Driving to Biarritz, France
I drove from Bordeaux to Biarritz in the SouthWest of France. It is normally a 2.5 hour drive but I wanted to see the gigantic sand dunes near Arcachon so I stopped there. It was the third week of August so many French are still out on their annual holiday vacations. The traffic (or in French it’s called “circulation”) was horrendous taking a side highway off the main A63 highway. After 2 hours of wading through heavy vacation traffic to get to Arcachon, we made a quick stop to stroll the promenade in Arcachon Bay. It was beautiful.
But trying to get a glimpse of Dune di Pyla just south of Arcachon was another long wait in traffic. I finally made it to Plage La Lagune (Laguna Beach) for a break. Here’s a quick video of what it looks like:
Nice but I had to be on my way. Took a route through Biscarrosse to get back to the main A63 highway. The speed limit on French highways is 130kph — that’s KPH not MPH — which was a nice cruising speed. I had originally rented an economy car with automatic transmission but all they had to give me instead was a Skoda Octavia station wagon which was really a nice cruising car. See here:
By the way, I booked the rental car online and didn’t add insurance thinking it would be just as easy to add it later. It costs a whole lot more to add it later so add it when booking. I chose the “Super Complet” deal that had no deductible as opposed to having some kind of deductible. It wasn’t cheap at 160euros for 4 days but I wanted peace of mind. I also chose not to add the fuel surcharge at the end of the trip thinking I could easily find a gas station and fill it up cheaper myself. Turns out I couldn’t find a gas station close to the Bordeaux airport on the return and paid the cost for filling 3/4 tank of gas.
Eventually I made it down to Biarritz but the last 20kms or so required stopping at 3 different toll booths or “peage” as you they are called. They cost anywhere from 1.20 euro to 3.50 euro. Some required a Euro credit card as they would not take an American credit card. So have Euro coins handy to throw into the basket. My front seat co-pilot passenger, my daughter, would have the coins ready before hand making it easier to get in and out of the toll booth area.
Once in Biarritz, I slowed to navigate the roundabouts in town to get to my hotel. See next article for hotel description.