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Aires in France


onecal

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Hi all,

Is it true that a lot of Aires are being closed and some let fall into very bad repair. ie some of the bollard style service points being damaged or removed and not replaced? . Well not up to last week anyway. I hope not,

Regards,

Brendan

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Hi Brendan

You'll find an odd one or two which have either closed or not been maintained, but there are still new ones opening - CampingCar magazine frequently puts in a supplement listing new ones, and always has some updates inside.

 

However, I personally think we're living in the "golden age" of this kind of touring. In a few years time, a combination of overuse, abuse, and high fuel costs will see it start to decline. Eventually we'll talk to our grandchildren about the freedom of aire-style motorhoming in much the same way that our grandparents talked to us about the freedom of the open road when there were few cars about.

 

So let's make the most of it while we've got it!!

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Hi,

Whilst it is true some aires have closed, do not think this is anything new changing cicumstances are always going to mean this will be the case. On balance however, the total number of aires,as listed for example on camping-car infos web site continues to rise, so no need to worry yet! Tony may well be right we may be in a golden age and we should make the most of it. Yes it is sad when aires such as Trebs and Laredorte (both in 11, on canal du midi) close, in this case due to canal being declared a world heritage site. But against that new aires are still opening and others that did close re-opening, eg Narbonne (11) now open again, Moulins (04) camp site converted to an aire, Perigueux (24) new aire built at considerable cost. So still optamistic that the type of motorhoming we love so much will continue for a good while yet. (it would be useful to have a list of the 25 aires said to have closed).

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Hi, I did not note them all but we counted 25 in total. Chateau D'Oleran, Ronce les Bain, one in Palmyre,Port les Mimimes,St Jean de Angley (west side of town), Confolens, Rochfort, St Yrieix,

It does go on , but as you say if new ones are opening up great. I do understand this is early season yet.

Regards,

Brendan

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Thanks for info onecal vw. Have researched some of these aires on the French web sites and find the situation appears better than it looks. Suspect you are using the British "All the Aires" guide which we find is not as reliable as say "Le Guide National" or the web sites like camping-car infos. Looking at some specific cases you mention:

Chateau D'Oleron. There is a fairly new large aire here on Ave Phiippe Dutre, which used to be an old camp site. It has full facilities inc. hook-ups at 8.5€/night. Reported open 5/5/2011!

La Palmyre. Web sites still indicate 2 aires open here, reports 26/04/11 and 26/02/11. One is parking only, no services, other includes services both are 8€/24 hours. The parking aire, Boulevard de la Plage, has been closed for works but now seems to be open.

Rochfort. For a few years now there has been no parking next to aire point at marina, but town does provide motorhome specific parking aires. Not too clear from French forums but it may be aire point maybe, or has been, re-located to municipal campsite.

St Yrieix This aire in a country park is now closed; a site is to be developed near by, with it seems parking for motorhomes. A shame as the aire was one we enjoyed staying on, but there are other good aires near by.

Hope this helps indicate that yes some aires have closed but often only because the town have decided to open new larger aires or extend existing aires.

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I do not know what the situation is like in the UK but, 'Le Monde du Camping-car' recently reported that the number of Aires de service, in France, has almost reached 3000, thats 540 up on last year. Their first map of aires in 1992 had a grand total of 365.

Each month new aires are added to the list. Yes, there are closures, but as you can see these are outweighed by new facilities.

The only black spot is the provisionment on Autoroute, down to 78 from 86 in 2009.

Never fear, theres an aire near here! (Provided that you are in France!!!!)

 

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Having recently received the 2011 edition of 'All the Aires', I think it is interesting that it does show those now closed. Additionally quite a few of those listed are merely filling/emptying points, and have no actual parking.

We came back from France last week, and used some aires, very busy, and mainly occupied by French motorhomes. We noticed t more generally most of them now seem to charge for parking, though rather usefully,in some cases tha twas only if you wanted to overnight, so during the day you did not pay to park. Now that does seem a good idea to bring visitors, and theerfore money,into the local economy.

