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Driving through the south of France

Leicester UK
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Driving through the south of France

Hi, Can any one help. We are taking a motor home from calais to the south of France for 3 weeks. Want to avoid toll roads and also stop at aires,Not bothered on how long it takes.

San Antonio, Texas
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1. Re: Driving through the south of France

This is a great drive and lots of places to see along the way. Parking will be very difficult for you. When we did it we were coming out of Italy and across the South of France The first portion you will have to go slow because there are lots of curves and sharp turns but it is beautiful for the non driver.

Aubrey, Texas
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2. Re: Driving through the south of France

Use www.viamichelin.com to plan your route. You can choose among fast, economic, and scenic routes. Gives you toll and fuel costs, location of speed cameras and good maps. Tends to be a bit optimistic, i.e. too short, on drive times in my experience. If you're traveling this month may be way optimistic.

Lewes, United...
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3. Re: Driving through the south of France

Hi tyson123: I've never driven in France with a motor home, but have 30 years experience of driving all over France, mostly avoiding all autoroutes (motorways) and especially toll ones.

The previous poster's advise to use viaMichelin is excellent. You can tweek the options to ensure you get your type of route - including cheapest route, which will avoid toll autoroutes. However, as non-autoroute choices in some parts of France are more circuitous and bendy or hilly (which, in a motorhome would probably not be to your liking all the time) you might also want to check out the routes you take in a little more details for elevations, etc. Apart from very detailed maps target at walkers (the IGN grands randonees series, for example) there are few equivalents to UK ordance survey maps showing such details, but the Michelin yellow series maps (some of which can be borrowed from some local libraries) do show several spot point with elevations to give you a clue, plus the up and down arrows or steeper routes.

If you want more info on suggested routes, post back again here with more details of what you want. Alternatively, break up your journey into areas and post those on the regional France forums.

Have a fun trip, when are you going?

SWT

Leicester UK
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4. Re: Driving through the south of France

Hi,Thanks for that. We would like to take a route that enables us to stay at aires around Rivers.We have now brought a aires book That contains 1600 aires,Great book, Just looking through for possible routes to take.Will also look at via michelin.

Setting of in about a week.

Lewes, United...
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5. Re: Driving through the south of France

Hi again, tyson123: I'm assuming you actually mean you've a 3 week holiday in total, and wish to spend some of that time in the south of France, but part of that 3 week trip would include travel time to and from the south.

On that basis, and the other considerations already discussed/mentioned, a possible route that would effectively give you a loop, rather than backtracking the whole way south and back, that you might like to consider follows. However, not having sight of your 'aires' book, I can't help with how near to any ones that meet your wish to find them near rivers this gets you. Have you also considered temporary membership of the French equivalent of the camping/caravanning club? If you have RAC or AA European trip insurance cover, you can sometimes get this discounted or included. It just may give you alternative night stops and a base or two in the south, complete with full bathing and laundry facilities, which I assume, would be helpful.

Take A16/E402 south towards Boulogne (free autoroute) then join N1 at end of free sector (J29). Continue N1 to Abeville. Join A28 to Rouen (again free). Then pick up N154 to Chartres and on to Orleans. Pick up N20 to Vierzon, then N76 to Bourges and Moulins, then N9 to Clermont Ferrand. Pick up free A75 to J39 near Marvejols, then N88 to N106 (you could stay on A75 to go over the fabulous Millau viaduct, but this is toll) to Ales and Nimes.

You are now in the south, gateway to Provence, the Camargue and on towards the Riviera. I assume you will find your own way around these parts and do your own thing.

The return route, which by now you will have a handle on the French roads, would be from Aix-en-P to Sisteron, Gap, Grenoble, Chambery, Bourg-en-B, Dole, Dijon, Troyes, Sezanne, Soisons, St Quentin, Amiens, Bethune and on to Calais.

I trust that helps. Any questions, ask!

SWT

Bristol, United...
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6. Re: Driving through the south of France

Hi tyson123, I'm planning a motorhome trip in France and am very interested in the book you mention! Can you give me any details, please?

7. Re: Driving through the south of France

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