Getting There & Around – French Grand Prix

Filed in French F1 Travel Guide by on 42 Comments

How to get to Le Castellet and the Paul Ricard circuit for the French Grand Prix on June 22-24, 2018.

Join our closed Facebook group Going to the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard to ask travel-related questions, connect with fellow fans and plan joint journeys to the circuit!

The Paul Ricard circuit is approximately 40km east of Marseilles, France’s second biggest city, in the direction of Toulon. If you are lucky enough to own or have access to a private jet, then you are in luck. The Paul Ricard circuit complex includes the private Le Castellet Airport. The rest of us need to fly into one of the larger airports nearby served by international carriers:

  • The best airport to fly into is Marseille Provence (MRS), approximately 65km from Paul Ricard. This growing hub serves many European and some international routes. The largest number of flights are with discount carriers Ryanair, Easyjet and Volotea. Seasonal destinations further afield include Istanbul, Tel Aviv and Montreal.
  • The closest airport – 55 km from Paul Ricard – is Toulon Hyères (TLN), but this only serves a handful of routes, many seasonal. Example routes: Paris (Orly or CDG) and Lyon with Air France/HOP!, Southamption in the UK with Flybe and Copenhagen with Scandinavian Airlines
  • Finally, Nice Côte d’Azur (NCE) is only 176 km from Paul Ricard and is larger than MRS. It serves as a hub for Air France and Easyjet, and also has more long-haul flights, including New York, Doha and Dubai.

Example return airfares to the 2018 French Grand Prix

Correct at time of publishing. Dates including 2018 French Grand Prix dates (all flights direct, unless stated otherwise):

  • London STN > Marseilles MRS: from £82 with Ryanair
  • Paris ORY > Marseilles MRS: from €99 with Air France
  • Amsterdam AMS > Marseilles MRS: from €160 with KLM
  • Berlin SXF > Marseilles: from €70 with Easyjet
  • New York JFK > Nice NCE: from $1120 USD with Delta
  • Sydney SYD > Nice NCE: from $1730 AUD with Qatar

OTHER WAYS TO GET TO LE CASTELLET

  • French trains are reliable, fast and often quite expensive, though you will save by booking in advance. Paris and Marseilles are connected by a high-speed TGV train that covers the distance of 750km+ in under 4 hours. Prices from €10 each way. Book on SNCF.
  • Depending on where you are traveling from, it could be worth driving your own car to Le Castellet (especially if you decide to camp). This part of Europe benefits from an excellent system of motorways, though you will have to factor in the cost of tolls. Both traffic and parking can also be a problem, but this is compensated by some incredible coastal and mountain scenery.

How to get to Paul Ricard Circuit

  • Shuttle Buses (update May 17): the organizers are putting on daily shuttle buses to Circuit Paul Ricard. Available from Marseille, Toulon, Hyeres, Aix-en-Provence, Aubagne & La Ciotat. Price are from €62 EUR per day, or €135 for 3 days. Please check the timetables provided, as buses leave for the circuit early in the morning and return late in the evening, which won’t be convenient for many fans. Click here for details and bookings.
  • Drive yourself: Given the fairly remote location of the Paul Ricard circuit, the best way to get to the race will be to drive yourself (hire a car) or stay as locally as possible, e.g. trackside camping. If you decided to base yourself in nearby Marseilles for the weekend, then the 40-45 km trip to the circuit via the A50 autoroute (use exit 11) should take around 45-60 minutes, notwithstanding traffic. Trackside parking can be purchased with your race tickets: 3-day parking costs 45 for cars and 25 for motorbikes. Click here for a map of local roads with access to the circuit.
  • Public transport: taking the train to the circuit is not really an option, as the closest stations are around 20km from the track.  If you are staying in Marseilles, you can take the train 20km east to Aubagne, then a taxi for 20km (but the taxi will set you back around €50-60). Otherwise, stay tuned for details of the shuttles organized by the circuit on race weekend.
  • Taxis / shuttles / ride sharing: taxis are not cheap on the French Riviera. Expect to pay around €100 each way to get to Paul Ricard from Marseilles: OK if you are sharing with fellow fans.

Have you been to Paul Ricard? Leave a comment below!

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About the Author ()

Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of F1Destinations.com. He originally hails from Adelaide, where he went to his first F1 race way back in 1987. He's been resident in Europe for almost 15 years and travels regularly to F1 races around the world.

Comments (42)

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  1. David Milne says:

    Thanks for your information on access to Circuit Paul Ricard.
    I was hoping to find that as with most races, shuttle buses would be available.
    Oh well, wait and see I guess.

