First trip - France to portugal

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Photo4x4, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. Photo4x4

    Photo4x4 Funster

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    Hello folks

    We plan on taking our MH abroad for the first time next year. I'm thinking of Dover-Calais ferry return trip (preferably with an open ended return so we can stay for 2-4 weeks). I plan on staying the first night in France close to Calais so I don't have too much driving to do the first day. Then heading down to Vilamoura in Portugal. Preferably avoiding toll roads

    Having read on MHFun how easy it is to MH on the continent I don't plan on doing much more pre booking than this first stop.

    So folks, what camping guides do I need please? I don't want to rely on wi-fi so I'd prefer printed guides for camping sites and aires etc.

    Thanks

    KH
     
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  2. Bill_OR

    Bill_OR Funster

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    I'd want a minimum of Camperstop Europe & "All the Aires"
     
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  3. movan

    movan Funster Life Member

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    I've seen a house in Portugal where I would love to look at it and there are so many questions. Thanks for asking the starting point questions re going there .. Look forward to the answers. :)
     
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  4. mickyc

    mickyc Read Only Funster

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    As above camper stop Europe (we get a fresh copy every 2-3 years)

    All the Aires is good but not very accurately titled (still worth getting though)

    You mentioned not relying on wifi, and would prefer printed guides etc. bear in mind that you can download camper contact to a mobile device (iPad etc) and download the maps to use offline.

    Also you can download poi's for your satnav of loads of aires from various sources (a quick search on here will help with that)

    For your first night near Calais (travelling South) I would recommend Boulogne (5 euros per night and a stone throw from Calais on a free motorway)
     
  5. Zepp

    Zepp Funster

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  6. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    Jj's your man he posted about an escorted trip it that direction a while ago
     
  7. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    With only 2-4 weeks we'd go Portsmouth- Santander and carry Acsi book and 'Quite a few of the Aires for France, Spain and Portugal'
     
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  8. Forestboy

    Forestboy Funster Life Member

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    Aires books for France, Bordatlas/ Stellplatz and Acsi for everything else.
    Those 3 are all we carry now chucked the rest away. Between them must be over 10000 stops / sites covering all Europe.
    Gadgets on phones and laptops and gps are fine until you're in the middle of nowhere its getting dark and there's no signal.:eek: Stick to the 3 books you'll never go wrong.
    You can get information overload if you're not careful.
    Enjoy(y)
     
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  9. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    As a complete novice going for our first European trip I'm no expert......

    But... Calais down to Portugal is a hell of a drive.

    We go Plymouth/Roscoff and heading down to Sanguinet which is 580 miles from Roscoff. We have no time limitations and like the OP have booked only the outward bound trip..

    So it will take us 3 days maybe to get down to Sanguinet. Then we will either stay there or travel down into Spain and maybe even Portugal. Who knows and we don't care :)

    My point is that if we were going just to Portugal then we would have gone to either Bilbao or Santander. Then travel down to Portugal from there. Holidaying for us is taking our time and seeing the sights. Driving huge distances is something I would avoid.

    After great advice here we have more books maps and literature than you can shake a stick at ! But every point has been not only noted but written down as well so dopey here has a reference !

    Whatever have an awesome trip !

    5 more sleeps for us as the kids say today..:D:D
     
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  10. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    We would normally give ourselves 4 or 5 days to the Spanish border and then a couple more to reach Portugal from the Tunnel.You don't want to rush and miss the scenery and get stressed.
     
  11. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    We did that trip in March/April this year. We used The Vicarious Aires book for France and the one for Spain & Portugal. Also took the books that came with our ACSI discount card but only used it once to stop at Salamanca for a couple of nights. Also used the camperstop app on my phone, but downloaded all the info in advance do did not need connection.

    Relatively easy run. We crossed using the tunnel at lunch time Friday. First stop at a nice Aire at Neufchattel en Bray, north of Rouen. Next stop just south of Angouleme, and we crossed into Spain just after lunch time on the Sunday. From there down on good non-toll roads to Caceres, and then across to Portugal to start seeing the sites. If all you want is the Algarve then it is quicker to continue down through Spain (again non-toll roads) to Seville and thenhead west to Portugal.

    We tried to avoid tolls through France where sensible. Went via Rouen, Chartres, Tours, Poitiers, Angouleme, Bordeaux and Bayonne. But parts of the A16 we had to pay for, and we also paid to avoid Tours and Poitiers. Unfortunately most of the N10 South of Bordeaux is now tolled (used to be free), but we deicided to use it anyway.

    Portugal is very motorhome friendly. We loved it and will return again.
     
  12. GeriatricWanderer

    GeriatricWanderer Funster

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    Hmmm... Edinburgh to Vilamoura, a 3600 mile round trip. Of course it's doable in 2 - 4 weeks but that's an average of 128 to 257 miles.... every day - just to get there and back. It wouldn't be my preferred journey, especially for my first trip over there.
    No doubt you have a good reason to go to that town and have only 2 to 4 weeks to play with but, that's an awful long way to drive if you want to enjoy the journey and see something of the countryside you're travelling through.
    Are you sure?
     
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  13. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    You may wish to reconsider the toll roads in Portugal, the non-tolled roads are poorly maintained, and the Portuguese are insane drivers. It is now fairly straight forward to register for the electronic SCUT tolls.
    I would second those who are endorsing downloading POI's to your sat nav. We have a large database of airres on ours, so when we find a place we like, I just look for ones that are close by :D
     
  14. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    On the other hand we never used toll roads when in Portugal. Yes some of the roads are bumpy and rough, but in other places you will find good quality "B roads" that are much smoother and wider than ours.
     
  15. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    The CamperContact app and the ACSI book and card was all we used for our recent 8 weeks in Spain.
     
  16. Photo4x4

    Photo4x4 Funster

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    Hello all and thanks for the replies so far.

    Not Edinburgh, we are in the Highlands north of Inverness! Google Maps tells me it is over 2,000 miles each way, of course 650 miles of that is just to get to Dover.

    We are making the journey the holiday and will just spend a few days in Vilamoura so I'm guessing we need at least 4 weeks.

    I'll get searching for the books.

    Oh yes, we have decided to 'dip our toes into the water' by having a trip to France in October.

    KH
     
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  17. spongy

    spongy Read Only Funster

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    Portugal from Inverness is a hell of a long drive, even with 4 weeks I think you would be lucky to have more than 7-10 days in Portugal. If this is your 1st trip abroad I would suggest you stick to France, if you want beaches and sunshine anywhere around south of Bordeaux is good and you can get there without using a single toll road. France is very motorhome friendly with an aire in almost every town or village.
    Hope you have a good trip.

    spongy
     
  18. Huwmari

    Huwmari Funster

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  19. Photo4x4

    Photo4x4 Funster

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    Just a quick update (I just hate it when someone asks a question and you never find out what they did about it!).

    All The Aires (North & South) ordered, Michelin road atlas of France ordered, and Rough Guide to France also ordered. I'll get the Spain and Portugal books after we return from our dip-our-feet-in-the-water trip to France in October.

    Dog booked into the vet this afternoon for rabies injection and pet passport stuff. Later today after visiting the vet we will book our ferry (Dover-Calais-Dover).

    So a couple more questions but I'll do a search first and if I can't find the answer I'll start a new thread.

    Thank you for all your help, it is much appreciated.

    KH
     
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  20. Stealaway

    Stealaway Funster

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    I would consider the tunnel - so much easier and so quick, although I'm not sure about the price comparison.
     
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