sw france info please.

Aug 7, 2011
374
276
manchester
Funster No
17,672
MH
A class
Exp
9 years motorhome / 10 years campervan
my other half has decided, [since seeing it on" place in the sun" !]that she would like to to see the la rochelle, ille de rea area rather than the med coast as previously thought. the only trouble is, as we cant go till mid sept at the earliest and were hoping to stay for a month can any one tell me how they have found the weather and area at that time of year ? would it still be worth visiting the islands or will they basically be shut up by then ? i understand that south of bordeux is miles and miles of deserted beach [great for the dog ]but is there anything else there ? were not looking for casinos and cabaret but as we dont have bikes the odd cafe bar /village within walking distance of a campsite would be handy ! i welcome any thoughts or suggestions but please be quick before the next bloody travel tv programme comes on!!! cheers garry
 

Hollyberry

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 24, 2011
4,965
14,884
Devon.
Funster No
16,134
MH
None.
Exp
4yrs
September is nice--not so glaringly hot and the kids are in school! It's win win.......
South of Bordeaux you have the lakes, as well as Pyla Dune and lots of beaches.
Do you have the Aires book? If you do check out Aires at Montalivet les Bains ( I can recommend highly--- daily market, big market Sunday, restaurants, huge beautiful beach your dog will live--all easy walking distance of both aires) Another Funsters (Salopian) recommended this Aire a couple of years back and it's really nice. and then round Pyla.
There are lots of campsites there---both sides of main drag, and I think many do the ACSI rate in September. Watch out for mosquitoes though around Pyla--take a spray.

Also check out campsite on Avenue d'Europe in Montalivet les Bains--10 mins walk to High St. Market, shops etc..

Il de Re is pretty but I actually found the stretch from Montaluvet down to Pyla prettier with much better beaches.
 
May 29, 2012
3,824
5,931
Funster No
21,238
MH
Not currently
Exp
Since 2013
We were there last year during the same period...........blue sky and sunshine every day and nice and quiet. It's all beautiful, just go and enjoy :)
 
OP
G
Aug 7, 2011
374
276
manchester
Funster No
17,672
MH
A class
Exp
9 years motorhome / 10 years campervan
thanks for the replies so far guys -keep em coming !
 
May 12, 2011
793
742
Funster No
16,388
MH
Hymer
Exp
Since 1989
we spent September & October last year only as far south as Royan, then back up the Brittany coast. Weather was beautiful. Some of the sites were a little 'tired' but the acsi card made them a reasonable price.
 
Sep 18, 2009
100
55
Stone, Staffordshire
Funster No
8,514
MH
Coach Built
Exp
24 on and off
We are heading down to this area at the end of Aug beginning of Sept, so all this info is useful to us too. Thanks everyone.
 

magicsurfbus

Free Member
Oct 11, 2010
4,685
10,472
NW England
Funster No
14,057
MH
Bessacarr Coachbuilt
Exp
Since 1997
We're regular visitors to Charente Maritime (La Palmyre, La Rochelle, Ile d'Oleron, Ile de Re etc) and it's currently our favourite bit of France. It's above Bordeaux, on the North side of the River Gironde. To get there we would typically drive from Calais to the huge cheap aire in Futuroscope's car park (Jaunay-Clan just above Poitiers) on day one, then across to the coast next morning. We've also gone from La Rochelle to Honfleur in the opposite direction in a day so it's only a day and half's drive from Calais.

The coast south of the Gironde and Bordeaux is pretty much what you say, long wild sandy beaches that stretch into infinity, backed by dunes and acre upon acre of pine forest. The coastal towns down there often have two versions - the inland one and the 'Plage' or 'Ocean' version on the seafront, for example Biscarrosse, Lacanau, Mimizan etc. All great if you like disporting yourself in the sea, lolling around in the dunes, or collecting big f*** off pine cones in the forest but fairly seaside resorty after that. Some have good cycleways too - you can ride all the way from Lacanau to Bordeaux if you're barking mad. That's pretty much the pattern until you get to Biarritz. Personally I think the French Med coast is hugely overrated - I much prefer the Atlantic side.

With Charente Maritime there's a bit more variety, in that the landscape is a mixture of northern France and southern France, so if you like estuaries, varied beaches, deciduous trees and big pine cones you're still OK. La Palmyre's great for cycling and various water-based activities and the local beaches between Saint-Palais-sur-Mer and Pointe Espagnol vary greatly in character. It's also got a Zoo. Most of the properties are second homes so it might be quieter in September but crowds round there are a pain. There's two aires but only one with a service point, and plenty of campsites. If I was there in September I'd go for the seafront aire as the other one has a daft ticket barrier.

The islands of Oleron and Re are similar in character (fairly flat with loads of oyster beds and salines) but Re's a bit more upmarket and you have to pay an Eco-toll on the bridge (8 Euros outside the high season). Both are peppered with second homes so again, they'll be quieter in September. They're extremely bike friendly and have plenty of aires and campsites. On Oleron some of the aires are ex-campsites so you get basic municipal style pitches and facilities for aire prices. The downside is there's not much MH parking on the islands away from the aires and campsites so it's best to get around on bikes if you can. Both islands are compact enough to do this - you can cycle across Re in less than half an hour at a leisurely pace. My personal preference is for Re, but I'd definitely go back to Oleron. There's also the less well-known Ile Madame which has a tidal causeway and plenty of overnight parking spots with sea views.

