.
     
  20. Philcott

    Philcott Read Only Funster

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    Thank you - obvious when I think about it - an open return would do me wouldn't it! Silly moo I am!:Laughing: Sorry - bear with me folks, still trying to get my head around all that motorhoming involves!:shout:
     
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