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Is France in Sept/Oct a "faux pas?"

3217 Views 11 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  catzontour
Your help/suggestions needed please.
We are newcomers to travelling on the Continent and have booked a channel crossing from Dover-Calais for 21st Sept for two weeks in order to "see" France. We now realise that many of the sites close from early Sept. What to do?
Are we going to have a problem to find sites? Would it be better for us to travel South in the hope that more sites would be open? stopping over on the Aires sites?(we heard of problems with security), We thought of heading for Montpellier in the hope of finding a site there at destination.
Or should we change direction and hug the Atlantic coast?
We are open to any suggestions and welcome your thoughts.
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hi Pejoy,

Don't worry about the campsite situation as you are probably getting your info from english resources. You should get onto vicarious books in Kent and get an ASCI book. There have beeen lots of threads mentioning this Dutch organisation but inside the front cover is a card which pops out. this intitles you to various nightly discounts in the low season, ranging from 11 euros,throught 12 up to 15 euros per night with electric. These sites are situated throughout europe but FRance has a whole page to itself. Most sites are open till the middle of October, especially those further south even into Spain and Italy. Coupled with the fact that the motorhome Aires are unlikely to be oversubscribed and once you get your confidence about them you will wonder what all the fuss was about. Security? well don't use the aires and rest stations on autoroutes, it is best to come off and look for a village aire. If you haven't used the french website: then you should, as it will give you a wealth of information and although in french it is dead easy to navigate. You can get a CD/rom from them with all the information on it which makes day to day planning much easier. In fact,quite often with us tea-time to Aire

Don't worry. If you don't like the feel of the aire then there is another close by. We have been doing this for 25 years and very rarely plan ahead, more, roughly where would you like to go today my love?

Have agood time.............. Ned
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Im ordered a cd from campingcarifos and received it within a couple of days.
Will use it in laptop on hols. Probably september

Dave P

We usually go from late August to mid October and have never failed to find either an aire or a campsite. You might find that said campsite is running down and that the bar/ restaurant/ pool / extra loo blocks / shop are closed but the vital facilities will all be up and running. Many campsites now open all year and have heated facilities - sometimes necessary at that time of year.

Yes, the weather is sometimes cooler and you do tend to get more rain- sometimes with huge storms- but it is worth it not to to have to fight your way through the crowds and heat to see anything or go anywhere.

The ACSI book is excellent and you will save the cost in two nights.
We went September 17th a couple of years ago and ended up on the med. A lot of sites were closed and those that were open were sparsely occupied. Most of the restaurants and shops were closed but we always found somewhere to stay :D
We shall be going over to France at the end of August until end of October .
We shall end up in the south of France as its still warm down there and mix sites with aires.
Avoid motorway aires as you will be more likely to be robbed on these.
Just go and enjoy yourself. You won't have any problems.
Hi, why not go to Germany, we will be there for September and October (8 weeks) and will end up on the Mosel, for the wine fest. Bob. :lol:
Just to add we have travelled through France in Nov/Dec and also Jan/March and have found places open obv we had to plan a little more..........but some sites do stay open all year too.

no, it is not a "faux pas", it is just the right thing to do. It is low season, so most of the tourists have gone home. And, with them, most of the muggers, so safety is of much lesser concern.

Most camp sites are open until mid or end of October, and as others have already said, more and more are going for all-year. And the aires anyway never close, it could only happen that fresh water supply is going to be turned off. But this usually happens a little later, I would not expect any issues before November.

So, it is just THE ideal time for (especially southern) France!

Best Regards,
Hi pejoy, could I suggest you get the Caravan Club Europe book (vol. I I think). It has loads of sites all over France and you will find all the Sept/Oct open sites in it. We go mid August to end Sept. and always find sites open in the areas we want.

Go for it! For three years we never booked anything in advance and always managed to find somewhere to stay using a combination of mainly village and town aires with the odd ACSI and camping cheque campsite as well.

There is a lot of hype in this country about not staying on aires due to security problems but in our experience i.e. never being bothered by anyone, this doesn't apply to the aires in villages and towns. As has already been mentioned, it seems to be parking up on motorway aires that causes problems with vans being broken into, particularly those near big cities.

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