► Option no tolls at allThis is not the most sensible option, since the few euros saved by not paying any tolls - even for motorhomes - will be offset by a longer route with more stress, and lots of stopping and starting as you go through built-up areas, rather than skirting round them.
But for those who really want to cross France without paying a single toll, the details of the no tolls at all option are indicated below.
► Option minimal tollsPaying a few euros in tolls on a 1000 km journey pays for itself in time saved and less stress. This route offers the best balance between speed and toll costs for driving from Calais to the Spanish border at Irun, near Bayonne. The toll sections that are almost always worth paying, given the time or hassle they save, are highlighted in salmon pink on the route guide below.
About-France.com recommended toll-saving route: Calais > Abbeville > Rouen > Chartres > Tours > Poitiers > Angoulême > Bordeaux.
Leave Calais on the A16 / E402 motorway following signs for Boulogne, Amiens. The short toll section starts just before Boulogne.
Just before Abbeville, take the free A28 / E402 motorway to Rouen.
Entering Rouen the A28 becomes the N28. Follow on down through the tunnel, then across the Seine.
After that, follow signs for Paris and Evreux then Evreux & Orleans . You will join the A13 motorway west of Rouen for another short toll section which you will pay on exit.
About 10 km south or Rouen, leave the A13 motorway for the A154 motorway. Toll gate at the intersection.
Then follow the A154 > N154 dual carriageway almost to Dreux.At Dreux, follow signs for Chartres and Orleans.
After Dreux, the N154 is almost all modern dual-carriageway as far as Chartres.
From Chartres follow the N 10 to Chateaudun, Vendôme and Tours. This is mostly single carriageway for 130 km, but there are sections of dual carriageway, notably round Vendôme. Before reaching Tours, the N10 becomes the D 910.
On approaching Tours, follow signs for the A10 motorway, and join it at junction 19. Skirt round Tours on the toll motorway, then exit at junction 23, following the sign for D910 to Montbazon
Follow the D 910 all the way to Poitiers, skirting round the city. After Poitiers, the D910 once more turns into the N 10 , which you now follow almost as far as Bordeaux. It is dual carriageway virtually all the way. Join the free A10 / E5 motorway shortly before Bordeaux, then follow signs for Bayonne.
The A63 south of BordeauxSouth of Bordeaux, follow the A63 toll motorway as far as the the Spanish border. The cost (April 2017 ) is 14.90€ for a car, about 50% more for a car plus caravan; but this will save about an hour in normal traffic conditions. The last 50 km of this toll motorway, southwest of Magescq (exit 11) , are particularly recommended, as the Bayonne area is built-up and busy. The A63 links directly at the border to Spain's Autopista A-8, and thereafter to the Spanish motorway network..
Note however that this motorway is not pay-on-exit; it is pay-at-toll-points, of which there are four. The two most northerly of these can be avoided by leaving the motorway between exits 18 and 17, and again between exits 12 and 11. Time lost: about a quarter of an hour. Tolls saved: 3.50 Euros saved twice (more than that if you have a camper van). This is not recommended for trucks, as they have to follow a longer alternative route.
At exit 12, follow D947 for 1 km towards Castets. Then left onto D378. When this starts running along the western side of the motorway, fork left onto D10E. Rejoin the motorway at Magesq (exit 11).
Hotels along the route - all very easy to find
Coloured markers on the map indicate handy hotels close to the road. Click any marker for details. Direction indications for reaching hotels are for southbound traffic.
► Continue for Through Spain with no tolls.
easy driving to the Mediterranean coast.
Or Map of free motorways in Spain.
Or return to About-Fance.com home page
Or return to Driving in France
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