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Driving from dieppe to cap d'agde.. Where are the good rest stops on the way?

(6 Posts)
Spink Sat 11-Jun-11 19:06:29

We'll be driving via Chartres, Bourges, Clermont Ferrard and Beziers.... Our ferry gets in at 3pm so we've got a hotel booked in Chartres and then a 7 hour drive to the campsite the next day. Ds is 4 and dd is 2 so we'll be stopping every 2 hours. If anyone has tips on good places to stop/eat it would be a massive help!

IloveJudgeJudy Sat 11-Jun-11 19:31:15

If you're going by motorway, then you just stop at the places that state they have a restaurant. Or, better still, buy some stuff from a supermarket and just stop at the places that don't have restaurants/cafes. They'll all have loos and picnic areas. There are usually places to stop every 10-20 miles (it's not like in the UK - it's much better, but you are paying).

If you're not going by motorway, it's going to take longer than 7 hours and there will still be loads of places to stop, but not so many restaurants, but you could stop at supermarkets and use their restaurants which are much nicer than Tesco/Sainsbury restaurants.

Spink Sat 11-Jun-11 19:52:10

We'll be motorwaying! I like to think when the kids get older we will mosey our way through Europe, driving the small roads and seeing the country. That probably won't happen. It definitely is not the plan while they are small and hating car journeys..

I did wonder if there were any places people knew of which are not far from the motorways, as an alternative to the service stations & motorway aires? Maybe I should just accept that we will be on the motorway for the day and as you say, get some picnicy food and go with it smile

GnomeDePlume Sun 12-Jun-11 16:08:33

Just north of Clermont Ferrand there is a stop called les Volcans d'Auvergne. This is a really nice stop with as I recall a little hill to go up so that you can look at the volcanoes.

As a general tip, stop early (no later than 12). Have your lunch then get back on the road when everone else is having theirs. You can then take a mid afternoon break for coffee and icecream. We normally make a stop mid morning and pick up bread, ham etc. We also make this a toilet stop. Then an hour or so later we stop for lunch ata picnic stop.

French motorway stops (aires) are one of two types - picnic stops with basic toilets or more devloped stops with service station, restaurant etc. Coffee in the petrol stations is generally pretty good. Take a few coins for the coin op coffee machines IMO Selecta coffee is great! Otherwise you can often have a coffee stood at a bar feeling very French! Sometimes you will find stops which are more trucker stops. If you dont like the look of the place then just move on.

If you have Michelin maps (which I highly recommend) you will see the motorway stops marked on the motorway with either green semi circles (the basic picnic aires) or red semi-circles (the developed aires).

Bon voyage!

Spink Tue 05-Jul-11 19:39:37

Gnomedeplume, I just wanted to let you know your advice was most sound, the roads were eerily clear between 12 & 1! We stopped at the volcanoes too which went down brilliantly with the kids smile Our motorway lunch on the way home was great; a roti chook with ratatouille and potatoes we'd picked up in the local market, eaten at an aire amongst pines at a picnic table with a playground right next to it. I love France.

GnomeDePlume Tue 05-Jul-11 20:17:08

mmmmm..... French market chicken ...drool...

I'm really glad you had a good drive through!

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