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Steve Bullman

Advice on Euro road trip

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Thinking about taking a road trip me and the kids, looking for tips from people who have done similar. Is it best to take the ferry or chunnel? Im guessing the ferry at the moment with the immigrant camps etc?

 

What places are good to see? Thinking about looping down south of france across to Italy, maybe as far as Croatia then back up through switzerland and Germany.

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No advice, but we doing something similar, going to Paris then Milan, through to Lake Como, then over the Alps to Zurich and back home again, i promised the mrs i would take her years ago, but never got around to it.

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Ferry to Bilboa or Santander and then through the Basque and Pyrenees.

 

Haven't actually done it myself as a road trip but my Brother's just came back from a couple of weeks on the road over there.

 

His pictures looked way cool.

 

 

 

 

.

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Ferry to Bilboa or Santander and then through the Basque and Pyrenees.

 

Haven't actually done it myself as a road trip but my Brother's just came back from a couple of weeks on the road over there.

 

His pictures looked way cool.

 

 

 

 

.

 

From Dover?

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Ferry or tunnel? Depends where you are starting out from and how far you intend to go the first day on the continent. Tunnel takes 30 minutes, and you check in sometime before hand. Tunnel entrance is M20 near Folkestone.

 

Ferry takes about an hour and may take longer to board and get off (depends where you are put on the ferry)....great if you want a meal, stretch the legs and even a short rest.......Dover is accessible via M/A 2 and M/A 20 but is a few miles further....and if Calais port is playing up you're stuck.

 

Price will vary but I think ferry is cheaper than tunnel. If I had a long journey I would always use the tunnel.....but then I live only 30 minutes from the terminal.....and think how far you have to drive when you get back for timing. I'm sure after a long continental trip you may want to avoid the M25 at rush hour!

 

As for what to see........well part of it depends on the time of year; South of France sounds wonderful until you realise in August the roads are packed and on local roads you will be moving at times as fast as a snail. Parts of France are dead in August as everyone has packed off and gone to......the South of France.

 

On Saturdays roads can be equally horrendous - especially le grand depart at the beginning of August from Paris and the end of August back to Paris - so timing is all.

 

Many places for outdoor pursuits - canoeing for example on many rivers - probably good to pick an area and explore than travel many miles .....you get to know the motorway system but not much else!

 

Paris is worth going to but probably not when camping - see the centre and get out. Versailles and Fontainbleu maybe worth a visit. There are many chateau, vineries, eateries and the tourist offices are quite good at pointing the local places to see - caves in some places.

 

As for kids in cars......air conditioning is helpful as is cruise control for the long autoroutes

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We go every year, France Germany Italy Slovenia etc, I know it's an additional expense but we always hire a car over there at the airport, it's so much easier driving left hand drive on left hand roads!

Car for 10 days usually costs us £350 -400 + extra insurance at about €30 if your worried about Italian drivers!!

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We did it a few years ago, stayed on the coastal roads in the south of France,through the Alps ,the west coast of Italy and returned by going up the east coast , through northern Italy, Austria, Switzerland, northern France and home. We stayed away from as many main roads and tourist attractions as possible, twas a brilliant holiday and I will do the same again sometime. :001_cool:

 

Top tip: drive when the sun goes down :)

 

Bob

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Last year we went to Normandy, using the shuttle at the height of all the issues with overnight efforts to board the freight trains. Absolutely no problem with the camps - they are a long way from where you need to drive. Normandy is really good with children - nice climate, big beaches, castles, Bayeux tapestry and D-Day beaches, plus excellent cider.

 

Off to Brittany from Portsmouth tomorrow - big excitement for the eldest is a cabin with a porthole! Will let you know how it goes...

 

Alec

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