New To France

Newengland5

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Hi just looking for some tips on travelling to France for the first time in our motorhome, we have had a motorhome for 4 years and have travelled all over Scotland but have decided this year to travel to France for 3 weeks, we have a new puppy who will be 7 months when we go on holiday, are most places in France dog friendly? Do you think we should take our bikes with us for visiting local places when we park up. We were thinking of using the sites recommended in the Caravan Club magazine as its our first time we go the first 3 weeks in July do you think this is advisable or should we just book as we go along (we normally don't do sites in Scotland as its so good here for wild camping) . We are going to travel right down to the South of France. Any advice would be much appreciated.
Thanks
 
Feb 21, 2016
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Hello,good evening and welcome.
Lots of threads on here about first timers to France. Our first trip is in May so will follow with interest.
Good luck.
 

Alistair33

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Hi and welcome

France is a very large place with many many places to stop in a motorhome lots are free Aires, along with many campsites. We traveled through France last July and didn’t book anything , stayed mainly for free all over the country.

Make sure you check out the ‘Parkings’ app aka ‘Camper contact’ along with the ACSI app ( which has many checked sites throughout Europe and offers a discount card which is good for off season discounts).

I’d think three weeks is not enough time to get to the south and back, perhaps better to pick a smaller area and ‘get to know it’

Lots of other will be along soon with plenty of pertinent advice!

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Lenny HB

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France is Motorhome heaven we never use sites we use Aires or wild. Stuck for the night no one will mind if you spend the night in the village carpark or square. Just look out for signs from markets, a friend woke up to the market built around him, he couldn't get out until 3pm.
Never need to book in France even in peak season.
Dogs welcome everywhere, restaurants, shops, they love their dogs.
Bikes essential loads of great cycle paths.
 
Jan 22, 2012
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Although ACSI is primarily a low to mid season discount card, there are still quite a few sites that offer the discount well into July. Look on the ACSI card website and check these sites out and maybe then consider getting the card. You can usually get the annual membership amount back in your pocket if you use it for just a few days. Go to the Camper Contact website and check out the aires throughout France. You may initially be more attracted to campsites with facilities like toilets, showers and EHU but using the filtering system on the Camper Contact website you will find Aires with these facilities. Since you are new to taking the dog abroad you may want to feel confident knowing that you have your return visit to the vet booked. I would suggest that you avoid port vets like Calais. Therefore when you get off the ferry or train drive a comfortable distance away from the port to your first overnight stop, at that nearest town book your return trip vets. We take our bikes but also take a kids bike buggy trailer that fits on the back of one of the bikes. Then we can take the dog with us on bike trips. Also look at sites close to off road bike tracks, and there are plenty of these in France. Always keep an eye on your dog for ticks especially in the Dordogne, however with the right tic treatment many of these die but may still need removing. We've been taking dogs abroad for nearly 20 years and always cope well.
 

Alistair33

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We’ve not travelled with a pet but have noticed many vets all over France, and they are so well signe posted you could probably be able to find a couple in every town given ten minutes driving around, or just google Vet’s!

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magicsurfbus

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If you already wild camp in Scotland give some thought to it in France too, but of course you might want to stick with campsites to begin with while you get used to the place. You should be OK just turning up at most sites in early July, rather than pre-booking.

In France overnighting outside campsites is not especially 'wild' anyway - most aires are purpose-built overnight MH parking areas, often with automated ticketing. Many visitor attractions allow overnight MH parking without any obligation to visit the place in question. We find Parc Futuroscope near Poitiers (3.5m height limit) especially handy when heading south.

Something else you'll see in France is the MH compound attached to a campsite, a sort of 'Pitch Lite' set up where you pay less for the basics (marked pitch, EHU, service point) but don't get access to the full site facilities.

Depending on how far you want to drive in a day you could be in the deep south in only two days from Calais.

Definitely take bikes. Bon voyage.
 
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Lots of festivals in France ,posters in local supermarkets normally involve bowls competition and a cheap evening meals ,also if you look out for where the lorry's stop for lunch they know where the good set price meals are, Take your bikes as lots of places to see are off the beaten track, and most of all allow lots of time to travel as you will miss a lot if you rush explore bit at a time and if like me you don't speak french use your phone and lots of hand gestures ," Ze english they are mad"
 

yodeli

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Tu m'emmènes? Je suis très utile en France!!:D

Oh ok , you don't want a froggy aboard,! May be a phrase book? BUT do not forget that people do reply... in French , then the problems start :p:LOL:

Anyway, just read carely what the funsters advice you !
Enjoy your time in my country

Amicalement
Frankie:)

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Feb 25, 2013
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Not sure why anyone would advise you to avoid vets in Calais ,We have been using Madam Christine for over ten years .,down -Charles De Gaulle avenue not far from the new Aires in Calais. No need to book if you are taking pets back to the UK. We usually spend the night at Citi Europe shopping Centre. Last year we were charged 43 Euro's total for both dogs and a free health check on the cat .Wherever it takes you Enjoy lol.
 

Allanm

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I personally would avoid Caravan Club recommended sites in France, they are probably over expensive and there are hundreds of good campsites all over the country.
We only use aires because we prefer to travel about, but I can recommend municipal campsites, they will give you a better flavour of France.
As for dogs, they are welcome almost everywhere. Most restaurants will welcome you, but ask first. Unfortunately, dogs are not welcome on some parts of beaches in the summer and most historical buildings will not allow dogs inside.
 
Oct 7, 2013
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Not sure why anyone would advise you to avoid vets in Calais ,We have been using Madam Christine for over ten years ..
Perhaps because further away from Calais Vets are much cheaper. Our local Vet charges us 11€ for worm treatment, examination and stamping the passport. Many Vets near Calais charge up to 50€ for exactly the same service.

We used Madame Christine for many years without complaint. She is very good and has an excellent excellent surgery.

We stopped using her because.......

We could get treatment cheaper locally.

We did not have to wait in Calais for 24 hrs after treatment before we could travel.


The relaxation of the Pet Passport rules now means you can travel not less than 24hrs after treatment and not more than 120hrs after. The 5 day window makes travel much easier than the previous 24hr window.

There is a thread on the Forum listing Vets in France and their average charges. If you use the search facility you should find it.

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