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Driving Calais to Royan? Route and stop-over advice pls??

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Sheffield, UK
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Driving Calais to Royan? Route and stop-over advice pls??

Hi guys,

Managed to get it to three options for driving down to (this will be first time!)

1. Calais-Rouen-Caen-Rennes-Nantes-Royan

2. Calais-Rouen-Chartres-Tours-Poitiers-Saintes-Royan

3. Calais-Rouen-Alencon-Le Mans-Tours-Saintes-Royan

We arrive Calais at 0830 and can split the drive over two days with an overnight stop (would like to do 4/5 hours drive first day) so aren't in a rush.

Would like to avoid payeage where possible, without taking forever to get there! (Don't mind paying for some of journey)

Have considered option 1. Stopover in Avranches, Rennes, Nantes??

2. Stopover in Chartres, Tours?? 3. Stopover in Alencon, Tours??

Any advice on route or stopover greatly appreciated, would like to book accom before leaving really......

Cheers

Essex
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1. Re: Driving Calais to Royan? Route and stop-over advice pls??

Hmmn, choices, choices - it is difficult isn't it??

Out of your options, I would pick route 2 and stay in Chartres - the centre is small and 'walkable' enough to be able to enjoy for an evening and part of the next morning before you go on your way, and it is IME easy enough to get in and out of.

Re route 3 - I was 'trying' to pass through Le Mans a couple of years ago and it took me ages to get in and to find my way out - IME this is extremely rare in French Cities which are usually well signposted. Something is wrong with the signage in Le Mans..... I would go back there to stay for a few days - as there is enough in the City to interest ME anyway, but for an 'overnighter' I don't think I would try it.

TBH each route you have 'found' has it's own merits and problems!

I guess, in the end, that only you can choose, based upon what interests you most.... Look at the information for each of the cities you have chosen for your stays, perhaps that will help you decide??

Sheffield, UK
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2. Re: Driving Calais to Royan? Route and stop-over advice pls??

Thanks Essexwanderer.

It's difficult when you haven't been before!!

Will take on board your comments and take another look at the routes......

Like you say- decisions, decisions......

Essex
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3. Re: Driving Calais to Royan? Route and stop-over advice pls??

What sort of place would you like to stop over?? A big city - with major sites, a small town that is just 'nice to wander?? What would you like to do there - some peeps just want a meal and early night (so you might as well be 'anywhere' for that) some want to see and do some 'stuff' before they turn in!

If you can answer some of those questions then you might get some even more helpful suggestions on here!

When touring, if possible, Ideally I like to park-up and settle into my hotel around 4-5-pm ish, which gives me a bit of exploring time in this new place. Find a nice restaurant - hopefully a little bit of live music somewhere if I am lucky, and then a nice sleep. If it is a place with major sites, a wander around one of them (eg a Cathedral) would entice me out of bed early enough to achieve at least that, before heading on my way!

I know we are all different, but I personally don't struggle to plot up new routes and research places I might like to stay...............

England, United...
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4. Re: Driving Calais to Royan? Route and stop-over advice pls??

Route No. 2 via Chartres and then Evreux/ Dreux will be the cheapest because for much of the route between Rouen and Chartres you would be travelling on the N154. This is now mostly dual carriageway and not payable, but there are some slow bits especially the N12 link road after Nonancourt, although this quite short. Also there is a speed limit of 110km/h on dual carriageways - not that this has bothered us because we rarely drive at more than that.

Chartres is a lovely place for a stopover - in 2 or 3 hours you can see what matters, which is the Cathedral and the old part of the town.

Route No. 3 is mostly a doddle and usually the traffic is comparatively light for most of it - but you do pay more in motorway fees. On motorways you can of course drive at up to 130km/h.

Agree with EW that in Le Mans it is not that easy to find your way.

You can stopover instead in Tours, but also consider Amboise which I thought was very pleasant for an overnighter and it would not take you far off your route.

Don't know all of your Route No.1 but it seems rather a long sweep to get to where you are going.

Edited: 12 May 2012, 07:32
Sheffield, UK
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5. Re: Driving Calais to Royan? Route and stop-over advice pls??

Thanks again guys.

Essexwanderer- pretty much what you suggest is what we need from a stopover. We aim to arrive early afternoon, freshen up in our hotel. See to our 6 month old daughter, then have a walk, a meal and maybe a few drinks before getting a decent sleep and heading off early the next day- maybe 0800?

Route 1 was suggested to me by the owners of the accommodation that we are staying in, this is the way that they go.

I planned route 2 myself via viamichelin and my maps, not many tolls I don't think?

Route 3 is the most expensive, but direct. Guessing cost around 50-60€!

As we aren't in a rush going, route 3 is not really necessary, so I've kind of narrowed it down to 1 or 2, staying at Avranches or Chartres/Tours??

Cheers again

Essex
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6. Re: Driving Calais to Royan? Route and stop-over advice pls??

If I was taking route 1 Then perhaps slightly less than 4 hours from Calais if you do whizz along the Autoroute (according to the driving times on Viamichelin that is) is Avranches. Could well be a good place for you! Small enough to be 'walkable' some good restaurants in the centre and some great views of the Baie Mont St Michel and the Mont itself.

If doing route 3 - then I would veer off the autoroute and into the more rural areas of the Sarthe and Perche, perhaps stay at Mortagne-au-Perche (have only been 'through' here), or Belleme - have stayed here, a very pretty little town (Belle!!).

Sounds to me as though you like plotting up routes yourself, too, Suttstar, if you have not already found it, this website should help a bit:

http://www.viamichelin.com/

Edited: 12 May 2012, 10:34
England, United...
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7. Re: Driving Calais to Royan? Route and stop-over advice pls??

Route 1 is long but includes some free motorways. You can have a look at the second map on this website which shows free and payable motorways in France:

http://franceautoroutes.free.fr/reseau.php

For stopover possibilities in small hotels and b&bs you can have a look at this website:

www.stopoverconnections.com

If staying in or close to a town check if they have parking when you book, unless you don't mind on-street or other public parking.

Sheffield, UK
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8. Re: Driving Calais to Royan? Route and stop-over advice pls??

Great advice guys. Thank you so much.

We have decided (on advice from the owners of the accommodation we are staying in!) to go for route 1 - Calais- Rouen - Caen - Rennes - Nantes - Royan

and have booked a hotel in Avranches.

Really looking forward to our holiday, and the drive strangely??!

Thanks again......

9. Re: Driving Calais to Royan? Route and stop-over advice pls??

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