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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, Im planning on having a little road trip to the south of france, towards the end of march for 10 nights, I know the legal requirements over there, but can any one give me any little tips that will be useful along the way as it will be my first time driving out of the UK, my plan up to now is from calais to- Seraucourt-le-Grand 1night, - Gigny-sur-Saône 1night, - Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon 2nights, - Hyères 3nights, - sainte-martin-d'ardech 1night, then back up again stopping at anywhere else of interest.
If anyone can recommend a good campsite around the dijon area that will be great as I'm struggling to find places open in march, something near a small town or in the countryside will be fantastic or anywhere along the route I have mapped out, I will be using the autoroutes as I only have 10days so what are the tolls like? I have done a rough calculation on ViaMichelin it doesn't seem so bad....I:


Thanks for your replies in advance guys and like i said any hints and tips will be a massive help T:
 

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I avoid tolls; as the normal A roads are great, fast enough 60-65mph cruising for me and my van,,, no traffic, hell of a lot more scenic, easy to stop anywhere, and I also stay at the free and beautiful municipal / private aires,,,not the aires des repos on the tolls. Whilst last yr we went to the south of france, other side to you, i found total journey time without tolls was only a few hours more...maybe you should incorporate half n half,,obviously route dependant. Oh and if you break down on a toll you HAVE to use the french onwed monopoly recovery company and pay with credit card for it on the spot,,,then call your usual break down cover...ADAC...also off the tolls you get supermarkets,,with the cheaper fuel. Have fun either way :ILU:

oh yeah go buy the book all the aires france..it will help you plan your stop overs. The aires I stayed in have everything,,the book helps tell you that, hook up, showers toilet fresh water grey waste etc.
 

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Good idea the planned stops. I did it in one go 10 years ago and it takes it out of you.

Lyon is a bit of a mare with the tunnels.

For a change on the return trip I'd head for Toulouse and up towards the Milau Bridge, excellent British design! Also the route is alot quiter towards Paris. My GPS said "Turn left in 470 miles" on the way from Paris to Milau!!!!!!!!!!
 

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i agree with donhoaglin, you've got to check out the Milau bridge, it's f**king spectacular. Here's an alternative route back north taking you over Milau (marked with red arrow) that's practically the same length as your journey south.

Buying a copy of All the Aires is great advice too

 

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If you like burgundy wine there is nice place to visit around dijon , then you can stay overnight in the village of Chagny (71) , and perhaps if you're there on sunday get to see the market !
 

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you can stay on the aires overnight foc, most villages have a picnic are, table and bench sign to follow, these are ok foc for one night. important, dont forget the french give way to the right, except when you see a give way or stop sign on the road entering from the right, including roundabouts and t junctions if not marked.

also when you join a road or on a road with a solid white blend line, if your wheel touches it, its a 90 euro on the spot fine. same with stop signs if you roll through. if you dont pay in cash, car impounded.

these are seen as more serious thann drink driving, you have been warned.

france has added 1000 new cameras this year and are taking down the signs. gps must have traffic camera data removed or 1500 euro fine whether its on or not. beware mobile speed traps hide, not in plain sight, and now they are putting speed limits for 50 kph, 30 mph, 500 metres after the zone starts as a revenue raising measure. normal town driving is 70 kph, 45 mph. there are no signs as you enter a town to say what limit is, if you see a town sign that is automatically 70 kph or less, the end of limit sign does not exist, its the place name with a red stripe diagonally across it. 90 euro fine for using a mobile phone when driving.
enjoy
 

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Well worth having a look at is:
http://about-france.com/geo/motorways.htm
which shows which French motorways are FREE T:.
You'll see that the A75 from Montpellier to Clermont-Ferrand is a freebie, except for the toll over the Millau viaduct - DON'T Miss it :eek:

More hints and tips at:
http://about-france.com/travel.htm#Free
and
http://www.drive-alive.co.uk/autoroutes.html
also:
http://www.fuel-prices-europe.info/

I could go on and on I:

Have a good trip - don't forget we'll be here while you're over there :).
 

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Agree with Alexander Meerkat on the speed traps. They are such a pain in the a4se and are purely to tax motorists! It is illegal to have one but I would bring a speed trap/radar detector and keep it subtly hidden so you can pull it off quickly and hide it if pulled over. You are unlikely to be stopped if you are under the limit and as your detector should detect the trap you should be under the limit :) For the politically correct brigade on here I am not saying break the limits but as we all know it is very easy to drift over the limit a smidgen and you know that is when there will be a speed trap there!! I use the toll roads for long stretches, they are not stupidly expensive. they are much quieter, quicker and more direct.
 

