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Aires Update


robertandjean

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Decided to post on this section of forum as aires/sites thread on here seems to have generated a lot of interest. Below set out info picked up from our own visits last year, French friends and French web sites and magazines. Hope some of you find it helpful:

Asine (02). There are few aires in this dept, so interested to find details of a, parking only ,aire at St Quentin, Ave du General de Gaulle, opp the police station. Any one been to this one?

Allier (03) A new aire opened at Moulins, 90 places, was previously a camp site. If any thing like the camp site turned aire at St-Pourcain-sur-Sioule, same dept, then should be great place to stay as Moulins is an historic town.

Ardennes (08) Again a dept with a limited amont of aires so last year tried the new aire at Givet, rue Berthelot, next to camp site. Now this proved to be uninspiring, being on a not very atrractive car park outside the site (yes all aires are not great!) However, village nice enough on Meuse, so stayed overnight on site (only 8.5€/night with hook-up).

Aude (11) the aire at Narbonne, not to be confused with Narbonne Plage aire, has now re-opened after installation of card barrier entry and more hook-ups. This aire is great for visiting Narbonne, free bus from outside aire, and we stayed for 5 days a couple of years ago prior to closure. Think charge is now 10€/night with max stay 72hrs. Well rec if you want to see Narbonne, but is near main road.

Aire at Peyriac de Mer now located on old camp site, opp side road from previous parking, which was very tight. New aire mainly on grass and much more space (5€/night).

Bouches-du-Rhone (13) Port-St-Louis-du-Rhone aire now moved further down river. In our view not very pleasant and a long walk bavk to town (6€/night inc services). Not sure we will visit again.

Charente (16) Nersac Stayed for first time here last year when looking for an aire near Angouleme. This one is top quality, in nice village with bus to Angouleme from just outside aire. Aire is in a very nice setting, with free parking and services inc. electricity, max stay 48 hours. Give this one a go!

Charente-Maritime (17) St-Martin-en-Ray. In past have stayed on this aire near to the camping municipal. This aire was very tight however, 5 spaces only; it has now be extended, and moved a short distance but still near site, so it takes 17 vans. Now charged, 11€/night inc services.

Correze (19) Sadroc .A firm favourite being handy for A20. Pitches are now marked out (6 in all) but still all services inc el. hook-ups are free. Find always best to entre Sadroc from southernside of A20, no matter which direction we are heading in.

Dordogne (24) Perigueux . Old aire opp cathedral now closed. New purpose built aire now open further down river. Stayed Oct. last year and found very good. Marked spaces, all area just for vans, childrens play area, picnic benches, nice riverside walk to v. interesting town. (41 spaces, 5€/night inc services). Aire is overlooked by apartments, so if you think this might be a problem do not go.

 

(rest to follow;watch this thread)

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RobertandJean, thanks for posting these. I regard you as my "Michelin" inspectors and have written down every aire you have mentioned in the past few years (and used a number of them). I very much appreciate the effort you put in to post so frequently and I find your recommendations extremely helpful.

 

Bob

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First thanks to all for the supportive comments, here is section 2:

Eure (27) As we posted on the aires/sites thread in this section the fairly new aire in Rugles is, in our opinion, a real gem being in an attractive setting and next to an attractive town. (P+Serv. free inc hook-ups) This together with the excellant aire at Broglie (5€/night + 2.5€ services) should be on any list of quality aires!

Finistere (29) Roscoff. The aire next to the ferry port (St Barbe) is now closed. There is an aire much further on the sea front (Lieu dit Laber) which remains open, P+S free, but we have not visited , so not sure of quality.

Gard (30) Uzes The private aire "Domaine Vitcole de St Firmin (also in France Passion) is in the centre of town so really handy to visit this interesting place, but land used for parking is a little rough. P+S=free.

