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It might look a long way on the map, but driving to Morzine is relatively straightforward, with easy motorways (with usually little traffic) and interesting places to stop along the way. From the South of England once you’ve crossed the channel the drive is approximately 8 hours, although you may want to take your time and enjoy some scenic stops along the way. What’s more, arriving by car means no luggage restrictions and if you are bringing your four legged friend, it is definitely the easiest (and most affordable) option.
Read on for a checklist on what you need to bring, rules for driving in France, the best routes by road and worthy places to stop on-route.
Most UK insurance policies cover drivers on European roads, while some require an extra premium to extend comprehensive cover, which is usually a minimal fee. When it comes to breakdown cover, many UK policies also include cover when driving in Europe. For those whose policies don’t, it’s a good idea to arrange temporary cover. It’s also a good idea to check your vehicle’s tax and MOT are up-to-date.
It is worth noting, the first 5 items are included in an AA Euro Travel Kit, which you can buy online before you set off.
There are a few French road laws that British drivers should be aware of:
Cross the channel by catching a ferry from Dover to Calais or take the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais. The ferry is often cheaper but takes longer (90 minutes), whereas the tunnel is super fast to board and takes just 35 minutes. Ferry crossings also offer everyone a chance to stretch their legs and kids enjoy the novelty of boarding a boat. If you’re coming from East Sussex, it’s worth checking out the Newhaven to Dieppe ferry crossing – it’s around 3 hours long but often includes a lunch ticket and can work out very affordable. Whichever route you choose, book well in advance to get the best prices.
From Calais it takes around eight hours to drive to Morzine. It’s an easy to navigate, fairly traffic free route for first-time drivers on the continent. Traffic may appear around major cities in busy times, but usually its pretty clear.
If driving to Morzine from the north of England or Scotland, you have a couple of options. Either drive south to catch the ferry from Dover or take the overnight Hull to Rotterdam ferry. The second option is an overnight affair, but you can rest your head in a passenger cabin. Then the drive to Morzine is 10 hours from Rotterdam.
Whilst avoiding tolls might seem like a good idea to avoid costs, it really will add a great deal of time to your trip. Therefore, we recommend setting aside around €160 for the tolls and ensuring you have a credit card handy to pay for them – you don’t want to be struggling to find money or your card when at the toll machine. Remember that the machine will be on the opposite side to the driver (if you’re in a right-hand drive) so its a good idea to designate operating the machine to your passenger.
If the mountains are calling and you’re in a hurry you’ll find a good range of service stations with eateries and often, play areas, on-route, as well as road-side hotels. If you’re saving money for lunches on the mountain, budget hotel chains include F1 (the cheapest), Fasthotels and Ibis Budget. Family rooms can be booked from anywhere between €40 to €110.
If you’d like to get into holiday mode and include a stop somewhere interesting, there are some excellent options:
A pretty, Gothic city and the unofficial capital of the Champagne wine-growing. The city has a total of 4 UNESCO World Heritage sites and is a must for history fans.
France’s capital city needs little introduction, and continues to live up to its reputation as a global centre for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture.
Known for its traditional mustard, vineyard tours, gastronomic fair, historic buildings and elegant squares, this city is a worthy place to rest your head for a night and enjoy a memorable stroll and meal.
An unusual town, medieval Troyes features narrow, cobbled streets lined with colourful, half-timbered houses, mostly dating from the 16th century. Great restaurants and hotels can be found in the centre.
Both the Eurotunnel and ferry companies allow you to travel with your dog. Check out the information to decide which is best for you and your pet. Bring your best friend on the Eurotunnel from £22 each way; or £15 on the Dover – Calais crossing. As with humans, dogs must remain in the car during the tunnel crossing. On the ferry they must also remain inside your vehicle, however, you can visit your pet during the crossing.
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