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Old 12-05-2017, 23:39   #1
taxiboy
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Road trip (london to south of France)

Hi guys

Can anyone give me any tips in terms of planning this trip. Thinking about 5 days/4 nights. end of july. Has anyone driven to France before? I've check eurotunnel vs ferry and decided due to the speed, we will be taking the eurotunnel. Where do we stay, we want to spend a few day in nice, Nice, Monaco and saint tropez area. Thanks.
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Old 12-05-2017, 23:54   #2
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Road trip (london to south of France)

I must have been down to the south of France at least 10 times. Frejus is where we normally go as it has good restaurants and is in the thick of it. From there you can expect to take about 90 mins to Monaco (brilliant day out, go around the F1 track and get your self up to the Palace. Top tip is eat on one of the streets just back from the port... miles cheaper than up by the palace and you can still see the water/boats). It will also be about an hour to St Tropez. This is mainly because there is only one road in and so the traffic can be pretty bad. Alternatively you can get a boat from Frejus and then you don't have to drive and you can have a beer at one of the mainly bars. St Maxine is a beautiful little place to go too. It has some private beaches which were only about €10 each which is good value and some lovely restaurants. Personally I am not really into Nice but maybe I just like the beach and swimming pool too much. We normally stay with Eurocamp when we go down there. I could go on and on so let me know if you have any specific questions. Last time for example It cost c£180 in tolls. You can get a tolls calculated online and it will tell you exactly. I assume you will go via Reims?


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Old 13-05-2017, 00:06   #3
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The toll roads are quick, relatively quiet and have regular rest stops. If you do a search you can get a tag for the French tolls , you do pay a small premium but it can save time if it's busy. Also saves waking the passenger up. We normally stay at Ibis, you can book via net and they are ok for overnights, as we are en route to Spain. Usually have a decent restaurant attached. Watch out for French plod, they are really tightening up on speeding. And they carry big guns. And speak absolutely no English, when it suits.
Word of warning, on one occasion we took one of those present loaded MasterCard's from the Post Office, it would not work in the pay at pump ones at French petrol stations. It does say in the small print , which I handily read... Afterwards
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Old 13-05-2017, 00:19   #4
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I must have been down to the south of France at least 10 times. Frejus is where we normally go as it has good restaurants and is in the thick of it. From there you can expect to take about 90 mins to Monaco (brilliant day out, go around the F1 track and get your self up to the Palace. Top tip is eat on one of the streets just back from the port... miles cheaper than up by the palace and you can still see the water/boats). It will also be about an hour to St Tropez. This is mainly because there is only one road in and so the traffic can be pretty bad. Alternatively you can get a boat from Frejus and then you don't have to drive and you can have a beer at one of the mainly bars. St Maxine is a beautiful little place to go too. It has some private beaches which were only about €10 each which is good value and some lovely restaurants. Personally I am not really into Nice but maybe I just like the beach and swimming pool too much. We normally stay with Eurocamp when we go down there. I could go on and on so let me know if you have any specific questions. Last time for example It cost c£180 in tolls. You can get a tolls calculated online and it will tell you exactly. I assume you will go via Reims?


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Thank you for the insight in terms of where to stay, eat and tolls, all very useful. Haven't planned out the exact route yet but want to check out route n85, they call it route napoleon. I also want to check out the tallest bridge (Millau) so if we do, then don't think it will be via Reims.
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Old 13-05-2017, 00:21   #5
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Considering that we only have 5 days, and the places I want to go so far (let me know if you think we shouldn't visit them), how would you plan it? i.e our first stop etc
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Old 13-05-2017, 00:45   #6
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Personally the Millau feels a long way out for Monaco as its more if you're going to the south west rather than east. It's half a days drive from one to the other. I have done nice to calais in one day before but I prefer now to do about 550-600 miles in a single day so that it doesn't feel too rushed. If you're not after being in the same place then you can probably do a circular route which goes anti clockwise from the Millau across to st tropez, Nice and Monaco and then up route Nipoleon.


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Old 13-05-2017, 00:48   #7
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Quote:
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Thank you for the insight in terms of where to stay, eat and tolls, all very useful. Haven't planned out the exact route yet but want to check out route n85, they call it route napoleon. I also want to check out the tallest bridge (Millau) so if we do, then don't think it will be via Reims.
The Millau bridge is fantastic, but it's a fair way out from Nice. The motorway south from there towards Beziers (A75) is pretty spectacular. Depending on what you are into, and if you have time, check out Oradour Sur Glane. Its a village where the population were massacred by the Germans in WW2. It has been left as a shrine , and is worth a visit, if only to realise man's inhumanity.
As a guide, from the channel tunnel to Millau is 8.5 hours, that's non stop.
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Old 13-05-2017, 00:49   #8
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For what it's worth our normal itinerary is:

Friday - travel to Calais (stay there rather than Dover after driving from Manchester)
Saturday - drive 2/3 of the way down France
Sunday / drive remaining 1/3, go shopping and unpack etc.