Haute-Garonne (31) Auterive The aire point and parking are in different places here. If not wanting services then do not turn right just before canal bridge, at aire sign, but go over bridge and turn left to park overlooking canal. Situation of parking is nice enough and old town is interesting; a good o/n stop from N20. Aire point itself can be difficult to access, would only use if had to.

Herault (34) Clermont-L'Herault. This aire is not in town but by the "Lac de Salagou" We did not find the aire itself very attractive as it is at back of campsite with no lake views, nor does camp site. On plus side each pitch does have electric hook-up (6€ +2€ services). Many vans staying by lakeside further on, but as we do not "wild" camp moved on to nearby France Passion site, which this year is afraid to say no longer available.

Ille-et-Vilaine (35) St Malo, Municipal Les Ilots. Have mentioned this one before but worth another go! This is a site which in low season (01/04-30/06 and 01/09-08/11) operates as an aire complete with hook-up for 4€/night; bus to St Malo from outside gate for €1.20. Puit this one on that good aies list. Messac. Now this sounds nice being next to a marina but is one to avoid. It is scruffy and you can not park overlooking marina as tis section is just for boat owners. Town is a long walk away through industrial areas. But eh not all aires can be great, and who knows others may take a different view of this one.

Indre (36) Now to balance previous report another little gem,Neuillay-les-Bois. This is a small parking area next to small lake/ parkland with nice walks around the lake. No views of lake from parking area but very peaceful, a nice place to relax. (Parking area is not isolated however, with houses near by; P+S, inc hook-up is free)

Isere (38) St-Pierre-de-Chartreuse . This aire now reported as closed, and no clear indication of alternative parking. As road to here is not an easy drive best left alone for now.

 

Will move on to part three in a few days time, starting with dept40.

 

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Here we go again!

Dept 40, Capbreton. In past not over keen on this aire as felt for us a long way out. But stayed Oct. and fenjoyed a couple of days stay. Town is just walkable, new housing near aire makes feel less remote and now more hook-up points. Complex charging/max nights can stay but ranges from 6€/night to 12€/night and max stay 2 nights to 5 nights.

 

Dept 44 Chateaubriant This aire is next to the municipal campsite. It is a long way out of town, but can catch bus from outside Intermarche, 500 m away. Seemed a very safe place, next to good quality housing (we were almost in someones garden), lit at night, free to stay inc. hook-up. On the other hand the adjacent site has a public path running through it, is away from houses and unlit (10€/night). Just goes to show sites not always more scure than aires!

Nozay. A great little aire, next to lake/country park with mini-golf/table tennis etc. V. nice setting yet town is walkable. All services available inc hook-ups. Free when we stayed last Spring but now think might be 5€/night in season.

Nort-sur-Erde Nice aire just round from marina and town. Best pitches are on riverside, about 8, but arrive early for these. Other pitches are O.K. but no views and aire does get busy. P+S free.

 

Dept 45 Ouzouer-sur-Trezee This canal side aire was one of our favourites so very disappointing when last year we found it had been moved from this lovely setting, near town, to outside camp site. New situation is not good; well away from town and next to a run down camp site. So moved onto:

Briare. This is much better. Parking has always been allowed on quay side here, and still is, but now a new aire is also available. This is over canal bridge next to the pont du canal. Aire has grass/hard parking for about 20 vans plus charged services. Still think riverside parking is best but if full new aire provides good back up at a lovely town.

 

Sorry out of time for now but will continue

 

 

 

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Mandy&Andy - 2011-05-07 8:39 AM

These are fantastic posts and just what this forum should be about.

Mandy

 

I agree. Good effort Robert & Jean as ever for Aire info.

 

Just because we're not prolific Aire users doesn't mean I don't support excellent threads like this.

 

Martyn

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First thanks all of you for your supportive comments, it really does make our efforts seem worthwhile. So lets try a few more:

Dept 46. Gourdon. Came across a new aire here last year. Followed P+ camper van sign through one way system and came to aire with 10 places in a nice parkland setting, some views and near good housing. All individual pitches, each with hook-up and water charged at 1€/6 hours. No overnight charge when we visited but maybe now.

