South Of France Route - Please Help !

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by DebsD, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. DebsD

    DebsD

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    (n)I know this subject has probably been done to death but it's causing me much scratching of head trying to work out the best way of getting from Calais to Argeles sur Mer 'down south'. Have done a few trips around France over the years but since having the MH have only done the West side (Vendee, Charente and Loire areas) so gone through Rouen each time.

    We travel through tunnel 6am Friday 10th July and have only 3 weeks holiday time. Are spending a week in Argeles with friends and ideally want to get 2 overnight stops in on the way down (aires or campsites, not fussy). Don't mind Paying tolls on the way down but Paris isn't on my favourite list of routes to take. Bear in mind our old KonTiki isn't the most happy of MH's if constantly up and down huge hills and maybe you will see my problem. I'm throwing myself at the mercy of those Funsters who are way more experienced than me in the hope that someone takes pity on me and helps me out with my dilemma !

    Thanks in anticipation. (n)
     
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  2. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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  3. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    If you only want two stops then I think you need motorways all the way. Paris is a bu&&er but is probably the most direct, otherwise you could go round via Chartres to avoid it. By going down the middle of France you can take the A75 which is free for a lot of the way and then just run along the Med coast to Argeles.

    If you try to avoid Paris you will be on some less main roads, so if I wanted to be as quick as possible I would put up with horiphique periphique, just try not to hit it at peak times. Probably only one stop then necessary if your in a rush. About 750miles total.
     
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  4. DebsD

    DebsD

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    Thank you both ! That link is the one I have seen before and couldn't find again !

    I think we're pretty much decided on A71/A75 after Paris so I guess it's time to grin and bear the peripherique - Maybe if I just shut my eyes and let OH get on with the driving we may end up finding our way onto it going the right way round, and get off it somewhere near to where we need to be - preferably avoiding the 10km tunnel which I believe will take the roof off as it's 2m height restriction.

    Thank you for taking pity on me :)
     
  5. mickyc

    mickyc Read Only Funster

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    We have done this journey many times and usually go Calais, Rouen, Chartres, Orleans, Clermont Ferrand, Millau.

    We stop the first night at a small village called Le Pondy (free aires at side of canal) this is near St Amand Montrand
    Second night - Millau (not stayed here since aires changed to barrier system) or small village called Campagnac (not much here but suitable as a stop over)

    If you look on campercontact.com there are a lot of aires around these suggestions, these distances suit our 2 1/2 day journey to the med.
     
  6. DebsD

    DebsD

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    Thanks ! I'm liking that idea even more as it doesn't include the 'P' word in it. Off to do some googling :)
     
  7. kaasbroodje

    kaasbroodje Funster

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  8. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    I was going to say that about the A75 - one particularly long hill is so steep it has an escape lane and gravel trap on the southbound leg with the usual 'engine braking' signs - and a crawler lane on the northbound side. But - it's FREE ! and it is the quickest route.
     
  9. DebsD

    DebsD

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    Thanks Moho. I did wonder about the hilly bits. Only concern I have about Your suggested route is that it takes me rather too close to Cognac for comfort. I get within striking distance of that place and the MH develops 'auto pilot mode' :wine:We end up on the free aire in the town buying and drinking far too much of the stuff and never seem to get to where we are supposed to be going.

    Seriously, I can't thank you funsters enough for your suggestions.........now which cognac is it next.......... :)
     
  10. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    Hello DebsD

    We have travelled from Calais via Paris towards the A75 maybe 60+ times in the last 10 years, it can be a bit of a pain but there are options to lessen big city traffic. There are 3 eastern routes which is the side you need. Central Paris the Blvd Peripherique (BP) fastest, easiest and simplest between 2 - 4am, the A86/N186 center ring road which is good around 9pm - 4am, and the A104/N104 outer ring. This one is good if you have to travel at any time that could be busy ie 5 - 10am and 3 - 8:30pm.
    In your MH I would take the outer route as you will arrive Paris at about 11am - 12;30pm and it's a Friday with the world of France finishing for the weekend at lunch time.

    The outer is a little longer but often faster as almost never a hold up, but it, like the A86 is made up of a series of connecting motorways unlike the continuous M25 for example and you have to be aware that there will be a few direction changes which are all motorway junctions, but no stopping.

    Our best method for this route is to leave Calais around 1am and drive through the night until the A77, this is about 5 hours driving. The first 2 or 3 aires on the A77 are peaceful and very well laid out. Not every body can arrive at Calais in the evening (sometimes we don't have a choice on timing either) so at your crossing time I would stop an hour from Paris and then drive until the A77 and possibly as it's Friday day time the 2nd or 3rd aire.

    Fuel we buy at a Total station on the A16 about 5km south of the Tunnel.

    For us the best route to Paris is the A16 to Beauvais then across to Senlis, mostly dual carriageway and the least trafficked way to get to Paris. A slighter easier route is the A16 to Amiens then across to the A1 on the D934 to Roye, it's a good road mostly dualled. It's also possible to use the A29 from Amiens to the A1 but it's just a longer route.

    We travelled up the A75 last week, we travel this 3 or 4 times each year. There are some long drags but the grading is generally good and our 1992 Mercedes Hymer doesn't object too much. It is one of our favourite motorways in France, very gently beautiful. The A77 south of Paris is calm and also pretty at times, very easy to drive.

    There is an aire in Moulins right on the river opposite the town. About a 5 or 6 minute walk form a reasonable sized Intermarche supermarket + fuel there too. Once you exit the A77 there are I believe a few aires over the next 40 - 60 kms, but you would have to ask others.

    The A75 has a few really good motorway aires too, just ask if you want them pointed out.

    You know of course that Europe is on holiday at the time you are travelling so many of the busier routes will have more than normal traffic. For some reason apart from early morning that doesn't affect Paris too much.

    If you need any detailed info please feel free to ask, enjoy your trip.
     
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  11. kaasbroodje

    kaasbroodje Funster

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    It's always a hard decision, I'm drawn west for the Cognac and Bordeaux wines, love the central route for the fabulous views (hate the toll fee from Paris to Clermont F.), or take the eastern route for arguably better Rhone Valley wines and great scenery.
    Sure you'll have a great holiday !
     
  12. DebsD

    DebsD

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    Thanks everyone !

    Wine-hills-cognac-'p'-countryside........ You have all been great help and now I can give the OH your comments and let him choose the route. Once that's done I will get the maps out and shout 'left-right-get in that lane-nooooooo, not that tunnel' and we will no doubt have a lovely holiday !
     
  13. chopper602

    chopper602 Funster

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    When we've been down that way we've always avoided Paris and took the route towards Rouen. Always seems to work for us.

    (We're from the frozen northern tundra, so it's a bit of a trek even to Dover, so often do another few hours on the other side of the channel before sleeping somewhere)
     
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