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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I have just booked the ferry from Dover - Calais on the 8th June for the start of our 3 week honeymoon!!!

The only problem is, I havent got a clue what to do next as this is our first trip in the MH.

I would like to travel down the east coast of France to the Riviera, into northern Italy, and back up through Germany arriving back in Calais for the ferry home on the 27th June.

Can anyone suggest where we should stay \ what we MUST see along the way.

The plan is to use the trip as a recce of France \ Italy etc to see where we want to spend a week or so for our next holiday. We will mark each place and decide if we want to come back.

The plan would be to get a couple of hundered miles done on the Monday maybe on peage's as nothern France is DULL and find an over night or two stop. Reims???

Then maybe a couple of hundred miles south and stop again and so on and so forth.

Places I would like to stop at are Cannes and Monaco and hopefully get to the Italian lakes??

We really are totally flexible!!

Your suggestions please.

Only other notes are:
We have the dog.
We are both 30ish and active
We LOVE motorbikes
Enjoy walking and sightseeing.
good food + drink is a must -
and we love getting involved with the local culture ie big corporate sites are not our thing.

type away!!!
 

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Personally we have always failed to stick to an itinerary, so now we don't bother.
On the Riviera you will find very few small campsites and even fewer at a reasonable cost. Our advice would be to stay at Antibes and use the train that runs along the coast to Cannes and beyond one way and to Nice, Monaco and beyond the other.
For camping at Antibes, we think you would struggle to beat this site:
http://www.campingrossignol.com/
20 minute walk from Antibes and Juan les Pains and a 10 minute walk from the station.
Gerry
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the feed back so far.

Not looking for an itinary just looking for suggested campsites and places to see :)

Dog passport all sorted thank you!

Any more suggestions?
 

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Re: europe honeymoon time to book

r6demon said:
. . . I have just booked the ferry from dover - Calais on the 8th June for the start of our 3 week honeymoon!!!

The only problem is, I havent got a clue what to do next as this is our first trip in the MH.
. . well, it all starts with the birds & the Bee's . . the boy bee - Umm, you'll have to figure it out yourself - Iv'e forgotten :roll:

As for the motorhome side - don't plan too much otherwise you'll be disappointed if you don't get everywhere you planned [or is that relevant to my first part :oops:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think the idea was to get a list of campsites and places to see and if we are in the area try and see them.

The holiday is planned to be a relaxed one, but at the minute we have NO IDEA where we are heading. I was hoping for some good suggestions to start us off.

How do you go about finding the good campsites \ places to go in europe?
 

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If you want to stop off and visit Reims then there is a free aire in the centre, its not everyones cup of tea and is quite noisy as its close to the A4. A good place to park for a day visit though...

>Reims Aire<

If you can stretch a bit further to St Dizier - and you like water/lakes (good for dogwalks), then try Lac Du Der Chantecoq, I did a mini write up about the place a while back...

>Lac Du Der Chantecoq<

For more info, do make full use of the campsite database and interactive map, all places recommended (or not as the case may be) by members on here.

Pete
 

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Aside from using the sites listed here, try buying a book called 'All the Aires of France'. You can buy it from Vicarious Books (online). It reviews all the aires listed and is worth it's weight in gold. We have just used it in France and were very impressed with them. By the way, if you like bikes, have you tried the Isle of Man during TT week, there are a few sites listed here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great stuff thank you all!

I have been recommended to drive down to Clairvaux les lacs by the guy at work. He thinks that we should be able to make it in 7 hours or so from Calais?

you mention staying in the Aires but we were told many years ago to avoid them at all cost (by a french police man) as they were dangerous at night, something to do with Bandits???

I have avoided them ever since because of this?

Are you suggesting otherwise??
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
PEEJAY,

After looking at your write up we are going to make that our first stop!

So, So far we have got:

Calais - >
Presqu'ile de Champaubert (or aires dependant on opinion)One night ish->
Clairvaux-les-Lacs \ Poitte - 2 nights
Milan??
Lake Garda...?? onwards

looking at the map I think Monaco etc will be a bit out of the way and expensive as you say!

I love Italy and would like to spend at least 4 days there

comments please!
 

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europe honeymoon time to boo

R6demon
Spend some time searching on the France Foreign Touring section for ideas.
Get the Caravan Club Foreign Touring book that has France.
On the way down try Beaune in Burgandy - lovely site just outside the town.
Head for the Gorge du Verdon - a very good Castels & Camping site.
After that you will probably not want to go any further.
We have found campsite near/on the coast much more expensive and usually more crowded and with poorer facilities than those inland.
Lastly use the municipal campsite as they are very good value.
You will love it.
Bob
 

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There are so many ways to find campsites in France that it is difficult to give hard and fast suggestions. The aires to avoid are those on the autoroutes where you can be by yourself and perhaps vulnerable.

