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Nearest main station for car rental??

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Sydney, Australia
posts: 167
reviews: 14
Nearest main station for car rental??

Hi there fellow travellers ;-)

We would love to visit Sarlat mid Aug and will be coming from Aix-Provence.

After reading, it seems best to have a car to get about for a couple of days.Which would be the best train station to go to from Aix-Provence that we could pick up a car then drive onto Sarlat??

Then drop the car off and catch the train up to Calais.

Ideas appreciated :-)

Albufeira, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Algarve, Faro
posts: 32,782
reviews: 22
1. Re: Nearest main station for car rental??

Bordeaux St Jean is my suggestion. Many of the usual large agencies have offices there or nearby.

Check train times and journey durations (at www.voyages-sncf.com) as Bordeaux is about 6hrs 30min - 7hrs 30min from Aix-en-Provence by train.You might not want to arrive in Bordeaux after the car rental offices have closed, although a night in Bordeaux isn't too bad a thought.

Bordeaux to Sarlat is 170km - 200km depending on which way you go.

Bordeaux to Calais by train also takes about 6 or 7 hours.

The thought occurs that if you rented a car in Aix-en-Provence you could probably drive to Sarlat direct in 6 or 7 hours.

Another thought is that Air France flies Marseille - Bordeaux four or five times each day. If time is an issue, that might also be worth investigation. There's plenty of car hire at the airport.

I hope that helps.

Sydney, Australia
posts: 167
reviews: 14
2. Re: Nearest main station for car rental??

Yes,I thought it would probably be Bordeaux. We have a rail pass so will use the train :-)then O/nite in Bordeaux and pick up the car in the am. So as not to back track. Return drive to Tours and drop off car. O/nite there and train to Calais the next day?

Tampa, Florida
posts: 31,557
reviews: 9
3. Re: Nearest main station for car rental??

count on 4-5 hours from Sarlat to Tours if you stay on the motorway and don't dawdle.. Yes, really.

Columbus
posts: 22
reviews: 22
4. Re: Nearest main station for car rental??

Why not take the train to Sarlat & rent the car there? We rented from Europcar & picked up the car there in Sarlat. Don't miss the market on Saturday morning: get there early!

Sydney, Australia
posts: 167
reviews: 14
5. Re: Nearest main station for car rental??

Would love to go directly by train... but by reading other posts it's a near impossible task :-( ??????

Albufeira, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Algarve, Faro
posts: 32,782
reviews: 22
6. Re: Nearest main station for car rental??

Well the whole journey by train to Sarlat from Aix en Provence would take 9 to 10 hours, not impossible but a very long day. Problem is that Sarlat is at the end of a branch line and you have to go round in a big loop to get there.

Driving cuts across the loop.

Sydney, Australia
posts: 167
reviews: 14
7. Re: Nearest main station for car rental??

Just another thought, if we left from Marseille in the morning and took a train to a main station (???), then picked up a car from this station to drive onto Sarlat?? That would give us the car for a couple of days while in Sarlat :-)

Which station would be the better option do you think ??

Ohio, USA
posts: 19,030
reviews: 4
8. Re: Nearest main station for car rental??

You could take the train to Toulouse which would cut about 2 hours off the train journey when compared with going all the way to Bordeaux. You could make it to Toulouse in a little over 3.5 hours from Marseille, perhaps an hour longer from Aix. Toulouse is not much farther from Sarlat than Bordeaux. At most the difference would be about 25 km.

See www.tgv-europe.com for train timetables and fares using this useful "how to" by fellow-Australian sydneynick as a guide: www.nickbooth.id.au/Tips/FrenchTrain.htm

posts: 24
reviews: 51
9. Re: Nearest main station for car rental??

........or stay on the train as far as Brive and pick up the car there (not sundays). 1 Hour to Sarlat.

Drop off at the same place for the Paris train.

Ohio, USA
posts: 19,030
reviews: 4
10. Re: Nearest main station for car rental??

I have not checked but at a guess it would take the better part of 8 hours to get from Aix to Brive by train with at least a couple of connections. I'm sticking with Toulouse.