Hi all,I am asking a question that has been

01/08/2024 - 14:19

Hi all,

I am asking a question that has been asked, no doubt, many times. I plan on getting the ferry to Cherbourg from Ireland in June and travelling to Molise. I will have 2 children and a dog for company. Any advice on routes, stop overs, etc. would be gratefully appreciated. 





Wow!  That's quite some journey to make with 2 kids and a dog.  I don't think I'd do it.  I'd leave the dog (and kids) at home).


HOWEVER (Hopefully to assist you)

I assume you're using the Irish Ferries ship  as I belive they allow dogs on board.  (Whoever you use  you do need to be very clear of, and have planned for, what rules and requirements the Ferry company imposes.  Anyway, it's an 18+ hour long trip  arriving late morning at Cherbourg.

A lot depends on how well the dog will take to a long road trip.  We allow about5 hrs driving a day, plus a "walkies" break of at least 30 minutes every couple of hours.  Also - will that suit the kids?

A journey of that sort of distance needs to be a part of the holiday, rather than a "blast down as quickly as possible to Molise" trip.

I'd do about 3 - 4 hrs max on day 1 - say 200 miles max, followed by 300-350 miles a day thereafter ....... so probably up to a total of 4 overnights on the way down.

Route??  With the dog, we'd  choose the autoroute for a smoother and quicker trip.  (More scenic routes may cause travel sickness and are slower). 

Hotels etc?  We would suggest using hotel chains like Ibis, as they (usually) take dogs (and children) and have restaurants that accept the dogs.  ALWAYS CHECK DIRECTLY WITH THE HOTEL THAT DOGS ARE ALLOWED IN ROOMS SND RESTAURANT - DONT RELY ON THE WEBSITE. 

There are cheaper hotel options, but you get what you pay for.  Remember  it is part of the holiday experience. 

Well ......  that's your 'starter for ten'.

As Alan says, that is a proper adventure!  I used to do it with 3 children, no dog, and they enjoyed it. I would use ViaMichelin in France as it is very well tailored for France and Google Maps elsewhere.  Check your mobile phone roaming agreement if travelling through Switzerland as usually it is not part of the cross EU agreement, that means everyone's phone, including the dog if it has one.  Also stick to the speed limits in France and Switzerland as there are lots of cameras.

It is difficult to give route information as it depends where you are landing in France so I would echo Alan's advice.  I generally stay at Ibis hotels as good coverage and a range of budgets.  I have used the F1 Hotels in the part but now i will only use those that have been refurbished.

I also treat the journey as a great part of the holiday rather than a chore and I prefer to drive.  I tend to stop a couple of nights in France, maybe sometimes in northern Italy in Aosta or lake Como.  I tend to find that you can cross France through a mix of motorways (northern France) and Route Nationales for the pretty bits, Italy is more easily traversed north to south using the Autostrada del Sole otherwise, from my experience, it takes too long.

It takes me 2 nights and 2 1/2 days to get from the Midlands to Tuscany, which feels like the absolute minimum unless shared driving and going for some sort of record so I guess 4 nights from Ireland.  


Did you consider going via uk and eurotunnel  to avoid the risks of a long rough ferry trip?  Not sure it would be much dearer (if at all) or longer time.


Although I usually use Via Michelin to look at potential routes, the Drive Alive planner gives a plethora of hotels etc along the route, so might help.