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Thanks to all,

Yes we were getting back reports the the west coast around La Rochelle and down by La Tremblade were closed and not being re opened or one built in that area. Maybe it is the down turn but you would think the locals would want the trade the motorhomers leave.

Yes we found it very busy and were very taken aback to see some closed and to be informed the would not be reopened or replaced. I later found out that some of the towns had two anyway.

 

Thanks for the update, good to see all is not lost yet.

Regards,

Brendan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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robertandjean - 2011-05-04 11:03 PM

 

Yes it is sad when aires such as Trebs and Laredorte (both in 11, on canal du midi) close, in this case due to canal being declared a world heritage site.

 

Do you have some definite information that that is why they were closed?

 

We live close to Trèbes and had heard that the closure took place because the plane trees are diseased and in a dangerous condition. The French forums seem to think that the local Maire had the Aire closed to favour the Camping Municipal. The Trèbes tourist office is reporting a considerable drop in tourism since the closure.

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Just back from 2 months in France.

 

Yes Trebes is " closed " but we stayed on the Quay for one night and used a local cafe,s loo with no problem, empying our overnight effluence at the next one up the canal.

 

We had really no problems with other aires, some are charging now for Leccy and water but in general I would say be flexible and you will be OK

 

Do,nt I wish we had similar facilities here!!

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JamesFrance - 2011-05-06 11:53 AM

 

robertandjean - 2011-05-04 11:03 PM

 

Yes it is sad when aires such as Trebs and Laredorte (both in 11, on canal du midi) close, in this case due to canal being declared a world heritage site.

 

Do you have some definite information that that is why they were closed?

 

We live close to Trèbes and had heard that the closure took place because the plane trees are diseased and in a dangerous condition. The French forums seem to think that the local Maire had the Aire closed to favour the Camping Municipal. The Trèbes tourist office is reporting a considerable drop in tourism since the closure.

 

Certain as can be re Laredorte as that is what closure notice said at time. Re Trebs then this is what French vanners told us and it seemed to fit with Laredort situation. As you live in area what aires do you know of that are on Canal du Midi?

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We have only just got a camping car again, so have only had a short trial run so far. Our next trip will be over the mountains to Spain as we have a boat there also.

 

We will be back before the end of June so will do some research in the summer and share what we find.

 

There do not seem to be many known Aires or campings by the Midi, but we did find 2 unlisted authorised overnight places. Homps I posted a photo of, you need to cross the bridge and turn left towards the lake. There is a sign from the port office allowing 24 hour stationnement camping car.

 

At Colombiers near Beziers there is a sign on the door of the tourist office restricting overnight parking by the canal, but showing a new approved Aire over the bridge then to the right, but there is no signposting for this. The services are at the nearby camping for a small fee.

 

We tried to access the Aire at St Pierre la Mer which has a card system, but the machine failed to work so we had to give that a miss.

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Keith T - 2011-05-06 9:34 AM

 

Having recently received the 2011 edition of 'All the Aires', I think it is interesting that it does show those now closed. Additionally quite a few of those listed are merely filling/emptying points, and have no actual parking.

We came back from France last week, and used some aires, very busy, and mainly occupied by French motorhomes. We noticed t more generally most of them now seem to charge for parking, though rather usefully,in some cases tha twas only if you wanted to overnight, so during the day you did not pay to park. Now that does seem a good idea to bring visitors, and theerfore money,into the local economy.

 

Yes it is true that more aires now charge, but we see no problem with this as it is not cost but location and lifestyle is why we choose aires. As time goes on sure this trend will continue. Not really taken with the 'All the Aires" guide, though have not seen third edition; find French guides and web sites more reliable. It has always been the case that certain aires are just service points with no parking; on the other hand there are many aires which are just parking but no services. 'All the Aires" does not list all of these but a full listing is on the camping -car infos web site, listed as aires de stationment.

