Travel to Aquitaine


A handy guide to travel options between the UK and Aquitaine for summer 2017.

Direct Flights

Our villas in Moliets (La Prade and La Clairiere aux Chevreuils) offer flexible changeover days throughout the year (including July and August) meaning you can tailor your holiday to flight availability and prices. Our other villas in Aquitaine have a Saturday arrival day in peak season (broadly speaking July and August). As many of our holidaymakers travel in peak season and are restricted to travelling on a Saturday, we have highlighted those routes with a flight on Saturdays.
Biarritz airport is handily located for Moliets (an hours’ drive) as well as Chateau de Salles (1 hour 30 minutes). Bordeaux is a popular destination for those flying to any of our villas in Aquitaine (45 minutes’ drive to Chateau de Salles and 1 hour 45 minutes’ drive to Moliets). La Rochelle to Chateau de Salles is a 2 hour 15-minute drive but adds flight options if other routes are not available or there is a service from your local airport.

Ryanair
London Stansted to Biarritz: Daily
London Stansted to Bordeaux: Daily (July & August only), Monday, Wednesday, Friday (outside July & August)
Edinburgh to Bordeaux: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday
London Stansted to La Rochelle: Daily (July & August only), Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday (outside July & August)

Easyjet
London Gatwick to Biarritz: Various days according to month (including daily in July and August), but always on a Saturday
Luton to Biarritz: Saturday (July & August only)
London Gatwick to Bordeaux: Daily
Belfast to Bordeaux: Wednesday (August only), Saturday
Glasgow to Bordeaux: Monday, Friday
Liverpool to Bordeaux: Various days according to month, but always on a Saturday
Luton to Bordeaux: Daily
Bristol to Bordeaux: Various days according to month, but always on a Saturday
London Gatwick to La Rochelle: Various days according to month, but always on a Saturday
Bristol to La Rochelle: Tuesday, Saturday

Flybe
Birmingham to Biarritz: Tuesday, Friday, Sunday
Southampton to Biarritz: Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday
Birmingham to Bordeaux: Daily
Southampton to Bordeaux: (July & August only) Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Manchester to La Rochelle: Various days according to month, but always on a Saturday
Birmingham to La Rochelle: Wednesday, Sunday
Southampton to La Rochelle: Various days according to month, including Saturday in Jun, July and August

Car hire

All the above mentioned airports offer car hire from all the major rental companies. It goes without saying that we recommend you pre-book your car, and shop around for the best deal.
Our top tips for car hire:

1. Take advantage of the online check-in facility offered by some rental agencies before you travel. This will save time on arrival at the airport.
2. If possible, get the person in whose name the car has been booked to go straight to the car-hire desk, rather than wait for your luggage, to get ahead of the queue at the rental desk.
3. We read of many problems where rental agencies claim that the vehicle has been damaged, even though the bumps or scratches were pre-existing. Take a moment to photo the vehicle where pre-existing damage has been highlighted on your rental agreement as proof should there be any future dispute.

Ferries

The drive from the Channel ports to Aquitaine should be not undertaken lightly. For most people the journey from home in the UK to south west France will involve an overnight hotel (or an overnight ferry crossing).
The much improved motorway system across the north of France now offers the possibility of avoiding Paris if heading from Calais taking you via Rouen and Le Mans before joining the main A10 motorway towards Bordeaux.
Different hotel chains provide different room types such as triple and family rooms, so it is worth doing some research. A good starting point is the Accor Hotels website which features a number of the leading chains across a wide price range including Novotel, Mercure, Ibis and Formula 1.
An overnight ferry to Normandy is an option worth considering. With an early morning arrival at the French port a full days’ drive should get you to your holiday destination in time to check in to your accommodation.

Whatever your travel plans, if you think you may arrive late do keep your host informed of your progress so that they can make alternative arrangements to allow you access to your property.
The AA Route Planner indicates the following driving times from the ferry ports to Bordeaux (you need to add about ¾ hour if travelling to Chateau de Salles and 1 ¾ hours for Moliets):

Dunkirk 8 hours
Calais 8 hours
Le Havre 6½ hours
Caen 5½ hours
Cherbourg 6½ hours
St Malo 5 hours
Roscoff 6½ hours

Port to resort distances (in kms)

Destination Dunkirk Calais Le Havre Caen Cherbourg St Malo Roscoff
Salles 925 916 703 655 740 579 717
Moliets 1024 1016 802 756 841 680 816


Train

To make the most of your stay at one of our villas in Aquitaine we strongly recommend having access to a car. Nonetheless, if members of your party are arriving by different means, travelling to Aquitaine on the train is an option to consider.
Tickets are available from London to Aquitaine using Eurostar, high-speed TGV trains. The journey time from London to Bordeaux (nearest mainline station for Chateau de Salles) is usually under eight hours and just over eight hours to Dax (nearest mainline station for Moliets). Most journeys require a change of terminal in Paris, which may be off-putting for some.
Neither Salles or Moliets are served by trains. However, there is a regular service from Bordeaux to Biganos (journey time approximately 30 minutes) which is a 20 minute drive from Chateau de Salles.
Tickets can be booked at the English language website of French Railways.
If your travel plans are a little more complicated and involve flights and train travel, there are direct TGV trains from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to Bordeaux (change in Bordeaux for Dax). Trains are not too frequent, so check your itinerary carefully and be aware of your options if your flight is delayed.