The main choices are between road, air, and rail.

Driving and using either the ferry or the Channel Tunnel is probably a good option. This is obviously a good option if you are intending to combine the trip with a holiday. It is worth being in France for Bastille day when even the smallest village holds a celebration. A good guide to driving information is Autoroutes du Sud, which will recommend a route, estimate (optimistically!) the driving time and even tell you the cost of the motorway fees!

Air travel is will take you to a Fench airport, but then you need to get to area of the Etape. This will generally involve the cost of hiring a car, and for an expensive racing bike, a bike box is recommended. Flying may be the best option if you want a short trip with no expense spared!
A number of Etappers were caught out in 2003 by trying to fly out two days before the Etape. Their flight was cancelled, and desparate attempts to get there in time involved taking a flight on another airline, then driving across Northern Spain. Some of them arrived too late. You are therefore advised fly out with time to spare before the event!

Rail is more difficult than you might imagine as you may have to send your bike on in advance on some routes.


Prices vary with the number of passengers, use of cabins, whether bikes are inside, on the roof or on the tailgate etc. You will need to phone the ferry companies for more details. in order to cost your trip more precisely.


The phone numbers of the ferry companies are:

Portsmouth - Caen, Poole - Cherbourg): 08705 360 360

Condor: (Poole - St Malo) 08705 345 2000

Hoverspeed: (Dover - Calais) 08705 - 240 241

P&O (Dover - Calais) 0870 2424 999

Sea France: (Dover - Calais) 08705 711 711

Eurotunnel: 08705 353535