The best ref books for France and Spain?

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by MrsM, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. MrsM

    MrsM Funster

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    We are just compiling our list for Santa and would like to know which books people think are the best to get for newcomers such as us?:Laughing:

    We are travelling through France and Spain next year starting in February so need facilities open all year. We might be new to motor homing, but we have both camped and travelled extensively in Europe.

    Following initial research we have come up with the ACSI card, All Aires France, All Aires Spain and Portugal as a starter for 10. Are these a good choice to start us off or have we missed an obvious one?

    Thanks as always for your comments! :thumb:
     
  2. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    The ones you mention definatly...

    ACSI will give you access to some campsites with discounted rates..
    The aires books will give you a wealth of stopover places...

    Remember a lot of sites are closed in France during winter.. There are some open but thats another reason to use the Aires provided.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
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  3. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    We also use Lonely Planet and Rough Guides :BigGrin:
    Mike
     
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  4. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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  5. happypre65

    happypre65 Funster

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    The best ref books for France and Spain

    Hi,When we looked for all year campsites we used UKCAMPSITES on the computer,as they give lots of sites and info with pictures,it is a free site, it also covers other countries . H.:Rofl1:
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  6. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    Well funnily enough, All the Aires Spain & Portugal, actually gives 'open all year' campsites too on one of the maps!

    I thought that was good, and a nice surprise.

    A 2014 Michelin large scale atlas, it's a tad annoying when you are travelling long distances and if you don't keep turning pages you can get a bit 'left behind' but being able to see a lot of smaller roads is jolly useful once you get to a place and start exploring, though of course their mega scale local maps are far better but some of the rds on them you need an off road motorbike ! LOL

    Sat Nag is jolly useful for finding Aires on the Lat & Long co-ords, as not all of them are signposted, but there again you also sometimes find signposted aires the book hasn't mentioned! - or if it does it's under another village name cos apparently you must've crossed the boundary from another place you thought you were still in, which you didn't realise.

    I now want a Portuguese-Eng dictionary fairly urgently because P is nowt like Spanish so apart from Bom Dia and Obrigada, I shall be stuck. (Pete has informed me that gentlemen say Obrigado, ladies say ~a)

    I also keep a Collins Gem French-Eng dictionary in the van since vocab often deserts me, or we see a sign for something when driving along and go, what the hell does that mean? And I shall add the Span-Eng I already have.

    We also have a paperback tome on the Loire and an equally elderly Rough Guide - both of these useful for 'where is there round here where we might go and have a sightsee' although of course their hotel and resto suggestions and all prices are years out of date. But quite fun and at least they do tell you about local food and drink specialities so you have some fore-warning about the content of some of these! I think both of these were bought about 10 years ago in a cheapo book shop chain where most stock was unused, pristine and out of date. Chateaux etc and ancient caves etc don't tend to move a lot .....

    Go and have a mooch in eg Waterstones Travel section - you can spend hours!
     
  7. kglblue

    kglblue Funster

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    French aires

    We find the French Aires book published by Vicarious invaluable, and the ACSI book and card.
     
  8. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

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    As well as the ACSI card we like to use the Camping Cheque, similar to ACSI but you preload them on a camping cheque card they last for 3 years and can be redeemed for a small charge, gives you discounted rates and saves carrying as many euros with you plus they have a excellent network of sites available.

    Rest I agree with previous posts.
     
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  9. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    The Alan Rogers guides are useful as they give a good description of each site. They also do a free app which lists them all although the book is easier to use. Caravan Club also do a book and a browse through your local bookshop will find others.

    Also don't for get Google maps. Display the area you want to find a site in and type "camping" in the search bar and all the campsites it knows about will be displayed. It isn't foolproof but can be useful to find a site in an out of the way area.
     
  10. Forestboy

    Forestboy Funster Life Member

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    Alan Rogers books are excellent
     
  11. Geordies

    Geordies Funster

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    We looked at a couple of French campsite for next Sept. They both wanted a booking fee of 17 or 20 Euros. Bit steep if we were only staying a couple of nights at 16 Euro per night.

    Is this booking fee common in France ?

    As we will be there out of season, if we just turn up at a campsite rather than pre-booking I'd expect to get in, but would we then still have to pay the booking fee ?
     
  12. mikebeaches

    mikebeaches Funster

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    Yes, I don't understand why, but the French always seem to want to take a hefty booking fee for advance reservations. :cry:

    However, there is a very easy way around the problem - especially for September - don't book in advance! :thumb:

    I cannot imagine you won't be able to stay at any site you want during that month. And no, there's no reservation fee if you just turn up. :thumb:

    We have never been unable to stay anywhere we wanted in France during September.

    And if you don't book, then you remain a free agent to turn up just whenever you like, rather than be tied to a strict timetable. It might be that you liked the previous site so much you want to stay an extra day or two etc.

    Mike
     
  13. mikebeaches

    mikebeaches Funster

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    Another vote for Camping Cheques, as well as the ACSI discount card. The cheques provide addtional choice and options. The network is not as big as ACSI, but handy nonetheless.

    Note, the cheques only last for 3 years if you choose the 'Gold Card' option, otherwise they last for 2 years with the 'Silver Card', or paper cheques. It's worth spending some time researching exactly how the scheme works. And currently the face value of cheques is €15 euro, but that will increase to €16 from 1 January 2014, I believe.

    Mike
     
  14. superk

    superk Read Only Funster

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    We never booked a campsite whether with the RV or HRZ in September in France :Smile: Most trips we stayed in France to around mid-November then starts to get cold.:Sad:
     
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