Roissy-Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG) is 17 miles (27 kilometers) northeast of Paris, and handles most of the intercontinental and international flights into the city.
Airlines serving Roissy-Charles de Gaulle International Airport: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Aer Lingus, Aeroflot-Russian Airlines, AeroMexico, Afriqiyah Airways, Aigle Azur, Air Algerie, Air Arabia Maroc, Air Austral, Air Canada, Air China, Air Europa, Air France, Air-India, Air Lituanica, Madagascar, Air Malta, Air Mauritius, Air Mediterranee, Air Moldova, Air Seychelles, Air Tahiti Nui, airBaltic, Airlinair, Alitalia, All Nippon Airways, American Airlines, Armavia, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Azerbaijan Airlines, Belavia Belarusian Airlines, Blue1, bmibaby, British Airways, Bulgaria Air, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Cimber Sterling, Croatia Airlines, CSA Czech Airlines, Cyprus Airways, Delta Air Lines, easyJet, easyJet Switzerland, ECAir, Egyptair, El Al Israel Airlines, Emirates, Estonian Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, Eurowings, EVA Air, Finnair, Flybe, Gabon Airlines, Georgian Airways, Gulf Air, Hamburg International, Iberia, Iceland Express, Icelandair, Japan Airlines, JAT Yugoslav Airlines, Jet2, Kenya Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Kuwait Airways, LANChile, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, Luxair, Malaysia Airlines, Malev Hungarian Airlines, Meridiana, Middle East Airlines, Montenegro Airlines, Nesma Airlines, Nouvelair Tunisie, QANTAS Airways, Olympic Airways, Oman Air, Onur Air, Pakistan International Airlines, Qatar Airways, Rossiya Russian Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, SAS-Scandianavia Airlines, SATA International, Saudia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SmartWings, SN Brussels Airlines, Spanair, SriLankan Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, Syphax Airlines, TAAG Angola Airlines, TACV Cabo Verde Airlines, TAM Brazilian Airlines, Tarom Romanian Air Transport, Thai Airways International, Trawel Fly, Tunisair, Turkish Airlines, Ukraine International Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, Uzbekistan Airways, Vietnam Airlines, Vueling Airlines, XL Airways France, and Yemenia Yemen Airways.
Paris Orly Airport handles mainly domestic and intra-Europe flights, but some international carriers fly into Paris Orly as well. Paris Orly Airport is nine miles (14 kilometers) southeast of Paris, and there is convenient public transportation into the city.
Airlines serving Paris Orly Airport: Aigle Azur, Air Algerie, Air Berlin, Air Burkina, Air Caraibes Atlantique, Air Europa, Air France, Air Ivoire, Air Mali, Air Malta, Air Nostrum, Air One, Airlinair, Alitalia, Atlas Blue, Brit Air, CCM Airlines, CityJet, Corsairfly, Cubana Airlines, easyJet, easyJet Switzerland, Hex'Air, Iberia, Iran Air, Jet4you, Mauritanian Airways, Norwegian Air, OpenSkies, Pegasus Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, SATA International, Syrian Arab Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, Transaero Airlines, Transavia, Transavia France, Tunisair, Twin Jet, and Vueling Airlines.
Hiring or Leasing a Car?? Check to see if the mandatory equipment is included!
Ask the company if they include all the bits. You could get on-the-spot fines if caught wanting!
"As of the 1st of July 2008 you are required to carry not only a warning triangle in your car but also a fluorescent safety vest while driving in France. In fact the safety vest must be carried inside the car and not in the boot. So keep your safety vest under your seat or in your glove box etc.... The theory being that if you breakdown in a dangerous place you should get your safety vest on before getting out of the car in France. If you fail to have these available there are some hefty on the spot fines for these motoring offences if caught driving in France without them! The standard fines are around 90 euros per item. It is thought that the French police will be checking out lots of cars at random spot checks to ensure they are carrying the warning triangle and reflective safety jacket. Remember to ensure your reflective jacket is CE approved.
If you are involved in an accident or breakdown whilst driving in France, or assist someone in an accident or breakdown in France, you are required to wear your reflective safety jacket.
