has now been in operation over 15 Years
has become for many holidaymakers an established "old friend". a country that
is fondly revisited year after year. It is very easy to get to either by air,
sea, the channel tunnel or road. There are now more than 6,000 kms of motorways
covering the country and connecting to other European motorway networks. It is
the largest country in western Europe after Russia and Germany.
It can offer a wide variety of holidays to suit all tastes. It has coastlines
bordering the Channel, the North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean.
There are the mountain ranges - the Alps, the Pyrenees and the attrractive valleys
of the rivers Loire, Rhone and Dordogne and of course the medieval villages, castles
and picturesque countryside of Brittany, Normandy, Provence, the Dordogne and
the French Riviera(Cote d'Azur). Architectural and interest abounds through out
the country and there are many festivals.
French are noted for their love of good food and wines. You will normally eat
well wherever you go and will find the regional speciality dishes well worth sampling.
South of France, like some of its Mediterranean
neighbours is a sunshine refuge during the depths of winter. Here you can enjoy
excellent temperatures and look up to the snow covered Alps that are only a short
drive away from Monaco, Nice & Cannes.
is the only country in Europe that experiences three disticnt climates - continental
- maritime and Mediterranean.The country is some 550,000 square kilometres in
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(La Corse) has breath taking secenery,fabulous winding
roads, glorious beaches and some 1000 km of dramatic coastlines.It is described
as the "Isle of Beauty". It is in the Tyrrhenian Sea in in the western Mediterranean
— 160 kms south west of the French Riviera and 14 km the north of Sardinia and
82 kms west of the coast of Tuscany.
There are many direct flights and you can take the car ferry from Nice, Marseille,
Toulon or from Genoa, Livorno & Savona or via Sardinia. The island is has a wealth
of history and the cusine is excellent. Administratively, it forms two Départements
and one Region of France. Haute Corse is to the north and its capital is Bastia.
To the south is Corse du Sud with its capital in Ajaccio, which is also the regional
capital and is the seat of the regional government — the Collectivité Territoriale
de Corse (CTC). Thus Corsica is in the EU and the currency is the Euro.
French is the official language, but a large number of Corscians speak Corsican.
The climate is a Mediterranean climate at coastal levels, but once you climb up
into hills it becomes much cooler. (It goes up to approximately 9,000 feet from
are long — May to October and winters much colder with snow on the mountain peaks.Monte
Cinto 2706m and Monte San Petrone 1767m.
principal towns are: Ajaccio (where Napoleon
was born in 1769) It is Corsica's largest town and the administrative centre and
is on the west side. There are excellent shopping facilities and plents of places
for eating and drinking. There is the Musée Fesch that has the most important
collection of Italian in France.
It is on the southern tip of the Island and the closest town to Sardinia. A very
picturesque town that is perched up high above the sea on white limestone cliffs.
The towns has plenty of shady narrow streets and squares. There is a natural harbour
— ideal for yachts from all over the Mediterranean.
The town is located on a sweeping bay, fringed by the Balagne hills. It has a
marina that is perfect for stopping at a local café and watching life going buy
whilst enjoying a drink or two. The town has a maze of closely woven streets leading
up to the citadel. There is a wide sandy beach offering watersports.
Porto Vecchio: is a charming town with a maze of narrow streets with smart
shops, restaurants and bars.It is described as
a sophisticated resort with some excellent beaches.It is located in the south
east of the island Sartene Is high up in the hills and a few miles inland on the
west side a short drive from Propriano on the coast to the north. Excellent
selection of restaurants there to choose from.
towns: Porto — on the west, Bastia — in the north east, Cargese on the west
coast and Aléria on the east coast.
Euro - (€)
Voltage: European 2 prong round plug.
Country Code: +33
Telephone number: pan-EU Emergency 112 Can be
used in all EU Countries and it can be dialled from a locked mobile or a mobile
with no sim card.
Emergency telephone numbers:
SAMU - Ambulance Urgencies médicales des grandes agglomerations
Police - Secours ou gendarmarie
Fire - Pompier
-incendies et urgences médicales
Drive on the RIGHT
of France in 2006:
60,656,178 Land Area: 547,030 Km2
to French registration plates from 2009 Here
Driving Tips (some of thisinformation supplied by Holiday
Built-up-areas: 31mph/50kmh outside towns: 56mph/90kmh priority roads and toll-free
motorways: 68mph/110kmh toll motorways: 81mph/130kmh
and driving: Blood alcohol limit is 50mg - barely 1 unit of alcohol. (0.5
grams of alcolol per litre of blood) In the UK it is 0.8.
on major roads has priority. Where two major roads cross, traffic coming from
the right has priority as warned by the sign 'danger priorité à droite'. Where
there is no sign, give way to the right.
on a roundabout has priority and signs saying 'cedez le passage' or 'vous n'avez
pas la prioritè'. In some areas the old rule of traffic entering roundabouts having
priority applies so be cautious where there are no signs
a driver flashes his headlights in France, he is generally indicating that he
has priority and you should give way. This can be confusing as in the UK it usually
indicates that a car is usually indicates that a car is letting you out.
for someone waiting at a zebra crossing is a fineable offence for holding up traffic.
The crossings indicate where is best to cross.
not overtake a tram when it is stationary with passengers alighting or boarding.
lights don't show amber after red. Flashing amber means continue with caution.
is compulsory for front and rear seat occupants to wear seat belts if fitted.
