France trip August 2012 - Aires we used (or saw nearby)

Discussion in 'Europe' started by magicsurfbus, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Just a quick round up for the benefit of Funsters - most are listed on the CCI website

    Mesnil Saint Pere - east of Troyes, close to the lake/reservoir - parking area, no services, about 4-5 hours drive from Calais. Easy free stopover on the way to the South.

    Saintes-Mairies-de-la-Mer (Camargue coast) - plenty to choose from. Seafront aire a bit sardine tin-like, two others further back in the town, also (at 16 Euros a night) a separate grassy MH parking area attached to Camping La Brise. Also behind the beach a very long free dusty parking strip, but prone to flooding in certain wind/tide conditions.

    Aigues Mortes (Camargue) - lovely walled town, well worth a trip. We used the MH only aire by the port/marina, with services. Another on the opposite side of the town in a car park looks OK, but maybe noisier.

    Avignon - only aire is under the arches of the Pont Edouard Daladier. Cramped, noisy, grotty, graffiti'd and makes you feel like a homeless person. The Camping Bagatelle site close by is far better, inexpensive, and offers plenty of shade. Around 16 Euros a night with Green Card discount. Lovely evening view of the old town across the river. Be very careful when negotiating various bridge arches near the riverside - stay in middle lane.

    Carcassonne - P2 Car Park, plenty of space, grey water and fresh water only - no obvious loo emptying point. Gravel surface, hotter than Hades in August (50 C on our outside thermometer one afternoon), but the walled town is well worth a visit.

    Lagrasse - Old village with character, featured in a MH magazine recently - aire in grassy car park with services. Three Euros in theory, but no-one came asking for payment. Pleasant spot, close to river.

    Collioure - Overnight parking in terraced car park on hill above the town, services available. Free minibus shuttle to town and back (show your ticket). Worth a quick hike through a hole in the fence to the water tower on the hilltop to take in the view along the coast. watch out for tight corners and low walls in the parking area when entering/leaving - I didn't, and now have a cracked side skirt as a souvenir.

    Cahors - Free overnighting in Parking Saint Georges, service point around corner. Alternative further out of town near leisure centre but not as pleasant or convenient. Beware TomTom satnav directions to latter one as well - use common sense (or The Force). Free shuttle bus from both parking spots to town centre. Apart from the medieval bridge they have a unique Resistance/Occupation museum with free entry - a labour of love for somebody.

    La Roque-Gageac - compact but beautifully-placed right by the Dordogne River, with services and attentive Police Municipale. Definitely going back there.

    Les Eyzies de Tayac - pleasant aire with soft pitches and services in the heart of caveman country. Only criticism is poor public transport, so limited access to the surrounding prehistoric sites without a vehicle. Roads through the gorges are a bit narrow and busy for cycling.

    Ile de Re: BEWARE VERY NARROW STREETS IN MANY TOWNS - USE SATNAV WITH EXTREME CAUTION.

    Bois Plage en Re - aire attached to the Campeole campsite with outside shower and service point, or free small aire opposite with up to 45 minutes free access to the same service point. Nice beach close by. Campeole aire price (12.10 Euros) includes an hour's free WiFi and an electric hook up. Some of the bays are pure sand, so be careful.

    Saint Clement des Baleines - grassy aire with services further north on the island, quiet, close to beach but beach is frankly rubbish. Good base for cycling around the top bit of the island. Nicer beaches are on the northern tip.

    Saint Martin en Re - aire within town walls, limited spaces. We used the 2 star municipal camping next to it for not much more, plus access to showers. Lovely town, plenty of atmosphere in the evening by the port. Supermarkets nearby.

    I've got panoramic pics of pretty much all of these aires - I'll add them to my online collection as and when.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
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  2. missbusybusy

    missbusybusy Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the information, I think it realy helps when you know what you are letting your self in for at these stop overs, I thought about adding ours on the way to spain early in the year but thought no one would be interested, Carol:Smile:
     
  3. WynandJean

    WynandJean Funster

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    Of course people are interested, Carol. While it can be interesting finding places worth visiting it can be very useful to hear other people's experiences. It's what makes the forum interesting. Do tell. :Smile:

    Wyn
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  4. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    11 Panoramic photos of the above aires have been uploaded to here:

    http://www.panoramio.com/user/4705005

    They will all be embedded in Google Earth/Maps before too long.

    Click the thumbnail to see medium-sized pic with location, then click the medium-sized pic to see it in more detail.

    I've also put the above link in Techno100's aire photo gallery thread.
     
  5. ValinFrance

    ValinFrance Read Only Funster

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  6. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Most definitely - it's an eco tax to help preserve the island's environment from tourist wear and tear. There can also be bloody huge queues at the bridge toll gates in peak seasons, especially in the afternoon. We diverted to the Avenue Jean Moulin Park 'n' Ride Aire in La Rochelle then made an early start the next morning and drove straight across without difficulty.
     
  7. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    the Saintes-Mairies-de-la-Mer on the camargue is one of oiur favourite places did you stay on the carpark section or go along the beach rd there probably a kilometre of parking along there right behind the beach with salt pans and wetlands behind you and the beach is probably 2 k long and you can skinny dip there as well
     
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