Please sign in to post.

Bayeux to Dordogne to Pamploma, transportation help

Hi all we are doing a 2 month trip and I have found all the transportation, but this last little segment;
Oct 1-6th,2020;
these are the 3 options I can figure: they all kind of suck, I feel like I am missing a obvious choice;

  • Option one-Get to Caen fly to Bordeau, Air france leave at 635, arrive at 0940, rent a car in Bordeaux, $99 each 3.5 hours, layover in Lyon or Airfrance, flight 1671@ 930 arrive at 1035. out of Orly airport $55 /pp flight takes 65 minutes. and drive to Sarlat. 2.5 hours Need to get to paris- 4 hour by train Need to set up flight-3 hours Need to rent a car. -2.5 hours faster just to renta car and drive, I don't think plane is a good option.

Option two- renta car in Bayeux and drive to Sarlat
418 miles takes 6 hours and 33 min. - shortest option

Option three-or train Bayeux to Bordeaux saint - jean, via Paris Gare, transfer 55 min,
SNCF/TER 3302
then transfer to SNCF/TGV INOUI 8403
arrived at 6pm, total time is 5 hours 16 min.
$60/pp
but may be on stike. big concern
then rent a car and drive to Sarlat 2.5 hours, total is 8 hours.

that's just getting to Sarlat.
Then need to get to Pamploma, looks like driving is our shortest option. Then 300 miles to pamploma, but the rental car from Bayeux to Pamploma is $200 / night , for 6 nights, that's crazy expensive. Any ideas: ?? Thanks, Karen

Posted by
6141 posts

Option two- renta car in Bayeux and drive to Sarlat
418 miles takes 6 hours and 33 min. - shortest option

Looking at google maps they have a 7h40m to 7h50m estimate for that drive. My experience has been their estimates are, to put it kindly, 'optimistic'. With one short fuel, potty and lunch stop planning anything less than 9 hrs seems unrealistic.

Renting in one country and leaving it in another always comes with hefty one way fees. $500-$800 ( on top of the rental fee) is typical in Europe.

Posted by
4125 posts

Hi Karen,

Would you mind sharing your full 2-month itinerary?

You might be able to do this better by rearranging some things, I'm thinking.

If not, I would consider a different plan for this trip.

Posted by
16771 posts

I can't follow what's going on with your Option 1, but there's a non-stop flight from Caen to Toulouse on October 2. It's operated by Volotea and departs at 1:10 PM. Scheduled arrival time is 2:35 PM.

ViaMichelin estimates the driving time from the Toulouse airport to Sarlat-la-Caneda at 2 hr. 43 min. for the fastest of the three suggested routes. That's probably a bit optimistic. You're going to need the car in the Dordogne anyway, right?

I'm assuming Pamplona is just your first stop in Spain. If it's the only one, I'd advise you to drop it as not worth the effort it's going to cost you. Pamplona is an OK place with a small historic center, but it's not one of Spain's highlights.

Without ever having driven in Europe, I'm going to suggest this when you're ready to head south to Spain: Drive from Sarlat to a car drop-off point close to the border. ViaMichelin.com estimates 4 hr. 10 min. to Bayonne. Other possible drop-off points would be Biarritz or St-Jean-de-Luz. If scheduling forces an overnight stay in the French Basque Country, I'd prefer to spend that night in Bayonne (large historic district) or St-Jean-de-Luz (cute small town, the closest to the border of those I've mentioned) rather than Biarritz. Note that I haven't verified the existence of car-rental agencies in Bayonne, St-Jean-de-Luz and Biarritz.

There's both bus and rail transportation across the border to San Sebastian, from which you can get to Pamplona by train, bus or rental car.