Spare bulbs for exterior lights are mandatory. A First Aid Kit could be mandatory also??? Fire extinguisher recommended??
By law, you are obliged to render assistance if you encounter an accident on the road. You could be charged for not doing so. Can you render help to the injured without first aid kit?
Riding a bike in France? The reflective safety jacket is mandatory outside of urban areas, day and night, if visibility is low. No definition of "low visibility" is given.
A parking disc indication your arrival time is a requirement in some car parking zones where free parking is available for a set period of time(usually 1 hour 30 mins - but it can vary). Your hour of arrival must be displayed on the dash board of your car. see photo #2 of parking disc "heure d'arrivee" bought for a couple of Euros at "Presse" shop.
Early 2012 more rules to be enforced this year Including every car, motor bike and scooter in France being required by law to carry disposable breathalyzers. From 1st July 2012. Note : in March 2013...An Attempt to rescind this law seems to have failed. However, it is announced that no fines will be charged if motorists are found not carrying the items. I'm not encouraging you to break the law by not carrying these items, by the way.
Comment ....I was driving in France in July 2012 and, wishing to obey the law, attempted to purchase said ‘éthylotests’ from half a dozen chemist shops, several supermarkets and several auto-parts shops....all to no avail. Only "approved" models are legal. The man who owns the French factory that makes them is the man behind the lobbying to bring in the new law. ummmmmm! What do you call that???
reiterating Mandatory Equipment
first aid kit
set of spare light bulbs
parking disc (given that you will probably want to park in a zone blue at some stage)
For more suggestions, check the tip above: Lease a Car instead of Renting/hiring
For info there is an auto train in France and the station from Paris is at Bercy. You can bring your car, motos, quads, and side cars, you drop off the car and it travels by night, and you get your car at the end. You do not travel with the car, but need to pick up the car at destination or by designated person.
the destinations from Paris Bercy are Bordeaux, Biarritz, Brive-la-Gaillard,Toulouse, Narbonne, Avignon, Marseille, Lyon, Toulon, Fréjus-St Raphael, Nice, and Briançon. And vice versa. You can reserve as much as 6 months in advance, you can reserve online or by calling 3635 in France or at the stations or SNCF stores.
rates are from 119€ but you have several discounts depending on the period and location so better check the site.
You are told whre to deposit the car on your ticket and need to be at gare at least 45 minutes before departure. You can ask for a voiturier service where someone will come to get your car at home or business.
On the stations of Bercy, Avignon, Fréjus-St Raphaêl and Narbonne the stations are far from city center but they have free navette bus to come and get you.
You can park the car for free from June 27 to September 7 at the station the day before the trip or the day after the trip at most. Otherwise the parking is 15€ per day
You can carry bikes, skis, surfing boards, canoes, and luggage racks for free with the car.
The Paris Bercy station is at 48bis boulevard de Bercy and free bus between the stations of Bercy and Austerlitz. Tel +33 (0) 1 53 33 60 11
Avignon, Chemin de la Poulasse, Tel +33 (0) 4 90 27 81 70/20
Biarritz, Allée du Mourra, quartier de la Negresse, tel +33 (0) 5 59 50 83 08
Bordeaux, 83bis rue Amédée St-Germain, tel +33 (0) 5 47 47 11 77
Briançon, Avenue du Général de Gaulle, Tel +33 (0) 4 92 20 66 13
Brive-la-Gaillard, Avenue Jean-Jaurés, tel +33 (0) 5 55 18 41 16
Fréjus-St Raphaêl, Rue Denis Papin, Tel +33 (0) 4 98 12 98 68
Lyon, Cour de Verdun, tel +33 (0) 4 72 40 10 82
Marseille-St Charles train station, 31 boulevard Voltaire, tel +33 (0) 4 95 04 11 67
Narbonne, Route de Cuxac, tel +33 (0) 4 68 65 61 30
Nice Avenue Thiers, tel +33 (0) 4 89 24 71 37
Toulon, place de l'Europe, tel +33 (0) 4 94 09 52 25
Toulouse, 64 boulevard Pierre-Sémard (Matabiau) tel +33 (0) 5 61 10 17 10
this is the local train site, check it out depart and destination
have bus info from airport here
and the bus of the metro area of Bastia, very clean and nice
Over the years, we have leased vehicles in France (& Italy) for periods ranging from 17 days to 3 months. A deal is available to non-Europeans using a vehicle for non-commercial purposes to purchase a brand new car without paying taxes. An up front price is negotiated for the period of the lease which is usually a minimum period 21 days - (17 with Citroen) & the balance is held in the form of an IOU (or some-such).
