Motoring Trip to France

May 13th, 2012, 09:18 AM
  #1  
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Motoring Trip to France

We are looking to take a month out, May 2013, to finally explore France. We would appreciate any suggested routes and short stays en route.
Keith62 is offline  
May 13th, 2012, 09:27 AM
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You shd really post some parameters and what your goals/objectives are. I'd suggest 4 1-wk bases, from which you'd make day trips. What regions interest you?
tedgale is offline  
May 13th, 2012, 09:57 AM
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Would help to know what you have seen in France so far and liked/disliked. Also what your interests are.

If you have a car assume you will spend most of your time in the countryside or smaller towns. A car is worse than useless in paris (you would need to find a garage to dump it in) but can be useful to do day trips from Nice (which I think is a fantastic city - much more real than many places on the riviera).
nytraveler is offline  
May 13th, 2012, 10:25 AM
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Where have you been before in France?
kerouac is offline  
May 14th, 2012, 01:52 AM
  #5  
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Many thanks for the responses. We have been to Paris, Brittany, first world war battlefields in Northern France/Somme, 2nd world war beaches with Leger. We had 2 weeks travelling down the centre through, Rouen to Carcassone, stayed in Allet les Bains did some of the Da Vinci code and holy grail bits.
Interested in history, sites. My manager has identified Honfleur and Le Touquet as places she would like to visit.
Just beginning to realise how big France is and how vague my original question was.Do not want to use peage but other routes.Staring to look as though we have done a lot. Thuinking of following the west coast and maybe back up the east. Would like to see the Millau bridge.
Keith62 is offline  
May 14th, 2012, 03:35 AM
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The Michelin maps show scenic roads in green. We take those whenever we have a chance.

The Michelin road atlas has a separate section at the front for road trips (50 in our 2006 version). They last 2-4 days each. Michelin suggests a starting point and a direction to follow. They don't give you a lot of info here; they must expect you to supplement with the green guides.

When planning a trip to a new area, I always look at a few websites, including the Most Beautiful Villages, Petites Cites de Caractere, and the Villes/Villages Fleuri lists.

Plus Beaux Villages:
http://www.les-plus-beaux-villages-de-france.org/en

There's a wiki entry for Petites Cites as well as the site I originally found.

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petites...caract%C3%A8re

http://www.france-voyage.com/towns/l...aractere-8.htm

They're recently redone the Villes Fleuri list so you can sort by number of "flowers" awarded (4 being the top), name of town, and post code.

http://www.cnvvf.fr/

You're going to have a lot of fun planning this trip.
Coquelicot is offline  
May 15th, 2012, 01:04 AM
  #7  
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Many thanks to all. Good advice. Looking forward to planning our trip.
Keith62 is offline  
May 15th, 2012, 01:47 AM
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hi Keith,

we did something not dissimilar about 30 years ago - we started in Roscoff then headed south down to bordeaux [not somewhere to put at the top of your list, IMHO] then went to Provence via the dordogne.

as well as those two areas which you don't mention as places you've already seen, you might think of the Loire, and the Vendee, both of which have some very attractive areas and sights.

good luck with your planning and your trip.
annhig is offline  
May 16th, 2012, 04:03 PM
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I wouldn't go out of my way for Millau bridge.

Reminded me of Oscar Wilde's description of Niagara Falls: "The 2nd great disappointment of married life".

You can't stop on the bridge itself, so you are moving at speed over a chasm that, in the final analysis, is not that big or interesting.

Once you've crossed, there's a spot to pull over for a look. But really, it's "not all that".

Based on upwards of 20 trips to France, if I had a choice about where to meander in May -- which is NOT an especially warm month in the all-too-chilly north -- my ideal regions would include:
Perigord/ Dordogne;
Burgundy, incl the neglected S parts of Burgundy;
the Drome;
the Rhone delta
tedgale is offline  
May 16th, 2012, 04:10 PM
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BTW: I haven't read it but....

