Driving from the UK to Chamonix for your mountain biking holiday with 10fifty has its benefits and can be almost fun when done right. To help you aviod some of the pitfalls and get things more right than wrong we have put togther some infomation for you.
of driving include: -
Going the distance
Chamonix is in the Northern Alps which means that for those travelling from the UK it is 896km (556miles) from the French Channel ferry ports, which means a good eight hour+ drive, if you include stops, plus whatever you need to drive to get to Dover/Portsmouth. Do you really want to spend that much time in the car? Are you and your car prepared and used to going for that distance?! We would recommend that you get European breakdown cover on your vehicle (AA.com) and also have it serviced/checked before you start. It is VERY expensive to get your car towed back to the UK!
It is a requirement in France that you carry spare bulbs (indicator, brake light, headlight etc.) a warning triangle and first aid kit in your vehicle. You can check the latest requirements on sites like theaa.com. Make sure you are properly prepared as the authorities aren't afraid to dish out an on the spot fine. You also want to think about the journey, if you are doing it overnight some of the passengers might want to sleep so bring some pillows. We have also found that the food at the French Motorway Services leaves a lot to be dersired. We now prefer to take our own sandwiches and just pick up the hot and cold drinks from the services.
As its a long way make sure you have got sufficient entertainment / music for you and your passengers we have become converts to the mighty iPod, its a lot easier than carrying 100 CDs with you!
The Channel Crossing costs vary a lot. We have found that people trying to book ferries from Portmouth mid-season can paid more than £400; the Chunnel tends to keep prices fairly static at around £200 for the return fare. Don't fall into the trap of thinking you can buy two of the cheap evening trips for each direction and not use the return. The EuroTunnel woke up to this and will automatically charge your credit card for a single fare if you do not use both portions of a ticket.
Once you get across the Channel you have to pay for fuel and tolls. Its 556 miles each way so you work out your vehicle's fuel economy! Tolls will be 60Euros+ for a car, they are significantly more for a minibus or van as we find out every year when we drive down.
We think that Calais is the easiest place to cross for most, so from Calais...
1. You will
probably exit the Tunnel / Ports onto the A16 towards Saint-Omer, Arras,
If you are driving please phone or email the office a we will supply you with an exact location of the chalet. If you want a marker when looking on maps of Chamonix we are close to the Aiguille du Midi lift base station.
Those directions probably need some more flesh on them so why not visit the viamichelin.com web site and get some directions - to make it easy ->>>
What you could do is buy a map, they cost a lot less than driving 100km in the wrong direction as one 10fifty mountain bike guide can testify!
Remember if you are driving to your Mountain Bike Holiday
Talk to the office and we will give you the exact location
Take a warning triangle, spare bulbs and first aid kit
The speed limit on the French autoroute is 130kph in the dry and 110kph in the wet
Make sure your bikes are secure, or else it will be a holiday to remember for the wrong reasons.
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