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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 22 Feb 2011
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UK/France/Spain

Hi,

I am doing my first trip ( first of many i hope ) in May 2011, I am travelling with my son ( im 49 hes 23 ) on the follwoing route.
Day one - Manchester to Dover - overnight stay in Dover
Day two - Dover to Calais ferry ( early morning ) then ride to Clermont Ferrand. - overnight stay in Ferrand
Day three - Clemont Ferrand to Playa d Aro in spain.
We will camp for three nights in Playa d Aro and then complete in reverse.
We are both very experienced and have covered lots of miles on UK trips.
Has anybody done this route and has anybody any tips that may help, also any places on interest along the way.
Cheers

Tony
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  #2  
Old 22 Feb 2011
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Hi
I did a trip in Oct last year, UK thru France and then a week in Spain.

The thing I didnt consider was the cost of toll roads. You can take the back roads but its slow going.

Also the campsites in Spain seemed expensive compared to the UK ones.

Heres a link to a ride report i did for our club website

Spain and Portugal 2010


Cheers
Geordie
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  #3  
Old 22 Feb 2011
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Hi,
Thanks for that, I appreciate the comments on your report for your club, we aim to try and come off the motorways a couple of times to break things up a little, are the tolls really expensive ?
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  #4  
Old 22 Feb 2011
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Hi just had to dig out my little old notebook cause I keep a rough record of miles and costs for my trips.

My normal costs in Europe is around 50 euros a day. 30 fuel, 10 camp, 10 for food.

however my first few days saw me spending almost a 100 euros a day, the fuel on the french motorways was very expensive and my average daily toll fees were around 30 euros a day.
Also with it being cold and wet in France i opted for a formula 1 hotel at around 28 euros a night.

It worked out cheaper to get the ferry from Santander to home, that cost me £163.

hope this helps

Cheers
Geordie
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  #5  
Old 22 Feb 2011
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Was there last year

Hi

I did Clermont Ferrand last year, the toll roads aren't particularly expensive but if you're planning on coming off them for a while bear in mind you've set yourself almost 450 miles that's going to take a fair bit of time if you're off the toll roads and it will be your first day riding abroad, which might be setting yourself a bit much for the first day. Another idea would be ride from Manchester get the ferry straight to Calais and just do 30 miles or so that evening , that way the next day won't seem so daunting as you already got over your first day abroad.
One other thing Clermont is in the Auvergne area of France, we had a week in this area at Chambon sur lac and believe me it 's biking heaven.... winding twisty roads ,stunning scenery and hardly a car on the roads.... would be a shame to miss having a play !!!!

Hope this helps

Neil
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  #6  
Old 22 Feb 2011
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What Neil said. Big day including negotiating Paris. Be very careful if you take the boulevard Peripherique; it's crazy and remember that in Paris you must give way to the right meaning even you're on a major road like the BP, you must give way to traffic joining. You must also give way on a roundabout to traffic joining. 1,800 accidents a year due to people who didn't know. Of course, the fun starts deciding where Paris starts and ends.
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  #7  
Old 23 Feb 2011
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Im laughing, I hit Paris around 4, just as the rush hour was starting !!

I just filtered as best as I could but found myself having to pull over to let the local bikers thru as they seem to whizz thru the traffic.

If I recall it took the best part of a hour to get thru.... then I started smiling again !!

Cheers
Geordie
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  #8  
Old 28 Feb 2011
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Thanks guys, I may look at keeping to the toll roads on day one, then go off piste after that ! is there an easy option for by-passing Paris ?

Cheers
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  #9  
Old 28 Feb 2011
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Not all of the autoroutes are toll roads. If you've got a GPS you can tell it to avoid tolls. Then you get off before the tolls and travel on N roads before getting back on. Which isn't too bad. However, if you do go through the tolls make sure you go through a manned one otherwise it assumes you're in a car and the tolls are twice the price.
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  #10  
Old 28 Feb 2011
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England / France / Spain

Hi Tony

I have travelled this route several times. A lot depends how long you have, will it all be camping and your budget.
To save money why not use Tesco coupons and travel for "free" on the Euro tunnel" as I have done for years now. Forget the French motorways unless you are in a desperate hurry.
You may have a good reason for going to the home of Michelin (Clermont Fer) but personally I would go that bit further to Le Puy en Velay.
You are more than welcome to have a look at my detailed maps and discuss further if you want. I live just over the hill from you in New Mills.
Regards
Dave Gilligan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Cooper View Post
Hi,

I am doing my first trip ( first of many i hope ) in May 2011, I am travelling with my son ( im 49 hes 23 ) on the follwoing route.
Day one - Manchester to Dover - overnight stay in Dover
Day two - Dover to Calais ferry ( early morning ) then ride to Clermont Ferrand. - overnight stay in Ferrand
Day three - Clemont Ferrand to Playa d Aro in spain.
We will camp for three nights in Playa d Aro and then complete in reverse.
We are both very experienced and have covered lots of miles on UK trips.
Has anybody done this route and has anybody any tips that may help, also any places on interest along the way.
Cheers

Tony
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  #11  
Old 28 Feb 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Cooper View Post
...is there an easy option for by-passing Paris ?

Cheers
Calais - Rouen - Chartres - Orleans - Clermont. Not so many tolls either if memory serves me.
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  #12  
Old 8 Mar 2011
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Hi Paul,

Thanks for that, from your experience is that do able in a day, ie 7am boat from dover, and plan to arrive at Clermont about 8 pm ish ?

Cheers
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  #13  
Old 8 Mar 2011
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Don't forget that a 7am boat from Dover will get you on the road in Calais at about 9.00am and that becomes 10.00am French time. That'll give you 10hrs to get to Clermont by 8.00pm. Possible on the autoroute but you'll have to go some to do it on the normal roads.

Can't remember the bike tolls I paid Calais to Lyon last year but it was about €60 by car a couple of weeks ago. Based on my recent experience don't even think about swapping to the tunnel. The 30 min transit time compared to 90mins on the ferry would seem a worthwhile time saving but the delays more than wiped that out - and then some.
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  #14  
Old 8 Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Cooper View Post
Hi Paul,

Thanks for that, from your experience is that do able in a day, ie 7am boat from dover, and plan to arrive at Clermont about 8 pm ish ?

Cheers
Hi Tony. It'll be a big day. I've normally stopped in Orleans if I'm going that way and arrive around 17.30 if memory serves me. Clermont is another 300kms but then I'm only heading to the south of France so no need for the big days in the saddle.

Google maps says Calais to Clermont via that route is 711kms and will take 7 hours, 17 minutes. That's exactly the same mileage as via Paris but 47 minutes more due to not being on autoroute all of the way but then you won't have the aggro of the BP around Paris and will be on Route Nationale some of the way; a much more agreeable way to travel.

By the way, make sure you ride across the Millau Bridge the next day; phenomenal!
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  #15  
Old 8 Mar 2011
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I have ridden all the way from the Madrid to the channel in a day, so it can be done but it wasn't fun! It was a challenge at the time...

Why do you want to head to Spain? Why not head East and ride the Alps instead since your trip is so short?
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