Good road map for Spain to France?

Old Apr 15th, 2017, 02:01 PM
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We bought the France Michelin paper atlas thinking our smartphones wouldnt operate as great as they did -- my husband is fond of the Here app, but I swear by Via Michelin and they worked beautifully. But we did plan our routes on paper and it's a lovely souvenir to look up even more places.
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Old Apr 15th, 2017, 09:48 PM
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Wow, so much information! I'll have to sit down tomorrow and digest all of this

I doubt I will take over driving on the mountainous roads. I live in NYC and don't drive much anymore. DH drives all the time (he lives in Albany, we have a commuter marriage).

rhon, I'm not Australian, I'm American ( but wishing I was Australian, or anything else for the next 4 years!) We only have 10 days for this trip. I look forward to reading your trip reports.

As usual, the Fodor's community has given me much to think about. We of course want to maximize our time, but we always come back to places we like so although this is our first trip to the south of France, I'm sure it won't be our last so I don't feel the need to see everything.
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Old Apr 15th, 2017, 09:49 PM
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Oh, and if for some reason you use a GPS, absolutely do not do what it tells you to do if it contradicts the road signs. Every time I have a GPS (which I never ask for, but which some rental cars I am give have anyway), it is always trying to get me to turn on to agricultural dirt tracks or through tiny village streets instead of going to the next intersection where the real road is.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 02:33 AM
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I also use Michelin maps but use them mostly for a overview of where I am going. Find I use my Garmin more and more and have found it to be quite reliable. You might also find that you might have a hefty drop off fee if you are renting in Spain and dropping off in France. lastly if you only have 10 days why fly into Barcelona if you want to explore Provence?
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 09:33 AM
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kerouac, thanks for the warning. I planned on using my iPhone for GPS, we used it driving all over Australia, well Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Yarra Valley, and never got lost, but I will heed your advice. We found the GPS using Apple Maps to be quite good, but I imagine it varies from region to region and country to country.

mjs, we are flying into Barcelona because I was able to get non-stop flights JFK to BCN for $400.00 round trip. I also read that it is only a 5 or 6 hour drive from Barcelona to Aix-en-Provence.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 09:46 AM
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$400 ?? Where did you get that deal ? Just wonderful !
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 10:21 AM
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Bedar, I booked directly through Delta. I had to call them because even though the web site was stating that price, every time I put in my credit card info, it said it was no longer available. I called Delta and they were able to do it, no fee, we were even able to reserve our seats. I booked it in January, the same day we flew to Iceland. It was in one of the travel emails I subscribe to, Travel Zoo I think, and it was too good a deal to pass up. We leave September 4, a nice time of year to go.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 10:32 AM
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Wow, good for you. Congrats !
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 12:36 PM
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laurico, that was a wonderful deal, well done for persisting!

we drove over the Pyrenees from France to Spain many years ago, but rather than remembering hairline turns and precipitous corners, my memory is mostly that having got to the Spanish border [when such things existed] we had to drive all the way back into France again because DH had left his jacket on the back of the chair in the cafe where we'd stopped for a drink and, [yes that's right] his passport was in the pocket of his jacket. While we were there we'd joked that it was the sort of place where our arrival was probably the most exciting thing that happened all day, so our return must have been headline news. of course the jacket and passport were where we'd left them so we said "au revoir" again, got back in the car, and drove back to Spain.

Maps AND GPS would be the way to go for me, 30 years later. And I'd be doing the driving.
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 01:04 AM
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Laurieco, watch the speed limits in France like a hawk. We drive in France regularly, are very careful not to speed, and still get caught out. Last time it was a 45 euro ticket for driving 112 km where 110 was allowed...
If you're in a rental car, there will likely be a fee from the rental company added onto the ticket as well.

If you're not driving, then watching the signs is your job!
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 10:52 AM
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We drive BCN to the Costa Brava several times a year and are currently using the Tom Tom Western Europe app, its brilliant and has served us well for about 4 years... I think it's been replaced by Tom Tom Go...
We plan to use this same app to drive U.K. Through France to the Costa Brava in a few weeks time... it's off line once downloaded so no costly data charges..... I haven't used the new version though but we will probably have to later this year as I read it's unsupported after Sept 17
Anyway my point is no need for maps if you get a decent "Sat Nav" app.
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 02:47 PM
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annhig, sorry for laughing at your "sad" story but that is funny! Probably wasn't at the time, but sometimes those horrible experiences turn into the best travel stories. I know some of mine have.

Tulips, thanks for that advice. I will make sure we are not driving over the speed limit. One day, we will rent a car and drive the autobahn, just because we could go as fast as we want!

Smeagol, I have unlimited data overseas so that isn't a problem. I'll look into that app for my iPhone and see if I like it better than the Apple map.
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 03:48 PM
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A friend of mine recommended an ap called Copilot for my iPhone and I tried it last year and it does work quite well. I still prefer the Garmin. One nice feature is that it warns you when you are speeding. It's easy to miss that the speed limit has changed from 90 to 70 or 70 to 50 etc. in the US I can guess by the road roughly what the speed limits are but find myself unable to do that consistently in Europe.
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Old Apr 18th, 2017, 08:17 AM
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annhig, sorry for laughing at your "sad" story but that is funny! Probably wasn't at the time, but sometimes those horrible experiences turn into the best travel stories. I know some of mine have.>>

my strongest memory of the time, laurico is the silence in which we drove back to the cafe and then back to Spain - i've rarely driven for so long without saying a word. However we recovered from the experience and as you say, it's one of the stories that we tell people about our travels, in fact we've probably bored most of friends with it several times.

mjs - I agree that GPS does have the advantage of letting you know what the speed limit is, though I've found that mine isn't always accurate. Having just done a speed awareness test in the UK I can say that we have only 3 national speed limits - 70 mph on motorways and dual carriageways [defined as a road with a central reservation] and 60 mph on all other roads except where there is a recognisable system of street lights, where it's 30 mph. That's it, unless you see a different speed limit sign or repeaters along the side of the road. Easy peasy when you know. Not much help with France or Spain though!
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