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Driving to France

(15 Posts)
LaFlotte Fri 28-Dec-12 17:53:03


We have moved house and are now South enough to drive to France for a summer holiday. We will be on a budget but I wondered if anyone could give us some ideas of where to go once we are there!!

The prices for the Tunnel look great just now, about £120.00 return for the car and us so I want to take advantage while they are low.

Should we then drive South to get to the warmer weather? If so, where would you recommend? We would like somewhere with activities and beach if possible.

Any ideas or inspiration would be welcome.


YDdraigGoch Fri 28-Dec-12 17:57:41

South of France (Provence etc) is very beautiful but also very expensive, and a very long drive.
The Dordogne area is great - about 2/3 the way down and loads to do with kids.

shesariver Sun 30-Dec-12 20:17:08

Depends when you want to go - we had lovely weather in the Dordogne in July one year. This year we went to the Vendee and had nice enough weather to, although there had been a storm the week before we turned up. We have also went to the Languedoc, near Carcassone - very long drive and I think I would break it up if we did it again as we did it in a day from Calais. That was September though and was still lovely.

frenchfancy Mon 31-Dec-12 16:56:13

Try the Vendee. 6.5hour drive from Calais and the same amount of sunshine as provence, but with slightly lower temperatures.

MrsTruper Tue 29-Jan-13 19:30:34

If you need to stay en route near Calais try La Fermette du Lac in Ardres. Also you could stay there for a few nights and use it as a cheap base to explore the North of France, which is lovely and often overlooked.

Portofino Wed 30-Jan-13 09:44:32

Languedoc is about a 10 hour drive from Calais and is cheaper than Provence. You would be pretty much guaranteed good weather. We were in the Dordogne last year and the weather was awful. But there is so much to do we still had a good holiday. We are staying near La Rochelle this year.

What kind of budget do you have? When do you want to go? You need to factor in the cost of petrol and tolls.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 30-Jan-13 09:48:21

Try the Jura. You have mountains and lakes, loads of activities, good food, and OK weather. It's about 7 hours drive from Calais but I can recommend a good cheap hotel to stop at on the way.

Chopstheduck Wed 30-Jan-13 09:52:55

I went Languedoc last year, loved it. Not so keen on Provence, and the Riviera is expensive. I'd go for Languedoc, around Frejus somewhere. It's close to the Spanish border, we went to Girona, and Andorra is about 2 hours drive away too.

specialsubject Fri 01-Feb-13 16:13:19

just to check that you are aware that the ferries are a third cheaper, sometimes considerably cheaper, so if you aren't in that much of a hurry that is a big cost saver.

and you get to see the sea - the tunnel is a fairly nasty experience whose only merit is that it is quick.

Ilisten2theradio Fri 01-Feb-13 17:05:42

We have been to the Dordogne, the Lot and are going to the Charante this year. The Lot was a lot quieter than the Dordogne - full of lots of windy country roads and less touristy - but V bad for my travel sick kidssmile.
I prefer to go via the tunnel as it is quicker than the ferry.

Lovingfrance Fri 01-Feb-13 20:00:38

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Lovingfrance Fri 01-Feb-13 20:03:13

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MsPickle Fri 01-Feb-13 20:12:10

Another Jura recommendation. We loved it after my parents recommended it. We camped with canvas holidays and had a fabulous fortnight. Mil joined us for a week, we drove over the mountains and picked her up in Geneva.

BooToYouToo Sat 02-Feb-13 13:37:23

Another vote for either Lot or Dordogne. Not sure how old your DC are? We have stayed at when v. young but it books up about 2 years in advance for school Hols.

Also stayed at Domaine De Peyrecaty - great for older kids as it has tennis court, snack bar, ping pong and lovely pool. Think there are about 9 properties so usually easy to make friends. It is expensive though.

Two years ago we had a lovely time at La Prairie - great location. We did canoeing on the Dordogne, visited some lovely castles and villages and had a long lazy lunch in Montpazier. It was going up for sale though so check on that before booking as the rumour was the land would be divided and only the farmhouse would get use of the pool.

It is possible to drive down in one day but I get stir crazy after 6 hours in a car so we usually stop en route, usually at a B&B in Loire, try Sawdays for suggestions.

Portofino Sun 03-Feb-13 09:04:39

We stayed here for 2 weeks last summer. It was lovely - and the pictures don't do it justice. The owners are really friendly and nothing was too much trouble. LOADS to do in the local area. Le Eyzies is jut down the road and then there are caves, and fun parks, castles, gardens, canoeing on the Vezere, or Dordogne, a dinosaur park, beautiful towns, markets, lovely food.

A tip would be to get a toll doodah for the car. You can go through all the express lanes then and it charges your credit card at the end of the month. See here

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