Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Exploring the South of France

Mont Ventoux Summit

For the summer holidays, a group of us are planning on exploring some of the South of France by car his year.

There are a few things on the must-do list and these include timing it so we catch a mountain stage of this years Tour de France, do a little canoeing in the Ardeche, some camping in a wilderness area (national park) and check out at least one great French beach, possibly along the French Riviera somewhere.

The plans are very much in their infancy, but there will be six of us travelling (3 couples) and so what we thought we might do is hire a people carrier type car here in the UK and then catch the ferry crossing to France, drive down to the south and take it from there.

Another option is to catch a ferry to Spain, this leaves from Portsmouth and arrives in Bilbao in Northern Spain and whilst it takes 2 nights to get there and costs more, you do cut out about a 1000 kilometres of driving.

We had wanted to go towards the end of July, but because the Tour de France is starting in Monaco and travelling around France in an anti-clockwise direction this year, they will be in the Pyrenees mountains pretty early on in the race (the 5th, 6th and 7th I think) meaning that if we want to see it, we will have to travel a little earlier than planned, or wait until right t the end of the Tour when on the penultimate day it will be climbing the massive Mont Ventoux in the Provence region of Southern France and nicknamed the "Giant of Provence", or "The Bald Mountain". see main image.

.... decisions, decisions.....

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