French Connections - Travel to South-West France

A guide outlining the travel options available to south-west France

Travel connections to the Dordogne and the Pyrénées in south-west France

The area of south-west France includes the southern Atlantic resorts such as Biarritz, the western Pyrénées, and the massively popular Dordogne department. The latter is so popular with British buyers it has been dubbed "Little Britain". It stands to reason, therefore, that there will be good links to the UK.

Ferries to south-west France

Apart from the northern areas of France, this is the one area where you can easily make the journey by boat. A couple of ferry companies run a service from the UK to Santander or Bilbao, just over the border into Spain.

Brittany Ferries: Plymouth - Santander
P & O Ferries: Portsmouth - Bilbao

Flights to south-west France

If you want to reach this area by air you will find you have a good choice of airlines and airports.


The airlines which serve south-west France are:

British Airways
Aer Lingus

The airports one or other of these airlines fly into are:


French rail travel - Eurostar and TGV trains

Many people enjoy rail travel, and these days reaching their favoured French destinations by rail has been made possible by the Eurostar service and extended TGV lines throughout France. The Eurostar train will take you to Paris, Lille, Disneyland Paris or Calais from London or Kent. The excellent rail network in France can then transport you to your destination.

Trains to south-west France

The TGV runs to several stations in this area. Take your pick from Biarritz, Bayonne, Toulouse or Bordeaux. There are plenty of local train services to make connections to your destination.

French road travel - Eurotunnel car train

A great many people choose to drive to their French destination, making use of the cross channel car ferries or the channel tunnel car train service. The Eurotunnel car train leaves from Folkestone and arrives at Calais after a remarkably quick journey spent in the comfort of your own car. This can be an important consideration for those carrying live animals as you can remain with them at all times. (Be warned, though, if you have an LPG car you cannot take it on the Eurotunnel train.)

Road travel to south-west France

From Paris, the A10 will take you to Bordeaux. If you are heading for the coast, and Biarritz, you should follow the A63, whist the road to the ski resorts of the western Pyrénées is the D938.

The French motorway system

The French motorway system consists of both toll roads (auto routes) and corresponding non toll roads (Routes Nationales). Both are excellent and almost always much less crowded than British roads. You will find, however, that the auto routes are significantly faster than the Routes Nationales.

You may also find the following article interesting: French Connections.

your questions...

1. Questions about travelling with animals to south-west France (added 19/5/15)...

Hi - we are interested in using this service with our car with live animals. We need to get to the SW France in Dordogne, near Bergerac. Is this possible? If so do you have fares and time schedules please? We would be traveling in June, July or August.

Our reply...

Thanks for contacting us, though I'm afraid we are not able to supply fares and time schedules. If you are wanting to use the Eurotunnel service and then drive down to the Dordogne, this is perfectly possible. Have a look at the Eurotunnel website (

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