Costa Brava Car Hire / Getting From Cadaques to France
You seem like an expert on the Costa Brava so I thought I would pose this question to you - My family and I are arriving to Barcelona in late June. We will drive north up the Costa Brava for a few days with our end destination being Provence.
I had planned on renting a car in Barcelona and dropping it off somewhere near the border of France and then picking up a hire car in France. I had hoped to pick up our France rental in Avignon as we will return it there and head to Paris at the end of our trip.
However, I fear that Avignon may be too far from Cadaques, where we will be staying prior to heading into France.
I am having a hard time nailing down what the best options are. Can you offer any advice?
Thanks very much.
You are right. It is quite far from Cadaques to Avignon (about 327 km)!
The nearest Costa Brava town to the French border where you can drop car rentals off is Figueres. Which is 33 km from Cadaques and 56 km from France.
Here are some options...
OPTION 1 - Leave your hire car at Figueres and catch the train or bus to Perpignan where you can pick up another hire car for the France part of your trip.
Bus from Figueres to Perpignan (Line Bus) - There are 5 buses a day, it takes 1 hour and the price is €31 per person. In fact you can actually catch a bus all the way to Avignon from Figueres for €47 per person, which takes about 4 hours.
Train from Figueres to Perpignan (RENFE) - There are 2 fast trains a day, it takes 30 minutes and the price is around €9 per person. These trains go from Figueres-Vilafant (which is on the outskirts of Figueres). You can also book trains through Rail Europe (which is slightly more expensive because they take a commission).
If you wanted to take a more scenic train route, you could take the slow regional train from Figueres (the town centre train station) via Llanca, Portbou and Cerbere (just the other side of the French border). You have to change trains at the border as the regional train has to switch gauge on to the French train tracks. These trains run more frequently (every couple of hours) and are cheaper.
OPTION 2 - Take your hire car over the border into France and drive it to Avignon. Many hire car companies do allow you to drop the car off in another European country (at a price of course).
Check out these car hire companies...
Holiday Autos (0870 400 0011)
Hertz (0870 599 6699)
Europcar (0845 722 2525)
Budget (0800 181181)
Avis (0870 606 0100)
OPTION 3 - Take a taxi from Cadaques to Perpignan or from Figueres to Perpignan. The price per km for a taxi on the Costa Brava is anywhere from €0.59 to €1.00 and you will be charged the return fare. So, it is 100 km from Cadaques to Perpignan, which should cost about €200 and it is 33 km from Figueres to Cadaques, which should cost about €66.
Hopefully you have found this information helpful in planning your trip.
Have a great holiday!
Jonnie and Imogen