Touring Down to the South of France & on to Monaco?

Discussion in 'Rideouts, Trackdays, Touring & Spotted' started by Tom8336, Mar 29, 2015.

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  1. Tom8336

    Tom8336 Member

    Mar 23, 2015
    24
    8
    London
    Hi.

    I'm thinking of taking a ride down to the S of France in May, but not really found much info about what the best options are once I get there. I'll possibly just turn left and head up the coast to Monaco, but what are the other options? What if I do a right and head towards Spain?

    Also, what are those coast roads like? I'm having a bit of trouble actually finding decent info on the tinterweb, and my search results seem to keep turning up links to cyclist threads!

    I'm planning on leaving the UK on a Saturday and returning the following Sunday morning so time is a limiting factor. Possibly looking at a stop over in Dijon on the way down.

    Anyone on here done these routes?
     
  2. thebiglad

    thebiglad Old fart, still riding !

    Sep 25, 2013
    5,126
    1,000
    Central France

    Hi Tom, just before we go too far down the wrong road, you do mean Monaco, the Principality, on the southern eastern coast of France?

    https://www.google.fr/maps/dir/Caen...4c3ac49cfc!2m2!1d7.4246158!2d43.7384176?hl=en

    As you will see by following the above link, it's 1200kms from Caen to Monaco so it's a fûcking long way from London !!!

    If you just want to be in the saddle for 4 or 5 days solid, then good on you, but it's a long way to go, enjoy and good back in a week. If you're decided then so be it, but if you just want to ride in France, there's loads of other and possibly better places to go in France, with a week window.

    As a general rule all the roads in France are good, much less traffic than England (notable exceptions being Paris, Lille, Lyon, Marseille), but the A or even the D roads are far more interesting than the excellent but boring autoroutes. If you run at more than 130kms per hour on a bike with UK plates, you run a strong risk of getting nicked and remember you have have to pay the fine immediately.

    Dave
     
  3. Tom8336

    Tom8336 Member

    Mar 23, 2015
    24
    8
    London
    #3 Tom8336, Mar 29, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
    Yeah it's high mileage but just thought it'd be a good trip. Wouldn't be going anywhere near Caen though. I'd go East of Paris and then South through Dijon, Lyons, etc.

    My other option is to go with a mate that's off to Munich, Grossglockner pass, Stilvio pass and then back to Calais via perhaps Cologne.

    I fancy the warmer option of heading South though.
     
  4. trudd

    trudd Member

    Oct 13, 2014
    35
    18
    I did the Grossglockner and Stelvio last year in 8 days and its a long way to go (but worth it).Last years trip involved hoping between B&B's and made for some long days in some horrible weather. I'm planning a trip to the Alps again this year but having a couple of bases so routes can be amended dependant on weather. I guess the only way to work out what works for you is to try it and see but I would recommend an Airhawk for the long days.

    Best Biking Roads can give give some nice routes and the Ride magazine routes are well worth a look:
    www.bestbikingroads.com
    www.ride.co.uk/Routes

    Another thought - last year was a weekend to weekend trip and the tunnel was very busy so this year will be a Wednesday to Wednesday trip to hopefully make crossing the channel easier.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Tom8336

    Tom8336 Member

    Mar 23, 2015
    24
    8
    London
    I'd do the Alps if I was going for longer and it was also later in the year, but I just don't fancy it in May.

    I could of course just go as far as Munich and have a beer tasting themed week. :) I could do Antwerp, Cologne, Munich perhaps. Don't really know anywhere else in Germany that's worth visiting.
     
  6. littleade

    littleade The only sane one here
    Subscriber

    Mar 17, 2015
    6,284
    1,000
    kidderminster Worcestershire
    You could consider catching either the Santander or Bilbao ferry to the north of Spain and riding in Spain? I've done the Spanish Motogp twice doing the trip from Santander to Jerez in 2 days and that was more than I wanted to do TBH so as above unless you've done some seriuos touring before you will probably enjoy it more doing less miles with more stops. Good luck. P. S. What bike are you using as that makes a big difference.
     
  7. Tom8336

    Tom8336 Member

    Mar 23, 2015
    24
    8
    London
    I've looked at the ferry to Spain but the dates aren't compatible. Also I don't fancy the 24-36 hour journey much really.

    I'm torn between Germany and France really. I've not seen much of either country.

    I'll be using the Storm for the trip.
     
  8. littleade

    littleade The only sane one here
    Subscriber

    Mar 17, 2015
    6,284
    1,000
    kidderminster Worcestershire
    I see. Our circumstances were slightly different I guess as we had a place to get to i.e. to be in Jerez for the race weekend and we worked out it would be quicker and cheaper by the time we took fuel and hotel costs to take the ferry. It also (for us) was a great way to start our adventure and we treated the crossing as part of the holiday, rather than just the ferry ride. Because it travelled mid day to mid day we also slept a good chunk of the crossing too and we were fresh the next morning to begin our ride down through spain. The guiness also came from Cork in Ireland as the ferry went there once a week too so by tea time on the first day there were a lot of frunken bikers littering the bar! It was quite a bizarre schene in a way. There were those going to the GP, all on sports bikes with flash leathers and then there were the normal hardened touring brigade who were just using the ferry to get to Spain and didn't even know the race was on that weekend. It might pay to see what the weather is like this time of year to help with your choice as it could be quite different. France should certainly be warmer the further south you go though I've no idea what Germany will be like. Good luck
     
  9. Tom8336

    Tom8336 Member

    Mar 23, 2015
    24
    8
    London
    No specific destination or deadline so just considering routes. 2 days getting pissed on a boat is lost riding/ exploring time in my book. I'd much rather find a nice bar in some town somewhere and get a few beers in. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. folkbloke

    folkbloke Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2013
    314
    63
    Sussex
    #10 folkbloke, Mar 30, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
    As biglad has said there's a lot more to France than just the south. If you're thinking of hotels try searching "Logis moto hotels". A network of hotels that claim to offer bikers tailored stays. They also have routes they suggest. I'll be using some this year on my way to Nice.

