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Drive to France and exchange l’ash for cash!

May 24, 2011 2:18 pm
posted by Sarah

For the second year in a row the Icelandic ash cloud is threatening to majorly disrupt holiday makers in the UK and Ireland. And even if the impending thick ash doesn’t cause the same closure of UK and Irish air space as it did last year, surely the only thing you should be worrying about while you pack your suitcase should be if you’ve bought enough sun block…

So forget nervously checking your flight status and hit the open road to France – easily reached by ferry and Eurotunnel anytime of year, closed skies or not! Just imagine: the wind in your hair, the smell of fresh sea air… and no airport stress!

And this month there’s the added bonus of €100 off selected Pierre & Vacances Resorts, so you’ll be exchanging the worry of l’ash for some bonus cash!

Simply use the voucher code 8666 during your booking process – for full details of resorts and terms and conditions click here!

Pierre & Vacances has a wide range of accommodation in Brittany, Picardy and Normandy for a wide range of holidays, from poolside, to beachside, to those wanting to exercise their active side! So here’s our quick guide to reaching France the scenic way!

Traveling to France by Eurotunnel:

The Eurotunnel’s drive on, drive off service between Folkestone and Calais runs up to four times an hour and takes just 35 minutes.

The departure terminals are easily reached via the M25 and M20 on the English side, and just outside Calais on the A16 motorway on the French side.

For a full timetable and travel details click here.

Traveling to France by ferry:

There’s something romantic and traditional about going on holiday by sea. And whilst onboard you can avail yourself of the facilities, from swimming pools to cinemas and wine bars, not forgetting lashings of fresh air up on deck (just don’t be tempted to play Kate and Leo a la Titanic). With an overnight ferry you’ll find there’s not much time left to play Eye Spy and Are We There Yet.

Between the south of the UK and the north coast of France there are five routes across the English Channel with six ferry companies to choose from:

• P&O Ferries and Seafrance both sail between Dover and Calais, with the crossing taking around 90 minutes.

Norfolk Line and DFDS Seaways both connect Dover and Dunkirk by sea, with the crossings taking an average of two hours.

Condor Ferries has routes via the Channel Islands to St Malo but its direct service between Portsmouth and Cherbourg takes around five hours.

LD Lines has two routes to choose from: Newhaven to Dieppe or Portsmouth to Le Havre, the crossings take an average of four hours and three hours 15 minutes respectively.

For Irish travellers, Brittany Ferries and Irish Ferries operate direct services to France from Ireland:

• Brittany Ferries sails from Cork to Roscoff  – the fastest direct route at 14 hours.

Irish Ferries sails from Rosslare to Roscoff or Cherbourg, and the crossing takes around 17 hours.

Driving in France

Once you’ve arrived, France has over 8,000 kilometres of motorways, of which most are toll roads.  If you’re pinching pennies and not in a hurry, there’s an excellent network of trunk roads, the N-denoted Routes Nationals.

There are a number of useful sights for route planning, including:


AA route planner

France4Families – Route planning in France

Drive through France

Bison Futé – Traffic blackspots and roadwork updates

And a perennial favourite, check what the world et sa mère recommends on TripAdvisor

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