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cts1975

Original Poster:

121 posts

54 months

[news] 
Thursday 22nd March 2012 quote quote all
I was after some advice on a route to the south of France.

We are on holiday in Collioure nr Perpignan in August.

The change over day for our accomodation is a Sunday so we are due to take an early morning tunnel to calais on the Saturday.

We are 2 adults and our laid back 15 year old son.



My main concern is the first days driving and avoiding Paris and its traffic.

I have been told by a couple of people that Paris will be quite in August because the locals head south?

I would appreciate any advice on passing Paris....



By the time I get to Calais and off the train we will have been travelling for approx 5 hours. So I was looking for another 5/6 hours of toll roads to get to an overnight stop. With this in mind Google maps show :



Calais - Orleans 262miles / 4.5 hours

Calais - Bourges 331miles / 5.5 hours

Calais - Clarmont Ferrand 440miles / 7 hours 10 mins



I would appreciate any advice. Thanks.

daveenty

1,544 posts

96 months

[news] 
Friday 23rd March 2012 quote quote all
Has it got to be Calais?

We used to do Le Havre, which is longer, but does give you plenty of rest time. From there, you can head down to Le Mans and should you still want a stop, then Orleans or Tours are still good.

I like your thinking in the Clermont Ferrand way, as it puts you over the bridge at Millau, which is special. I usually go Limoges - Toulouse.

If you do want to go the Calais way, then you can always head across to Rouen to avoid Paris though, as you mentioned, it won't be bad in August due to the French also heading South. smile

Incidentally, Paris isn't as bad as it's hyped up to be.

rdjohn

1,224 posts

81 months

[news] 
Friday 23rd March 2012 quote quote all
I was surprised that the Le Mans - Limoges route was only 130km / 90 mins longer (on Google Maps), so stopping near to Chateauroux / Tours would be doable and not difficult to find some accommodation.

As for driving through Paris, diving is driving and so is not hugely different in Paris, or Madrid, or LA, or London etc. You will find plenty of traffic where you are headed in the south – a huge %age of Europe will be there in August.

psgcarey

391 posts

48 months

[news] 
Friday 23rd March 2012 quote quote all
Which weekend in August? Will be quiet or 100km traffic jams, nothing inbetween. The whole of France gets up and moves in August and then moves back again.

Check the Bison Fute web site

cts1975

Original Poster:

121 posts

54 months

[news] 
Friday 23rd March 2012 quote quote all
Thanks for the replies.
We are already booked onto the eurotunnel on the 18th at 11.50am. The prices were starting to crep up so I decided to get it booked.
In some ways I wonder why I'm avoiding Paris. Driving through or near Paris could be a highlight as long as we are patient. I ill be using a standard hotel chain so arrival times on the first night isn't to much of an issue.
I'm looking to get to Dijon on the first evening, which will leave me with a nice days drive down to Collioure the next day. Are any of the standard chain type hotels i.e Campanille,Premiere Classe better than the next?

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psgcarey

391 posts

48 months

[news] 
Friday 23rd March 2012 quote quote all
I normally use Campanille, clean, good food, relatively cheap and free wi-fi.

Check for secure parking depending on how full your car is.

cts1975

Original Poster:

121 posts

54 months

[news] 
Friday 23rd March 2012 quote quote all
psgcarey said:
Check the Bison Fute web site
Great website that. Thanks.

Hawmaws

459 posts

56 months

[news] 
Friday 23rd March 2012 quote quote all
Driving round Paris is not that big a deal.. but don't treat it as a sight-seeing detour, because you won't see anything from the ring-road. But a detour into Paris could be fun as the roads should be quiet and I think street parking is free in August.... it certainly used to be as the parking wardens are all on hols! I did this a few years ago on a Sunday in August. Blasting along an empty Champs Elysees was great fun. You can see most of the city in a few hours.

Also the French are great creatures of habit, so they only travel at weekends, particularly Friday night/ Saturday morning. Avoid this and you should be OK

Hotels.. try BB. Cheap, cheerful and clean.