The price is usually cheaper than a similar model hire car for the same period with added benefits:
It's a brand new car so no worries about the previous renter. Full comprehensive insurance is included. No drop off fees inside France.They do all the legals. They speak English. Roadside assistance included. Only downside: losing half a day use of vehicle to follow the makers service routine during a very, very long lease. Also the red number plates mark you as a tourist and more likely to have all your valuables in the boot (trunk). See "warnings or dangers" reviews re security during road trips.
It is possible to pick up/drop off in other countries for a surcharge.
The big three : Citroen, Peugeot & Renault all have leasing arrangements.
I'm also very happy to deal with an Australian Agent and have the vehicle costs paid in Australian Dollars before I leave home. The security of the comprehensive insurance (no excess) is also a comfort.
I have used Driveaway Holidays in Sydney (and Perth) to lease and Hire ( for periods less than the minimum) and have been fully satisfied with their service.
Pitfalls with Hire and Lease Car manual is written in French. The French predilection for "innovation"..... Strange spare wheel stowage for example ; Mechanical systems like "automatic hand brake" or "fuel-saving stop-start technology"! Do the home work on the car model you will be using before you leave home. Get the full run-down from the guy at pick-up location. Don't be afraid to ask!! Use the internet to download an English version of the Car Manual to take with you.
International Driving Permit. This is a translation of your home country drivers licence into 8 or 9 languages. It may or may not be mandatory by law in some os countries. Some car hire companies insist you have one (including French companies). Obtainable for 30 bucks or so from your state Automobile Association it is well worth having even if you are not going to drive.
The down side of leasing is you are responsible to provide mandatory equipment for the car. This includes: Reflective Warning Triangle, spare light bulbs, high visibility fluro jacket, first aid kit. (breathalyzer - new law July 2012) check out this web page. (NOTE: March 2013 the breathalyzer law may not entail fines if disobeyed??check this site)
Check with the company doing the leasing - they may supply the kit with the car. If they charge extra to do so, it could be cheaper to buy it yourself from a discount store. (thru' DriveAway, Peugeot provide the basic kit)....more in Travelogue below.
Accident?? Check also that the glove box has an Accident Report Form (Constat) to be filled out by both parties in the case of an accident. In the event of the police attending an accident in which you are involved but not at fault make sure to get from the police a written statement that you were not at fault ( Declaration de Main Courante) to show your insurance company.
photo 1: diesel Peugeot leased - note red plates
photo2 : cover of International Drivers Permit - in 2008 I was glad I had it when twice stopped by police at random checks
Inspired to "get on yer bike" by watching the Tour de France on tv?
As a waterway user in France, I use my bike every now and again to head off the canals to see what's over the hill or, more likely, to visit the boulangerie for a baguette. Some use is made of bicycles by the crew to ride ahead of the boat to have the lock keepers prepare for the locking procedure before the boat arrives. Saves time.
Canals have a tow path beside them very suitable for cycling. It's usually sealed, smooth and safe - free of mechanized transport (cars/trucks). Another feature is they are relatively flat and make for easy bicycling so we see lots of touring cyclists as we navigate the canals. Some are doing a "local" tour - part of the Burgubdy Canal for example. We have spoken to several who were doing more ambitious treks like Black Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.
Anyone wishing to tour parts of France by bike is well advised to seek info on the canal system first. It is extensive with over 7 thousand kilometers of canals and attendant tow paths.
Read review "Walking in France". Has interactive Canal Map of France with links to individual canals.
For a very good website promoting the towpaths of the canals of the Bourgogne Region for Cycling.