Carrying hazard warning lights or a warning triangle is compulsory. It is recommended
that visitors equip their vehicle with replacement bulbs. From July 2008
A reflective vest is also complusory (like in Italy and Spain - In Spain you must
carry reflective vests for all occupants).In-car
alcohol tester / alcohol breathalyser: By
spring 2012 it will be obligatory for all drivers in France to carry a breathalyser
(éthylotest) in the glove box and not in the boot. Costs will be from around €2
January 2013 - From Total website
- En cas de contrôle routier, le défaut de possession d'un éthylotest serait sanctionné
par une amende de 11 euros à partir du 1er mars 2013. Un décret a été publié en
ce sens au Journal officiel du mardi 30 octobre 2012. L'éthylotest donne un indice
de la présence d'alcool dans l'air expiré. En France, Il est interdit de conduire
en cas de concentration d'alcool dans l'air expiré égale ou supérieure à 0,25
milligrammes par litre. Source : service-public.fr.
you are stopped by traffic police, the lack of having a breathalyzer will mean
you will be fined 11 euros from 1 March 2013 as per the decree that was published
on Tuesday, October 30, 2012. The breath test gives an indication of the presence
of alcohol in the breath. In France, it is forbidden to drive when alcohol concentration
in exhaled air greater than or equal to 0.25 milligrams per liter. Source:
Cameras:There are more and more speed cameras in France (useful web site is
controleradar.org/) They usually have a warning sign a few metres or so before
you see the camera and it is often set on a dual carriageway in the central reservation
to capture traffic on both sides of the road. They are much nearer to ground level
than those found in Britain and Ireland. They are often located on motorways on
more dangerous sections particularly when the speed limit is reduced to 110 kmh.
Remember if you are driving a hire car your fine will be passed onto you by the
car rental company.
you are driving on foreign plates, don't think you are safe from prosection now.
A letter in the August/September 2007 edition of "The Riviera Reporter"
concerned someone whose son had passed an Italian radar camera that flashed
him. The fine was passed onto the French authorities to pursue via the local Prefecture.
The same writer also knew of someone who had been speeding in Switzerland and
the fine demand went overeas. According to The Riviera Reporter "Harmanisation
and intra-EU cooperation is under way and not only fines will have to be paid,
but soon points will be deducted from your licence no mater where the offence
was committed. This will include offences in the UK and any other EU country as
well as Switzerland"
Detectors: It is illegal to use these and you can be fined up to 1,500
and lose 2 points of your license. However it is not illegal to download a map
of where the speedcameras are from the French Government website www.securiteroutiere.equipment.gouv.fr
the April /May 2011 edition of The
Riviera Reporter "Time-lapse
traps (radars tronçons),
which measure average speed between two distant
points, are being installed on major traffic arteries throughout France. This
means that drivers can no longer slow down where they know there’s a speed camera
only to accelerate afterwards. Licence plate recognition technology will be put
to full use here. In the Bordeaux region they are testing a system that can recognise
lorries and coaches which have different speed limitations from passenger cars"
The February /
March 2012 edition provided the following updates: Radar
detectors - After much debate, devices that detect speed cameras are now formally
forbidden. In theory, using a device that actively warns of cameras is now punishable
with a €1500 fine and the loss of six points. It is generally accepted that passive
devices which show known speed camera positions without detecting them actively
are acceptable if they are dubbed "danger zone warning devices".
2012, 400 new fixed radar traps will be installed and there will no longer be
advance-warning panels on roads equipped with them.
to French registration plates from 2009 - Black on White registration plates on
French cars from 2009.
the 15th April 2009 the département number will no longer be on the French registration
plate. The registration plates will no longer be black on white at the front and
black on yellow at the rear as in the UK, but black on white on the front and
rear as in Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Poland and many
other European countries.
are made up of two letters, three numbers and two letters these are separated
by hyphens(e.g. DE-354-FG) and will be allocated to a vehicle for life unlike
presently if the owner moves from département to département. The new plates do
not contain any element that identifies where the car owner lives.The Government
claimed that this would facilitate police dealing with stolen or suspect vehicles.
There was opposition from the suppression of department numbers (75,62,48,06 etc)
on the registration plates and there was a Government climbdown. A car owner may
add the official logo of their a French département to the their new style plate
together with the département number below it on the right hand side of the number
plate. This does not have to be the département where the owner lives.
hand cars: The new regulations apply to second hand cars from the 15th June
2009 will get these as well when la carte gris (registration document) is updated
with a new address or owner.
you are moving to France from another EU country you can keep your old British,
Irish, German registration plates, but you must display where relevant Contrôle
Technique. However if you are caught by a speed camera, don't think your foreign
plates will help you.According to Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau the British
are the worst followed by the Germans. Drivers will be tracked down to their French
home address or via the home country of the registration plate.
Holidays in France - There are eleven jours feriés
years day (Jour de l'an) - January 1, Easter
Monday (Pâques lundi), Labour
Day (Fête du premier mai) - 1st May, Victory
in Europe 1945(Fête de la Victoire 1945; Fête du huitième
mai) - 8th May, Ascension
Day (Thursday), Pentecost,
14 - Bastille Day(Fête nationale), August
15 - Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Assomption), November
1st -All Saints Day (La Toussaint), November
11 -Armistice Day 1918 (Jour d'armistice) and December
25 - Christmas Day (Noël)
in countries like Britain and Ireland, if the public holiday
falls on a weekend then there is no additional daqys holiday
Diesel & Service Sations
Service Station - la station service
Services - une aire de service
area on motorway (Toilets, parking etc) - une aire de repos
petrol - l'essence sans plomb
- le gasoil
fill it up with fuel - faire le plein
service - libre-service
the tyre pressure - Vérifier
la pression de pneus
checking station - serice de conflage
- l'autoroute (A)
- la route nationale (N)
- la route départementale (D)
Road - le péage
phone - une borne d'appel d'urgence
Lights - les feux
the insurance4carrental.com guide
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