Trying to book over nights in france

Mar 14, 2005
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We are going to spain this august and are trying to book two overnight stops in france. I have been useing the CC european book 1 & camping france web site. I`ve picked out a coulpe of sites but dont seem able to contact the owners. i`ve tryed the fax nos & email address that were given,the email address were wrong and no answer from the fax I`ve telephoned direct but on 2 occasions they were answer machines and i dont speak french and i`ve tryed 4/5 different times throughout the day. Got through to the 3rd site but the person didnt speak english. Dont get me wrong i`m not comlaining have i just been unlucky. Theres enough people go to france. What do you do. By the way i would like to book as we go in august and its our first time. Thanks for any replys Richard w
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I have never booked overnight stops en route and have never had a problem finding a site. An hour before I want to stop I get the CC European guide out and pick a couple of likely sites. Providing you do not leave it too late to start looking you should have no problems finding an overnight stop.
 
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Sites near the main routes south tend to have a large turnover of visitors who are doing the same as you. Consequently, providing you do not leave it too late in the day, you should have no problems finding a site. We tend to start looking after about 4.00 pm.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I never book any site in advance because I prefer to travel free from the need to cover a certain distance each day. In order to be reasonably sure of getting a pitch, I look around for something early, certainly no later than 5pm, and up to now I've rarely been disappointed. This has the added advantage of allowing ample time to relax in the evening after the day's drive.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Richard, speaking from experience I have never had any problems with an overnight stop at Municipals and that is in the school holidays peak time. I have a Michelin book and start looking for a site about mid afternoon so that I will have completed about 6 hours driving in the day. I do not know your route but on the N10 between Tours and Bordeaux there are literally hundreds signposted from the road. Any idea of roughly where you want to stop?
 
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2 options for you.

1) Stay 1 night in Loire Valley at either chateau des marais or somewhere in the Chabord / blois area. 2nd night in Souillac or somewhere in the Dordogne. that will leave you a nice drive via Toulousse and carcasssonne over the border. this year, we are going a bit further to Salou so will be staying for 1 night in Sant Amand Montrond and 1 night in La Nautigue in Narbonne. if you want any more info on any sites, please let me know

regards.
 
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I too have had trouble with e-mails and faxes to sites abroad. If I have time I resort to letter post and, since my French is somewhat rusty, use a translation service - IM Translator - which appeared somehow with Broadband. Type in English and translations are offered in assorted languages. Print out, send off, problem solved.
 
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French sites are generally much more informal about people who 'just turn up' - this is what they are used to, all season. Don't forget, also, that smaller sites are not likely to be open yet - and therefore because they don't operate like ours in England, won't have anyone manning the phone in case someone rings to book - because no-one ever does! Honestly, you won't have any problems finding somewhere - but if you're still worried leave it for another month or so, until almost all sites are actually open, and then try again. Another tip - if you type 'translation' into the internet, you can get a free service where you can type your request, and it will translate it for you - then copy this into an email and hey presto!
 
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Richard,

We've been visiting France and Spain for 20 years and have never booked an overnight stop - school holidays, low season or winter.

We usually plan to stop around 6pm but sometimes drive until 7 or 8pm if we're in the mood and I can only once remember finding a site full. Camping Municipals are the best bet - and it's worth having several in mind, including a couple slightly off the main routes. Then if one is fiull, or doesn't appeal, you can go on to the next. We use the Caravan Club book and a Michelin atlas so we can find exactly where a site is, in relation to our route plan.

Chris H
 
Mar 14, 2005
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We were thinking of stoping around orleans (la grande sologne) and carcassonne (A l`ombras des oliviers).Maybe we will not book. Thanks again everybody for the great advise. Richard W
 
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Richard - France has over 11000 campsites. You don't need to book as others have said, just find a site at about 4.00pm and you'll usually get in. The Municipals are pretty good & cheap for an overnight stop - get a good site guide when you're in France it'll list them all and try learning a bit of French - you'll get a much warmer welcome!
 

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