French Aires in the summer.

Discussion in 'France' started by Tom A, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. Tom A

    Tom A Funster

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    We're travelling down to Chamonix next year, end of July beginning of August.
    I know it's going to be busy but what's the chances of getting on Aires on our way down ?
    Taking two of the grandkids so can't go out of season like we normally do and no idea how busy it's going to be.
    I've booked a couple of sites on the way back but prices are ridiculous so looking to save a bit on our way down.
     
  2. mickyc

    mickyc Read Only Funster

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    Should have no problems getting on Aires, providing you are sensible and have a "back up option"

    By sensible, I mean don't expect to arrive at a small aire in a popular tourist attraction at 8 pm and have a choice of spots. ;)

    We have had very few issues with regards to aires being full, even on the Med in August.

    Having said that, I would always advise having a few options in case there's no room (or your first choice is rubbish!)
     
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  3. Munchie

    Munchie Funster Life Member

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    Arrive between 1000 and 1400 is the best plan!
    French leaving have gone and don't usually start arriving till 1600 soonest.
     
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  4. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    As above, have a Plan B for every aire you plan to visit, and aim wherever possible for medium to large ones, with a view to arriving mid/late morning to get the best choice of available spots.

    Most of our MH trips have been during school summer holiday time - we have rarely if ever failed to find a spot wherever we've been.

    Assuming a reasonably early arrival in Calais and a direct route to Chamonix, a good one to consider is the free parking area at Mesnil Saint Pere just east of Troyes. If you really crack on the aire/municipal campsite at Dijon is worth heading for.
     
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  5. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Went in Aug a couple of years ago. Aires were fine though we always made a point of arriving early afternoon. The kids being on holiday didn't make a lot of difference, we saw very few on the aires, probably don't appeal to people with children as no facilities. When I toured with my three boys years ago we always stayed on sites with pools and showers. Five people using a motorhome shower is not very practical.
     
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  6. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    We did that trip this year at pretty much the same time - end of July. We had no trouble finding aires.

    We did:

    Watten - Mareuil sur Ay - Froncles - Nantua - La Balme de Sellingy - Chamonix.

    No problem finding space at any of them but we made a point of arriving just after lunch or early afternoon. A lot of them were full by early evening.
     
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  7. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    We have traveled through France on route to Benidorm for the past 3 years. Never had an issue with inland stops as most of the French have headed out for the coast but as said have a plan B ready...
     
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  8. mickyc

    mickyc Read Only Funster

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    If you're going the Belgium, Lux, Metz, Nancy route then you can stop at Pont a Mousson Aire, which is right on the river Mosselle and a short walk into town.
     
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  9. TeeMyob

    TeeMyob Funster

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    We were in the area around Nancy Metz late August/Early September this year. We struggled on a couple of days trying to find an Aire. Started off with

    Pont a Mousson No Chance FULL early

    Tried three others around it within 20-30 mins drive. ALL FULL

    Eventually, after 3 hours, faffing and lots of kM's. We found a great spot by the river. FREE, next to a campsite. But what a waste of an afternoon.

    *Do not rely on them.*

    Liverdun and so was mine! IMG_9302.JPG
     
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  10. TeeMyob

    TeeMyob Funster

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  11. orridge

    orridge Funster

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    Would suggest booking in Chamonix as the summer we were there everything was booked out except the aire under the Aigle du Midi which is fine for a couple of days but wouldn't want to stay much longer than that.
     
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  12. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    What's wrong with it? We had 3 nights there and I would have happily stayed longer if we didn't have other places to be. I guess it might not be great fun at this time of year but in the summer it's fine.

    Safe parking, water and waste. That'll do me (y)

    By booking I guess you mean campsites as obviously it isn't possible to book aires. I understand there are quite a few around there but we never even considered them when we went.
     
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  13. Eeyore

    Eeyore Read Only Funster

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    We always try and arrive for lunch time so that we invariably get a space and time to explore the town/ village in the afternoon.

    One thing I would advise though is taking a bucket or watering can for refilling your fresh water. Once you've found a space on a busy aires sometimes it's best to stay put rather than move to fill up. More than once we've watched people put out doormats, chairs etc to reserve a place while they go and service the van only to have someone arrive and chuck it all to one side and take the space. Technically that's OK, if a bit cheeky. With one particularly huge van I had the firm impression that even if the previous occupant had left his children lying on the space to reserve it they'd have been driven over.
     
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  14. Tom A

    Tom A Funster

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    Hi Nick.
    Do you think we'd get on the aire ?
    We like the look of Nantua so will probably go there and be in Chamonix mid morning.
     
  15. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    Hi,

    There aire at Chamonix is part of a huge car park. There's space for several hundred motorhomes so you won't have any problems. When we were there in the summer it was €12.50 per 24 hours which is bloody expensive for an aire but it's all about the location. You're about 5 minutes stroll from the town and there's a supermarket about 400 yards away through the coach park.

    Here it is: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@45.9166707,6.8706924,312m/data=!3m1!1e3

    Nantua is much smaller, space for about 8 or 10 vans if I remember correctly at the side of the lake. You definitely need to be there early.
     
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  16. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Being as it's shared with cars it will fill up with cars in the high season from about 9am until about 5pm, so it's a good example of an aire you can arrive at later on in the day to get a better choice of spots.

    There are supposedly designated MH bays but the car drivers use them up, so I'd suggest taking your time getting there.
     
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  17. Tom A

    Tom A Funster

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    Like the sound of Chamonix aire. Might book the site at Nantua instead of taking a chance on the aire.
     
  18. orridge

    orridge Funster

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    If you like spending your holidays on a large car park then it's perfect ;-) and the OP mentioned travelling with Grand Kids but I do agree it's very handy for the cable cars and the centre of Town.

    I did mean campsites although there is a private aire further down the valley at Les Houches which I believe you could book and get the train up the valley.
     
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  19. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    Quite agree. Personally given the choice between a car park and a CC type campsite I'd take the car park every time. (y)
     
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  20. ojibway

    ojibway Funster

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    Froncles!
    We stopped there this year and drove straight out again. It used to be a lovely little stop off but this year it was scruffy with lots of permanent motorhomers!
     
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