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Travel By Car

Route from Calais to Les Coches

Driving time from Calais to Les Coches :  9 hours

Distance from Calais to Les Coches :  967 kms

ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENT :  A great way of meeting new people and to help contribute to your travelling costs (or contribution to your favourite environtal charity!).  If you have space for extra people then this is good opportunity to offer spaces to other travellers.  For example there is a website called www.blablacar.co.uk or www.blablacar.fr which you can register journey on so other travellers can join you.

Packed Lunch Solutions :  rather than buying pre-wrapped snadwiches on-route stop at the service stations with restaurants or a bakery offering sandwiches.  A great idea is to bring your own packed lunch :  my niece bought me some reusable sandwich warppers from www.re-wrap-it.co.uk .  Alternatively if you already have tupperware at home then use this plus reusable water bottles.  I am sure there are more ideas out there so just let me know and I will add them :)

Hot drinks on route :  don't forget to bring your own reusable cup!  Some service stations offer coffee not from a vending machine which is a great way to cut down on waste.  Don't forget to bring your own teaspoon though as they often give you a plastic stirer.

The quickest route is via the AutoRoute system.  From Calais to Reims, Troyes, Dijon (6 hours from here), via Lyon the tolls will come to about 79 Euros each way (price 2011) and it takes us about 11 hours in our Land Rover, averaging 70mph!  But in our Nissan is took 9 hours and much more comfortable!

Also don't forget to add on the cost of snow chains, fuel and tolls.

Please note that all cars on French roads must be equipped with :

  • at least one fluorescent security jacket per person (gilet de sécurité) The jacket should be kept in the car, not in the boot, as the law requires the driver to put it on before getting out of the car.  The law specifies that the jacket should conform to EU normes so look for one marked CE
  • red warning triangle (triangle de présignalisation).  This must be used in case of breakdown or any emergency roadside stop.  The triangle should be placed at least 30 meters behind the vehicle in full view of arriving traffic.  The triangle should be marked E27R
  • if the vehicle is equipped with functioning hazard warning lights these must be also switched  
  • 2 disposable breathalizers

Non-compliance with these requirements will leave the driver liable to an immediate 90€ fine per missing item.   Ouch!

Full information can be found on the French government website http://www.securite-routiere.gouv.fr/

Unfortunately occassionally people receive a speeding ticket.  If that is the case, then simply go to www.amendes.gouv.fr to pay by credit card.

Directions / Co-ordinates

If using a SatNav please bring the map we supply with you as well.  The reason for this is that the post code covers such a huge area.  Also please be aware that mountain passes become ski slopes in the winter.

IMPORTANT : do not follow the signs up to La Plagne as this adds about 1.30 hours onto your journey. Follow signs for Aime, Landry and then Montchavin, Les Coches.

Directions from Alberville

Keep left at Moutiers and follow the signs for the "Haute Tarentaise" (Aime & Bourg-St-Maurice). Go through the tunnel and pass Aime continuing towards BSM. 6km after Aime take the right turning signposted Landry. Go right at the cross roads in Landry and follow the signs for Montchavin-Les Coches.  Continue for about 500m and then turn left onto the D225.  Continue up the mountain.

Directions to Les Coches Properties : keep heading up the hill signed for Les Coches until you have reached the roundabout at the beginning of the village of Les Coches.  

For Chalet Mathilde, Chalet Les Sorbiers & Chalet Off Piste Marcel :

These chalets are on the right hand side of Les Coches.  Therefore, go straight over the mini roundabout and continue on the main road up 4 hairpins.  1st left bend past Les Chalets de Wengen, 2nd right bend Intersport, 3rd left bend a small ranch, 4th right bend a sign for parking at the Observatoire.  

- For Chalet Off Piste Marcel (Lat 45.553314 : long 6.726605)  On the 4th bend, turn left, there are 2 lefts!  Take the higher of the forked roads (the bins will now be on your left).  Keep going right to the end of the road where you can unload your bags just below the chalet.  Then you will need to park in the road a bit further down as the unloading area is private parking.

For Chalet Mathilde, Chalet Les Sorbiers  & Chalet Off Piste Marcel :Continue right round the fourth bend and then take the second turning on the left which will be signposted for Chalet Mathilde and Chalet En Piste (there are loads of post boxes).   The road to the chalet is cleared but we recommend chains for ease of access.

- For Chalet Mathilde (Lat 45.553194 : long 6.725832) is 200m up this road on the left.   The chalet has 3 parking spots for guests but if these are full there is plenty of parking 50m away.  

- For Chalet Sorbiers (Lat 45.553040 : long 6.725848) is 200m up this road on the right.  The chalet has 1 parking spot for guests. 

