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Old 05.12.2015, 17:25
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Driving advice requested - Calais to Geneva

I am driving from the UK to the Geneva area soon and while we normally take the ferry from Newcastle, for a variety of reasons this time we need to cross the channel and head down from Calais or Dunkirk.


The plan is to do the journey in one go, taking a late evening ferry and driving straight through the night. Clearly though I'll need to grab a few hours sleep in the car at a couple of convenient points on the way.


I've never driven that route through France before so for planning purposes, can anyone recommend a convenient place or two to break the journey? I'm thinking large, well-lit, relatively secure 24 hour service stations. I know it isn't ideal to do it that way, but this time we're going to have to.


Thank you!
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Old 05.12.2015, 17:40
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Re: Driving advice requested - Calais to Geneva

If you do the route from Dunkirk, then you will have 2 hours on a ferry. There is usually some seating that you can lay down on, the rule is that you must take your shoes off if you have your feet on the seating. Have seen the odd person bring a blanket and pillow with them.

sorry do not know any service areas to recommend. If you are interested in motel that IMO have secure parking, Premiere Classe do often have reasonable priced rooms, particularly if booked on-line. Believe you can cancel up to 6pm on the day - but check terms.

There are even cheaper hotels in France, but I can not remember the names of those chains.
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Old 05.12.2015, 20:23
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Re: Driving advice requested - Calais to Geneva

Agreed- madness unless you are sharing the driving with someone. For the sake of about £50 for a double room in Calais- just not worth the risk- honestly. Neither for you nor for other road users. Cheers
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Old 05.12.2015, 21:10
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Re: Driving advice requested - Calais to Geneva

We did it once like that from Geneva to Calais and I was the only driver.

All I can say is that we've never done it like that again.
It's almost impossible to stay alert even if you don't fall asleep.

Night driving is much safer (IMO) if you go to bed relatively early and then get up at around 03:00am and set off then.
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Old 05.12.2015, 21:23
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Re: Driving advice requested - Calais to Geneva

Geneva to Calais in a day, with 3 stops is a doddle- but not to Newcastle = 15 hrs without stops! Dangerous for you- dangerous for others too.
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Old 05.12.2015, 21:29
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Re: Driving advice requested - Calais to Geneva

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Geneva to Calais in a day, with 3 stops is a doddle- but not to Newcastle = 15 hrs without stops! Dangerous for you- dangerous for others too.
Where did he say he was driving from Newcastle to Geneva in a day?
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Old 05.12.2015, 21:30
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Re: Driving advice requested - Calais to Geneva

.....err, I didn't say I was driving from Newcastle. Coming from SE England and coming off a run of night duties so will be well rested/acclimatised.

I was just asking for info about rest stops....I'm fully aware I'm operating in my WOCL (spend plenty of time there) so will obviously try and nap if poss. Please don't assume I'm reckless!

Still need the info if anyone has it...
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Old 05.12.2015, 22:11
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Re: Driving advice requested - Calais to Geneva

We did Slough to Lyon in one go like that at night and stopped at a couple of places in France on the way down but I'm sorry I can't remember where they were or what they were called.
One of them sticks in my mind because as we pulled into the parking space the headlights revealed loads of rats playing on the grass. I probably wouldn't have recommended that one.

It was clear to me from your OP that your intention was to drive Calais Geneva in one go which is totally doable.
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Old 05.12.2015, 23:09
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Re: Driving advice requested - Calais to Geneva

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It was clear to me from your OP that your intention was to drive Calais Geneva in one go which is totally doable.
We've done it loads of times in one day (Calais - Annecy actually) but I was pointing out that for a single driver, setting of late evening is not without risk.

If you stay awake and alert, it's fine.

To the OP. Most of the big service areas should be fine to stop at for a nap.

The ones to avoid are the ones near Calais and the ones on the autoroute du soleil (both of which are not applicable in your case).
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Old 07.12.2015, 09:28
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Re: Driving advice requested - Calais to Geneva

Major service areas from Calais down as far as Dole are:

de Rely, de Souchez, Barelle, d'Urvilles, Mont de Nizy, Reims-Champagne, Soummesous, Troyes, Chateauvillain, Langres-Perrogney, Dijon-Brognon, de Pont. All of these have fuel, food, toilets, etc. Can't advise beyond there as we get off the motorway and head across country at Dole. That takes us about 6.5 hours including filling up at the Total (10 minutes), lunch (25 minutes), and a short break later (10-15 minutes).

There's a cheap Total petrol station off the next roundabout after you leave the ferry port. The address is here:

Z.I. Marcel Doret - 585, rue Costes et Bellonte, 62100 Calais, France

Diesel was 1.11 for their Premier brand in September, petrol's 15 or so centimes more - this compared to motorway prices of between 1.23 and 1.27 for diesel. Not sure if it's open 24/7 though, even being a truck stop.
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