to the south of
from Calais via Reims and Dijon
Route guide, map and hotels
A26 - A39
/ E17 Route guide
route from Calais to the Alps, Switzerland, Italy and Provence
hotels that are very easy to
Click any marker on the map
and a bubble will show up with details of the hotels in that location.
Click link for further details and to book. Key:
classic independent hotels with
Four-star and quality three star
Budget and economy
hotels such as Ibis
Independent budget hotels
Leave Calais on the A26
autoroute / motorway following signs for Reims
Carry on past Arras
always following A 26 Reims
Do not take the A1 in the direction of Paris, whatever your TomTom or
Satnav tells you. Continue straght on following the A26
A few kilometres after the the toll station at the northern
approach to Reims
the A26 joins the A4
Motorway. There is a cluster of hotels just off the A4 motorway at exit
22, Reims Tinqueux, immediately after the motorways join.
Otherwise, keep following the direction Chalon en Champagne
and Strasbourg. Follow the autoroute A4 almost as far as Chalons en
Champagne, where the motorways divide: take the right-hand lane to
rejoin the A26
following signs for Troyes
At Sommesous, after Châlons, there is a
small service area with restaurant and snack bar, which is not usually
too busy. If you visit this service area, take care when leaving.
Unlike most French motorway service areas, there is no separation
between northbound and southbound traffic, and it is therefore possible
to rejoin the motorway in either direction; make sure that you remember
to follow Troyes if going south, Reims if going north.
At Troyes, the A26
meets the A5 motorway. From here keep
At Chaumont, the A5 turns into the A31
, which you now follow as far as Dijon.
At Dijon you will meet an intersection
with the A39
motorway. At this point you have two options.
Either continue down the A31 > A6 in the direction of
Chalons-sur-Saône and Lyon, or else turn off onto
Either route will take you to Lyon.
route is a bit shorter but far
busier. There is an Ibis
(*** with pool) on the southbound motorway
service area at Macon - St. Albain, just north of Macon. If
you choose the A31, just keep straight on as far as Lyon, where, if
heading further south, you will be directed round the full
length of the orbital motorway. Traffic gets very dense after
sur Saone, where the A31 joins the A6 from Paris, France's main
route is much quieter and easier driving (not many trucks / HGVs), but
a little longer. If your destination is Switzerland
or Italy, the A39 route via Dole is strongly advised. For the south of
France, follow the A39 motorway to its end at Bourg-en-Bresse
where it joins the A40. Twenty minutes before Bourg, there is an Ibis
(**) actually on the "Poulet de Bresse" service area,
which is a fairly quiet service area in the middle of the country. The
hotel is well back from the motorway.
After Bourg keep following Lyon or Geneva/ Milan depending
on your ultimate destination. On approaching Lyon, follow directions
for Grenoble or Marseille, depending on your destination.
To skirt round Lyon, follow signs for St Exupéry airpor
then keep following Valence & Marseille, or Grenoble, depending
on your destination. If following Marseille, take great care when you
join the A 43
Grenoble-Lyon motorway, just after the airport. Traffic bound for the
south must take the next exit off this busy eight-lane (2 x 4)
motorway, after just five kilometres. The exit is not the easiest of
motorway intersections, so keep the signs for Marseille firmly in view,
as you do a 270° exit onto the A
Lyon outer ring-road.
From then on just follow "Marseille". This will
quickly lead to the A7 Rhone valley motorway; at Orange, traffic bound
for Languedoc and Spain branches off onto the A9 motorway. There is an Ibis
(**) at the Montpellier-Fabrègues service
southwest of Montpellier.
routes through France to Switzerland:
Traffic heading for central
has a choice of routes after Dole. One
possibility is to go via A39
motorway to Besançon,
leave A36 at exit 3
Lausanne or Neuchâtel . Another route is to leave the A39 at
for Poligny and then follow ordinary roads across the Jura mountains
and into Switzerland.
For eastern Switzerland
follow A36 to Mulhouse, then follow Basel.