The number of aires in towns and villages is staggering - MH's seem to be welcomed everywhere. We visited an excellent aire near Azay Le Rideau - this is a beautiful chateau set in open grounds and the aire in the village is well equipped and popular. The town is lovely with good restaurants.

There are also loads of municipal campsites - we love the one at Samatan between Toulouse and Auch in the Gers region, it is next door to a lake and well sheltered. It can also be booked in advance - as can many of them. Samatan is the centre of the duck industry with an excellent farmers market on a Monday - well worth a visit to experience it. The local Gourmand restaurant (Le Canard Gourmande) is superb and their taster menu with several duck courses each with relevant wine, is an experience not to be missed. It closes Tuesdays. They also have luxurious B&B if you fancy a night away from the MH.

http://www.aucanardgourmand.com/

We stay in Samatan and walk to it - almost 300m! There is also an aire in the village but it is much more like a car park.

Auch is a nice town - the home of D'Artagnan of 3 Musketeers fame, and is also well worth a visit if in the area. But Toulouse is not a place for a MH in our experience! Use the ring road to avoid the centre and then public transport to visit the very interesting centre.

There are so many places to visit that it is difficult to make suggestions without swamping the thread!

These are just a few places we have enjoyed recently.

Enjoy your trip, and of course congratulations on the reason for it - as a honeymoon! :)
 

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r6demon said:
you mention staying in the Aires but we were told many years ago to avoid them at all cost (by a french police man) as they were dangerous at night, something to do with Bandits???

I have avoided them ever since because of this?

Are you suggesting otherwise??
Your French Policeman will undoubtedly be talking about aires on the autoroutes. Some stay the night on autoroute aires without incident but there have been many reports of robberies, especially the further south you go, so in my opinion, it's not adviseable to risk it.
Aires away from the autoroutes however, are a different kettle of fish, and are no more unsafe than a campsite. The biggest advantage is there is no booking in and out procedures, you can just arrive and depart when you want. A great feature if you're not on a set schedule.
If you are off to Lac Du Der as mentioned, then have a look at any of the 3 aires around the lake and maybe give one a try and make up your own mind, if you don't fancy it then no problem, the muncipal site mentioned is a good alternative.
For more info on aires perhaps a quick look at the >MHF Miniguide To Aires<

What ever you decide, the most important thing is not to rush things and to go at a pace you are comfortable with and above all, to have a great time, which you definately will. :) :wink:

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sorry all I meant the east SIDE of france not coast!! D'oh!

PeeJay, excellent mini guide thank you! I have printed off for further ref.

Regarding the security risks on Aires, you are quite right we were stopped on a normal road aire when the police man spoke to us and told us to move on! I just then took that as a blanket statement!!

the thought of being less than 2 foot from my neighbor would worry me though! What if there were a fire???
 

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We normally although maybe not this year go to South of F at the time you are going. They always have a Harley Rally St Maxine St Trop area and there are thousands of them. I don't do and never have done bikes but some of these bikes have to be seen to be believed. I even said once to the missus, "Hey my Bitch. Fancy a go on one of these.".

It wasn't thd best idea I've come up with but the brusing did go down after a few days helpted by the sea water I think. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Looking at some of the comments I think you may be right in the fact that we are trying to do too much and we will end up not seeing things as we will always want to move on.

Having thought about it, as we have three weeks I think it would be better to get into Italy and spend the time looking around there, on the basis that france is easier to get too at any time (later in the year maybe)

I think we will still try and stop at Clairvaux-les-Lacs \ Poitte on the way down as that will give us a resonable 7-8 hr drive on the first day and then try and find a way accross into italy.

I thought maybe work down one coast and then back up the other ready for a quick 1 or two day blat back up for the ferry?

Any suggestions \ comments?

Sorry for all the tooing and fro ing but this is the first time we have ever attempted anything like this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
OK, have worked out a wuick starter for 10 route, plan to put a post in the Italian section for places to see but what do you think?

Remember 3 weeks is the goal

we would go straight from Calais down to Clairvaux du lacs and then follow this route.

How expensive are the tolls through france?

We are in a hymer 564L 2.8m tall 6.5m long
 

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A few thoughts.

We tend to keep off the autoroutes in France in order to keep costs down and see more of the country. Having said that, the first stretch from Calais can be a bit tedious so we often use the auroroute until Laon or Reims if in a hurry.

If going through Grenoble, allow time because traffic is often heavy around there.
Favourite routes into Italy for us are: either via Briancon and Montgenevre (there is a large aire at Le Monetier les Bains high in the mountains) or via Barcelonette and Col de Larche.

Once in Italy, it can be slow-going off the motorway around the Ligurian coast. I would strongly recommend a visit to the Cinque Terra. Five fishing villages north of La Spezia - the walk from one end to the other is magical They form a world heritage site and are easily accessible by train from La Spezia. I have attached a couple of pictures taken 2 years ago.

Whatever you do I am sure you will have a great time.

Philip
 

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