Driving Inspiration: France

Driving Inspiration: France

Destinations and ideas for driving holidays in France. LeShuttle is the fastest, easiest and greenest way to travel to France.

As the weather warms up, one of the most diverse regions of France welcomes you with stunning scenery and attractions. From seaside resorts to verdant vineyards, Aquitaine has everything for the perfect getaway.
Spring in Aquitaine

Spring in Aquitaine

  • Welcome to Aquitaine
    With stunning vineyards, bustling cities, long winding rivers, surfing beaches, picturesque villages and beautifully-dense woodlands, it’s no wonder that the region of Aquitaine is a major pull for visitors from the UK. Spring is an ideal time to visit, before the busier peak season in the summer. 
  • Where is Aquitaine?
    This beautiful area in southwest France is now officially called Nouvelle-Aquitaine, after territorial changes in 2016 merged the previous regions of Aquitaine, Limousin and Poitou-Charentes into one. Here we are focusing on the historic region of Aquitaine, which stretches from the Pyrenees in the south to the limestone hills of Lot-et-Garonne in the north, from the beautiful beaches of the Pays Basque and the Atlantic coast to the vineyards and river valleys of the Dordogne.
  • Driving times and distances
    Here are some of the driving times from the LeShuttle Calais Terminal to the major towns and cities of Aquitaine:

    •    Périgueux – 779 km / 8 ½ hours (including tolls)
    •    Bordeaux – 865km / 8 ½ hours (including tolls)
    •    Bergerac – 880km / 8 ¾  hours (including tolls)
    •    Biarritz – 1,064km / 10 ½ hours (including tolls)
    •    Pau – 1,075 km / 10 ¼ hours (including tolls)

The highlights of Aquitaine

There are so many places to visit in Aquitaine, that the highlights come tumbling at you like the breakers at Biarritz. You will have your own individual to-do lists, but we think they should include the following. 


Known as the principal city in Aquitaine, Bordeaux is most famous for being the hub of the wine-growing region, which produces 900 million bottles of wine each year. Any lover of wine will want to make a visit to some of the area’s infamous wine trails. It’s best to book through the Bordeaux Tourist Office, which offers a range of excursions and tours. 

Visit dedicated winemakers and return home enriched with knowledge on how to produce the perfect une verre de vin!

Did you know that though Bordeaux is famous for its delicious red wine, until the 1970s the region actually produced more white than red?


A quiet, dignified town that is home to some astounding views of the snow-capped Pyrénées, the main part of Pau is situated on top of a cliff, around 100 feet above the Gave de Pau River.

This lovely old French town is a wonderful place to visit and unwind, bringing a welcome change from more touristy spots. There is one exception, however. Towards the end of May each year the Grand Prix de Pau motor race hurtles around Pau’s tight streets. It’s a good option if you’re looking for something exciting to do during your stay.

The funicular is a quaint method of transportation to get from one level of the town to another. Take the short trip free of charge, and enjoy panoramic views of the Pyrenees as you’re effortlessly transported across Pau.


The jewel in the crown of the French Basque coast is Biarritz. The fashionable seaside city, rich in art deco architecture, is a must for fans of food and drink, art and culture and watersports. There are plenty of colourful sights with its white sandy beaches, azure waters, delightful cafes and restaurants. 

Beauty is everywhere in Biarritz. Stroll along the promenade and marina at sunset and you will more than get a whiff of La Belle Epoque in the late 19th-century (‘the beautiful era’), as well as rubbing shoulders with high society and the ‘beautiful people’ of today.


Less than two hours drive up the coast from Biarritz and you will find more seaside splendour in Biscarrosse. Surfers head here for the dramatic waves that come in from the Bay of Biscay and crash on the beach, while families enjoy more gentle water fun at the Plage de Navarosse and Plage de Maguide, where there is mini-golf, pedalos and windsurfing among the activities available. 

No stop in Biscarrosse is complete without climbing the Dune du Pilat . At 110m high, it’s the highest sandhill in Europe. It’s hard going, but there are great views from the top!


As if taken straight from the pages of a history book, a daytrip to Périgueux is like stepping into a time machine. Most attractions are within walking distance, so you can enjoy strolling down cobbled medieval side streets, admiring the half-timbered houses and architecture. Rewind through the centuries, discover cathedrals and museums, and immerse yourself in the local history and culture.

Perfect for culture vultures, the Musée d'Art et d'Archéologie du Périgord is one of the most renowned museums in the whole of France. Its main draws include a skeleton of the Neanderthal adult, ‘Regourdou man’ – make sure you don’t miss it!

Aquitaine awaits with LeShuttle

Travel from Folkestone to Calais in just 35 minutes with LeShuttle. Your road trip south can then be broken at places like Rouen, Le Mans and Tours. Choose a Standard or Flexiplus ticket to get more freedom from your spring break in Aquitaine.

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