Stop overs between Calais and Paris?

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EricOnTour2

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Hello all, as some of you may know me and Mike leave for our 6 month trip around europe in Eric (our MH) this Tuesday! (Find our blog here 1 Motorhome, 2 Lads, 1 massive trip)

The reason for this post is to ask whether anyone has any recommendations of places to visit or to stay the night between arriving in Calais on the ferry and on our way to Paris.

We leave Dover at 12pm so will be in Calais in early afternoon. When we do go to Paris, either on the Tuesday or Wednesday, our plan is to find somewhere close to Paris to park up and then cycle into the centre as we don't want to drive Eric right into the centre of the town, that would be a nightmare! :ROFLMAO: So the question is, shall we drive straight down from Calais and find an Aire near Paris on the day we arrive, or shall we head somewhere else and spend a day before go into the French capital?

Is Lens worth a day visit for example? Or we could alternatively stick to the coast and stay somewhere there before heading down to Paris the next day? One thing to note is that we will be avoiding toll motorways at all costs.

Lots of options! Any recommendations? :Smile:

Regards, James.
 
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stagman

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[We stop at a very nice seaside town about 50 miles down from Calais called Berck sur Mer.Free aires by the beach and a cycle track or footpath into town,plenty of shops beer and food.:thumb:
 
Sep 23, 2007
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[We stop at a very nice seaside town about 50 miles down from Calais called Berck sur Mer.Free aires by the beach and a cycle track or footpath into town,plenty of shops beer and food.:thumb:
I dito that Berck sur Mer is a very nice spot, super beach and then you can take I think its the A16 / N1 to Paris toll free. We done that exact run a few years ago, on the way down we kept of the main road and saw some very nice towns and villages, made it time consuming but worth it.

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EricOnTour2

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I dito that Berck sur Mer is a very nice spot, super beach and then you can take I think its the A16 / N1 to Paris toll free. We done that exact run a few years ago, on the way down we kept of the main road and saw some very nice towns and villages, made it time consuming but worth it.
I think the A16 is a toll road isn't it?

Thanks to both for the suggestion of Berck sur Mer, I will have a look in the internet for it.
 
Sep 23, 2007
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A16 is a toll road. It was a few years ago and my memory was never good. I know it was via the N1 and some other road, not a lot of help I know.
 
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stagman

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I think the A16 is a toll road isn't it?

Thanks to both for the suggestion of Berck sur Mer, I will have a look in the internet for it.
Going to keep an eye on your blog,might even see you on your travels sometime,have fun and enjoy.:thumb:

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Bulletguy

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Feb 7, 2008
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Hello all, as some of you may know me and Mike leave for our 6 month trip around europe in Eric (our MH) this Tuesday!

One thing to note is that we will be avoiding toll motorways at all costs.

Lots of options! Any recommendations? :Smile:

Regards, James.
French Autoroute toll fees are very expensive and you can soon run up a hefty amount so avoiding those is sensible. It's easy to bypass them by using the Belgium route (completely toll free) into France, or of course simply sticking to the main roads.

Using the autoroutes in Switzerland is quite different. A 'one off' payment of 40Sfr (about £19) buys a vignette sticker giving access to all autoroutes in Switzerland and is valid for one year. Well worth buying as it's a country you will enjoy driving in, and the Swiss are extremely patient and polite toward a 'brit' registered vehicle. Unlike French, they are often very keen to try out their english with you no matter how little of the language some may speak.

Avoid Zurich which is quite industrialised and a very busy city. Bern is much more relaxed and a very attractive city. There are many places you should see but as your time is limited, one you should not miss is a trip on the Jungfraujoch railway which leaves from Lauterbrunnen and climbs up to Kleine Scheidegg which is at the foot of the Eiger. If the weather is right, the views are simply breathtaking.

Not cheap.......but it's a trip you won't ever forget!


Enjoy!! :thumb:
 

superk

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Hi there you fellow six-monthers - we go Sept to March and often into April.

If you want a welcoming sites a short drive from Calais the Chateau Gandspette, near St Omer would suit camping pas de calais location nord pas de calais manche france caravaning Chateau du Gandspette eperlecques 3 etoiles tunnel foret parc naturel regional des marais cote d'opale location mobilhome mobile home mobil-home hebergement emplacement tente
or a little further Camping Le Vivier Aux Carpes, Seraucourt le Grand near St Omer has been a welcome stopping place for many camper's first night. *** Camping du Vivier aux Carpes - Picardie ***.

Staying by the coast there is an excellent Aire at St Valery sur Somme - an interesting small town and region.

In respect of Paris we have driven through many times in the 33-foot RV we had towing our car without any difficulty. And, there is a huge central campsite in Bois de Boulogne although we've never stayed at it.