(An interesting aside is that a new French aires guide just published by "Trailer Parks" is called 1000 Aires Gratuite. So for those keen on costs this guide may be the one to try to borrow!)

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JamesFrance - 2011-05-06 8:18 PM

 

We have only just got a camping car again, so have only had a short trial run so far. Our next trip will be over the mountains to Spain as we have a boat there also.

 

We will be back before the end of June so will do some research in the summer and share what we find.

 

There do not seem to be many known Aires or campings by the Midi, but we did find 2 unlisted authorised overnight places. Homps I posted a photo of, you need to cross the bridge and turn left towards the lake. There is a sign from the port office allowing 24 hour stationnement camping car.

 

At Colombiers near Beziers there is a sign on the door of the tourist office restricting overnight parking by the canal, but showing a new approved Aire over the bridge then to the right, but there is no signposting for this. The services are at the nearby camping for a small fee.

 

We tried to access the Aire at St Pierre la Mer which has a card system, but the machine failed to work so we had to give that a miss.

 

James

 

Thanks for info, will head for these when in area again. Great that you are happy to share aires; happy to do same for areas you might be interested in, which we have visited.

All the best

 

Jean and Robert

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onecal vw - 2011-05-06 10:29 AM

 

Thanks to all,

Yes we were getting back reports the the west coast around La Rochelle and down by La Tremblade were closed and not being re opened or one built in that area. Maybe it is the down turn but you would think the locals would want the trade the motorhomers leave.

Yes we found it very busy and were very taken aback to see some closed and to be informed the would not be reopened or replaced. I later found out that some of the towns had two anyway.

 

Thanks for the update, good to see all is not lost yet.

Regards,

Brendan

 

Agree that all is certainly not lost infact nothing like it! Camping-car infos now lists 2848 aires de service (not on camp sites or autoroutes ) plus 1533 aires de stationment, with numbers increasing daily! Re La Rochelle then the situation there has been up and down for the last few years with aires near marina, a P+R, and a school sometimes open, sometimes closed (very French infact!). Reports from La Tremble end April this year suggest open (5€/24 hours). There are some really nice aries round here however so if one or two have gone no real worries. Soubise, for example, is one of our favourites in a nice setting. Understand has been recently extended and charges 6.5€/night inc hook-up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ah yes, when I enquired I was told they would not be opening again due to damage and other carry on. The area has been very prone to thefts last year in this area and this I can confirm with three of my friends being robbed in the area, maybe I thought this was one reason they may have closed them. I had no problems but then this is early in the season. Glad to hear some will be re opening in the area,Again thanks for the Info'

Regards,

Brendan

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

Yes just looked at the 3rd edition and it does give quite a few that are closed. Some may be in town's that have two aires I have noticed. Nice book , leaves out quite a few, but well put together.I think it sells for around 20 pounds.

Regards,

Brendan

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Hi , Thanks for the update, sorry we have crossed posts Kelly and thanks to Don and Madge for their excellent update post. I am sure a lot will find this very useful. Very hard to justify Arles (island) as an Aire,lovely area , different lay out a few years ago, again thanks to all.

Regards,

Brendan

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onecal vw - 2011-05-20 10:45 PM Hi, Yes just looked at the 3rd edition and it does give quite a few that are closed. Some may be in town's that have two aires I have noticed. Nice book , leaves out quite a few, but well put together.I think it sells for around 20 pounds. Regards, Brendan

Seems a strange publication to have entries that are not usable i.e closed, surely the raison d'etre of a guide is to provide information of open facilities?

Perhaps if they edited out the closed sites they could then put in some of the ones they've not got room for :D

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Hi, Just looking through it and yes they are marked closed,but may have been open in 2009 and closed in 2010. Nice to know if a site you liked and visited two years ago for example is closed so you can look for another one close by. Yes you are right also very nice if they added some new ones that are now open or re opened. Some in Poitou region are in poor repair and quite a few are closed and have not re opened.

All part of the joys of Motorhoming,

Regards,

Brendan

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