 

Dept 48 Le Monastier This is a good overnight stop off A75. Aire has 4 marked bays and is next to rail station. There are however few trains and people live in the station buildings so not isolated. We stayed here on our own with no worries. Fair walk to nice "rustic" village.

 

Dept 50 Sourdeval Nice small aire near to village centre and next to parkland. Found wi-fi outside townhall, but trees meant no sat TV. All free inc. 2 electric hook-ups. (one downside there is a funeral home next to top side aire, so if this might cause upset park at bottom end)

Avranches. Town is well worth a visit and aire is very close to a very nice garden, with views, which is also worth a visit. But what about the aire itself we hear you say! Well no real views, town centre is a reasonable walk away but main thing is that all pitches do slope and some slope a lot so blocks are essential. Previously a notice restricted parking here to between the hours of 17.00 and 10.00, but this has now gone to be replaced by a sign indicating no caravans!

 

Dept 52 Joinville Now understand that the free hook-ups previously available here are no more and that sevices are now charged, but that parking is still free.

 

Dept 53 Gorron Really enjoyed this aire as in nice setting next to parkland yet within easy walking distance to Gorron centre, a delightful little town to wander round. Parking is just for motorhomes and parking +services inc. hook-ups is free.

Chateau-Gontier. Following re-development of the quay all parking for mtorhomes is now on opposite side of river, but is still free and without time restrictions. Services, again no charge, remain on original side. Found wi-fi at La Prudance Bar, near town hall.

 

Depts 54, 55 and 57 Reports later in year as hope to tour round here this summer.

 

Dept 59 Bray Dunes The Parking only aire at Rue de L'Ancienne Gare, at rear of tourist office, is O.K. for a couple of nights being just back from beach and shops etc. It is a car park however so do not expact too much. (closed July/August). A much nicer parking only aire is at:

Bergues, Stade St Andres, back of football pitches, small sign on right just before gate to old town. Motorhome only parking and not too far to walk to lovely old walled town. As with Bray Dunes parking only but no charge.

Cassel. Very nice town but very poor aire to stay on. Services fine but parking on road side of a "fast" road hence did not feel safe to stay so near to traffic. So suggest give this one a miss.

 

More later!

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I have a cheap new Garmin Nuvi GPS and have been trying to install the Aires from here:

http://www.campingcar-infos.com/index1.htm

 

No success so far as they are in a different format, however I have had success with the ones from here:

http://www.i-campingcar.fr/accueil.htm

 

I am wondering if they are the same, as there seem to be more than the ones shown on the i-campingcar search page.

 

These are only for France and I would be interested to find an installation for Spain, although there are not many.

 

There is a list of them here but nothing for GPS:

https://sites.google.com/site/areasfeaa/

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Some great info on this thread – thank you – and we will hope to take advantage of it in future. Will bookmark this.

 

Not wishing to repeat stuff ‘cross threads’, I have posted reasons for liking sites on the ‘Sites or Aires’ thread – not anti- Aires at all… just different needs….

 

 

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JamesFrance - 2011-05-08 8:18 PM I have a cheap new Garmin Nuvi GPS and have been trying to install the Aires from here: http://www.campingcar-infos.com/index1.htm No success so far as they are in a different format, however I have had success with the ones from here: http://www.i-campingcar.fr/accueil.htm I am wondering if they are the same, as there seem to be more than the ones shown on the i-campingcar search page. These are only for France and I would be interested to find an installation for Spain, although there are not many. There is a list of them here but nothing for GPS: https://sites.google.com/site/areasfeaa/[/quote]

GPS Passion is a good bet, Uploaded these here to my Garmin Nuvi 1340 last year, lot easier and cheaper than carrying a book, also the cognochenti keep it updated TG. I've had no problems with accuracy using these POI's unlike some others I've heard of.

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First some updates to updates!