There are sites at Rambouillet and Versailles. Both have train links to Paris. We have used the one at Rambouillet - a nice site in woods and the town is very pretty - the train is about half an hour journey with of those double-decker carriages.

There are loads of Aires to choose from we've found the French Guide Officiel Aire de Service de Camping Car book http://*********************/2008-guide-officiel-aires-services-camping-p-780.html the most useful (you don't need translations) - covers the whole of Europe we also use The Caravan Club Europe books. Since you can't guarantee access to the Internet books are best.

Also very useful is the Camping-Car infos CD or DVD that runs like an web page but doesn't require you to be connected it gives click on maps with aires and parking places together with visitors views - it's never more than 2 months out of date. CAMPINGCAR-INFOS

Have a great trip.
:Smile:
Keith
 
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EricOnTour2

Deleted User
Going to keep an eye on your blog,might even see you on your travels sometime,have fun and enjoy.:thumb:
Many thanks, we'll keep it updated as much as possible. Come up and say Hello if you see us, we have "ERIC" written on each side of the motorhome - you can't miss it :Smile:

Well worth buying as it's a country you will enjoy driving in, and the Swiss are extremely patient and polite toward a 'brit' registered vehicle. Unlike French, they are often very keen to try out their english with you no matter how little of the language some may speak.

Avoid Zurich which is quite industrialised and a very busy city. Bern is much more relaxed and a very attractive city. There are many places you should see but as your time is limited, one you should not miss is a trip on the Jungfraujoch railway which leaves from Lauterbrunnen and climbs up to Kleine Scheidegg which is at the foot of the Eiger. If the weather is right, the views are simply breathtaking.

Not cheap.......but it's a trip you won't ever forget!


Enjoy!! :thumb:
Thanks for the tips. About the Vignette, do you mean that we'd have more fun driving on the motorways than we would on the smaller roads? I presume the scenery is something special?

We will keep an eye out for Lauterbrunnen and the train you mentioned. :thumb:

Staying by the coast there is an excellent Aire at St Valery sur Somme - an interesting small town and region.

In respect of Paris we have driven through many times in the 33-foot RV we had towing our car without any difficulty. And, there is a huge central campsite in Bois de Boulogne although we've never stayed at it.

There are sites at Rambouillet and Versailles. Both have train links to Paris. We have used the one at Rambouillet - a nice site in woods and the town is very pretty - the train is about half an hour journey with of those double-decker carriages.

Have a great trip.
:Smile:
Keith
Thanks for all your info. We will definately think about getting a train/metro into Paris rather than cycle, that would probably be a much better idea.

Only 3 days until we leave.... :Eeek::Eeek::Eeek::Eeek:

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Bulletguy

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Feb 7, 2008
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Thanks for the tips. About the Vignette, do you mean that we'd have more fun driving on the motorways than we would on the smaller roads? I presume the scenery is something special?

We will keep an eye out for Lauterbrunnen and the train you mentioned. :thumb:
No. The Swiss autoroutes are like any other, a means of getting from one city to another quickly.

If entering Switzerland from the north at Basel then you will need to tell the border Police you don't want to use the autoroutes as they will automatically assume you do and issue you with a Vignette! A few miles from the border you will cross the Rhine river and head south on the E35. It can be a little intimidating as the autoroute winds along in parts on an underpass....and the traffic is often hectic and moving fast. Miss one turning and you will need to exit the next junction and find exactly where you need to be! As there is two of you it shouldn't be too bad. I used to commute this road regularly between Bern and UK....but i was by myself and also i'm talking pre-sat nav days as well!

If you decide to use only the main roads, then your pace will be more leisurely and certainly you will see a lot more. Unlike UK the road surfaces are also excellently maintained....no pot holes, cracks or bumps!

It's not really a country to rush through and over many years i have driven it extensively. Contrary to what many believe it's not expensive either with many goods priced similar to the UK.....but far superior in quality. Diesel is also currently around the £1 per litre mark as well.
 
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EricOnTour2

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If you decide to use only the main roads, then your pace will be more leisurely and certainly you will see a lot more. Unlike UK the road surfaces are also excellently maintained....no pot holes, cracks or bumps!

It's not really a country to rush through and over many years i have driven it extensively. Contrary to what many believe it's not expensive either with many goods priced similar to the UK.....but far superior in quality. Diesel is also currently around the £1 per litre mark as well.
Oh that's good. We'll definately be sticking to the main roads rather than the motorways for financial reasons, so it's good to know that they are well maintained. And we won't be rushing either so hopefully we'll be able to enjoy Switzerland (and the other 18 countries!!) at a more leisurely pace.

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