Summer Holiday Advice France and Spain

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Ian Watson, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. Ian Watson

    Ian Watson Read Only Funster

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    We (myself, wife and 8 yr old son) have finally taken the plunge and booked our first summer holiday abroad in our motorhome, a ferry to Roscoff and another returning from Santander 4 weeks later. We like the idea of moving on every 2-3 days and planning the trip as we go along (why we bought a motorhome in the first place). Possibly travelling down the Atlantic coast and then maybe a trip into the pyrenees mountains and then on into northern spain.

    Is this 'come and go as we like' attitude a possibility in the height of summer holidays in France / Spain or are we better planning the whole trip in advance (not what we really want to do as don't want to be tied to an itinerary)?

    Having never done this before we're a little concerned that we'll find all the sites/aires full and the constant search for accommodation will ruin the whole experience! I must say that we're not interested in the big sites with all the facilities, more keen on travelling and seeing as much as we can during the trip.

    Has anyone has done this type of trip in August? if so your advice and experiences would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    August near the coast will be busy, some campers are known to pitch up and stay for weeks... Aires can be really busy,, Arrive early and be prepared to move to next Aire if need be....

    Get as much info on aires, sites and parking places as you can.. Lots of info on the web once you start looking...
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  3. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Suck it and see. After a couple of weeks it all starts to look the same and then you'll slow down and relax.

    It's so easy to arrive home saying "I need a holiday to recover". BTDTGTTS.
     
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  4. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    We've never had any choice but to travel in July-Aug due to school holidays and I can't recall finding most decent-sized aires too full, although we've had to forget the Avenue Milady aire at Biarritz a couple of times and drive on to nearby alternatives. As a general rule you'll have a better chance of finding space on the larger aires, and around mid-morning when those who want to depart usually do so. However, if the aire is also a car park (ie Chamonix), you're more likely to get in around teatime when the motorists depart.

    If you're heading down the West coast of France, take a look at my site on the 'Aire Today' link in my signature below - plenty of possibilities there. The aire photo gallery in the other link covers a wider range, because I haven't got round to updating the website for a while - it's on my 'to do' list for the coming months..
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
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  5. Ian Watson

    Ian Watson Read Only Funster

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    Thank you very much all of you for taking the time to reply. From what you say its made me a bit more confident that we'll find somewhere to stay even if it means a bit of hunting around or moving inland a little. I've got the French and Spanish Aires guides on order so looking forward to having a look through that when they arrive.
     
  6. Parcverger

    Parcverger Funster - Campsite Owner

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    You will find that the first half of August in particular will be very busy down the coast, as this is when many of the French themselves are on holiday. Coastal sites are also understandably popular with not just Brits but also the Dutch, Belgians and the like. Those who do not head for the Riviera or Spain will often end up on the west coast of France.:Doh:

    You'll always find space if you go inland a bit, and as it is your first such foray why not mix it - if a coastal area is packed, then travel for an hour or two away from the coast and see some of the other lovely areas France has to offer. Wherever you go, most sites will have a pool and there will be other children for your son to meet. Staying two or three days in each location will give you a feel for where you want to go on future visits.

    Have a great time wherever you go.

    Bob
    www.parcverger.com
     
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  7. callumwa

    callumwa Read Only Funster

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    We cross to Dunkirk on July 20th for 5 and a half weeks with our 2 boys (10 and 4).

    We go every summer never book anything in advance except the ferries, never had a problem using Aires and campsites. If you are heading for a particular site just ring ahead on the day, if it is full, the call saves some wasted mileage. Generally though we almost always find a nice spot without any hassle.

    This year we go down through Belgium, Luxembourg, Rhine Valley, Chamonix, South of France, into Spain, Barcelona, Benidorm, we will see how far South we get.
    Then back up to Northern Spain for a ferry from Gijon to St Nazaire, then back to Dunkirk through Brittany and Normandy.

    Have a great trip......:thumb::thumb:


    :BigGrin:
     
  8. jaygee

    jaygee Funster

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    we've traveled Spain in July 7 August and have never booked but have always found somewhere to park. We tried the coast towns but so busy it was not a pleasant experience so headed inland a bit. Found the Sierra de Segura and traveled along it - lots of campsites, a few wild parking spots , mountain waterfalls to swim in and not too busy. Worth a visit.
     
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  9. Ian Watson

    Ian Watson Read Only Funster

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    Thanks again for all your responses. The French Aires book has arrived and I'm pleasantly surprised how many there is, plenty of options. I'll be back here to let you know how we get on.
    Thanks again for taking the time to offer your advice.
    Ian & Family.
     
  10. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    Most campsites will always try to squeeze you in, it's only a short high season for them. Only last week we were at Vincelles and they were parking vans up in the car park and giving them a pitch the next day. (lot of Dutch folk heading South)

    Rgds
    Bill
     
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