If you’re planning to travel to the southwest of France, deciding on where to land, is the first decision you need to make. Bordeaux is the biggest airport in the southwest of France but there are quite a few smaller international airports in the region that will get you quicker to your destination. In this article, I put together a list of all the international airports in the Southwest of France with suggestions of things to do in each area.
If you want to start looking for a flight for your next vacation here, try putting one of the airports in this list in Ski Scanner. That’s a great tool to see if you have a direct flight to the region and find the best flight prices.
Bordeaux – Merignac airport
Bordeaux is the capital of the Southwest of France (Nouvelle Aquitaine region) and as such the Bordeaux- Merignac airport acts as the main airport in this region, There are direct flights from many European cities such as Amsterdam, London, Athens, Basel, and many others.
During the summer season, there are also plenty of smaller and exotic destinations where you can take a direct flight from Bordeaux. These include Catania, Casablanca, Faro, Paphos and more. You can see all the destinations to and from Bordeaux airport here.
How to get to and from the Bordeaux airport
If you’re staying in the center of Bordeaux, the easiest way to get there from the airport would be to take the tram (line A). Here’s the schedule of that line.
You can also take a taxi from the airport, or book one in advance if you want it to go faster. Booking is a good website for booking a taxi from the airport to any destination in Bordeaux. If you need to get to another destination in the region like Arcachon or Cap Ferret, I recommend using this taxi service.
However, if you’re planning to start traveling the region straight ahead, you rent a car at the airport. All the big companies have an office just outside the main terminal. Here’s the website I usually use to find the best car deals in the region.
In case you want to continue to one of the other cities and towns in the region, Bordeaux’s pretty well connected to other parts of the region. You can find several trains a day to destinations like Toulouse, La Rochelle, Bayonne, Bergerac and others. You can get from the airport to the train station in Bordeaux by the airport shuttle.
If you need to stay the night near the airport there are a few hotels in the area with a free shuttle service to the airport like Sheraton and Mercure. There are also several more affordable options like Ténéo Apparthotel and Campanile however they don’t provide a shuttle service so you need to have a car to get to the airport.
Other smaller international airports in the southwest of France
La Rochelle – Île de Ré
La Rochelle is a beautiful port city situated on the Atlantic coast in the Atlantic coast. The airport is located about 5km from the center of Bordeaux and just next to the bridge that leads to Île de Ré.
It’a a small airport with two main airlines flying here which are Easy Jet and Ryanair. The cities you can fly from to La Rochelle are London, Bristol, Bruxelles, Geneva, Lyon, Manchester, Marrakesh, Marseille, and Porto. Most of the flights operate only during the tourist season. You can see all the details here.
Access to the airport: There are buses from the airport to La Rochelle center and to all the villages of Ile de Ré, you can see all the info here. There’s also a taxi service at the La Rochelle airport, here’s a list of all the companies in case you want to book a taxi in advance.
Car rentals: four companies are operating in the airport: Europcar, Sixt, Hertz, and Avis. You can find them on this map.
What to do nearby: La Rochelle is a stunning city that should not be missed. Other stunning destinations close to the La Rochelle area include Île de Ré, Île d’Oleron, Fouras, and many beautiful villages along the coast such as Talmont-sur-Gironde and Saint-Palais-sur-Mer. Cognac is also quite close to La Rochelle and is definitely worth a visit.
Airports in the Dordogne Department
Bergerac Dordogne Airport
If you’re heading to the Dordogne you can land directly in Bergerac one of the main cities in the Dordogne departments. It’s not as big as the Bordeaux airport serving mainly airlines flying from the UK and Brussels.
How to get to and from the Bergerac airport: There’s currently no public transport to the city center. So you can either book a taxi online (or you can call one of the taxi services on this list) or rent a car at the airport.
Brive is one of the biggest towns of Corrèze, located in proximity to the Dordogne and Lot department. Two airlines are operating here Amelia and Ryan Air. These are the six destinations from which you can get by direct flight to Brive: Paris, Ajaccio in Corsica, Nice, London, Brussels, and Porto.
Taxi from the airport:
Things to see nearby: That’s a great airport for those planning to travel in the Dordogne Valley. Brive places you close to beautiful towns like Sarlat, Martel, Rocamadour, Terrasson-Lavilledieu, and many others.
Airports in the Basque country and the Pyrenees
Biarritz Pays Basque Airport
Biarritz Airport is the airport that serves travelers to the Basque French country.
It is also the closest international airport to the surfing villages in the Landes department like Hossegor and Seignosse.
The main airlines operating here are Air France, Ryanair, Transavia and Easyjet. You can get to Biarrtiz from several French and European cities like Zurich, Dublin, London, Stockholm, and more. You can see all the destinations here.
How to get to and from the Biarritz airport
The airport is located within 5 minutes from Biarritz city center and about 15 minutes from Bayonne. There are several buses from the airport to the main destinations in the region. Here you can see all the buses going from the airport to the towns nearby. There are also taxis airport to any destination in the Basque country- you can see the list here.
All the big car rental companies are operating at the airport so you can go ahead and find the best deal online.
What to visit nearby: Biarritz is located in proximity to the capital of the Basque country, Bayonne, which is a must-visit. Close by you’ll also find Saint Jean du Luz as well as many other beautiful Basque villages. Within about an hour’s drive, you’ll be able to visit San Sebastian on the Spanish side.
Pau Pyrenees Airport
Pau is one of the smallest airports on this list but it’s also the closest one to the Pyrenees mountains so if you’re into skiing, this is the best one to land at. Most of the flights that go there are Air France flights, which means that you’ll likely need a connection flight from a bigger city in France.
How to get to and from the Pau airport
A shuttle goes from the airport to Pau city center and train station leaving approximately every hour from 7 am to 7 pm. There are also taxis going from the airport to Pau and Lourdes. You can see all the details here.
Car rental: A few international car companies are operating here, take a look here.
Toulouse Blagnac Airport
In this list, I included only airports in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region, but I feel like Toulouse must make this list as well. It’s located in the neighboring region, Occitanie, but it is the biggest airport in the Grand Sud Ouest area and is well connected to many destinations mentioned on this list.
You can travel to Toulouse from practically anywhere in Europe and a few places outside of the continent like Doha, Agadir, Montreal, Tunis, and others. See the list of the destinations here.
How to get to and from the Toulouse airport
Toulouse is a big metropolis with great public transport. A shuttle links the airport to the Toulouse train station and on its route, it stops in several locations near the city center. You also have a few buses connecting the airport to the suburbs and towns nearby.
As always, you can also take a taxi from the airport, you can book it here and check the rates here.
All the big rental companies are operating here as well – you can start checking the prices.
Where can you travel from Toulouse?
About everywhere in the southwest of France. Around Toulouse, you have amazing places like Carcassone and Albi as well as the hidden gems of the Gers department. To the north you can travel to the Lot and Dordogne departments, to the east you’ll find the stunning Mediterranean beaches, and traveling south will get you to the Pyrenees. If you take the train you can also get to Bordeaux in two hours. You can’t really go wrong here!
You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via Lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:
*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