View Full Version : first french trip

22-02-2014, 14:08
Hi although I have camped in France we are going in the motorhome for the first in July for a month. I want to go down the west coast but in land ,Loire , dordogne etc. will it be more cost effective to go to Roscoff or Calais? We want to try stay off the motorways and just travel through the towns and villages we come across hopefully finding some nice places off the beaten track.

22-02-2014, 14:19
Take the Calais route if you do Roscoff it will be expensive by Brittany Ferries.The cost of fuel from Calais will be cheaper and it's a lovely drive to the west coast.
I would personally use DFDS from Dover to Dunkirk they are the best prices for return journeys they are mainly truck carriers but very good to use. I have used them many times and always had a good trip.

22-02-2014, 15:41
We normally go Dover Calais as much cheaper and enjoy the drive, even avoiding the toll roads the routes are reasonably fast flowing.

22-02-2014, 16:51
Well lets start with the idea of going via Roscoff from I assume your home location of Hawes which is what your profile says. ITs longer! 862 miles to Bergerac in the Dordogne from Hawes and 920 via Roscoff. Not only that but its an overnight on a ferry as apposed to an our and a half to Calais and about 600 return as apposed to about 80!

Just set your sat nav at Calais to not include Toll roads. You dont need them. The first drive down as far as Roen is a bit dull as is some of the motorway section (none toll) down to Limoges and the Dordogne.

I wasnt keen on the Loire but there are some nice spots. For me if I had a month I would try and spend as much of that time in the Dordogne. You can comfortably get down there in two days from Calais but three would be more leisurely. Maybe have a couple of days on the Loire around Samuer region which is quite nice.

There is a fair bit of info in my blogs on www.hankthetank.co.uk about the Dordogne if you can find it but for a month you might want to consider doing a bit of the Lot vally as well and perhaps further east. Loads of Aires and wild spots down there and of course the further south you go the better the weather!

22-02-2014, 17:10
Use the Autoroute from Calais to Rouen only 17.5 for 2 axles over 3 m high,, alternative very slow.

23-02-2014, 19:18
More food for thought.....We're going mid July,Newhaven to Dieppe, then down the w.coast toward Spain(ish)May go across N.Spain into Portugal, depending on if we get sidetracked in France or not.Usually use the tunnel to Calais, but found that going to Dieppe will save a lot of time(approx a day due to time of booking restraints) and about 15/20 of fuel taking into consideration distance difference Folkestone/newhaven.
Coming back Bilbao to Portsmouth as this is roughly 24hours overnight, so saving days in Spain.Probably dearer this way, but I already had a voucher.

23-02-2014, 19:35
Remember that French holidays usually start around Bastile time and the roads and camp sites will be heaving, plus it's WW1 centenary celebrations time this year.