La Rochelle is one of my other half's favourite shopping destinations, and it has enough places of interest for the non-shopper. I particularly like the high quality graffiti around the Rue de l'Armide, but more conventional attractions include the Maritime museum and the three towers guarding the harbour. If you stop overnight at the Avenue Jean Moulin Park n Ride aire the fee includes a return bus ticket to the town centre. I believe Rochefort is also worth a visit but we haven't been there yet.

Also - if you get the chance, allow time to visit the historical theme park Puy du Fou near Les Eppesses on the way back. France's biggest home-grown tourist attraction (after Disneyland) and very different to anything else you've seen.
 
May 29, 2012
3,824
5,931
Funster No
21,238
MH
Not currently
Exp
Since 2013
Wow! Magicsurfbus, that is indeed a comprehensive and detailed post. We went to virtually every one of those places last year and you have painted such an inviting picture I want to go again!

I feel embarrassed at taking the easy (lazy) option of just saying go there!
 
May 29, 2012
3,824
5,931
Funster No
21,238
MH
Not currently
Exp
Since 2013
I know what you mean - I feel the urge to return as soon as my pile of big f*** off pine cones goes mouldy in the back garden.
S'funny you should say that........ I had to positively restrain my missus from bring back a ton of cones:eek:
 

Spottycatz

Free Member
Feb 17, 2013
452
487
Racodorm
Funster No
24,720
MH
Coachbuilt Low Profile
Exp
Still making mistakes! But they're not as costly.
When we were there during September, we brought back loads of conkers :) We stayed at the municipal site at Saint Martin, which is ideally placed for walking loads of places. St. Martin is bloody expensive though! :(
 
Oct 31, 2013
533
685
Conwy
Funster No
28,820
MH
C class
Exp
20 years
my other half has decided, [since seeing it on" place in the sun" !]that she would like to to see the la rochelle, ille de rea area rather than the med coast as previously thought. the only trouble is, as we cant go till mid sept at the earliest and were hoping to stay for a month can any one tell me how they have found the weather and area at that time of year ? would it still be worth visiting the islands or will they basically be shut up by then ? i understand that south of bordeux is miles and miles of deserted beach [great for the dog ]but is there anything else there ? were not looking for casinos and cabaret but as we dont have bikes the odd cafe bar /village within walking distance of a campsite would be handy ! i welcome any thoughts or suggestions but please be quick before the next bloody travel tv programme comes on!!! cheers garry
 
Oct 31, 2013
533
685
Conwy
Funster No
28,820
MH
C class
Exp
20 years
St Emilion is a good place to visit also if you are going inland on your route Oradour Sur Glane is a must to see the martyred village. Plenty of free Aire de Services to stay at. All in the Camperstop book. Happy travels (y)
 

magicsurfbus

Free Member
Oct 11, 2010
4,685
10,472
NW England
Funster No
14,057
MH
Bessacarr Coachbuilt
Exp
Since 1997
When we were there during September, we brought back loads of conkers..
Yes it's odd spending September in a country that has no respect for conkers isn't it? Like every childhood conker treasure trove fantasy you ever had has come true and all the conkers for miles around are yours. The French don't even eat them, which is unusual given that it's a horse chestnut - they just leave them lying around to rot. Shameful.
 

snowdrops

LIFE MEMBER
Sep 15, 2013
750
526
Wales
Funster No
28,094
MH
van conversion
Exp
2 years
We're at les varennes on Ile de Re. Love it. Looking at going to pay du fou for nite thingy on Fri. Not sure if need to book tho. Is there an aire nearby ?
 

magicsurfbus

Free Member
Oct 11, 2010
4,685
10,472
NW England
Funster No
14,057
MH
Bessacarr Coachbuilt
Exp
Since 1997
There's a vast aire at Puy du Fou - the biggest I've ever seen. Check the 'Aire Today' link in my signature below then go to Aire Guide and it's covered there.

You'll probably be OK getting into the CineScenie without booking outside the holiday season, just use your common sense and arrive early. Well worth it, and completely unique. It runs in all weathers, so if it's raining don't take an umbrella, as they're not allowed.
 

snowdrops

LIFE MEMBER
Sep 15, 2013
750
526
Wales
Funster No
28,094
MH
van conversion
Exp
2 years
You'll probably be OK getting into the CineScenie without booking outside the holiday season, just use your common sense and arrive early. Well worth it, and completely unique. It runs in all weathers, so if it's raining don't take an umbrella, as they're not allowed.
Thanx v much. We're doing La Rochelle in the morning then heading for anywhere decent nr sable d'onne. staying night then will make way to the aire nice and early on Fri morning. :) Can't find your signature link.
 
SMC Motorhomes Newark
RoadPro
Johns Cross
Safeguard Motorhome Insurance
Rhino Installs
Friendly professional service from qualified technicians
Free Club Stickers
Dave Newell Leisure Vehicle Services
Top