Looking for inspiration

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by JSH, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. JSH

    JSH Funster

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    We're new motorhomers having bought our first van in December. We have had plenty of weekends away this year but had always planned a trip to France over the summer.

    I have taken the plunge today and booked the Eurotunnel for Monday 19th August returning 12 days later on the Friday. If feel a bit overwhelmed with the choice if I'm honest.

    I fancy the Dordogne and woul really appreciate some recommendations and ideas for the uninitiated.

    Thanks in advance
    John
     
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  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Nice easy two day drive, you are on holiday so why rush.
     
  3. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    Have you bought the aires book it's worth ever penny
    We went down for 2 weeks last year it's a great area
    We spoilt it by tring to do everthing in a rush
    Find somewhere you want to go and if you like it stay for a few days
    We just rushed everywhere with little time to enjoy it
    When we go back it will be to about 3 sites over 2 or 3 weeks

    Don't try to do too much and you will enjoy it
     
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  4. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    As It's August my suggestion would be stay away from the coast...
    It can get very busy on some aires and campsites as like here all the kids are off..
     
  5. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    10-12 Promenade de la Vézère, 24620 Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil, France


    And if anybody is interested brill place to stay and visit all historic sites in area

    And st emillon is well worth a visit with a Aries just 2 min walk into town
     
  6. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    What Aires book? Where can I get it from please?
     
  7. JSH

    JSH Funster

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    I'm the OP and I just Googled and bought it from the publisher - vicarious Books for £22 delivered
     
  8. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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  9. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    Have a look at some of the Municipal sites as well.

    They are clean and reasonably priced.
     
  10. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    Something that you dont hear of very often on here. We always try to stay on Municipals in France. They are normally very good.
    Why is it that people prefer Aires to Municipals on here?.
     
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  11. june123

    june123 Read Only Funster

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    Could be because they are often free or very cheap?????
     
  12. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    Cheap, yeah that sums it up nicely.:Blush:
     
  13. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    I do like aires but only because of their convenience and proximity to towns.

    I honestly like nothing else about them.

    A municipal offers all of that at often a very small additional cost.

    And you can set a table and chairs up:thumb:
     
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  14. Leftlegger

    Leftlegger Funster

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    I Like aires also because of the price,be careful in this years book of out of date information,anything with 2012 information is probably good,we found 2 sites in st jean de monts were not aires anymore,but plenty of others in that area.Ex campsites may give you a better aire at a reasonable price,for instance st denis d'oleron 9 euros per night great base for exploring the top of the island by bike or walking,les huttes beach is worth a visit and st laurent sur gorre 6 euros(very clean site with shady pitches beside 2 lakes),were good value when we stayed there this month.Plenty of other aires info on this site,good information to plan your trip with.
     
  15. JSH

    JSH Funster

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    Thanks all. It's our main holiday this year so I am not too concerned about the cost (within reason). For peace of mind I need a loose plan and to pre book the first couple of nights I think. I'll start looking at the map and distances
     
  16. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    We are going over in August (11th) and our first choice was to spend a couple of weeks down the eastern border, along the Loire and up the west coast. Well, we had to rearrange our trip and that gives us less time initially.
    But Peter and Elaine's suggestion ( thankyou) has inspired us to go down to the Dordogne instead
    We have a late crossing so our first night stop will be Fort Mahon Plage. There is a huge aire almost on the beach. Then crossing the Loire at Saumur and onto the area around Bergerac
    We have no plans where to stay after Fort Mahon, probably aires but we don't mind wild camping or Municiples. It's always nice to have a somewhere to put your feet up and awning out for a couple of days.
    Then back up to Calais to meet our Daughter and a tour of some of the WW2 cemeteries and museums around Dunkerque
    Not long now!
    Allan
     
  17. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    All I can add is ...don't rush, take your time and as Peter has already said don't try to fit all France in one trip...France is a lot bigger than what you think....Aires , Municipal sites are all very good....it all depends on what are your requirements..if you have children then municipal and private campsites may be the better option....BUT if you are coming to France in the busy season back end of July and August...campsites may be on the full side with the children being off school...now on the other hand the Aires may be less busy.....:RollEyes:
    If you are a camper that need showers,toilets and electric hookup.(not using your onboard facilities) then campsites may be your best bet...if you are self sufficient then try a few Aires you may even like them..:thumb:
    Don't forget on Aires you are not supposed to put up awnings, Deck chairs and tables, or BBQ( although a lot do at the front or back of the van) and on Aires you may well be very close to you next motorhome...just enough to open your habitation door and walk down the side of the van..(not on all aires) but saying that, some of the best places are Aires...Enjoy your Holiday
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
  18. Parcverger

    Parcverger Funster - Campsite Owner

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    Bob
    www.parcverger.com
     
  19. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    we usually do a mix of aires and municipals aires in larger towns tend to be just a carpark or spaces in the localrail or coach park
    aires in the countryside can be beautiful riversides lakesides and wild mountain sides we tend to do two days on aires then one on a site to fill and empty but would stay on a site if we wanted to explore for a couple of days
    france is huge and compared to england sparsely populated so as said take your time
     
  20. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    If the OP is heading specifically for the Dordogne, try (all with aires unless otherwise stated):

    Sarlat la Caneda - quaint old town either side of modern main street
    La Roque Gageac - river walks, boat rides. kayak hire
    Beynac et Cazenac, and Castellnaud la Chappelle for impressive chateaus with commanding views - overnight MH parking tolerated nearby
    Roque Saint Christophe - medieval troglodyte village in the cliff face, overnight MH parking allowed
    Les Eyzies de Tayac Sirieul - national prehistory museum and a visitor centre called PIP, cave sites within walking/cycling distance, including Font de Gaume with polychrome cave art. Abri Pataud (in the village) is also worth a look.
    Rouffignac - impressive cave system with line drawings of mammoths and other beasts, and cave bear dens, Not sure about overnight parking but plenty of space for MH.
    Lascaux II - haven't been for a few years but this is a reconstruction of the original Lascaux caves with cave art, whereas the previous two I've mentioned are the real deal. Daytime parking only, as far as I know.

    If you're wanting suggestions for further afield I'd personally go for Charente-Maritime (coast above Bordeaux), including Ile de Re, Ile d'Oleron, La Rochelle, La Palmyre, Parc Puy du Fou, all with aires available. Plenty of variety to be had in and around those places - the islands are particularly good if you don't mind cycling.

    I should add that while aire guides in book form have their uses, you should consider downloading CCI's free POI file if you have a SatNav, and also find some POIs for the main French supermarket chains like Carrefour, LeClerc, Auchan, Intermarche, and Super-U, not least for their much cheaper fuel.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
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