URL : http://www.burgundy-by-bike.com/burgundy-by-bike--01en.html
There is a comprehensive description (with map) of the established cycle paths 580 kms of them and the plan to eventually have 800kms of paths. The itineraries include - Canal de Bourgogne, Canal de Nivernais, Canal du Centre, Southern Burgundy & The Vineyard Way.
Maps are supplied and pull down menu links to accommodation carrying the Bourgogne by Velo label. Each itinerary has links to (a) Joining the itinerary (regional train & bus transport which have facilities for bikes) (b) Your intinerary ( map with distance markers and possible overnight stops) (c) On the way (sites and Sights) (d) Accommodation and restaurants (e) Bicycle rentals and repairs (f) Tourist offices (g) Guides and Incoming agencies (h) Further information (downloadable documents and brochures). Good guide on How to get to the Region as well. Top site - all you need to get you on your bike in Burgundy!!
Another suggestion is to get a copy of the Lonely Planet Guide: "CYCLING FRANCE" (Author:Ethan Gelber ISBN: 9781741040449)
It promises info on 34 great rides through the Best of France including Corsica. The info is comprehensive - everything you need to know in approx 500 pages and supplies tips from where to access equipment to sight seeing, eating and accommodation options.
Maps abound and each recommended ride is broken into daily stints. GPS co-ordinates are supplied.
I consulted the second edition (June 2009)and was very impressive by the detailed info provided. Only omission my untrained eye could find was in the safety equipment listed under Mandatory Bicycle Equipment in the "Safety on the Bike" section p470 and no doubt corrected in later edition (due mid 2012). There is a law in France requiring cyclists to don a "reflective safety vest" in conditions of reduced visibility (no definition of "reduced visibility" is given). So a vest is mandatory equipment! The book does suggest colourful clothing while riding and has "hi vis jacket" in a check list of stuff to take with you.
Another interesting option is to use the Lonely Planet’s pay-to-down-load feature and download chapter(s) as PDF.
Looking for a "do-it-yourself" cycling adventure in France with some of the organisation already done for you over-nighting in hotels which are cyclist-friendly?
A good place to start is the Loire a Velo website:
A comprehensive expo of everything you need to know to organise a trip tailored to your requirements be it two days or twelve. For example - one of the drop-down menus on the site, "Organise Your Stay" features ten subjects including : Book a Package Trip; What to see; Where to stay; Where to eat; Where to rent a bike; What to do; Where to find information; Transfer luggage; Hire a Specialist Guide; Cycle Travel Agents.
So...."Get on yer bike!"
The SNCF public transport of France for trains wants to be everywhere, including the bus line business. So in order to compete at all modes, they have created IDBus a passenger bus service from some cities in France to some cities in Europe
Leaving from Aix-en-Provence, Marseille,Lille,Nice, Lyon ,and Paris Bercy and airport CDG. Also leaving from Amsterdam,Brussels,Milan,Turin, London, and Genoa.
prices go from 39€ for 48 passengers seated buses with all comforts. Other than internet, you can purchase tickets here at station addresses.
you have electrical outlets and free WiFi aboard. You are allowed one carry on luggage free, and a second on board need to reserve in advance this feature.
so now the road has more to offer,and see more of the cities not just open fields.
I have the link in French but you can change country above middle of main page.
Timetables - Non TGV trains - Transport Express Régional
The Region chosen is PICARDY...relevant to those wishing to get to the Somme WW1 battle sites.
Timetables for regional trains are available for down loading as PDF’s. check instructions in the paragraph below before clicking the link.......
Example for Paris to Amiens plus other places
In the “FICHES HORAIRES DE LA RÉGION PICARDIE" box locate "Mon parcours"
"Ma ligne* :" Select Dropdown menu at end of the rectangle and
Make selection from Menu - after which click “VALIDER”
The Result for “Paris –Amiens” =
"24 FH Paris - Amiens - Abbeville - Rue - Calais - V du 22 11"
Click to open PDF
another option on the dropdown Menu - "01 FH Amiens - Lille" gives a Paris-Amiens-Lille timetable.
