Fly or Drive to the Alps??

Inland paddling
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Fly/ Drive North Wales to Briancon

Fly
5
15%
Drive
28
85%
 
Total votes: 33

Michael Fryer
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Fly or Drive to the Alps??

Post by Michael Fryer » Sun Feb 05, 2006 11:24 pm

Hello,

Planning to go to Briancon area in Whit half term. Last year we flew and hired a car.

Looking at the economics, looks cheaper to drive. But not sure if this is the best bet, taking into account all aspects e.g having to drive for 17 ish hours. (if thats indeed how long it would take from North Wales?). and all the other issues that I haven't thought of.


Go on whats everyones thoughts

Fly or Drive?

Thankyou in advance

Michael

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DanH
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Post by DanH » Sun Feb 05, 2006 11:46 pm

Drive down to Dover Friday night and crash in the Travel Inn!

Saturday morning, get the early ferry (7am ish) to Calais and drive!!! You can be in Briancon in time for tea (5pm ish)!!!

I've done this a few times, driving all the way on my own and it's perfectly feasible! Even easier if you and share the driving!

And you can be on the river first thing Sunday morning!

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RichA
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Post by RichA » Mon Feb 06, 2006 1:48 am

We get an evening ferry from Dover and drive through the night. Arrive in the morning and can paddle something in the afternoon/evening. Sharing the driving between two is fine, and we had an extra passenger to keep the driver awake too. We thought about flying as a cheaper option, but the car hire meant that it would be about the same as driving, and a lot more hassle.

ChrisBainbridge
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Post by ChrisBainbridge » Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:05 am

We have split the group this time. Two flying and renting a car, the other seven driving in 2 cars. The plan is to leave mid-ish friday afternoon. Get a ferry, drive for a n hour or two and then stop in an ibis or similar for the night. Drive the following day.

Next question over the col st laurent or round the bottom past embrun?
Chris

steveparry
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Post by steveparry » Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:20 am

So Mr Fryer...shall we drive matey?? So this is why you've been Mr. Procrastination. I'm happy to drive if you are. Tryweryn on Saturday? Wish I'd come, my house was full of English mates watching the game...oh it was awful. Got to face work with the same people today...fun, fun, fun.
Steve

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DanH
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Post by DanH » Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:43 am

ChrisBainbridge wrote:Next question over the col st laurent or round the bottom past embrun?
It depends where yo want to end up, if you are going to the Briancon end of the valley, I would go over the Col St Laurent (cracking scenery if you're early enough in the day). However, if you are staying down in Embrun, I'd be tempted to go around the botom. The difficulty in deciding which way to go depends on where you're staying, how far up or down the valley makes which way most feasible???

herbert
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Post by herbert » Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:46 am

If you do it right, you can leave on Friday just after work and get a river in on Saturday morning. Haven't yet been able to do that with cheap airlines.

Going over Col du Lautaret to Briancon is faster than going over Col Bayard to Embrun.

a little bit special
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Post by a little bit special » Mon Feb 06, 2006 4:20 pm

If you cycle, you could be there in a week!

Why isn't this on the poll?[/img]
Chris

"If you keep you head up you may trip over things, but if you watch your feet you'll miss out on all the good stuff"

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Frank B
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Post by Frank B » Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:15 pm

Hi Michael

We drove last year, two of us shared the driving and we drove with stops only for food, fuel and calls of nature. We had a trailer with a motorbike (Honda Fireblade !) for the shuttles which slowed us down a liitle bit, journey took about 22 hours from Warrington to Guillestre (only a few km beyond Briancon.

We thought it worked quite well so we are doing the same again in July.

Frank (Wigan CC)

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buck197
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Post by buck197 » Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:21 pm

Can I ask if anyone has any views on flying to Geneva and then the easiest way to transfer to Briancon in June. I'll be using borrowed gear whils I'm out there. Are there good buses/trains from Geneva to Briancon? I don't want to hire a car for a week if i can help it.

Many thanks for any info.

Steve B
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Post by Steve B » Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:23 pm

Do you mean you have to travel via Geneva for some other reason? Most people fly to Turin.
Steve Balcombe

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Ryan Clements
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Post by Ryan Clements » Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:25 pm

Frank B wrote: We had a trailer with a motorbike (Honda Fireblade !) for the shuttles which slowed us down a liitle bit,
I can imagine that on aggregate you made the time back whilst doing the shuttles! A Fireblade for running the shuttles- the extravagance....... the fun!

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Dave @ TRC
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Post by Dave @ TRC » Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:53 pm

Make sure your car will make it as we broke down last year .we had £4000 pounds worth of boat and gear nicked out of the car and caravan. The car TVs bits of the car everything and that was the recovery guys. The robbing bast**ds.


So make sure you've got holiday ins boys and girls.

We did so looking on the bright side thou. New boats lol.

D.A.V.E.
Suicide is man's way of telling God, "You can't fire me - I quit."



WWW.THERIVERCREW.CO.UK

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buck197
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Post by buck197 » Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:43 pm

Steve B, living in Plymouth It is easier to fly from Bristol and there are no flights ot Turin. I could go to London but that adds 3 hours minimum on the trip. Geneva is 250 km from Briancon so should be quite doable.