Edited by Hawmaws on Friday 23 March 11:03

psgcarey

391 posts

48 months

magooagain

946 posts

56 months

[news] 
Friday 23rd March 2012 quote quote all
If Dijon is your target and you arrive in France at about 1.30pm then i would suggest you make a B line for Dijon and forget looking around Paris. What route you take will be a risk in August at whatever time of day.
I respectfully suggest you change to an early morning train and use the Rouen/Le man route,even if it means you leaving home at silly o'clock. Good luck.

smifffymoto

1,384 posts

91 months

[news] 
Saturday 24th March 2012 quote quote all
If it were me I would drive overnight,Calais to Perpignan is about 12 hours without stops at legal speeds,set cruise control and switch onto auto pilot.When in August,before the 15th Paris will be a ghost town,after it will be like you imagine. If Paris worries you that much go via Rouen but it's a crap route going that way.

smifffymoto

1,384 posts

91 months

[news] 
Saturday 24th March 2012 quote quote all
Just re read yor post.
You will get north of Paris in the early evening so stop there and get an early start Sunday and do it in one hit to Perpignan.

jason s4

2,831 posts

56 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th March 2012 quote quote all
Calais - Reims - Dijon.

Done this many times and its a breeze. The first 100kms or so, you are practically on your own on the A26 thumbup

I would avoid Paris, especially if you have no real reason to go there.

Novotel Dijon is perfect for the overnight.

We normally head South in August, except we travel down on their last holiday weekend which means all the traffic is heading North.

There are some spectacular traffic queues on the other side of the motorway, especially at some major tolls.

Am very jealous as we wont be going this year.frown

Good luck!

tvron

236 posts

134 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th March 2012 quote quote all
Calais to Dijon easy 5 hours now that new road past Reims open-most important get a telepeage
pass so that you avoid the delays at tolls-easily availabkle now via Saneftollinmg website in England and will save lots of time and frustration travelling in fFrance

jason s4

2,831 posts

56 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th March 2012 quote quote all
tvron said:
Calais to Dijon easy 5 hours now that new road past Reims open-most important get a telepeage
pass so that you avoid the delays at tolls-easily availabkle now via Saneftollinmg website in England and will save lots of time and frustration travelling in fFrance
My SatNav with the latest maps, has me driving through a field on that new Reims bypass.hehe

MGB50

3 posts

30 months

[news] 
Wednesday 25th April 2012 quote quote all
driving in august is OK as long as you avoid the first weekend in Aug, all of france will be stuck in the jam with you going south. at the tolls use the credit card lane its quick and our cards work, french tend to to unload all the scrap iron in their pockets, drive you mad, otherwise use the right hand lane with trucks in. one truck = 4 cars. we generally stop off just past dijon (Beaune), hotels get busy in Aug so book ahead. If you have to go via paris take lots of valium, the perif makes the the M25 look empty. When you come off the perif for the A10 go sharp left at the lights, (you will figure that one out just after you go right!!).
hope it goes OK

Diamond blue

2,298 posts

86 months

[news] 
Wednesday 25th April 2012 quote quote all
If your going to Perpignan then Dijon is the wrong side of Paris really. Paris ring roads are crap, although better in August. Worse than the M25.
Amiens, Rouen, Le Mans, Tours or Orleans for a stop. Clermont next including the long , twisty and FREE autoroute through the Massif Centrale and of course the Millau Viaduct (Must see) but get off it and look at it from underneath.
Get on Via Michelin and do some searching around Tours for a hotel. If its in the guide its good. Pick a "Bib Gourmand" place if you possibly can as they are often wonderful.
Don't cane it too much as the police are sneaky, keep 90 euros handy in the car in cash just in case and get off the autoroute as much as you reasonably can to enjoy the driving paradise that France is

tonys

722 posts

109 months

[news] 
Friday 27th April 2012 quote quote all
There are definitely far more speed checks then there ever used to be, and they don't wear high-vis jackets either! If you are 30kph over the limit they can impound the car.