- For Chalet Off Piste Marcel (6.726417 : 45.553164 ) is just past Chalet Mathilde.  The chalet has 1 parking spot for guests (chains are normally needed).   

Le Zig Zag, Le Boulier & Le Domino :These apartments are on the left hand side of Les Coches.  Therefore, turn left at the Les Coches roundabout and continue along the road with Les Coches to your right. 

Directions to Le Zig Zag (Lat 45.555226 : long 6.729426)  After 200m you will see the Tourist Office on your left.  Le Zig Zas is opposit the Tourist Office.

Directions to Le Boulier Lat 45.554340 : long 6.733879) & Le Domino (Lat 45.554054 : long 6.733439)  You will pass the Tourist Office on your left.  Continue up the road :  just after the 1st right bend you will pass ski hire shop Slalom, 2nd left bend on your right is the Plan Bois chairlift, 3rd right bend Le Rami, 4th left bend Joker and then you will find the entrance to Le Boullier apartments on your left.  Only apartment building with walkway from the road.  Le Domino is just opposite.   Free parking in the road.

Covered Parking in Les Coches

There is plenty of parking in the road outside the accommodation on a first come first served basis.  

Underground parking in Les Coches is available for a cost of about 55 euros for the week - I can book this for you if you wish.  The Tourist Office will need a deposit of 30 euros which we can pay for you but obviously if you cancelled we would ask you for this amount.  The height of the car park is 2m 15.  The parking is below the Tourist Office.

Snow Chains

Snow chains are required by law. 

Don’t forget to check that they are the right size if buying or hiring (very important).  Good idea to practice putting them on in the comfort of your own drive before you arrive - nothing worse than trying to put them on under pressure, possibly in the dark, reading the instructions for the 1st time, arguing (speaking from experience!) and with your hands freezing off.   

If you do need to put them on, then stop on the flat, preferably in a lay by, under a street lamp and have with you an old pair of gloves, a torch, the instructions and a sense of humour!

When driving in the snow keep the car going at a steady pace, do not try to accelerate as this normally means you will start sliding.  When you come up the mountain there are a couple of places which are flattish to put chains on, some which have a street lamp.  If it looks like you might need to put the chains on stop in the next spot.  Try not to wait until the car is slipping from side to side and you are forced to stop exactly where you are on the side or middle of the road as this can put you in danger from other vehicles on the road.  Also putting on chains is more difficult on an incline.

For further tips on driving in snow there is some great advice on the AA website :  


Will I need snow chains on the day I arrive / depart ? 
This is a common question, to which I don’t know the answer!  If it does snow, then it is best to have them than be stuck on the side of the road, even a light snowfall can make it impossible to come up the mountain.  We have had guests stop at Landry station, park up and then get a taxi.  The local authorities do clear the road but if it is snowing then I can't guarantee that the snowplough will have just come up the road before you arrive.

Snow chains can be purchased in local French supermarkets but if the weather has been particularly snowy then they may not have the size you want in stock.

Just a couple of snow chain companies to be found on the internet :



Ferry Companies – a few suggestions

http://wwwseafrance.co.ukwww.ferrysavers.comhttp://www.dfdsseaways.co.uk/, http://www.norfolkline.ferries.org/,


Places to stay on route

Please be aware that if you are coming in school holidays you will be very unlikely to find a local hotel that will take a 1 night booking as they generally only take full week bookings during these periods.Your best bet is to look at a hotel in and around Albertville (45 minutes from us) or Chambery (1 1/2 hours from us), however you may find the same problem with Albertville as it's so close to the ski resorts.  

Landry  (10 mins) : 

Bon Accueil  Hotel Resurant Landry
00 33 (0)4 79 07 08 79 
(20010/11 prices :  40€ no wc for a room for 2 people, 48€ no wc for a room for 3 people, 56€ with wc for a room for 2 people, 68€ with wc for a room for 3 people)

Maison Caramel  :

Tel:  00 33 (0)4 79 07 08 74

Bourg St Maurice (20 mins) : 

For all France including Bourg St Maurice : 
fr.federal-hotel.com/  (I thought this was quite a good site as it has all hotels listed not just the big chains). 

Various locations in France including Chambery & Albertville: 
(includes hotels such as IBIS, Novetel, Mercure, Etap, Formule 1)

Etap and Formule 1 Hotels:
Reservations are not accepted more than 250 days in advance

Lyon, Grenoble : 

Rennes, Lyon, Grenoble etc :  
(Kyriad and Campanile)

Various locations in France including Chambery & Albertville:
(includes hotels such as IBIS, Novetel, Mercure, Etap, Formule 1)

Etap and Formule 1 Hotels:
Reservations are not accepted more than 250 days in advance

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