Calais to Toulouse route (1 Viewer)

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Jan 3, 2023
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Hi all.
We are embarking on our first European venture late March. Any recommended routes to take from Calais to Toulouse that would enable us to travel without having to carry snow chains? We want to avoid motorways and toll routes if possible - looking to spend 5 -6 days leisurely cruising and seeing the sights.
 
Aug 16, 2018
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Avoiding Rouen usually measns going via Paris which is an absolute nightmare. I don't like going through Rouen either but it's preferable to Paris. You can avoid both but you'll be making a huge diversion if you do. I don't think you'll need to go anywhere near any mountains if you're only going as far a Bordeaux. (Just realised you said Toulouse not Bordeaux - so ignore.)
 
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garry55
Jan 3, 2023
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Already read a lot about the perils of Rouen - whats the best route to avoid getting snagged there?

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Jun 10, 2010
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Already read a lot about the perils of Rouen - whats the best route to avoid getting snagged there?
Rouen is normally OK for most people but currently the tunnel is being altered. If you 3500 tonnes you re fine, much bigger and either go via forges less eaux or go around the top.
 

TerryL

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Have a look at this thread for the route we've just done then from Bordeaux or even Mont de Marson Toulouse is straightforward.
But please note you'll be entering an area where winter tyres/snow chains are compulsory anywhere south of Toulouse - as I think yodeli might be warning you.
 

lunarman

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Traversing Rouen coming from Calais is really no problem and you should not come anywhere close to the low tunnels. You do need to be aware that there is now a clean air zone in operation and you need a critair of class 3 or lower to enter the zone. There is a through route that allows non conforming vehicles to go through Rouen and from Calais that is the A28/N28 and D18e which you would need to take. The often quoted route through Rouen via the D6015 and Pont D'Larch is inside the zone so cannot be used in a non conforming vehicle.
 
Oct 12, 2008
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Just a tad..
Paris is fine to go around, literally very easy. Avoid morning or evening rush hours and you’ll be fine. Head south from Calais down A1 pick up the outer ring road, A104/N104 and then A10 and A71 all the way down to Toulouse.

I used to drive this quite regularly for work and also as I had a lake I used to fish down there. The good news now, as opposed to 20 years ago is that they have finished the motorway saving you having to drive through Cahors, which used to be a bloody nightmare.

Not sure why people are suggesting going anywhere near Bordeaux or via Rouen, it’s several 100k’s longer than past Paris.
 
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garry55
Jan 3, 2023
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Have a look at this thread for the route we've just done then from Bordeaux or even Mont de Marson Toulouse is straightforward.
But please note you'll be entering an area where winter tyres/snow chains are compulsory anywhere south of Toulouse - as I think yodeli might be warning you.
Thanks for this information. We are leaving the UK late March (around the 27th / 28th) so won't get to Toulouse until early April, when I believe the snow chain rule isn't applicable? Or am I mistaken?
 
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garry55
Jan 3, 2023
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So your final destination is Toulouse? What do you intend to do there if I may ask?
Never visited Toulouse - I missed it when I did my tour of France by motorcycle in 2007, and as it's on en route to Carcassonne and Perpignan it will be a chance to have a look see.
 
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garry55
Jan 3, 2023
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Rouen is normally OK for most people but currently the tunnel is being altered. If you 3500 tonnes you re fine, much bigger and either go via forges less eaux or go around the top.
Thanks for this - our van is 3500 tonnes so we can use the tunnel (y)

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garry55
Jan 3, 2023
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Traversing Rouen coming from Calais is really no problem and you should not come anywhere close to the low tunnels. You do need to be aware that there is now a clean air zone in operation and you need a critair of class 3 or lower to enter the zone. There is a through route that allows non conforming vehicles to go through Rouen and from Calais that is the A28/N28 and D18e which you would need to take. The often quoted route through Rouen via the D6015 and Pont D'Larch is inside the zone so cannot be used in a non conforming vehicle.
Great info - thank you. Duly noted in our travel plans (y)
 
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garry55
Jan 3, 2023
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Paris is fine to go around, literally very easy. Avoid morning or evening rush hours and you’ll be fine. Head south from Calais down A1 pick up the outer ring road, A104/N104 and then A10 and A71 all the way down to Toulouse.

I used to drive this quite regularly for work and also as I had a lake I used to fish down there. The good news now, as opposed to 20 years ago is that they have finished the motorway saving you having to drive through Cahors, which used to be a bloody nightmare.

