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France Ferry & Campsite info (use Search function) mod warning post 1



  • Registered Users Posts: 832 ✭✭✭ harvester of sorrow

    Looking to book my first trip to France in June. We will be traveling with a 10yo/16yo girls, getting the ferry from cork, so looking for a campsite that will tick the boxes for both.

    I have been looking online and tbh its all a bit of a minefield! Any recommendations would be great. Driving isn't an issue, so i have no issue to travel further south for good /better weather. We will be staying for 2 weeks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,510 ✭✭✭✭ average_runner

    We used to drive to les charmettes, 6 hours from ferry, it will suit your kids needs but hit and miss with the weather.

    We now fly to toulouse and 1 hour drive then to vias. Weather is stunning, 30-37 degrees each day.

  • Registered Users Posts: 864 ✭✭✭ Baybay

    Carcassonne is an option also for the area around Vias if you’re flying. Well, usually anyway. I haven’t checked for this summer as we’re taking the ferry from Dublin. Aer Lingus also have / had a summer only flight to Montpellier.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,892 ✭✭✭ 10-10-20

    Agreed. Les Charmettes is a fantastic site in a fantastic location. It was washed-out in ~2018 (?) but even then there is indoor entertainment.

    Weather-wise, many of the sites on the Med would also suit 10/16 yo's, I recommend Hippocampe/La Sirene but I have also seen Le Sérignan Plage. All fantastic, but the location of Hippocampe/La Sirene beside the Pyrenees is a massive draw for us.

  • Registered Users Posts: 711 ✭✭✭ Feidhlim

    Just for some context, AA breakdown charged me approx 180 euro for 16 days in 8yr old car.

    Seems excessive but I wanted to make sure I got the "gold standard" in case anything goes wrong, and by the sounds of it, AA are the ones to go with

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  • Registered Users Posts: 808 ✭✭✭ Unrealistic

    I just tried to buy that cover and, as usual, I was asked to tick a box to say I had read the terms and conditions. But when I clicked the link to the T&Cs I was taken to a 404 error page. I wanted to glance through them to make sure there's nothing sneaky like only being valid if that car has been serviced at a main dealer. Do you know if that's a condition?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,892 ✭✭✭ 10-10-20

    I was curious myself. I found it (correction: the UK version) anyway (Nov 2021):

    It's fair enough:

    You must be able to declare that as far as You know, the following is true:

    a. Your vehicle is eligible for AA European Breakdown Cover and has been regularly serviced and maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions, is not already broken down or been involved in an Accident and You not aware of any electrical, mechanical or other vehicle problem which may interrupt Your Trip;

    Post edited by 10-10-20 on

  • Registered Users Posts: 28 Wezz

    Typically when do ferries to France for 2023 go on sale?

  • Registered Users Posts: 49 suilegorma

    On the breakdown assistance, is anyone not getting it? For a reasonably new car with no issues (might get a service before we go). We don't plan on driving very far so I'm not sure I see the point ? As long as we are insured for driving I mean?

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,342 ✭✭✭✭ josip

    We don't. The car is supposedly covered by manufacturer's breakdown assistance in Europe as long as we've had it serviced on schedule in the main dealer (which we have). In reality, all it would probably cover would be to tow us to the nearest dealer, who'll then bend us over the counter. But at least that will happen in the comfort of a dealership and not at the time the tow-truck arrives to take us off the motorway 😀

    But even if you have cover, you may still have to pay the motorway agency in that country to remove your car using whatever company they are in cahoots with. And may not be able to claim it back against your own insurance.

    We always get the car serviced in May/June to at least minimise the chances of mechanical failure. That being said, we ended up one year driving back across Europe with a malfunctioning water pump. The only way we could keep the engine out of limp mode and do 125, was to have the heat turned up to full and fan on 4 🤤

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  • Registered Users Posts: 864 ✭✭✭ Baybay

    There’s a thread on here, perhaps earlier in this one actually, from a few years ago when someone had an absolute nightmare having broken down abroad. It’s the lost money & time plus the stress & language barrier that can make the breakdown assistance suddenly seem very cheap until of course, you don’t need it!

    We’ve had an issue or two over the years with new cars still under warranty that VW sorted on our behalf including car hire while one had a replacement part fitted.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,783 ✭✭✭ Stone Deaf 4evr

    Just had a bit of a head scratcher with car hire, I was sorting out my collection documents etc, and noticed that there was a balance apparently owing of 124 euros - for fuel.

    it was sold as Full-full, which has been pretty much a standard experience over the years - you leave with a full tank, and return with a full tank.

    I'm just wondering, if i'm paying for a tank up front, surely I can bring it back on fumes if I want, cause they'll be getting the next renter to buy a tank of fuel anyway?

    Centauro is the hire company if that makes any difference.

  • Registered Users Posts: 808 ✭✭✭ Unrealistic

    I think that's the UK version that you found. I wrote to them and they sent me Irish doc and it's quite different. The wording on that point is the same but there are other parts that would make me think twice. €400 cap on towing and repairs (labour covered only, no parts) and €2,500 cap in total for most expenses. No assistance for tyre/wheel problems if you don't have a a spare (which my car doesn't).

    But, as @Baybay says above, it's probably worth it to have someone on the end of the phone who can sort stuff out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 49 suilegorma

    Thanks all, luckily I can speak French and I honestly don't think we will need it for our type of trip.

