Dp & I have hired a VW camper and we are heading across the channel for a road trip for my bday soon. Any good ideas of where to go? We've only got a week, or more like 6 days. I would love to visit the ardeche, but not sure if thats too far. Not particularly interested in the north. Possibly auvergne? I think provence is probably too far in an old vdub that doesnt go fast, for the time weve got.
We have been over to France for the past few summers - taking a couple of days to get to our destination each time.
One of my favourite regions is the Charente. Cognac, Angouleme, Saintes - all worth a visit. You could go over to the coast at La Rochelle, Royan ( we still haven't made it there though). We have stopped off overnight in places like Blois, Vendome, Rouen on various trips.
This year we are staying in the Loire Valley - so have scheduled in a detour across to Bayeux for two nights first to have a look around the DDay landing beaches etc
I think the Ardeche is a fair old drive- but you could stop over in Reims - champagne, Dijon - explore Burgundy?
We have always gone with the DC - but they are 15 and 16 now - so hoping that in a couple of years it will be just me and DH (and possibly our own motorhome )
The Ardeche is amazing. We stopped over for a night in Champagne there and back when we drove there. I would go there out of choice.
Bordeaux is great too, and a shorter journey. Fantastic city with lots to see. You could head in that direction and have a couple of days somewhere on the south-west coast. La Rochelle is worth a look, but lots of the other coastal towns are nice too.
Thankyou guys. I am so excited! We go to france a fair bit, but this will be our first roadtrip together without kids, so i just know its going to be brilliant. We are going to charente area with the kids in august, so not sure if we'll go there, although i do love it and it will still probably be very different on our own
St emillion is lovely too - I know you have your camper van to sleep in but we ended up at a b&b which had overflow bedrooms down the road in part of an old converted monastery or chapel; we had a great room that was really modern (well, it might look 10 years dated now if they haven't upgraded it!) for fittings and comfort but with thick old stone Walls and stained glass windows, and very reasonable too.
Closer to Calais if that's how you're getting across the channel, le Touquet and Lille are both nice places to spend your last night in France, close enough to get to the port in good time without a really early start or any stress and to still ensure you have plenty of time to stock up at the hypermarket on the way home!
Might also be worth checking out if there's anything on that you want to intercept and go to - a stage of the tour de France, cultural music / theatre / festival / sporting/ etc event that could give you something to aim for.
The French tourist website is good and has lots of info; additionally you used to be able to order lots of brochures about different areas which is nice too as there's something different and exciting about looking over brochures and marking up interesting stuff rather than just looking on a website!
If you make it as far as the Ardèche you'd have to do loads of motorway. If it were me, I'd want to potter along minor roads doing the view points on the map, and be free to stop in interesting places on the way. We once holidayed for a week in a gite near Clermont Ferrand and a week in a gite near Tulle and we spent almost a whole day driving between the two not going on the motorway and it was lovely, fantastic scenery, ate delicious 'aligot' at a lovely restaurant for lunch. Would have loved to have that kind of freedom all the time. In fact Auvergne and the Limousin are beautiful. People often drive through Bourgogne on the motorway but there if you like history there's loads to see Vezelay, Cluny, Hospices de Beaune, wine tasting tours...
I wouldn't aim to go too far as one of the other posters has said you could otherwise spend a lot of time driving and have to cover the miles on motorways rather than side roads. Le Touquet is nice and there are lots of lovely resorts along that coast such as Stella plage. Montreuil Sur Mer which is a bit inland is also lovely with ramparts to walk around and also nice restaurants and bars. a bit further along the coast is St Valerie sur Somme which is also a great spot with a Sunday ,market and lots to do with a quayside area and a great cycle path link to other villages around the bay. have a lovely time !