May Day in France

Discussion in 'France' started by Clickem, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. Clickem

    Clickem Funster

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    We are soon setting off on our first trip through France and down into Spain. Travelling from Calais on Thursday the 30th of April and expecting to stop off around Tours and push on to the border around Bayonne, to stay overnight on the 1st of May

    The route we plan is mainly off toll roads, trying to use them only where they bypass cities

    Given that May the first is a public holiday, should we expect the roads to be very busy or congested and should we be booking sites, as it is a holiday weekend?
     
  2. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    Usually any bank holiday in France can be busy, just like in UK..
    I went though Tours last August and it was nose to tail most of the way. !!! Allow extra time.... Cant comment on campsites as we always use aires.... Calais to Tours is a good stretch non toll, it's often very easy to over estimate how far you can travel on first trips. Dont be fooled by just reading maps and looking at distances....
    Bordeaux can be a real pain and known to be grid locked, like the M25 or M6 in Brum. !!

    Got my fingers crossed for you....
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
  3. Clickem

    Clickem Funster

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    Thanks for that. Cannot allow more time as we are squeezed between a channel tunnel booking and a return flight from Spain for my OH.

    We tend to use sites, rather than Aires, as OH prefers porcelain

    We have a route that mixes tolls, around some cities, with the majority of the journey on non toll roads. Plan B will have to be to join the toll roads if we are taking too long
     
  4. LAM

    LAM Funster

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    Our first trip last year was to the Loire in June.
    All the plans went to pot almost straight away. We missed our slot on the train (accident on motorway). There was a 5 hour delay on the train which meant it was nearly dark by the time we got to Calais. As we had no plans to travel in the dark (didn't alter lights) we stayed on an aire at the port. We decided to travel the whole distance in one go using the tolls for speed and ease. It was Le Mans week and large road works in Rouen to add to the mix :madder:.
    As Tonka says it is very easy to overestimate how far you can travel on your first trip. It all looks easy and straight forward on the maps ! Good luck, you will love it :france::france:
     
  5. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    That does not guarantee it's faster at holiday time...
    Hit the main towns like tours and bordeaux, toll booths get jammed up etc..
    I hope it does go well for you and little problems but having hit it a few times just think what UK roads are like on bank holidays !. The French often jump to main roads when the motorways are busy and that then makes them slower.

    Your route with 2 stops is something I do with 3 stops, non toll. So you have a lot of driving without any delays and aiming to use campsites means you will most probably be getting there late and not having much benefit.

    Good luck anyway.
     
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