Le Bonheur is in France's sunny south-west Aquitaine area, in
between Bordeaux and Bergerac and is perfectly situated on the borders of
Gironde, Dordogne and Lot & Garonne - ideal for exploring this beautiful
part of France. It is far enough south to get the benefits of the warm
climate of SW France, and yet is within striking distance from UK in one day's
driving. However, if you have the time, a night stop on the way down from
the Channel ports can be a delight. A night stop in the old part of
Rouen is a lovely experience and of course Paris if you have the time,
although the traffic can get very busy in the Summer
months. The French Autoroutes are excellent for speed, ease and simplicity,
but of course
have toll charges
on the major sections and can
get busy at peak seasons and
times. If you have the time, a lovely
way down is via the Route National
(RN) system, the equivalent to British ‘A’ roads.
If you can spare a couple of
days to wind your way down
sightseeing, there are countless options open to
you. A stop in Paris or Rouen is a pleasure for a single night stop or a
cheeky lunch break
in the old part of Tours.
The RNs are reasonably direct, more scenic than the Autoroutes, but go
through towns so can be
very slow going. If you wish to
get there in one go or as quickly as possible, you must use the Autoroutes.
If you plan to night stop en-route, there are plenty of accommodation
options on the internet, from the very cheap to the exclusive.
By Road - The Options
Route 1 - The simplest route from Calais is ‘Route 1’ via Rouen and Bordeaux. This will avoid the tolls and traffic through Paris and is quite scenic, especially the early part.
Route 2 (recommended) - As Route 1, but the Southern portion goes direct south instead of via Bordeaux, so is shorter and has less Tolls. ‘Route 2’ breaks off at Poitiers and goes the direct route via Angoulême, Saint Foy Le Grande and Duras. It can be slower, especially at peak periods, but does have lots of dual-carriageway sections and is the recommended route if going in one-hop or a night stop in the beautiful old town of Rouen, as you hit the southern slower roads fairly late in the day.
Route 3 – Via Paris. You might find that Google Maps, Bing, Autoroute etc send you via Paris. This is an option, but can get congested, is fairly complicated, costs more in Tolls and is marginally longer. Unless you are using Paris as a stop (which of course is highly recommended if you have the time), it is recommended you avoid Paris and go the Rouen route. The southern portion can again be via Bordeaux (as Route 1) or Angoulême (as Route 2).
Other Routes - There are a multitude of other options, especially if you wish to take your time, use the RN roads and take one or more night-stops. Rouen and Tours old-towns are worth a visit en-route. Detailed directions will be sent to you with the fully detailed "Le Bonheur Housebook" before you travel.
Driving: Route 1 Route 2 Route 3
British Airways: Bordeaux from Gatwick. Toulouse from Heathrow
Ryan Air :
:Bergerac from Stanstead, East Midlands, Bristol, Liverpool.
Carcassonne from Stanstead, East Midlands, Liverpool, Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Dublin and Cork
Pau from Stanstead and Bristol. Biarritz from Stanstead and Birmingham
Easy Jet: Bordeaux from Gatwick, Luton, Bristol and Liverpool
Toulouse from Gatwick and Bristol. Biarritz from Gatwick
BMI: Bordeaux from Manchester. Toulouse from Manchester
Flybe: Bordeaux & Bergerac from Southampton.
Directions from the Airports:
Bordeaux Airport Follow the Blue Autoroute signs for Toulouse and the A62. Stay on the A62, exiting at Sortie 4, then go through La Réole, then Monségur to Taillecavat.
From the South, eg Toulouse Airport, follow the Blue Autoroute signs for the A62, exiting the A62 at Exit 4, then go through La Réole, then Monségur to Taillecavat.
This site was last updated 14 Aug 2016