France recommendations ?

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Re: France recommendations ?

Post by garyboy » Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:34 pm

thanks for the advice, guys .. and the detailed descriptions … almost felt I was there :D 8-) .. looking forward to it even more now.
Some very useful info and tips too. 8-)

much appreciated :)

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Re: France recommendations ?

Post by 92kk k100lt 193214 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:05 am

Flipflop wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:32 pm
For a good few years, back in the 90s, my wife and I would have a month in France on our bikes for less than the cost of a 2 week package holiday. Everyone is different and likes different things but this it what we do if we’re on this kind of trip.
Camping municipal, as many have suggested, but also look out for ‘Camping a la ferm’ - farmers are allowed 5 pitches, they often do it for fun and they sell some produce - often very good value and a warm reception.
We take porridge and coffee with us for breakfast.
On the road we stay off the highway, stop in a village about 12 and buy a baguette, cheese or ham, a tomato and some fruit (the shops still close from 12.30 till 2) - then we will stop at a picnic area along the road for lunch. There is always a nice place to stop with a bench - if you’re struggling, head for a village church it will be picturesque with benches outside it. We’ll stop for a coffee in a village cafe between 3/4 pm - a simple small coffee is still between €1 - €1.20 , start having grande cafe and adding milk and it’s over twice the price.
We start looking for a campsite around 5.30 and nearly always see a sign for one along the road, on occasions we have used the sat nav but it wasn’t an option in the early days and we never had a problem. We don’t compromise - if we don’t like the look of the campsite there will be another one down the road - although the standard is generally high in France and we prefer a simple, rustic campsite anyway.
We are usually setting up camp by 6.30. After putting the tent up my wife will ride off to the nearest shop, as she speaks French, for supplies will I finish setting up.
It’s possible to get cold beer nowadays so a cold beer each and a bottle of local red with a meal cooked al fresco.
We stay away from the expensive coast and stick mainly to hilly regions where it’s cooler.
We like the quiet relaxed nature of the French country side but this may not appeal if you’re on your own.
For a blowout try one of the Camping Motos - it’ll cost a few quid but you’ll find good company and fun for a night or 2.

Hope you find some useful info here - have a great time.
PS we go in July - everything is open but not too busy, weather is good but the scenery is green and most important for camping the evenings are still long.
I travel like this with a friend and we use either municipal sites or camping a la ferme. We usually pick up our supplies along the way to avoid having to go shopping after arrival. Camping a la ferme signs can pop up in some amazing places and may be a long way from a shop.

As to where, it started with taking the kids to the Atlantic Coast, west of Bordeaux in the month of July and it is amazing. They grew up and do their own thing and I now take bikes instead of cars and avoid late June/July/August preferring May and September. Got 3 visits 2019. I love the Dordogne because of the mediaeval history but have seen most of the northern regions too. Camped by a river, eating al fresco, village shops beside the camp site, good roads and places close by, my advice is just go. Make it a 3 week trip too.
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