Here is the link to the Paris/Amiens/pdf without doing the above
I am indebted to vt member "cubsur" for this decode of French Regional Timetables:-
“Sorry but the downloadable TER timetables are only in French. They are exact reproductions of the leaflets you get in the stations, which are again only in French. 99% of the information you will see and hear is only in French.
Dictionary time I guess, but just quickly what you will see most often on the timetable:
Tous Les Jours - train runs every day, (holidays included)
Lun a Sam - Monday to Saturday, (does not run Sundays or holidays)
Lun a Ven - Monday to Friday, (does not run Saturdays, Sundays or Holidays)
Sam Dim Fetes - Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays only
Dim et Fetes - Sundays and Holidays only
Sauf Sam - not on Saturdays (but runs every other day)
Periode Scolaire - schooldays only
Mer Per Scol - school Wednesdays only (many schools in France have a half day Wednesday but finish at 5pm or later on other days!)
Circule jusqu'au - runs until...(date)
Circule a partir de - runs from... (date)
Ne circule pas - does not run...(dates)
Circule aussi - also runs on the...(dates)
Sauf - except...
You will not be surprised to know that the printed French railway timetables are considered to be among the most complicated in the world!”
We usually lease a car and if you are going for 21 days or longer, you may want to think about leasing. If your trip is shorter than 3 weeks, you will want to rent so here is my rental information below:
Some rental companies won't allow drivers over age 70 or 72. Check age requirements before you rent. There are some minimum age requirements too. It is always good to ask . . . or read the fine print.
You will pay more for an automatic but if you order ahead of time, you will have no trouble getting it. We always use an automatic. Any rental is cheaper if you order ahead.
You will also want to make sure you can take the car into all the countries you plan to visit. Some countries have higher accident rates and some rental companies won't allow their cars into those countries. I suppose there are licensing agreements too. Whatever the cause, you can't take some cars into some countries, so check that you can take your car into every country you plan to visit and be sure you are insured for all those countries.
We've used the following companies for our leases and they also rent so it's a good place to start your search. Check any major companies you normally use and take the best deal you can get. Prices vary wildly so check as many as you can. Here's my list.
Auto France (usually a leasing company but will send you to sixt rental)
The following has been recommended by a fellow VT member and they will rent to over 70s. Nova Car
In the UK we have used One Car Rental and this seems to have been taken over by Enterprise.
Get the smallest car you can cram yourselves into because fuel is expensive, streets are narrow and parking places miniscule.
On the bright side, driving gives you great freedom.
If you are using the car for 21 or more days (17 or more with Citroen), you should consider the buy-back (lease) program. We always do this and it is wonderful. You get a brand new car of your choice. We use the Peugeot 207 automatic for ourselves and also when we have one of our daughters with us. Four people would need the 307 or 407. There are larger models available. Since parking spaces are small, fuel expensive and roads can be very narrow, I suggest you get the smallest car you can fit all your things into. It's a good idea to keep everything you tote in the trunk out of sight but you usually have all your luggage only from the airport to your accommodations so you can put things in the back seat for that one trip . . . and keep an eye on the car at all times when stopped.
You have full insurance coverage, 24-hour roadside assistance and a new car. We always pick up and drop off in France so we don't have to pay extra charges but you can get the car nearly anyplace in Europe. Drop-off charges can be very high so consider picking up at a location in France near where you are going. For example, we pick up in Nice when going to Italy and pick up in Strasbourg when visiting Germany.
We have used Auto France the last few times but AutoEurope.com and Kemwel.com also have the Open Europe Lease Program with Peugeot.
Renault has a similar program but we haven't used them. I have heard from others that it works the same way and is equally satisfactory. I can highly recommend the Peugeot program because we've used it so many times and love it. I've added as many of our Peugeots as I can find. Taking pictures of cars is a bit unusual for me so there aren't too many.
If you live in the US, you can call 1 (800) 572-9655 toll free for an estimate. If you live elsewhere, you can visit the autofrance web site I gave above and get a phone number or e-mail them.