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I avoid tolls; as the normal A roads are great, fast enough 60-65mph cruising for me and my van,,, no traffic, hell of a lot more scenic, easy to stop anywhere, and I also stay at the free and beautiful municipal / private aires,,,not the aires des repos on the tolls. Whilst last yr we went to the south of france, other side to you, i found total journey time without tolls was only a few hours more...maybe you should incorporate half n half,,obviously route dependant. Oh and if you break down on a toll you HAVE to use the french onwed monopoly recovery company and pay with credit card for it on the spot,,,then call your usual break down cover...ADAC...also off the tolls you get supermarkets,,with the cheaper fuel. Have fun either way :ILU:

oh yeah go buy the book all the aires france..it will help you plan your stop overs. The aires I stayed in have everything,,the book helps tell you that, hook up, showers toilet fresh water grey waste etc.
^ What he said +1. Just spent three weeks bumbling around France using nowt but the aires book and a simple road map.
https://www.vicarious-shop.com/All-the-Aires-France-edition-4.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I avoid tolls; as the normal A roads are great, fast enough 60-65mph cruising for me and my van,,, no traffic, hell of a lot more scenic, easy to stop anywhere, and I also stay at the free and beautiful municipal / private aires,,,not the aires des repos on the tolls. Whilst last yr we went to the south of france, other side to you, i found total journey time without tolls was only a few hours more...maybe you should incorporate half n half,,obviously route dependant. Oh and if you break down on a toll you HAVE to use the french onwed monopoly recovery company and pay with credit card for it on the spot,,,then call your usual break down cover...ADAC...also off the tolls you get supermarkets,,with the cheaper fuel. Have fun either way :ILU:

oh yeah go buy the book all the aires france..it will help you plan your stop overs. The aires I stayed in have everything,,the book helps tell you that, hook up, showers toilet fresh water grey waste etc.

Cheers for the advice Abyss, I think half tolls, half A roads will be a good option, and the aires book is on the list, cheers mate :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good idea the planned stops. I did it in one go 10 years ago and it takes it out of you.

Lyon is a bit of a mare with the tunnels.

For a change on the return trip I'd head for Toulouse and up towards the Milau Bridge, excellent British design! Also the route is alot quiter towards Paris. My GPS said "Turn left in 470 miles" on the way from Paris to Milau!!!!!!!!!!
Taking the Milau bridge did cross my mind thanks DonHoaglin, "Turn left in 470 miles"!!!!! i bet your sat nav went quiet for a while after that haha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Cheers Guys for all of your replies every one will come in handy, its much appreciated, PapaW - looked like you made some great memories to look back on thanks for sharing.
I knew that having a speed trap finder was illegal over there but not going over the white lines, theres so much more knowledge Ive gained reading these posts, cheers agin everyone !!!!!! T:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Im hoping to go on the 26th march come back on April 5th, Abyss, I was meant to go to the Blackburn meeting last month and get a couple of tips but couldn't go in the end, as for this weekend mate Im at wales but thanks for the offer, so I take it most people book there van as a car when it comes to booking onto ferries? The Aires France book has just been ordered :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
When you goin dude? You could always meet up with us NW lot at the meet over in southport next weekend? Have a chin wag with a fee of us who have travelled further a field.

I also second the milau bridge way,,or at least travelling the west side of Paris T:
Sorry mate i miss read, did you mean the meeting is on next weekend as in the 16th? I can make that.
 

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Cheers Guys for all of your replies every one will come in handy, its much appreciated, PapaW - looked like you made some great memories to look back on thanks for sharing.
I knew that having a speed trap finder was illegal over there but not going over the white lines, theres so much more knowledge Ive gained reading these posts, cheers agin everyone !!!!!! T:
Don't worry about the speed trap warnings on your sat nav, the rule is there, but the gendarmes are not allowed to interrogate the devise. Latest Garmins for instance give a dangerous roads countdown which gets around the rule for them, and us.
I live in France and would advise a mixture of toll and other roads. HGV's are now banned from non toll routes but are not a problem on toll roads and they dont run on Sunndays!
Aire advise already given is good they really are good, best stopovers in the world, it's one thing the French have got right and there are thousands of them! Have a good trip!
 
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