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France experts - give me your suggestions

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Bonnie Lad
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PostPosted: 20:41 - 04 Feb 2018    Post subject: France experts - give me your suggestions Reply with quote

I'm using the winter down time to plan this year's trips, one of which will be 5 days in France over the early may bank holiday

Im looking for some tips/advice from the well travelled on here as to what might be a nice 5 day route around France - obviously want to avoid motorways, max of 300 miles a day, just as interested in nice villages/towns as twisty roads and good views etc

All suggestions gratefully accepted Thumbs Up
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 21:42 - 04 Feb 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Route des Cretes through the Vosges mountains is good, and I liked Metz to the north of there. Lots of cafes and restaurants, stunning cathedral etc. It wasn't too bad a day's ride from there to the Chunnel (although I did motorway for that, as it was heading home after my tour was over), and the RdC was easily doable in a day - I rode from Meiringen in Switzerland to Metz in one day taking that route in along the way, although that was a long day.
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raesewell
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PostPosted: 18:23 - 05 Feb 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some nice places to visit are Etretat, Honfleur and La Rochelle.
All really nice places on the coast with lots of bars and cafes.
There are some really nice roads all over France you just need to pick a place to go and then find the wiggly roads on the map.
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Ericck
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PostPosted: 19:16 - 05 Feb 2018    Post subject: France experts - give me your suggestions Reply with quote

France is great biking country.

Normandy is flat with many straight roads. Plenty to do and see though if WWII is your thing. Brittany is similar but with a lovely coast.

South West of Paris and the Champagne area to the East are again quite flat and straight. Although as said once you get towards Vosges, Alsace etc you are in the mountains.

France is big compared to the UK and very rural. I spent some time in Jura around the Swiss border and that is nice.

However South from around Clermont Ferrand all the way to the Pyrenees or East into Provence are my favourites.

Can't say much about the South West as never been on the bike, although I did Eurorail that coast in the 80s and it was very nice.

5 days avoiding motorways might not get you too far though. So Vosges or Normandy might be good bets for a first trip.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 17:53 - 11 Feb 2018    Post subject: Re: France experts - give me your suggestions Reply with quote

Ericck wrote:


Can't say much about the South West as never been on the bike, although I did Eurorail that coast in the 80s and it was very nice.

5 days avoiding motorways might not get you too far though. So Vosges or Normandy might be good bets for a first trip.


I rode down through the Parc Naturel Regional des Pyrenees Catalanes*, down in the far south-west corner, on my way to Perpignan, and the scenery and route was good. As you say, bit far for a 5 day trip though.

*
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@42.5509273,2.3880112,8.78z
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Copycat73
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PostPosted: 19:21 - 11 Feb 2018    Post subject: Re: France experts - give me your suggestions Reply with quote

chickenstrip wrote:
As you say, bit far for a 5 day trip though


always a biggie of disappointment when you check the distance involved to these places on the continent... even from santander its over 400 miles Crying or Very sad
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doggone
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PostPosted: 19:42 - 11 Feb 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

The south is too far for 5 days, you could manage Chamonix sort of area, but it would still be rushed.
I'd keep it as flexible as possible and see how you feel about a couple of long days depending on weather.
There's no point busting a gut to head for mountains if it's all fogged out and rainy - which it often is the north side of Alps.

If you've been before and aren't at the early wonderment stage you can get to the interesting bits in one long day.
I've ridden from Lake Constance to the channel ports in a day before but didn't mess about. Cool
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Copycat73
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PostPosted: 20:10 - 11 Feb 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

tbh .. 5 days would just about cover some of the WW1 & 2 sites ..
and still leave time to be eatin out and in the bar time every evenin.. ...
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 20:58 - 11 Feb 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

doggone wrote:
I've ridden from Lake Constance to the channel ports in a day before but didn't mess about. Cool


Gresy-sur-Aix (near Annecy) to Carlisle, 948 miles, 20 hours including Chunnel, and another time, Ramsau am Dachstein (Austria) to Gravesend (700-and-something miles, similar time) Mr. Green And dumb enough to be proud of it Laughing
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Bonnie Lad
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PostPosted: 22:46 - 13 Feb 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers for the suggestions fellas

Think I'm gonna head for the Vosges area. Would welcome recommendations for nice towns to stay in along the following rough route:

Day 1: cross eurotunnel and get down to somewhere around Reims and stay the night

Day 2: get to the Vosges area and stay somewhere near the national park

Day 3: ride around the national park, route de cretes etc

Day 4: head back towards Calais, stop somewhere nice halfway

Day 5: head back to eurotunnel

TIA for any quaint french town suggestions Thumbs Up
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c_dug
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PostPosted: 22:56 - 13 Feb 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably not an expert, in fact, definitely not.

But I did my first Euro Tour a few years back, including the Vosges, and some nice mountainous roads around Luxembourg.

My write up may be worth a read to avoid some of our pitfalls! https://www.bikechatforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=278369
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 23:15 - 13 Feb 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

St. Marie Aux Mines sits on the northern end of the RdC. I went through it, but didn't explore, so couldn't really say what it would be like as a place to stay, but might be worth investigating.

Edit to add: there's a hotel at the top of Le Grand Ballon, which at 1325m, I think is the highest point on the route. Couple of cafes there too.
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Copycat73
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PostPosted: 09:31 - 14 Feb 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only remote thing of relevance i can suggest is the ubiquitous http://www.pension-williams.de/

this is 405 miles from Calais and is do-able in one go .. but it is the Blackforest area .. B500 and all that ..

https://goo.gl/maps/Fitf9gnyzKn
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chris-red
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PostPosted: 12:08 - 14 Feb 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vimy Ridge Thumbs Up
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MCN
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PostPosted: 23:10 - 14 Feb 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is all in the stickies but in case you decided to ignore the stickies.. Mad

Plan your stops to meet your tank range and if you are luggaged-up your Lts/100KM (MPG) will be affected. A decent stop with a sit down meal and a dump (if you can squeez one out.) is welcomed. You will enjoy the ride but fatigue creeps in and can catch you unawares. Simple things like missing a turn or more serious things like not nodding to a fellow Brit.

Usual nonsense with Frog-Law to 'be aware of' Some of it is not enforced by the PoPo there but you never know. A tug for speeding may force their hand.
I think they can do instant fines.
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