Route advice please - Eastern France to the Med

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Scott_rider
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Route advice please - Eastern France to the Med

Post by Scott_rider » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:55 am

Can anyone give me some recommendations for towns or districts to aim for during a trip through Eastern France down to the Med?
We've traveled through France several times before but we usually go straight down the middle of it or go down the west side to the Spanish border in 2 days of hard riding. This time we want to go down the East side starting from Calais and then ending up in Monaco. We'd like to ride through Provence and we'd like to then cut across country to the Toulouse area before going across the Pyrenees into Spain. I'm not looking for an exact route, just recommendations on areas to aim for or to avoid. We'll be doing it in 4 days or about 250 miles per day.

I've had some cracking recommendations on here before for our previous trips 8-) . Many thanks guys 8-) .
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bikenav
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Re: Route advice please - Eastern France to the Med

Post by bikenav » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:21 am

Certainly look at Vosges, Morvan and definitly the Vercours and its balconey roads (I've posted a GPX file on this forum in the past) then in the South the Ardeche and Cevennes. Route Napolean is popular personally I think there are better options than it myself, on the way there some of the Champagne region offers some surprisingly for me enjoyable fast roads for making progress SE. There is a bit WW1 history at Verdun. For me get round Paris then the further South you go the better it gets. By the way as a Canny Scot the Champagne area can be expensive to sleep etc from a canny Welshmans aspect anyway. Enjoy. Paul.

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Re: Route advice please - Eastern France to the Med

Post by qcnr » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:34 am

Menton is a nice place to stay. Spent 14 days there a few years ago. Close to the Italian border, close to Monaco.
A nice promenade with nice clean beaches. Campsite is available there I think.

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Re: Route advice please - Eastern France to the Med

Post by Oop North John » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:53 am

Route des Grandes Alpes should help on the mountainous side:

http://www.moveyouralps.com/route-des-grandes-alpes/en/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Route_des_Grandes_Alpes

And almost any of the French roads in between Reims and Geneva will be nicer than most of the UK's. For example, from Troyes, head south towards Autun and at some point go via Macon and onto the Route above.

BTW the "miles per day" only works if all the roads are the same, 250 on the Route will be tiring / long, on the autoroute, it'll be a waste of at least a couple of hours.

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Re: Route advice please - Eastern France to the Med

Post by Flintlock » Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:34 pm

This might help
viewtopic.php?f=138&t=47335

A trip we did last September

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Re: Route advice please - Eastern France to the Med

Post by EVskij » Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:21 pm

qcnr wrote:Menton is a nice place to stay. Spent 14 days there a few years ago. Close to the Italian border, close to Monaco.
A nice promenade with nice clean beaches. Campsite is available there I think.
It is indeed, wife and I used Menton (weirdly Italian seem to be primary language) as a base for one night for our return trip from Tuscany. We then rode straight up the RDGA all the way to lake Geneva. Slow and steady we took 3 days to do that.

Beach and promenade was very nice to walk along. We got up in the morning at 6am (October) strolled to a cafe, picked up takeaway breakfast, then walked to the beach to watch sunrise, cracking morning that was!


Sunrise
Image

Beginning of RDGA just 15 minutes from central Menton
Image


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Re: Route advice please - Eastern France to the Med

Post by herman » Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:43 pm

Personally if I was going down the east side to the med I would spend the rest of my time exploring the Maritime Alps. Barcelonnette is a good spot to explore from. ImageDSC01337 by herman munster, on Flickr And another vote for Mende ImageDSC01400 by herman munster, on Flickr
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Re: Route advice please - Eastern France to the Med

Post by daveuprite » Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:44 pm

Try this. It's basically a big loop that takes in the best of the national parks:

Monaco - Grasse - Route Napoleon - Castellane - Gorge De Verdun detour - Digne - Sisteron - Die -Crest - Privas - get into the Ardeche national park and take all the small D roads heading South-West - Meyras - Villefort - Florac - Valleraugue - Le Vigan - Rogues - Lodéve - Bédarieux - Olargues - Cabrespine - then decide if you are going to Toulouse (why?) or Carcassonne. Then there are several nice ways into the Pyrenneees, depending on where you want to end up in Spain.

Stick this lot in a route finder and see what you think. It's certainly not the quick way across southern France, but you will see places that you will remember for years. If you do it, try to stop for lunch in Vallerauge - stunning.

I've ridden all this and I guarantee you'll see some of the best of southern France. If in doubt, just use good old Michelin maps and follow the squiggliest green-bordered D-roads.

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Re: Route advice please - Eastern France to the Med

Post by SHarper » Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:02 pm

Castellane is a good place to plant yourself for a few days, on the ‘Route de Grand Alps’; close to the Verdon Gorges (and others); a couple of hours from the South Coast.
I recommend on of these ‘caravans’ that we stopped in for four nights last year, cheap as chips...
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Re: Route advice please - Eastern France to the Med

Post by Scott_rider » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:12 am

Many thanks guys, some great recommendations there 8-) .
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