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General Information

The French Tourist Office, 178 Piccadilly, London. W1J 9AL. (0906 824 4123) has lots of practical information. is another good source of information which includes a calendar of events

There are many different airlines that head out to France from the UK, and prices for a single ticket can range from as little as 29 to 85. (The latter being peak season at weekends)

Toulouse and Pau are the closest airports for Papilio, both are linked to the train or if hiring a car they are only 1 hour 40 minutes drive away, (If you go cross-country especially when coming from Pau this time will triple!! It is a beautiful journey and highly recommended when you do not have children on board!!! Check for snow level first though as passes can often be closed in the winter months).

Biarritz and Carcassonne is approximately 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours drive away, and can be reached by rail via Toulouse. Carcassonne is a beautiful old town surrounded by a fort and has wonderful traditional markets!

Gerona, Barcelona is about a 4 hour drive.

Company name Contact details UK destination French destination
Flybe (0044) 0871 700 0123
Exeter Bergerac
Ryanair (0044) 0871 246 000 Stansted Pau, Carcassonne
Bristol Pau, Gerona (Barcelona)
Easy Jet (0044) 0870 600 0000
Gatwick, Bristol Toulouse
Bristol Biarritz
Bmibaby (0044) 0870 264 2229 East Midlands Cardiff Toulouse
British Airways (0044) 0870 850 9850 Gatwick Toulouse
Air France (0044) 0845 084 5111 Heathrow Birmingham Toulouse
BMI British Midland (0044) 0870 607 0555 Manchester Toulouse

Hiring a car

This is obviously worth doing as relying on public transport in the mountains is not a good idea! On average, car hire ranges from 150 a week, including taxes and insurance, but excluding petrol! Car hire has become a very competative market so I would suggest that you check a few companies out before booking, and when doing so be sure that you are comparing like with like - different levels of insurance cover and extra payments to waive excess can make a big difference to the final cost

On arrival at your French destination the car-hire desks can often get very busy, it is good idea for one's travelling partner to go on ahead through customs to queue for the car while the other waits for the bags

Contact details
(0044) 0870 010 0287
Europcar (0044) 0870 607 5000
(0044) 0870 844 8844


Many have asked about ferries from Plymouth to Roscoff and crossings to Santander (Spain), and then heading into the Pyrenees.I will leave you to plan this as I know little about these routes...sounds fun though!

Company Name Contact details UK destination French destination
Brittany Ferries (0044) 0870 536 0360 Plymouth Roscoff (France)
Santander (Spain)
Santander ferries Plymouth Santander (Spain)

Extra Random Information! Passed on by friends and guests

When flying from Bristol to Toulouse

Some of the weekday Bristol flights to Toulouse arrive around 8.00pm which means that you would have missed the last train to Luchon.. So will need accommodation in Toulouse...
There are plenty of little hotels very close to Blagnac airport (Toulouse), 3 of which we can recommend:
Name and webpage Contact details Approx price per person
Premier Lodge
2, Rue Rene-Rey Yone
aeroportuaire nord
31400 Blagnac
Tel: 0982 707 198
Fax: 05 61 15 76 50
31 - 34 Euros
3, avenue D. Daurat - Aeroport
31700 Blagnac
Tel: 05 61 16 90 90
Fax: 05 61 71 65 71
60 - 65 Euros
Holiday Inn
Place du la Revolution,
Tel: 05 34 36 00 20
95 - 115 + Euros