A handy guide to travel options between the UK and Aquitaine for summer 2024.
Here we include information about direct flights and car hire, ferries and driving times plus train travel to Aquitaine. Click on ‘Read more’ for all details.
All of our villas in Aquitaine have a Saturday arrival day in peak season (broadly speaking July and August). Flexible changeover days outside peak season mean you can tailor your holiday to flight availability and prices.
The details below are correct to the best of our knowledge. However, please check the airline’s website for up to date information.
We also recommend that before booking you make yourself aware of the airline’s cancellation terms in case of further flight disruptions.
Biarritz airport is handily located for our villas in Moliets (an hours’ drive). Bordeaux is a popular destination for those flying to any of our villas in Aquitaine (and 1 hour 45 minutes’ drive to Moliets). Bergerac or La Rochelle to Moliets is a 3 hour 140-minute drive but adds flight options if other routes are not available or there is a service from your local airport.Read more
London Gatwick-La Rochelle
London Stanstead-La Rochelle
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 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
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 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.
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.
Information updated February 2024.