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Driving through France on a Saturday in the summer holidays - is it a bad plan?

(7 Posts)
Tobermory Sat 01-Oct-11 21:48:21

What are French roads like on August weekends? Looking at driving from St Malo to the Vendee possibly on a Saturday....would that be very awful?
Best avoided at all costs?

ImpYCelyn Sun 02-Oct-11 12:27:21

Depends which Saturday it is. If it's around the 15th August then yes, it'll be a disaster. Likewise the last Saturday in July, although not as bad.

Leave very very early in the morning. And keep driving through lunchtime.

frenchfancy Sun 02-Oct-11 19:18:22

No it will be fine. It is a 3 hour drive if traffic is ok. The only real hot spot you may meet is the Nantes periferique, but that rarely stops completly, so may add 30 mins to your journey. The motorway after Nantes rarely has problems unless there is roadworks (which never happen in Augustsmile ). Depending on where you stay in the Vendée the coast roads can get busy, but if you stay somewhere like Fontenay le Comte, just off the Motorway then that is never an issue.

If you take the overnight boat, then you should clear the port by 8 am, and should be easily at your destination by lunchtime.

Tobermory Sun 02-Oct-11 21:56:35

Thanks both.

We are looking at travelling on the 11th August ...disaster?

Why so?

Frenchfancy,you sound like you know what you're talking about. Maybe I need to pick your brains?

frenchfancy Mon 03-Oct-11 07:08:21

Saturday 11th should be fine driving south from St Malo. I wouldn't want to be driving north back towards Paris that day though.

I live in the Vendée - hence my local knowledge. Happy to answer any questions.

ImpYCelyn Mon 03-Oct-11 09:58:53

Most French people take their holidays in the first two weeks of August, so the Saturday around the 15th is when everyone goes back home. Roads around tourist spots are often hell (family live in Marseille, we don't go near the roads that weekend <shudders> ).

But as frenchfancy says, it's much worse going north. The Saturday two weeks before is worse going south. But as you're avoiding that one it should be ok. Especially as you'll be out of the port early.

Maternelle Mon 03-Oct-11 10:00:54

It wouldn't be too bad as you're not going anywhere near Paris, or the Paris-Marseille axis.

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