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Frank B
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Post by Frank B » Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:53 pm

Ryan Clements wrote

Frank B wrote:
We had a trailer with a motorbike (Honda Fireblade !) for the shuttles which slowed us down a liitle bit,


I can imagine that on aggregate you made the time back whilst doing the shuttles! A Fireblade for running the shuttles- the extravagance....... the fun!




Frank replied
Alas, at my age (55) I did not fancy going on the back of a 170mph motorbike, Bob (64ish) went on the back instead. Must say though for a mph per ££ ratio a K registered Fireblade must take some beating, faster than any Ferrari from A to B for half the cost of a Ferrari cambelt change.

ChrisMac
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Post by ChrisMac » Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:30 pm

We tend to drive. Catch the 10:30 pm ish ferry from Dover and are in Briancon by late morning / lunchtime.

ChrisMac

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God
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Post by God » Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:44 pm

I am very sorry for your inconvenience of having to tow the fireblade, so I humbly offer my assistance that I could to take it down for you.

Its okay you would not need to thank me.

Jak (about to be let loose on a motorbike)

Steve B
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Post by Steve B » Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:49 pm

Sounds ideal for you Jak - no doors to leave unlocked :)
Steve Balcombe

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Martyn Read
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Forget driving

Post by Martyn Read » Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:20 pm

I have a 50% sucess rate.

Broke down in a friends van on my second trip, and someone wrote my car off neat lyon last yr. No way am I driving again...


Martyn

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Stuart J Woodward
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fly or drive to the Alps

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:18 pm

Canoe Control the UK's most experienced Alpine Kayak School.

After nearly18 years of traveling to the French Alps, I have tried every road route thats possible, be it Auto Route or Route National. Also most ways by plane or train.

If you have to fly into Geneva you can get a train to Grenoble, then the slow train through the mountains to Briancon. If coming from the west-country why not fly from Exeter to Paris, then TGV for just over 3 hrs. to Oulx in Italy. Oulx is only 1 hr from Briancon with a bus service 3 times a day, the bus will actually wait for the train if it is late. Or fly into Paris take the sleeper to Briancon. There is also a great bar in Oulx station I don't think the deco has changed in forty years. The smell of rich Italian coffee greets you as you walk into the bar, which is full of characters straight out of the Italian Job.

If you fly into Turin Airport you can get the train shuttle into Turin then train to Oulx and pick up the bus to Briancon. This is not so bad as it may sound. Some of our clients have done this, left the UK in the morning and are sat down to dinner with us in the early evening.

You can leave London by train Friday evening and be in Briancon almost in time for breakfast. One of the cheapest way for a single person has to be by coach, overnight coach to Grenoble have breakfast at the Gare then slow train to Briancon through the mountains

If you driving and are in the South most will go either ferry Dover etc. or tunnel.

But people from the west-country could take the fast ferry from Portsmouth, saves that long drive to Dover. Into Le Harve RN to Orleans then Auto Route, RN to Lyon. This saves on fuel and toll. You also get a couple of hours rest on the ferry instead of that horrendous drive to Dover.

Just a few ways to think about.

All the best.

Stuart.
S.J.Woodward

Will
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Post by Will » Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:27 pm

Ryanair fly to Grenoble now which is a big bonus... Although the airport isn't really in Grenoble - think it's about 25km away.

However, it's about a 2hour (ish) drive from Grenoble to Briancon - or you can get the train as Stuart points out.
If you do it right, you can leave on Friday just after work and get a river in on Saturday morning. Haven't yet been able to do that with cheap airlines.
I'm flying out for a ski break in early April. Getting Sunday morning 7am flight from Stansted - arrives 9am. Get bags, get car, 10.30am. I expect to be in resort (Monetier - at top of Guisane) by 1pm. Unpack, grab kit, should have done first runs by 2pm and be having beer in Bar L'Alpen by 5pm at the very latest.

We're staying at Stansted Saturday night but potentially we could leave home in Birmingham at 2am, and be in the Alps by 1pm - 11 hours - not bad.

If you were paddling in the summer, you could be getting on the Romanche at Noon, and have enough time to blast down a guisane section before heading to the campsite.

Anyway....

I've never done the Turin-Briancon via public transport but know a few people who have who managed it despite me not expecting them to.


Having driven out a few times, it's ok (and cheaper) if you can share the driving, but if you can afford to fly-drive (and can sort out the boat/roof rack logistics) this is much more civilised.

Driving your own car and you have to include the cost of extra insurance for europe/other drivers, chance of breakdown, etc etc which adds to the cost.
Last edited by Will on Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Stuart J Woodward
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fly or drive to the Alps

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:32 pm

Will mentioned roof racks, we have some great blow up roof racks in AS. Watersports. You pump them up after they are fixed and they really are very good. But don't let the hire people see you putting them on.

Stuart
S.J.Woodward

Will
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Post by Will » Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:37 pm

Very true. I have once managed to hire a car (two actually!) with roof racks (in Portugal). It was through holidayautos.co.uk

However, when we turned up we were told they weren't available. After several phone calls to the UK and an hours' wait, it got sorted. We also had to pay 10Euros per day for the privilege... and they weren't very good roof racks.

Have never used the inflatable ones but they sound like a cracking idea to me. As Stuart says, pick the car that's furthest from the hire office... (or leave your mates in the airport terminal with the boats and go arrange the roof in the airport car park!)

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