Through France in January

Mar 14, 2005
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Up to now my wife and I have taken our caravan to Spain for the winter by the Plymouth-Santander route. This winter we cannot go 'til early January and the only direct ferry to Spain [Portsmouth-Bilbao] is fully booked. So, we are going on the Plymouth-Roscoff ferry and then travelling through France and into Spain. We have never done this before and my questions are, firstly, are there any caravan sites open near Roscoff at this time of year or could we stay overnight at e.g. the port - what facilities are there [if any] and is it safe, quiet etc? Secondly, what do readers recommend about overnight stops when travelling south through France - pull off on a motorway services or go to a caravan site? If anyone has any experiences [good or bad!] or advice I would be very grateful!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi John - From 1995 till '98, I travelled on Portsmouth/Bilbao, but since fares went sky-high, I've used Dover/Calais. My route is via Rouen, Tours, Bordeaux, San Sebastian, Burgos,Madrid. Sites which are open in winter are few, consequently, I use the bigger service areas. They are always well populated by overnight HGV's and are well lit. The N1 and N1V in Spain don't have service areas but the filling stations do have large lorry parks which are adequate for overnight.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Get a copy of the Caravan Club's continental directory 'Caravan Europe' (vol 1. for France). This is an invaluable source of reliable information and specifies which sites are open all year. There are more than you think, suggest you plan your route in advance and phone ahead to check chosen locations (you can usually get by in English if you need to; a bright 'bonjour' will get the conversation off to a good start...!). Personally I have yet to 'get stuck' without a site in France, and would not recommend overnighting at the service areas (in France or anywhere else for that matter)unless it's a very last resort. Good luck in your quest!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Agree with Richard. Get CC Europe 1 and look for sites marked in red on maps. We use west coast of France - sites at heric (between rennes and nantes) Pons (north of Bordeaux0 and then either Dax or Ondres north of Biarritz.

Then into Spain to Savinan near Calatuyud then manzanera or navajas on the road to Valencia then where-ever. No happy about overnighting in lorry parks but might be ok if there were a few of you together. Crossing into Spain at Irun is easier at weekends particularly Sunday as many less HGVs.

Happy travelling.
 

BJ

Mar 14, 2005
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I have travelled through France in January a few times.

I agree with other, get CC part 1, NOT 'Aires'

Go the western route, towards Bordeaux.

Use the motorways (quicker and better if bad weather and not over high mountains.)

I would recommend a site neat Poitiers called Le Futuriste. (excel enclosed and heated shower block.).
 

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