Not sure why people are suggesting going anywhere near Bordeaux or via Rouen, it’s several 100k’s longer than past Paris.
Thank you for this information. We are not in a hurry so I will be re-tracing parts of my motorcycle tour which included visiting Le Mans, tours and Poitiers. My partner hasn't been to any of these places. I'm sure she will love Le Mans (not)! I have a friend in Bordeaux who we will be visiting either on the way down or the way back - depends upon his work schedule.
 
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garry55
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Traverse Rouen on a Sunday, no lorries and almost no cars........Easy!
We were hoping to leave the UK before the weekend (the tunnel is quieter / cheaper)? but based on this info we might re schedule - and that would benefit us by not having to purchase snow chains - very appealing to a Yorkshireman!
 
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garry55
Jan 3, 2023
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So your final destination is Toulouse? What do you intend to do there if I may ask?
Hi - just noticed that you live near to Toulouse. Are there any campsites close enough to Toulouse where you can catch a bus or train into the centre?
 
Aug 16, 2018
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Rouen is normally OK for most people but currently the tunnel is being altered. If you 3500 tonnes you re fine, much bigger and either go via forges less eaux or go around the top.
What do you mean by around the top? Will be heading that way next month so need to know best way round.

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Aug 16, 2018
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Paris is fine to go around, literally very easy. Avoid morning or evening rush hours and you’ll be fine. Head south from Calais down A1 pick up the outer ring road, A104/N104 and then A10 and A71 all the way down to Toulouse.

I used to drive this quite regularly for work and also as I had a lake I used to fish down there. The good news now, as opposed to 20 years ago is that they have finished the motorway saving you having to drive through Cahors, which used to be a bloody nightmare.

Not sure why people are suggesting going anywhere near Bordeaux or via Rouen, it’s several 100k’s longer than past Paris.
Not in my experience. Cars, scooters and motobikes lane crossing in front of you constantly at ridiculous speeds. Junctions every few hundred yards, traffic suddenly stopping because vehicles are in the wrong lane and need to come off. It's a complete nightmare. Last time we did it (4 years ago) was at lunchtime so nowhere near rush hour.

Also if you go on Google maps and put in directions from Calais to Toulouse it says its 961k via Paris and 994k via Rouen, so 33k difference. But yes you wouldn't go via Bordeaux.
 
Jun 10, 2010
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What do you mean by around the top? Will be heading that way next month so need to know best way round.
If you're going to La Mailleraye or West you can take A29 to Yvetot and drop down but if you ve got the mh in avatar you should be OK in tunnel. I suspect I would have been but I'm well over.
 
Jun 12, 2020
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Oct 12, 2008
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Hi - just noticed that you live near to Toulouse. Are there any campsites close enough to Toulouse where you can catch a bus or train into the centre?
LOL! My place! Free of charge, and bus in front of the house, so to say, and ending within 5 minutes at the métro station which takes you directly to Toulouse town centre. You said end of March, I should be at home at that time of year so you're most welcome to stay. Also dealer next door ( about 3kms from home), in case of any prob en route. Make sure if you're interested to give me a shout on here to make sure nothing has changed in my time table.

Amicalement
Frankie:Smile:
 
Oct 12, 2008
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I used Google translate on this. Some interesting translations. I don't fancy Trashcan as a stopover!
Anything you need me to translate , or make sure of?

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garry55
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LOL! My place! Free of charge, and bus in front of the house, so to say, and ending within 5 minutes at the métro station which takes you directly to Toulouse town centre. You said end of March, I should be at home at that time of year so you're most welcome to stay. Also dealer next door ( about 3kms from home), in case of any prob en route. Make sure if you're interested to give me a shout on here to make sure nothing has changed in my time table.

Amicalement
Frankie:Smile:
That is a very generous (and tempting) offer Frankie - thank you! We will have 2 (small breed) dogs with us - are they OK to travel on the bus and metro?
 
Oct 12, 2008
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That is a very generous (and tempting) offer Frankie - thank you! We will have 2 (small breed) dogs with us - are they OK to travel on the bus and metro?
Ah.... I'm going to check, asap. What breed are they? If you're here on a week-end I can also look after them, I love dogs, just not allowed to have one (well if one, it's on strict rules which I don't want for my pet) during the week as I childmind.
 
Feb 9, 2008
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The following will help you to organise routes to anywhere in Europe. Better still, use your Sat. Nav. it will do all the work for you.