What could be really cool would be to follow some of the itineraries of the indefatigable motorist and Pulitzer-prize-winning novelist Edith Wharton. Her 1906 and 1907 explorations of the bye-ways are documented in her well-respected "A Motor-Flight Through France" (1908)

She was so passionate about motor travel that she actually terrorized and intimidated Henry James, a reluctant travel companion -- though in every other respect a hard man to intimdate.

Here is a link to her book:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Motor-Flight.../dp/0875801633
tedgale is offline  
May 19th, 2012, 07:52 AM
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EVERYONE says they are going to avoid the peages -- until they start driving through small towns on market day. If you want to look at scenery, plan a stop there. Autoroutes are the only sensible option for long distances in France.
rogerbruton is offline  
May 19th, 2012, 09:53 AM
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Get a copy of the Michelin Green Guide to France and narrow down the options.
Underhill is offline  
May 19th, 2012, 10:28 AM
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Sorry to be off topic - but everytime I look at thie I see the "motoring" and am trying to figure out if this is some sort of localism or family usage or ??

Then this am I was reading a Dorothy Sayers mysteys from the 1920s and they used "motoring" a lot - and even referred to a car as a "motor". I assumed it was because the idea of driving - versus horse and buggy - was still uncommon in many areas of the UK then (I recognize they didn't have Henry putting a Model T in every driveway in 1928) and it wasn't assumed that anyone not living in poverty would have a car.

Is this still a common usage - versus driving - or confined to certain localities?
nytraveler is offline  
May 19th, 2012, 01:35 PM
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I like the Millau Bridge. The Tarn river is below and worth a drive down. Nearby are the "walking with a donkey" RLS trails which you can "enjoy" for half a day, or visit the Roquefort caves.
bilboburgler is offline  
May 19th, 2012, 04:15 PM
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Nytraveler: it's a UK and Commonwealth usage.

A "car" can be any number of things. There is no connotation of self propulsion.

it has many cognates, in English and the Romance languages: Carro, cart, carozza, carriage, curricle, char and its derivative charabanc. None implies an engine.

Whereas a motor…

The verb to drive is equally applicable to the control and guidance of, say, a four-in-hand…

Whereas to motor…
tedgale is offline  
May 19th, 2012, 04:18 PM
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Google "motoring USA": I agree the gerund is more common than the verb whose participle it is.
tedgale is offline  
May 19th, 2012, 05:08 PM
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The Millau Bridge, and a tour of the Roquefort caves, were the highlight of a recent trip to southern France. I also liked driving from Lourdes, Carcassonne, stopping at the oyster beds for a late lunch, then all the way east to Nice. Stayed in Villefranche SM, and drove into Monaco and Italy, for market day. Probably my favorite trip to France.
just27 is offline  
May 19th, 2012, 05:28 PM
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Yes, but standard USA usage is driving - one would usually say a "road trip" (driving versus flying) - or a driving trip (but even that is a little awkward). And when people say they're going to the client they may say "driving or train". I've never heard anyone say motoring in the US.

And calling a car a "motor" makes no sense either. There are all sorts of motors used for all sorts of differnt pusposes - many of them having nothing to do with transportation of any type. But I do remember my grandmother saying when she was a very young girl there were trolley cars instead of buses. So car can mean something else - based on the context or a descriptor - but the basic meaning for the past 90 years or so is automobile (another word hardly ever used).

I just thought it odd since I have been to the UK at least 15 times and have never heard the word "motor" ueed that way, although I am familiar with a lot of other differenes: car hire vs rent a car, and different names for various parts of the car, the sidewalk, the street etc.
nytraveler is offline  
May 20th, 2012, 02:25 AM
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so NYT, you've learnt something new - the wonder of fodors!
annhig is offline  
May 20th, 2012, 03:33 AM
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One of the wonders of English is the absorption of other words and the constant flux. My father would have said to motor rather than to drive, certainly he went on motoring tours.

The making sense issue is more about perspective. One of the reasons I joined fodors was to learn the various arcane and modern uses of the language.

Keep on Truckin!
bilboburgler is offline  

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