Many motorhome owners dismiss the idea of taking a holiday on the continent because many assume that it will be more expensive and a lot more hassle than taking a holiday in the UK. However, this is not always the case and in France there is a great network of facilities suitable for motorhomes known as “aires.” Not only does this make France a simple option for a holiday it can also be cheaper which can help make it the perfect motorhome holiday destination.
Aires, in French means areas or places and they are all very different to each other. They all do of course offer the facility to stop and stay overnight but there are variations in what extras you get on top of these such as, fresh water, an electrical hook up, showers and a chemical disposal point. Most of the signs at the aires are in picture form to make it easier for the non-French speakers among us to understand.
Most of the aires are free to stop and stay and many only charge for the facilities used. Where a fee is required there are usually coin machines. Alternatively some require a ticket purchased before setting up for the evening.
Taking a holiday in France means you do have to consider the costs of the Ferry ride over. This all depends on the company, the route you wish to take, the size of you motorhome and the times and dates you want to travel. There are many discounts to be had in the motorhome world and if you can save money on your motorhome insurance then this will help towards the cost of the ferry!
There are many aires all across France and you don’t always get the picturesque location you would be hoping for. Some are on auto-routes, farms and some that are part of an already existing campsite. The best aires are the ones that are out of the way and to find them, this takes a little research. On the road maps of France there are the bigger aires labelled but many of these will be along the auto-routes. If you are into a little more adventure and scenery have a look at an aire guide book which will usually include a list of the facilities at each one as well as directions.
If an aire isn’t for you then there are also a number of other areas that you can park up, many of which are for free. The French like to get tourists into the towns so you can spend your money in the local shops so they are happy to let you camp for free even if you are just planning to buy breakfast.