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winter sun trip


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Hi all, like many we are going to spend a few months on the med coast of spain, questions are about routes through france


we would like to spend about 5 weeks in france each end of trip, so october going out and april comng back.


so which would be best for better weather, go down in october western france and cross pamplona, huesca, lleida and arrive tarragonna, or from pau through somport to huesca and then on, or from perpignan, girona, vic, manresa, tarragonna


or to come back either west or east routes? just trying to vary the trip a bit, don't do toll roads, so basically we are asking your opinion on routes for the best weather east or west, october or april.


also while we are here any overnight stops on spanish side of the trip, although it looks feasable to go all the way from western/eastern france to med spain according to aa route planner, at least one overnight stop would be more restfull


sorry to be longwinded decisions seem difficult to make at the moment!!


thanks snail

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The simple answer is that no-one can really say. France, with the exception of the Mediterranean coastal strip, has a climate almost as variable as the UK. It gets warmer as you go south, but not noticeably so until south of the Loire, and not significantly so until south of the Dordogne.


April and October are both transitional months, as summer changes to winter and vice versa, so are more prone to variability than either summer or winter. October, like April, is often wet and windy, but seldom much worse that that. However, some of the worst gales on record have been in October, and have affected the whole of northern France and into the low countries. Each year is different.


You said five weeks to cross France in each direction. Did you mean that, or five days? If the latter, I wouldn't worry too much.


In truth, there are as many routes as there are roads, and none can be guaranteed to evade bad, or enjoy good, weather. Your best bet will be to keep a sharp watch on weather as the time for departure approaches, and then route accordingly.


You may find it is better to consider the whole length of the Pyrenees, including the Bilbao and Perpignan ends, as potential crossing points until you know where the weather is most favourable.


The western route via Bordeaux should be milder than more easterly routes except the Rhone valley, because of the high ground of the Massif Centrale between the two. But, working a decent route down the Rhone valley avoiding toll autoroutes, is not so easy as finding routes broadly from Calais to Rouen, Tours, Poitiers, Angouleme and Bordeaux.


For the best outcome you will need a way to keep tabs on the weather as you travel. If using mobile networks rather then WiFi, check what data roaming charges you may be liable to before going.

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Thanks Brian, i know it's near on impossible to foresee the weather as you say in the transissional months and most people adopt the western route for easy planning.


we are thinking of 4 to 5 weeks in france and trying to work out which route at which time, also get bored with the run across top of spain from bairritz to tarragonna, so was thinking about med france particularly on way home mar/apr, but a low altitude route north to lessen the bad weather chances


somport tunnel seems a half way house and a drop down to huesca and across, but can't find a suitable aire, although the route planner says mileage manageable in a day, the road network may make that hard work? one aire that looks nice is at asco on the ebro riverside, but that is quite near the final destination


as you say we will have to be flexible and judging by the lack of replies most think the same, thanks for your input



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Guest JudgeMental
I also thought maybe 5 weeks a mistake...you can get to to med coast in a few days if you want to......why dilly dally out of season, France will be miserable. If you came back a bit later in May and tour around then you will be in with half a chance, things will be starting to come to life. Holiday towns out of season,all shut up, are not that exciting.
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