Returning to dept 59, then now confirmed an aire point installed not far from the overnight parking. Service point is off D11, 20m after police station (GPS : Long 2.13167, Lat 50.993333) services 2€ per bank card.

Still in dept 59 on another thread a much more favourable view given of Cassel aire than we gave; no rights or wrongs just shows what some think of as a good aire, others are not so keen. Other poster makes point that there is little road noise overnight so this should not be a worry; to be honest we were more worried about being so close to an unlit road if a speeding car lost control. But Cassel is a nice town and certainly worth a day visit at least.

Mention of aires seems to be popping up everywhere, and not just by us! On "why is it dangerous to stop on motorway services thread" mention is made of a new aire at Pont de L'arche (dept 27). Despite the "strange goings on " reported there think this could be a useful stop over and will certainly use some time this year. Details: Next to camp site on river side. 4 places, S+P both free, Long 1.156117, Lat 49.305633. Also in this section the thread about aires in Loire has some good pics showing that "all" aires are not car parks!

Regarding sources of info re aires then in addition to the camping-car infos web site, another French web site we find useful is i-campingcar.fr whilst wildcamping.co.uk site has an excellant thread "A few French Aires" started by grath, with some really good aires pics.

Time to move on. Dept 62 Stayed last year on the parking only aire at Wissant and found fine. Aire is on grass (maybe not great if wet) and easy walk into nice little town. It is on RHS of D940 going south into Wissant, no sign (N 50.886765, E1.670351). WiFi at Candy Cafe. Recent reports now suggest that a service point and hard standings maybe installed so watch this space!

Dept 64 Hendaye-Plage Here last Oct. Now this is an aire that seems to have little to recommend it, it is roadside parking opposite a railway station; no views. So why stay? Well all down to location. A free bus runs to both Henday-Plage and Henday itself. Latter is a nice town but also has local rail connections to San Sabastian and other destinations in Spain. So somtimes staying on a car park is not too bad! (P+S = free)

Dept 72 La Flech. Another road side aire!! But setting, view over river, more than makes up for the road noise. Easy walk into town, free town centre entertainment every Friday eve. July/August. wifi from site over river etc. (S+P=free, but services are not easy to access).

Will resume with Dept 76 next time.

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Mention of aires seems to be popping up everywhere, and not just by us! On "why is it dangerous to stop on motorway services thread" mention is made of a new aire at Pont de L'arche (dept 27). Despite the "strange goings on " reported there think this could be a useful stop over and will certainly use some time this year. Details: Next to camp site on river side. 4 places, S+P both free, Long 1.156117, Lat 49.305633.

 

Just to add information to your post robertandjean:

At present the services were not useable when I was there but look almost finished. Note also that there are height barriers there and the police arrived quite early to tell me to move off as he wanted to close them. Having said that they were still open after 14.00! Nice position by the river and should be reasonably quiet although much nearer to the bridge which carries heavy trafffic over the two rivers. I could not receive satellite there but can from the campsite further along. Mobile phone connection was ok though.

 

Sorry, I forgot to say thanks for all your information.

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The electricity has been removed from the bourne at Jarnac and overnight parking of motor homes is now prohibited between 20:00 and 08:00 . The marked motor home bays have been removed.

 

This was due to abuse by some motor homers this winter who hogged the supply and blocked access to the borne by draping their cables over the fence to the bourne. They hogged the marked bays by parking so that 4 vans took up the 5 allocated spaces. They had small brown barrels set out to prevent others parking near them. I observed this on our way down to Spain and found it was not possible to stay on our way back.

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If you are going to southern Spain down the east coast and not using peages, we found a good alternative from Figueras to Reus via an inland route going to Vic which has a new Aire. Less than 10km further than the N340 and avoiding Barcelona. It is partly autovia with just a short mountainous section between Vic and Manresa, otherwise easy driving.

 

Área pública Vic

Carrer de la Fura

41.9344,2.2393 (41º56'3,84''N / 2º14'21,48''E)

 

Servicios: Agua, vaciado de WC y aguas usadas.