  • Registered Users Posts: 788 ✭✭✭ westgolf

    It's the classic catch 22. You will rarely need breakdown cover but when you do you will REALLY need it. Happened to us three years ago on the way back from the Vendee to Roscoff. Had a conversation with the breakdown call centre who were of little use on a motorway. Limped about 600 metres to an off ramp and found a retail centre carpark to park safely. Advised the call centre we were off the motorway and was told to await a call. Car was in limp mode because wheel pressure sensor on one tyre was damaged. Changed the wheel with a little local help and set off again. By the time call centre in Bradford contacted me back I was on the Pont Aven !

    Claimed a refund of the price of the cover when we got home as they had failed to assist in any way. Claim refused initially but then processed "as a goodwill gesture"

    I suppose overall its the peace of mind that is key really. What you need to remember is that it's not like here where the breakdown van (aa/rac etc) is a mobile workshop. On the continent it's a towing operation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,892 ✭✭✭ 10-10-20

    A tyre sensor! That must have been infuriating for you.

    Correct though - the service for the motorways is simply just to get you off at the next exit (for EUR 127 daytime/weekday, EUR 190 night & weekends,, what happens after that is between you and your breakdown cover provider - if you have one. In your case you were lucky that it was repairable at the roadside.

    As you alluded to, on the flip-side - if you suffer a more serious mechanical failure while you're transiting a fully-loaded vehicle between campsite and ferry, then that's where the coverage should come into it's own. You should then be covered for (limits apply)...

    • A replacement vehicle - try getting a hire-car just now in France... it's EUR ~700/week for a small vehicle, if you can get one.
    • Alternate ferry bookings
    • Garage fees
    • Accommodation, if needed.
    • Alternative driver
    • etc.

    Anyway, it seems I'm talking myself into getting coverage. 😂

    Thanks for spotting that. The Irish policy booklet is now up on their site:

    With luck, none of us will need roadside recovery!

  • Registered Users Posts: 788 ✭✭✭ westgolf


    Infuriated initially but at the same time I was relieved that it was just the sensor and not a more serious issue such as a track rod or another more mechanical issue.

  • Registered Users Posts: 536 ✭✭✭ Electric

    [double post]

  • Registered Users Posts: 536 ✭✭✭ Electric

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,026 ✭✭✭ Uncle Pierre

    Question about buying a Crit'Air sticker for an upcoming trip to France (early July).

    The website at wants to know the Euro standard of the car, but I don't see anything on the registration certificate to say what it is. There's an option for "no Euro standard indicated on the registration certificate", and then it just asks for date of first registration instead - is this the way to go?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,892 ✭✭✭ 10-10-20

    Ironies aside, the best guide which I found is this UK site:

    ...and is additionally explained here:

    But yes, date of reg would also imply the same information as the standard appears to get updated on the start/end of a particular month.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,026 ✭✭✭ Uncle Pierre


    Yeah, I believe from looking at guides like those that my car is Euro 5 (it's a diesel that was first registered in July 2014). However, I don't see this stated anywhere on the registration certificate. Question is really should I make an esimated guess at it on the French goverment site, or take the "no Euro standard indicated" option, and let them figure it out?

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,342 ✭✭✭✭ josip

    We did the same as you, Euro 5 for a 2014 diesel

  • Registered Users Posts: 744 ✭✭✭ BullBauld

    I didn't know mine either as not on log book so I put in euro 5 for a 171. When I tried to submit it told me to check my euro standard and car reg date again as obviously they weren't compatible.

    I changed it to euro 6 and it went through.

    So it'll basically tell you it's not right.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,285 ✭✭✭ Royale with Cheese

    My car is electric and I couldn't find anything about what I was supposed to go with for that so I just said No Euro Standard. It let me go through with it and I have the disc now so hopefully there'll be no issues with that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,026 ✭✭✭ Uncle Pierre

    Thanks folks. I'll put in Euro 5, as all indications are that's what it actually is. If there's un problème along the way, I'm sure they'll tell me....

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,539 ✭✭✭✭ Drumpot

    Is that really just for Paris ? Not easy to find where it relates to! Didn’t even know about it but haven’t been near Paris when in France last few times

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,892 ✭✭✭ 10-10-20

    No, it's Paris and a number of other high-traffic/industrial areas:

    Les villes concernées par les ZFE-m

    Low emission zones have been set up in 8 agglomerations :

    • l’agglomération parisienne (40 communes dont Paris) ;
    • la Métropole de Grenoble (27 communes dont Grenoble) ;
    • la Métropole de Lyon ;
    • Rouen-Normandie ;
    • Reims ;
    • Nice-Côte d'Azur ;
    • Toulouse ;
    • Saint-Etienne.

    New areas with low mobility emissions will be created in the metropolises of :

    • Aix-Marseille-Provence ;
    • Toulon-Provence-Méditerranée ;
    • Montpellier-Méditerranée ;
    • Strasbourg.

  • Registered Users Posts: 368 ✭✭ gaillimh

    Hi guys.

    Has anybody stayed in both Le Pin Parasol and La Garangeoire in the Vendee? Trying to decide between the 2 for 2023. Kids will be 4 and 6.

    TIA for any advice.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,170 ✭✭✭ Macy0161

    Have you looked at Le Littoral too? We're going Le Pin Parasol this year, having done a couple of years at Le Littoral - it's definitely aimed more at that age group (the only reason we're moving on now with 2 teens).