    By the way, Monaco is very expensive!
     
  11. Tom8336

    Tom8336 Member

    Mar 23, 2015
    24
    8
    London

    Haha. Now that's hardcore! :)

    I'm open to suggestions really as far as route is concerned. The reason I'm thinking of heading South is because of the weather, and because I've a bit of an affinity for the sea. I'm a diving instructor so the idea of perhaps being able to get a dive in, on top of being on a bike trip would be pretty cool
     
  12. stevethegoolie

    stevethegoolie Elite Member

    Oct 16, 2014
    2,481
    800
    East Riding of Yorkshire
    Just a thought, but if you've only got a week, get across to Normandy and Brittany (watch for the Pont du Normandy over the Seine at Le Havre ... SWMBO let fly with some very unladylike language when she saw it ... looks a bit like the Pepsi Max at Blackpool from a distance!!) and then have a trip down along the Atlantic coast as far as you feel is comfortable if coastal scenery is your thing. Not done it myself, apart from the Normandy/Brittany thing, but I would think it will be more relaxing and less pressured than trying to get to the Med coast. That France is a bloody big country, deceptively so. It has caught us out, more than once!! :oops::eek:
     
  13. thebiglad

    thebiglad Old fart, still riding !

    Sep 25, 2013
    5,126
    1,000
    Central France
    Hi Tom, if you take the boat from Newhaven to Dieppe (very cheap crossing, about £25 each way!) you land in Normandy which is really nice to ride around, see the Normandy Landings places if that's your bag (it's very much mine) then go on to tour Brittany. So in other words you won't be dragging your arse for hour after hour on boring autoroutes and you'll get to ride in nice scenery.

    If you do something like that you'll have loads of time to enjoy France without flogging yourself to death. 13 years ago I was still living in UK and used to ride down to the Drôme Valley south of Valence but doing that distance I was fûcked the day after, no use for anything, except beer !!!
     
  14. Tom8336

    Tom8336 Member

    Mar 23, 2015
    24
    8
    London
    Thanks Biglad. I did the Normandy beaches a couple of years ago as the other halls Grandad was part of the Omaha beach landing and she wanted to get an idea of what had happened there. Very moving.

    I've visited Hon Fleur, La Touquet, etc and they are cool places (excuse my spelling). La Rochelle is another place I'd like to see.

    However, what's the crack with Germany? Is it better. Are the Dibble less of a bunch of twats. Is the scenery better, etc. I've only been as far as Dusseldorf on a bike and I must say the city was fantastic, as was the Autobahn. Don't get me wrong, I do love a twisty, but I love opening up the throttle and going straight too and the Autobahn is truly fantastic for that.

    France or Germany then?
     
  15. thebiglad

    thebiglad Old fart, still riding !

    Sep 25, 2013
    5,126
    1,000
    Central France

    Well I've done both, live in France and visited Germany many times. The Black Forest area of Germany is great, but overall I prefer France, for it's friendliness towards bikers, variety of scenery and not having to flog too far from Channel ports.

    If you wanted something a little more but still in France, follow the Atlantic coast down to Bordeaux and Biaritz.
     
  16. roadrider

    roadrider First Class Member
    Subscriber

    Jul 26, 2013
    1,001
    500
    Oxon
    If you really want to do the South of France and are worried about the time factor then you could try these guys.

    https://www.flybikefly.com/

    Truck it down and ride back or spend a week down there and truck it back.
     
  17. roadrider

    roadrider First Class Member
    Subscriber

    Jul 26, 2013
    1,001
    500
    Oxon
    If you want to go to the South of France but are worried about the time factor then you could use these guys.
    https://www.flybikefly.com/
    Return trip or one way,it's up to you,certainly saves some time.
     
  18. folkbloke

    folkbloke Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2013
    314
    63
    Sussex
    Ok, as you're set on the south, this is a trip I've done a number of times. 8am Dover-Calais. Autroutes via Rheims/Dijon/Lyons. Overnight around Macon. Head for a place called St Cyr / Les Leques. Campsite near the beach or plenty of hotels. There is dive base around as a mate went diving when we were there. 5 days of touring the area (Monaco a couple of hours away) or lazing on the beach. Leave early on the last day and one hit back to Calais.
     
  19. Tom8336

    Tom8336 Member

    Mar 23, 2015
    24
    8
    London
    What was your daily ride on the way down folkbloke? I was guesstimating in the region of 5-6 hours a day? Also why Macon rather than Dijon? Is it a better stop over?
     
  20. Tom8336

    Tom8336 Member

    Mar 23, 2015
    24
    8
    London
    How expensive is France compared to Germany biglad?
     
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