Air France may be good for short flights, but for LONG HAUL, I wouldn't consider them.
It wasn't the service, that was good, and so was the food, it was the seating.
On a long, overnight flight, what is needed, is COMFORT, this was lacking.
In ECONOMY CLASS, the seats were quite small and narrow, making it very difficult to eat my meal. I had to keep my arms as close to my side as possible. The seats were not that comfortable and as they were so narrow, it really was hard to get in a comfortable postion for sleeping. To add to the problem, was the small amount of leg room.
So my opinion is....................
If you are taking a LONG HAUL FLIGHT, then choose another Airline, I certainly will be next time!
During road trips in France, we have found the Supermarche chain stores have fuel at the cheapest prices.
They have cash only (or credit card) pumps where one pays at a kiosk after self-service and pumps taking credit cards in the pump itself. The later are available 24 hrs a day. See photo.
We have found that our Australian issued cards never seem to work in the machines so we go to the cash pump and give our credit card to the attendant. Have never had a problem doing it that way during business hours.
Be aware of the opening hours of the supermarkets. Most close for lunch and open half days on Sunday. See Photo.
If you have a diesel car (usually more fuel efficient), get the right pump - gazoil.
photo 1: Opening hours of Supermarket (typical)
photo 2: Pay with cash or card at the kiosk.
photo 3: Pay at pump with credit card 24 hours. (Your o/s card may not work!)
photo 4: cash pump : pay at kiosk during normal opening hours.
One feature of Mappy.com a web based mapping & route plan system that you may like - Get a map of the town you want - click the graphic of the fuel bowser in the top-right box. Mappy displays locations of garages on a map & lists current fuel prices at each place in order from the least expensive to the dearest. You select type of fuel required. How good is that?
click to open
Check out the travelogue which is aimed at first time car renters & leasers looking to travel to the ANZAC Day Dawn Service
It's equally applicable to first-time road trippers in France!
Travelogues are at the bottom of the intro page
Tips and comments are equally applicable to first time road trip to any part of France
We have rented automobiles several times in France (and elsewhere) for periods less than the minimum required to "lease" a car (our preferred option). see tip above.
A quarter of a century ago we were happy to forgo taking out "extra insurance" to limit the excess liability in the case of an accident or damage to the car....with age comes wisdom!!??
We no longer take that approach - preferring to limit our liability. I suggest you do too!
The usual deal when picking up a hire car is to present a credit card which leaves the hirer open to having arbitrary amounts charged to that credit card account if the car company deems it necessary because of damage.
Read most contracts & you will find an "excess clause". You could be liable for several thousand Euro. Most companies offer insurance to reduce the excess - charging a daily rate which, in some cases, nearly doubles the cost of the hire.
We usually hire through an Australian broker, paying Australian dollars and pay an upfront amount (approx. $60) to remove the excess.
I was very glad to have done so with a week's hire of a people-mover in France in 2008. The van was in less than pristine condition and had a crease in the bodywork in front of the driver's door below the left hand windscreen pillar plus damage to wing mirror and numerous scratches to body work elsewhere. Pick-up point, Never, had no alternative vehicle available so we were stuck with it.
As I usually do, I used my digital camera to photo graph every damaged area. Yes!I also ensured the contract had the damaged areas marked as well.
On day 6 of an 8 day hire, a crack developed in the windscreen bottom centre. After returning the vehicle, my credit card was charged over 800 Australian dollars to cover the damage to the windscreen.
I was able to recoup this excess in total via the Australian broker. I sent photos of the prior damage to the vehicle with the proposition that lateral pressure from that damage could well have caused the windscreen crack & to fix the damage to the car body the windscreen would have had to be removed any way.
Lessons to learn:
Take out the extra insurance
Take photos of any damage to vehicle before you drive away
check out this VT discussion on Hire Company hitting credit cards for huge amounts
The Four Seasons George V is truly one of the world's great hotels. I really, really love to stay...more
The hotel was amazing, right on the beach. It was very clean and the rooms were of excellent...more
1190ff per room per night. Superb location, excellent standard of decoration and lovely public...more
More Regions in France