Just back after a 3 week tour of France. 2,350KM and countless memories made!
I'll do a more detailed review of the various sites we stayed at but overall can highly recommend the following summary/taster:
Irish Ferries - Dublin Port to Cherbourg - WB Yeats - great ship/comfort (we upgraded to a suite both ways) club class, restaurants and bars - and of course the suite! Great timings to depart Dublin and arrive France at a sensible time to get some shopping before hitting the road!
First 2 nights we had booked at the Flower Camping site Le Haut Dick in Carentan - ideal for the DDay anniversary celebrations. Well run. Bring your own loo roll to the WC's and there are no seats/lids to the pans (very French!) well stocked bar and restaurant. €30 per night - motorhome, super comfort pitch overlooking the canal, EHU etc.
Next two we went over to the Municipal at Etretat - WONDERFUL - €18 per night. Busy park - gets full by 2pm...and deservedly so! Great facilities and easy walk to town/beach. you might even get to meet Pete Doherty (we did!!) and we stayed the second night so we could get to his gig that night too!
Next was Amboise - one night at the Municipal de I'lle d"Or - another great find - such an easy walk to Amboise itself and great views of the Chateau and the Loire itself. The dawn that morning we were treated to the local hot air balloon club setting off for a sunrise salute which was sensational (see pics on google!). €18 for the night with EHU etc.
Next was a night at Forest View near Limoges (Remelard-en-Perche) found in the Cool Camping Guide and highly recommended. €31.50 per night plus an amazing communal dinner in the barn wth fellow campers set up by the hosts Peter and Sarah Wilson - won't say too much as it was so nice and they want to keep it sensible and quiet!
Then 4 nights at Sarlat Huttopia - WOW - 4 nights pre booked and €24.50 p/n. Very steep site - the Dordogne and all its history and scenery all very accessible. we used the moped to whizz around.
3 nights at Yello! Village Saint Emilion followed - a revisit for us after 10 years absence - great site. The mercury peaked at 43 degrees whilst we were there! We pre-booked a luxury lakeside pitch. €38p/n. Fantastic food in restaurant on site. Nice bar area too. Pool would be crowded in high season but lots to do for young and old. Lake has pedalo, fishing and canoes. Playground and so on. Easy access to Saint-Emilion itself. Lots of wine tasting and history.
Then one night at Yelloh! Dune De Pyla - again - a revisit - €31 for the night and just fantastic views over the bay and thats what you pay for. Well stocked shop on site. Steep and terraced but well worth it. Right onto the Dune itself.
One night at Camping Les Sables d'Argent followed near Soulac sur Mer - right on the beach - basic but did the job - €16 that night! Huge thunderstorm over the bay that evening - then on and up to Camping Bon Air in Marennes - €18 - very French but generally quiet - lovely pool and easy access to beach etc. Camping Le Littoral near Les sables d'Olonne - a Sandaya site - lots of mobile homes rather than tourers but well set up for the English speaking holidaymakers - easy access to beach and local town/port etc and other attractions. €18p/n.
As we continued north, we had a night at Camping Capfun L'Eve near Saint-Nazaire - great site, near village and beaches. That was €20 p/n.
Longish drive then up to Dinan - stayed at the municipal - easy walks around the wonderful town.
Last night was at the new Sandaya (previously Castels) Anse du Brick - super pitch over the bay - sea views all day and night! €43 that night for a treat - snails and lobster in the local restaurant, then off to the ferry and the suite again for the return - and to plan the next trip!
France is SO well set up for motorhomes. 2* sites are good, as are aires and France Passions - you could spend as little as €5p/n up to €45 (+) depending on season - probably twice that in high season. Driving is easy, shopping is easy, fuel is on a par, I personally avoid motorways and the tolls. Towns and villages almost encourage motorhomes. Some sites don't have toilet seats let alone loo rolls - most have a "borne" facility for grey/black waste and fresh water. Easy!
Try and speak French - especially at reception - don't forget to bring enough "Irish" gas with you although camping Gaz is widely available.
Hi viz vests required, don't be speeding or overloaded!
Take your time and as Martin Dorey says - take the Slow Road and enjoy making the memories and taking in the sights, sounds and smells. France is vast with so many different regions.....
Fantastic trip Tony and you certainly packed in quite a number of sites into your journey. Haven't been to France since pre-Covid 2019 but the countdown is on. Tugging a caravan of course I won't be trying to attempt visiting anywhere near as many sites as you but the sheer excitement of getting back to the food, the people, the wine is starting to raise the adrenaline.
I'm heading to St Emilion again this year after a long break - it wasn't part of the Yelloh chain the last time I was there, I believe it may have still been independently owned. Was always a fantastic site and I'm glad you think it still is - I'm looking forward to being surrounded by all that fantastic wine....might not be overloaded going out but......!!!! Do they still do the shuttle bus into and out of town? The town of St Emilion is a protected heritage site and so to avoid all the tourists driving in and looking for parking - the site used to have a shuttle bus.
I'm interested in your views of upgrading to a suite on IF. Did you book it in advance or when you arrived on the ship?
Hi Tourer - highly recommend the suite! We did it both ways and pre booked - great accommodation and facilities, plus refreshments, club class and priority dining for dinner in restaurant. Full brekkie the next morning too (and its huge!)
Saint-Emilion is just stunning - the park was great and well run. Shuttle bus was available but we had the moped....and totally agree about the stocking up on the return.....
Hope to be back to France in September for a long weekend - or at least next June - no pre booking just wing it - a perfect time of year!