Any parked up car, especially estates on the Autoroutes or dual carriageways(they often park in emergency vehicle access points) could well have a radar unit either in the back window, in the boot/hatch etc.. Sometimes they just leave a small tripod on the hard shoulder, often behind the barrier (not easy to see) with cars/bikes further down the road. Bikes tend to work in at least twos, often threes.

If you see a device which flashes your spped at you (as they have over here), there will almost certainly be a speed camera somewhere up ahead - seems to be a relatively new thing, but I passed loads recently. Many cameras have big advanced warning signs, but not all, and they are gradually removing those that are in place.

If you get the chance, there is a small display at Millau Bridge (might be a bit much to call it a museum), shows how they built it, videos of the construction etc. It is on the northern side, with car park etc.) - assuming it's still there, that is, I saw it a couple of years ago.

Have a good trip.

Diamond blue

2,298 posts

86 months

[news] 
Friday 27th April 2012 quote quote all
tonys said:
There are definitely far more speed checks then there ever used to be, and they don't wear high-vis jackets either! If you are 30kph over the limit they can impound the car.

Any parked up car, especially estates on the Autoroutes or dual carriageways(they often park in emergency vehicle access points) could well have a radar unit either in the back window, in the boot/hatch etc.. Sometimes they just leave a small tripod on the hard shoulder, often behind the barrier (not easy to see) with cars/bikes further down the road. Bikes tend to work in at least twos, often threes.

If you see a device which flashes your spped at you (as they have over here), there will almost certainly be a speed camera somewhere up ahead - seems to be a relatively new thing, but I passed loads recently. Many cameras have big advanced warning signs, but not all, and they are gradually removing those that are in place.

If you get the chance, there is a small display at Millau Bridge (might be a bit much to call it a museum), shows how they built it, videos of the construction etc. It is on the northern side, with car park etc.) - assuming it's still there, that is, I saw it a couple of years ago.

Have a good trip.
Very good advice Tony but its 50kph above the limit that the big penalties start and although the fines can be huge (Up to 1500 euros ) they will not impound your car automatically unless you are really taking the pi.s
You still don't have to worry about fixed cameras, there is no cross-border prosecution. You need to worry about the actual police though.
Have a good trip

tonys

722 posts

109 months

[news] 
Friday 27th April 2012 quote quote all
Diamond blue said:
tonys said:
There are definitely far more speed checks then there ever used to be, and they don't wear high-vis jackets either! If you are 30kph over the limit they can impound the car.

Any parked up car, especially estates on the Autoroutes or dual carriageways(they often park in emergency vehicle access points) could well have a radar unit either in the back window, in the boot/hatch etc.. Sometimes they just leave a small tripod on the hard shoulder, often behind the barrier (not easy to see) with cars/bikes further down the road. Bikes tend to work in at least twos, often threes.

If you see a device which flashes your spped at you (as they have over here), there will almost certainly be a speed camera somewhere up ahead - seems to be a relatively new thing, but I passed loads recently. Many cameras have big advanced warning signs, but not all, and they are gradually removing those that are in place.

If you get the chance, there is a small display at Millau Bridge (might be a bit much to call it a museum), shows how they built it, videos of the construction etc. It is on the northern side, with car park etc.) - assuming it's still there, that is, I saw it a couple of years ago.

Have a good trip.
Very good advice Tony but its 50kph above the limit that the big penalties start and although the fines can be huge (Up to 1500 euros ) they will not impound your car automatically unless you are really taking the pi.s
You still don't have to worry about fixed cameras, there is no cross-border prosecution. You need to worry about the actual police though.
Have a good trip
Fair comment - happy to be corrected. I thought I'd read something in one of their motoring magazines when I was over there the other day about speeding and thought that it mentioned 30kph, but that might have been for on the spot licence confiscation. Of course, it might just have been the wine......smile
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