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Travelling by car from Zurich to Calais

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Kundapur
Kundapur
2 posts
new member
Aug 8, 2020 - 8:14 AM

We are travelling from Zurich to UK and wondered if anyone has advice on some good small places to stop off? In this current situation we are happy to go a bit off route for somewhere small with a good restaurant! Thanks

Anna
Anna
929 posts
top member &
moderator
Aug 8, 2020 - 9:20 AM in reply to Kundapur

Hi Kundapur,

Welcome to MySwissAlps.

We drove to UK twice. Both times with small kids and both time we split the journey into 2 days, stopping in Reims the first trip, and in Arras the second trip. Both lovely French towns with lots to offer.

Regards,

Anna

1960man
1960man
2735 posts
top member
Aug 8, 2020 - 11:02 PM in reply to Anna

make that at least 100 for me! (though more often from Geneva in my youth)

1960man
1960man
2735 posts
top member
Aug 8, 2020 - 11:26 PM in reply to Kundapur

You can stop off just about anywhere. Having travelled by car between UK and Switzerland up to 3 times a years since 1960, I think I've stopped over in just about as many different places.

Obviously it depends on when you set off, or when you aim to arrive wherever you are going on the Channel coast.

The usual places for a stop over are those situated 'roughly half way' between Switzerland and the UK, highlighted in bold in my recommended route.

Firstly, I recommend the following route (includes a bit of mountain scenery on the pass road across the Vosges Mountains):

Zurich - Basel - Mulhouse - Colmar - D415 - Col du Bonhomme - Fraize - St Dié - Baccarat (famous for Crystal works) - N59 - Lunéville - A33 Nancy by pass - N4 - Vitry le Francois - N44 - Chalons en Champagne - Reims - A26 - Calais.

Particular recommendation is any of the hotels in the central square in Chalons en Champagne (which has many timbered buildings, such as the Ibis Styles). Avoid Reims (too big). Vitry le F is nice and small.

An alternative is to divert off the N4 at Ligny en Barrois and stay at Bar le Duc, a historic town (Bar in French means a place Barr- is a pre-Indo-European linguistic root meaning 'natural barrier'. - there a series of places called Bar along a long ridge in that part of France )

Arno
Arno
14360 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 9, 2020 - 8:08 AM

Hi Kundapur,

It may or may not make sense to stop within the short Swiss leg of your trip, but if you do, you can consider Olten (detour) and Rheinfelden (en route). Both are good for a short walk, nice small town center and lunch.

Basel is worth it too, but bigger and parking will be more difficult:

Kundapur
Kundapur
2 posts
new member
Aug 12, 2020 - 10:18 AM

Many thanks for your replies! We stopped at ‘Hotel Restaurant du lac De Madine’ between Nancy and Chalons (it was extremely difficult finding a place as everywhere was fully booked surprisingly! The second night, again difficult to find somewhere but had a lovely evening in St Omer - would stay here again - easy parking and some nice restaurants!

Thanks for your replies

Ildiko
Ildiko
1008 posts
top member &
moderator
Aug 12, 2020 - 7:40 PM in reply to Kundapur

Hi Kunapur,

indeed, hotels are quite overbooked nowadays, also in other countries from my experience. I was surprised too.

I am glad you maneged to find some hotels on your way.

All the bests,

Ildiko

Last modified on Aug 12, 2020 - 7:42 PM by Ildiko

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