Having travelled between France and Italy through the tunnel de Fréjus, I thought I'd post a few tips and facts to help others
- The Fréjus tunnel is one of two tunnels carrying motorway traffic underneath the Alps between France and Italy. The other is the Mont Blanc tunnel to the north east of Fréjus. Each is about 8 miles long.
- The tunnel opened in 1980. It is currently a single-bore tunnel, carrying single carriageway traffic in each direction. A second tunnel is under construction which will allow for dual carriageway traffic. The tunnel has speed limits: Minimum 40 kph, maximum 70 kph. Vehicles are required to remain 150m apart when moving through the tunnel, or a minimum of 100m if stationary, to mitigate the risk of any fire spreading.
- The tunnel is a toll route. Currently, French VAT is 20% whereas Italy has 22%, so it costs slightly more to buy a ticket at the Italian side.
- You cannot use Tag Liberté telepeage devices to pay the toll - you need to pay at the toll booth at the entrance to the tunnel.
- A single ticket starting in France currently costs €43.20. However, you can get a return "aller-retour" (return ticket) for just €54.30. That saves you €32.10, so is well worth it - but it is only valid for one week - the latest time you can return is 23:59 local time 7 days after your outward trip.
- If you don't want to pay the toll, there is an alternative route over the Alpine pass. Enjoy memories of the Italian job on a narrow single-carriageway road that winds its way over the top (this is not the route taken by Beckerman in the opening scene of the film - for that, find the Little St Bernard pass). It will take about an hour longer than using the motorways and tunnel, but save you €43.20.