Driving to Bordeaux from Calais

  • Driving guides
  • France
  • 5 min read
Driving to Bordeaux from Calais

Bordeaux is a stunning destination for a road trip, but it’s also a wonderful opportunity to see more of France. Here’s our guide to driving from Calais to Bordeaux, and what cities to see as you go.

Driving to Bordeaux From Calais

The ‘pearl of Aquitaine’, Bordeaux is one of France’s most elegant, cosmopolitan cities. 

Driving from the LeShuttle terminal gives you the freedom to explore, and to see even more of France on your journey south. Here is our guide to some of the routes you could take from Calais to Bordeaux.

How long does it take to drive from Calais to Bordeaux?

There is very little to choose between the quickest routes from Calais to Bordeaux. The travel time for both is just under nine hours, but each has several obvious stopping points on the journey. 

The quickest route – via the A28 & A10

The fastest route (with tolls) is on the A28 via Rouen, before picking up the A10 at Tours. This recommended route has a driving distance of 867 km. 

Places to visit en-route

Historic buildings in an old town. An ornate clock over an arch


Make sure Rouen is your first stop. Capital of Haute-Normandie, the ‘town of 100 towers’ is one of France’s most historic and picturesque cities. Wander through the same medieval streets where Joan of Arc met her fate, marvel at the stupendous three-towered Gothic cathedral, which so inspired Claude Monet, and poke around the boutiques, shops and bakeries offering unique gifts and delicious local fare. 

Le Mans 

Motorsport fans will have no hesitation in taking a pitstop at Le Mans, home of the iconic 24-hour endurance race. While you won’t need quite as much stamina for your journey, Le Mans is still a welcome sight just over halfway on your route south from Calais to Bordeaux. Why not go on one of the designated track days at the Bugatti circuit, and get behind the wheel for an experience no motor racing fan will ever forget? 


Tall and narrow half-timbered medieval buildings overlooking a public square laid out with restaurant tables

Tours marks the start of the last leg of your journey, but it would be a shame to just bypass it. With its half-timbered houses and cobbled streets by the Loire, Tours is a magical place for an overnight stop or weekend break. There is so much to do in and around Tours, from cruises on the river, visiting the châteaux of the Loire Valley, to wandering around the ruins of the Roman amphitheatre, one of the largest in France. 

The A16 and A10 via Paris

Journey time will not differ greatly if you stay on the A16 at Abbeville and head towards Paris on your way from Calais to Bordeaux. This route of 877 km still has tolls but will take you via Amiens and Orléans, before picking up the A10 at Tours. 

Points of interest en-route

A cathedral overlooks lower level buildings and an attractive bridge over a river in an old part of a city


Around two hours from our Calais terminal is the charming city of Amiens. The river Somme runs through the city, a poignant reminder that Amiens suffered much in both World Wars. Its historic character survived, epitomised by the Gothic cathedral, the largest of its kind in France, the Jules Verne house and museum (the novelist lived in Amiens for 34 years) and the Musée de Picardie. In December the Christmas market will be in full swing, one of the best in the country.  


Five hours into your drive from Calais you will reach the historic city of Orléans. Linked forever with Joan of Arc, the modern city celebrates her life, from the stained glass windows of the cathedral to the equestrian statue in the Place du Martroi. The city has a wealth of cultural attractions aside from Joan, including the Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Hôtel Groslot, an original Renaissance hotel. 

For those not in a hurry – the A26 and A10 via Arras, Paris & Tours

The travel time of this more leisurely route is about 10 ½ hours and takes you in an eastward loop via Arras, Reims and Orléans before joining the A10 at Tours. This route also has tolls.

Places to visit en-route


If you have the time (which you obviously do!), your first stop should be Arras, only an hour and ten minutes drive from Calais. The architecture of Arras will stop you in your tracks – especially when you think how much the city was devastated by the First World War. Pick up some lunch on the Grand Place and poke your head in the beautiful cathedral. The Canadian National Vimy Memorial is just outside the city, and the Wellington Quarry museum takes you into the wartime tunnels used by Allied soldiers.


A Gothic cathedral with two towers at sunset

The gorgeous city of Reims is famous for its architecture and champagne production, and is two and a half hours drive from Calais. It would simply be rude not to call in at one of the champagne houses and take a tour, would it not? As you are driving, a tasting may have to wait, but we’re sure you could find room for a bottle or two in the boot to Bordeaux! If you just have the time for one Reims attraction, make it the cathedral: a Gothic masterpiece featuring over 2,300 statues. 

How much are the tolls from Calais to Bordeaux?

You should expect to pay around €80-120 in tolls each way driving from Calais to Bordeaux.  

An Emovis tag will help speed up your passage through the tolls. We have an exclusive offer saving customers €10 on the application fee of an Emovis tag if you if you apply with LeShuttle. 

Drive to Bordeaux with LeShuttle

Bordeaux is a stunning destination for a road trip, and the journey starts with LeShuttle and a crossing from Folkestone to Calais in only 35 minutes. Check out our full range of driving guides for trips across Europe. 

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