Firstly, routes and route maps for France and Spain. This first link is an award winning database about France. It has a host of information on best routes to many locations. I have selected the famous N10 route from Calais to Irun which is used by many motorhomes when travelling to Spain. It’s almost Toll free (more on that a little later) and almost all dual carriageway from start to finish with the exception of about 100 K. This route is great for motorhomes small, medium and large. Note: (HGV’s are not allowed on French roads, Sunday’s, so plan your journey over a weekend if possible).

https://about-france.com/tourism/no-tolls-routes.htm

Fuel & Toll costs. For a class 2 Motorhome. Calais – Irun. Toll = €162.00 Fuel €188.44 Based on 1083 K @10K per Ltr. @€1.74 per ltr. 3.5T motor-home). N10 Calais - Irun. Using partial Toll = Toll €13.50. Fuel €183.44 Based on 1056 K @10K per Ltr. @€1.74 per ltr

Tolls: Avoid the toll road from Calais to Abbeville and save 13.20 Euros. The non-toll route is quite scenic and fairly straight forward, between Boulogne-sur-Mer and Abbeville.

At Abbeville, join the A28 and cross the river Sein at Rouen. We take the second exit immediately after crossing the bridge (about 50 m past the first exit at the end of the bridge), swing down and under the bridge you have just crossed and continue on this road and join the A13 motorway until the N154 which takes you down to Evreux. (Note: there are a number of different options for getting through Rouen and no doubt other members will have their own preferences. We find this very straight forward on both outward and return legs). Approaching Tours on the D910 join the A10 toll road at Jct. 19 and exit at Jct. 23. This will take you through the city via the toll road, (€1.80). At Jct. 23 take the exit lane for Montbazon which returns you to the D910. (Reverse for the return leg). That’s the last toll to pay until you hit the bottom of the A63 after Bordeaux.

To save toll fares on the A63 south of Bordeaux please read the route recommendations in the above link. Do not come off the A63 near the bottom as all roads will be heavily congested and it’s worth paying the last few tolls. (From Jct 6 €9.40 in total). This route is also recommended during winter, due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, which means little to no problems with ice and or snow, unlike using the A75 to cross the Massif Central. Although the A75 is quickly cleared, it is advisable to have winter tyres fitted and there may be some small delays due to snow ploughs clearing this route.

If heading to the Mediterranean side of Spain, it’s worth taking the N121-A to Pamplona after crossing the Spanish boarder on the A63 at Irun. It’s clearly sign posted (Large white sign) about 300 m after passing through the last toll booth and crossing the river. Also near here, cheap fuel with easy access (https://www.fuelflash.eu/en/alcampo...rcial-txingudi-zona-araso_b_-ventas-80-33301/) and shopping opportunities. You will find more details in this link for the N121-A and how to navigate Spain toll free.

https://about-spain.net/travel/no-tolls.htm
If you decide to pay Tolls in order to save time getting to Spain, your best route options are in this link.

https://about-france.com/tourism/routes-to-spain.htm

Should you choose to plan your own routes anywhere in Europe and also establish Toll costs, (or toll free costs) use this link. Under route options, select caravan then select toll roads. Toll costs for a class 2 motorhome will be calculated for the whole journey. You can also choose Non toll routes and other options. This is currently one of the best online free route planers.

https://www.viamichelin.co.uk/

As for stop overs on routes, you can’t go wrong using the App below which is free but I would recommend getting the paid version for about £6.00 which you can then use off line. You will find numerous places to stop along the above route and I have deliberately not made any recommendations so drivers can make their own choices. This app is also brilliant for finding other places too and highly rated by many users.


https://www.campercontact.com/en/content/app



A popular app/website. Used by many and worth taking out the small subscription. Loads of up to date reviews here too.

https://www.searchforsites.co.uk/


There is another popular app/website that is used which you may also find useful if you’re doing a lot of wilding and looking for free overnight stops. It too is used by many motor homers in Europe. Get the paid version to use off line for around £9.00

https://www.park4night.com/

One of the best off line MAP ‘App’ and used by many. It also includes a sat-nav function which is quite good and can also be used off line. Again, many motor homers use this, especially in Morocco.

-Broken Link Removed-.
 
Oct 12, 2008
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garry55

- Les animaux domestiques de petite taille (I would think it's your case) (hors NAC) (NAC means nouveaux animaux de compagnie such as snake or ferret) facilement portés sous un bras et en toute sécurité, ou transportés dans des panières fermées. Dans tous les cas, ces animaux ne doivent en aucun cas salir les lieux, incommoder les voyageurs ou constituer une gêne ou une menace à leur égard. Ils ne doivent pas occuper une place assise. Tisséo ne pourra être tenu pour responsable des conséquences des accidents dont les animaux pourraient être la cause, ni des dommages qui pourraient leur être causés. Par ailleurs, leur propriétaire est responsable des dégâts qu’ils pourront occasionner aux autres voyageurs et à Tisséo.

I let you use Google translate, I'm working on the stadium at the mo!

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