Parking: Plazas reservadas para AC

Tarifa: 5,00€ (1 día), 12,00€ (2 días), Agua 2,00€ (100l), Electricidad 6,00€ (3 horas)

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And the story goes on!

Dept 76 (Seine-Maritime) Montville. A nice setting next to park and edge town. When there last November free wi-fi provided by town (contrast that with charges on CC and CCC sites!). P=F, S=3€. market Sat AM, access difficult at that time.

La Mailleray-sur-Seine. Charge (1/04 to 31/10) is now 5/€ night for this aire right on side of river Seine. When there last year hooks-up were being installed so may now be operational. One of our favourite aires.

 

Dept 80 (Somme) Amiens The aire situated outside the camp site "Le Parc des Cygnes" is well placed for a visit to Amien, as bus stop is just outside gate but be aware of restrictions. No arrivals before 12.00 noon, one night only allowed and gates locked at night. (P+S= 12/€ night)

 

Dept 85 (Vandee) L'Epine Reports indicate that the free aire overlooking the sea, which we always found difficult to find a space on, is now closed. A new aire purpose built aire has now been opened however, with 34 spaces at 7€/night, but in a more built up area.

 

Dept 87(Haute-Vienne) Bessines-sur-Gartempe Visited last Oct. In town centre, edge car park, of nice small town. Close to A20; P+S (inc 2 el pts) = F, but no waste run-off point.

 

Dept 88 (Vosges) Thaon-Les-Vosges. Aire is in a nice setting on canal side, but little of interest in town. Found free wi-fi from van. P+S=F.

 

Re report of closure of aire at Jarnac (dept 16, Charante). If this is aire sit at Allee du parc Madame then as far back as 2009 " Le Guide National" noted that overnight parking was no allowed, so not surprising if services have been taken away if people were stopping overnight as reported.

 

That's all for now folks; more as and when. Thanks for all the supportive comments, and please if you know any new aires info or have aires you want to share please add them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a few quick points:

 

Web sites: Come across a couple more web sites with aires info:

 

www.campingcar 76.fr Particularly good for aires/stopping places and new aire developments in dept 76 but other regions also covered.

 

www.campercontact.nl This Dutch site has fairly comprehensive listings of French aires

 

On Motorhome Fun Forum, a contributer, Mel has put a link to Mel's Photo Gallery in Picassa Gallery with extensive photos of aires stayed on. (very few of which are on car parks!!)

 

Some posts on other threads have suggested many aires are closing, do not think this is true; indeed the French web sites report the opposite. What is often the case is that if a community does close an aire it more often than not opens a new one. A case in point is St-Pierre-de-Chartreuse (dept 38). Think we reported the closure of aire here a while back; well community have now opened a new aire, behind the church at Parking du Couzon. Not sure Alpine views will be as good as old aire, but is right in centre of a nice village. Will return, maybe next year, and report.

 

 

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Things in aires world change quickly! The aire at Capbreton which we mentioned on an earlier post, is according to French web sites is now closed. A new aire is now, or about to be , open however. This is on the D133 Angresse road, but unlike the previous aire is not next to the beach but set in the pine woods. Think new aire will have hook-ups etc and charge around 10€/night, with space for around 150 vans. When can pick up more info will let you all know.

In the Herault (dept 34) many motorhomes used to wild camp alongside the N112 Sete to Agde road; this has now been stopped (to be honest never saw why anyone would want to stay next to this busy road!). To replace this "wild camping" Marsellian Plage have now opened a new aire in the town. This aire is porpose built with 120 places and is on the Rur des Goelands. Cost is 4€/24 hours low season, 8/€ 24 hours high season with reductions for longer stays eg 10€/72 hours low season. Services are 2€.

 

Both above represent a trend in aires develpoment, a move towards larger "super" aires. If this is a good thing or not is a question for debate.

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