Coming back is always quicker (remembering the hour change is in our favour).

Drive 2/3 up France (normally Reims)
Drive from Reims to Manchester (home for 1700).

Works like clockwork.


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Old 13-05-2017, 14:21   #9
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Or go via the the Alps route and almost touch into Geneva if you want.

Did that back in the 80's on my motorbike with the lady that became my wife.

The view we got as we turned a bend and the magnificence of the Alps was laid before us was stunning. Was scary s"*t on a few of the roads then.

We did a week and stayed in Gites on the way down. Got stupidly sun burned and we were in such agony we gave up and headed home early. Did St Tropez to Dartford in 22 hours.

If you using sat nav make sure it covers the region.

Check your EU health cards are in date.

Check the legislation for driving over there, as Kazand said the French have increased the fines for tourists speeding. Headlight beam deflectors are needed and I think their law states you have to have a breath alcohol tester in the car.

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Old 14-05-2017, 16:08   #10
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Or go via the the Alps route and almost touch into Geneva if you want.

Did that back in the 80's on my motorbike with the lady that became my wife.

The view we got as we turned a bend and the magnificence of the Alps was laid before us was stunning. Was scary s"*t on a few of the roads then.

We did a week and stayed in Gites on the way down. Got stupidly sun burned and we were in such agony we gave up and headed home early. Did St Tropez to Dartford in 22 hours.

If you using sat nav make sure it covers the region.

Check your EU health cards are in date.

Check the legislation for driving over there, as Kazand said the French have increased the fines for tourists speeding. Headlight beam deflectors are needed and I think their law states you have to have a breath alcohol tester in the car.

thanks, I was thinking about this. What are the border controls like and would we need anything like a visa to enter in switzerland/france?
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Old 14-05-2017, 16:10   #11
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Personally the Millau feels a long way out for Monaco as its more if you're going to the south west rather than east. It's half a days drive from one to the other. I have done nice to calais in one day before but I prefer now to do about 550-600 miles in a single day so that it doesn't feel too rushed. If you're not after being in the same place then you can probably do a circular route which goes anti clockwise from the Millau across to st tropez, Nice and Monaco and then up route Nipoleon.


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Thanks Richard? Any ideas where I can learn about parking rules for south France? I'm guessing it doesn't work in the same way as here.
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Old 14-05-2017, 16:19   #12
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What is parking like in Monaco, nice and cannes?
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Old 14-05-2017, 16:57   #13
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Oh, forgot to also ask what should I be looking out for if I'm considering breakdown cover and insurance (I think, may be wrong though that for car insurance, default is that you are covered on a third party basis due to eu law).
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Old 14-05-2017, 17:30   #14
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thanks, I was thinking about this. What are the border controls like and would we need anything like a visa to enter in switzerland/france?
Don't know about border controls but shouldn't be a hassle unless you give cause to.

As EU citizens we can enter those countries without a visa.

Enjoy that benefit while it lasts
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Old 14-05-2017, 18:51   #15
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thanks, I was thinking about this. What are the border controls like and would we need anything like a visa to enter in switzerland/france?


You need a special tax disk if you want to use the motorways in Switzerland. Other than that you're free to move about as normal.


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Old 14-05-2017, 18:53   #16
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What is parking like in Monaco, nice and cannes?


Parking is fine in all of those places but it expect it to be the same price as the centre of London. Most are unground multi-storey.


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Old 14-05-2017, 18:54   #17
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Oh, forgot to also ask what should I be looking out for if I'm considering breakdown cover and insurance (I think, may be wrong though that for car insurance, default is that you are covered on a third party basis due to eu law).


I suggest breakdown cover (you need to decide whether you it to bring you straight home or (for more money) allow you to finish your holiday in a courtesy car.


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Old 15-05-2017, 19:05   #18
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Parking is fine in all of those places but it expect it to be the same price as the centre of London. Most are unground multi-storey.


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Thanks, London multi storey carparks are steep- £20/hr ish. Surely there's street parking that is free in some places? Probably not Monaco though..haha
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Old 15-05-2017, 19:12   #19
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Its pretty expensive. £25 for a day so maybe not quite as bad as London.


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Old 26-05-2017, 16:44   #20
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If we are only focusing on south France (i.e. Monaco, nice, cannes, Frejus & St Tropez) where do we stay. Can anyone please give me a one liner for each area and where they recommend we stay. Just me and wife going). Not sure if we are going Marseille yet. We want to stay at a nice good value hotel - might not even exist.

Thanks
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