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Road Trip starting in Belgium through France & North Spain

Antwerp, Belgium
posts: 3
Road Trip starting in Belgium through France & North Spain

Hi!

We are currently planning a roadtrip for 1- 11 september. We are four young guys (21) and 1 car starting our trip from our hometown Antwerp.

So basically we were thinking of driving the first (couple of) day (s) till we hit the south of France and then go sightseeing and stuff. We like old/atmospheric towns/cities (avignon is somehting we all agreed upon to visit), you know the typical stuff right? Maybe some coastline and beaches along the way. Thing is we don't really know which places we should definately go and which places best to avoid because they are (e.g.) way too touristic. We will be staying at campings most of the time and if there is a possibility we might camp somewhere off road as well. North Spain is something we have been considering as well although i'm not sure if 10-11 days is enough time to do North - Spain as well.

Oh and we will be taking the national roads ofcourse :)

Cheers!

Antwerp, Belgium
posts: 3
1. Re: Road Trip starting in Belgium through France & North Spain

Oh bollocks looks like I posted my question twice.

Sorry for that :X

Lewes, United...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 9,247
reviews: 40
2. Re: Road Trip starting in Belgium through France & North Spain

Hi ff

Welcome to the Road Trips forum.

Can I assume you will be driving in one of the cars owned by one of you? Please check that your insurance covers you to drive in France (and Spain?) as some young driver policies might need extra permission to do so. I think all the mandatory equipment is the same for all 3 countries, you'll be pleased to hear.

As you are wishing to mostly camp, and given your ages, I'd guess you are on a budget. Do be aware that the autoroutes in France and the autopistas in Spain (if you bother to go that far) are toll roads and can cost a lot of money, no free equivalents like back home in Belgium, I'm afraid!

The best website to plot your route would be:

www.viamichelin.fr/

It will show the toll road and you can avoid them and chose more scenic options, if you like.

Have a google around for campsites, some are in very rural areas and are targetted at families, others are a bit closer to more interesting towns and may suit you better. Do check local rules for wild camping, it's certainly illegals on beaches in France and Spain to my knowledge. In other areas, I don't know the rules.

With 11 days, if you're happy to have 2 solid driving days at either end of the trip, it should be perfectly possible to combine a few historic towns with a bit of beach and fun, and get to northern Spain, too, if you really want.

Towns on your route with lots of history and thus atmosphere and interesting old centres to consider, in addition to the already mentioned Avignon, would be Nimes and Arles, with lots of Roman ruins and museums dedicated to famous artists.

Another town to consider, much smaller but an unusual setting would be Aigues Mortes. From there you can check out the Camargue region with the wild horses and flamingoes. Then head on down the Med coast of France towards Perpignan. There are lots of relatively quiet beaches on that stretch with camping. As you approach Spain the the foothills of the Pyrennees, the coastline become very rocky, but there are lots of pretty fishing villages. Smaller ones like Rosas or Puerto de la Selva are fairly nice and not too developed, the further south you go, generally, the more commercial and touristy. Certainly avoid any of the Costa Brava resorts south of Gerona! For more old towns in Spain, consider visiting Figueras or Gerona.

I know by then you won't be far from Barcelona, but, it will be a much more expensive place to visit, so I'm not sure I would suggest going that far before you turn around and start to may your way back north.

If you stop in Avignon area for several nights, then smaller villages nearby worth exploring could includeVaison la Romaine and some of the Luberon towns, but they get lots of tourists squeezing into the small, narrow streets of the ville perchees.

From Avignon, you could head east towards the Riviera. My reasons for not necessarily recommending this is that the whole of that area is expensive, and it's all very touristy and commercial (as will be Barcelona, perhaps even more so!).

Let me know what you think of my thoughts, and ask more questions, if needed.

Have a great trip,

SWT

Antwerp, Belgium
posts: 3
3. Re: Road Trip starting in Belgium through France & North Spain

Hi thanks for the advice!

I had a look around on the forums so we did use viamichelin, however you can add only 5 stops? Anyway we solved that by using 2 instances of viamichelin and yeah we use my car for the trip.

We will be checking out aigues mortes for sure, also carcasonne, sète, gordes and lussan amongst others. All good destinations I hope?.

Oh and can I have some advice on the following: A friend of us lives in valliquerville ( North-West France)and we'd like to visit him, however we are not quite sure yet how we can fit it in our trip. Currently we are thinking once we are on the west side of France, maybe we should keep going south to somewhere till Bordeaux and then "cross" france to the east to where aigues mortes are etc?

Thanks in advance!

Aubrey, Texas
posts: 8,687
reviews: 144
4. Re: Road Trip starting in Belgium through France & North Spain

After Valliquerville, I suggest a route South through Orleans and Clermont-Ferrand to Millau. The Millau Viaduc is amazing and has to be seen to be believed. Then go on to Aigues-Mortes and the Camargue. You'll find fine sandy beaches around Sete and along the Languedoc-Roussillon coast practically all the way to Spain. Cap d'Agde has naturist beaches if that's of interest.

5. Re: Road Trip starting in Belgium through France & North Spain

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