How to get to the Pyrenees

The beauty of the central French Pyrenees is their accessibility. Unlike with many holidays in the Alps, transfers from the airports take less than 2 hours

Getting here by plane

The main airport which serves the central Pyrenees is Toulouse. The budget airlines such as Easyjet, RyanAir, Flybe and Jet2 have regular year round flights into Toulouse from airports all over the UK.

There are also several flights a day from Toulouse to Paris Orly and Paris Charles de Gaulle airports. From Toulouse airport it is a mere 1h45 autoroute drive to Bagneres-de-Luchon.

If your adventure holiday is based in the Ariege Pyrenees then both Toulouse and Carcassonne airports are easily reachable in under 1h30.

The other airport that serves the central Pyrenees is Tarbes-Lourdes airport. Check out flights by Ryanair. Tarbes-Lourdes airport is conveniently situated for the A64 autoroute which you will take east to reach Luchon in a little over an hour.

The major car hire companies are all represented at the above airports and we would advise you to book your hire car online before you leave. Rather than pay the car hire company’s usually extortionate collision damage waiver fee, take out a policy for your trip with Insurance 4 Car Hire which will save you a packet!

Getting here by car from the UK

If you decide to drive down to the Pyrenees from the UK, why not make the journey part of your holiday rather than attempting it in one tiring push. That way it becomes less stressful, less tiring and altogether more enjoyable.

The journey from Calais will take around 10 hours and I would highly recommend a B&B stopover en route to break up your trip. Stopover Connections has numerous lovely, personally selected B&Bs to choose from throughout France and should be your first port of call.

The costs to consider when planning your drive to the Pyrenees include autoroute tolls (péage) and fuel. Mappy is a great tool for both planning your route and finding out toll fees and approximate fuel costs.

If you are driving from one of the ferry ports in the north east of France, many route planners will take you on the Peripherique around Paris although my advice would be to avoid it like the plague! My preferred route is via Rouen and then down to Dreux and on to Chartres and Orleans. This route will incur tolls of around 67 euros.

Getting here by train

Although getting to the Pyrenees by train is a long journey (between 11 and 12 hours fron London) it is an ideal option for people that are environmentally conscious.

Take Eurostar from London to either Paris or Lille and change to a TGV direct to Toulouse. From there, there is a local service to Montrejeau which now serves Luchon by bus shuttle.

Note that you can hire a car at Toulouse Matabiau man rail station which is essential if you’re coming on one of our multi activity adventure holidays.

Getting to the Pyrenees by Ferry

This, in our opinion, is one of the best ways for you to reach the Pyrenees, especially from the environmental point view.

Brittany Ferries operate out of Portsmouth into both Santander and Bilbao on Spain’s north coast. It’s a 24h journey, but a relaxing one on well-equipped vessels with plenty of entertainment options available.

Once you get off the ferry you can enjoy a scenic drive of around 5-6 hours through the Basque region to your holiday base in the central French Pyrenees.