    • Val Bedford says:

      Hi,I’m concerned re access too as not pre-booked parking and not on facebook! We’re staying in 13600 Bouches de Rhone area, have you had any joy with info re access for those who haven’t prebooked? Thank you.Val

  2. Michael Cook says:

    Well here we are the end of January and still no word about shuttles to the track. I’m have booked a room in Toulon but not bought tickets yet as I don’t know how to get to the track.
    That have had since 3016 to organize this, what the heck ???

  3. Michael Cook says:

    Still no news on any shuttle service, for the French race unbelievable,
    As I said in my other post they’ve had since 2016 to organize this.
    Seems they can’t organize a piss up in a winery! !

  4. nige wilkin says:

    hi mate
    7 of us staying in marseille just been quoted 700 euros to get to track and back absolute robbing b******ds

    • Editor says:

      That is a rip off. Just wait for details of official transfer service to be announced and take that

      • Kirsty says:

        Shuttle bus info is out 147 euros each for 3 days! No thank you.

        • Editor says:

          Yes, it’s a pretty big ripoff. Sorry!

        • Clive says:

          Hi Kirsty. My friend & me are staying in Toulon at the Loramac apartments.We have a hire car booked,car park at the circuit also.Like yourself I thought there would be shuttle bus but not at those prices.Let us know if you dont have any joy. Clive ps I have know joined F1 destinations Facebook group

  5. John Kane says:

    We will be staying in Cassis and although we will have a hire car we don’t particularly want to drive to the circuit. So we are relying on some kind of shuttle service from Cassis or nearby. It is now only 14 weeks to race day so I am really surprised that the organisers are yet to release transport details.

  6. Heidi says:

    Booked the flight to Marseille/accomodation for hols and F 1 tickets. I’m panicking now however as only 2 of us and transport to track and back will be very expensive it seems. Do you think a shuttle will be bookable in advance at all. I won’t be driving unfortunately. Thanks

  7. Kirsty says:

    Also waiting on Shuttle info. Tickets booked and accommodation in Toulon, so hoping on shuttles rather than hiring car!

  8. Lesley says:

    There are 9 of us staying in Marseilles and going Saturday and Sunday. If anyone fancies coming on board I can get prices for a 20 seater. Cheaper than travelling in small numbers. Message me at lesley@ finessetravel.co.uk

  9. allen says:

    Bonjour
    France gp parking problem
    drive car have a car park in circuit?
    need any advance booked for parking?
    and price?
    thanks

    MAR 22, 2018 | 11:46AM CET
    Emna Metoui replied:
    Bonjour,

    Merci pour votre message.

    Pour cet événement, ce sont uniquement des billets électroniques.

    Je reste à votre disposition pour de plus amples informations,

    Bien à vous,

    E

    Emna M.
    Formula 1® Tickets
    Tel.: +377 93 25 47 78

    The above is my ask and an official message.

    amazing & unbelievable

  10. Michael says:

    Any news on the official shuttles? It’s now the end of March.

  11. Hello. I had booked a flight to Marseille and I get tikets for June 24th. Any news of the official shuttles to get Paul Ricad circuit?

  12. Michel Verwijmeren says:

    Yesterday, the official Twitter account (GPFranceF1) told us that, next week, information about the Shuttle Services will be released.

    https://twitter.com/GPFranceF1/status/993809072477655042

  13. Karol says:

    Hi! I am concerned about the SNCF strike!! My flight arrives to Lyon, and I originally planned to travel by train to Marseille on Friday, but I have now realised it is a strike for that day!!! Any alternatives on how to move from Lyon-Marseille and back.

    • Ali says:

      I booked a train ticket from Paris to Marseille on Friday (22nd) and then realized it is a strike day (though the SNCF website mentions that my train is running)

      do you have any information on affected trains?

      Thanks

  14. Gustatio says:

    Editor, thanks! And thanks for sharing your great posts every week!

  15. thomas gosewinkel says:

    Is anyone camping near at the circuit would be keen to share a taxi from a town
    Would like to get there thursday . Email me on tlrlz82@gmail.com thanks thomas

  16. Nigel Durbridge says:

    Sorry to change the subject a bit, but can you take food and beer into the circuit.

    • Giorgio says:

      Yes you can, if you’re a bit of a smuggler. Cans, bottles (glass and plastic) are all prohibited. You will be forced to leave it at the entrance … if they search you (which they will) and find anything (not always if you hide it properly). Food is not an issue depending on the packaging.

  17. Bumhole Mcgillacutty says:

    I’ve never been to this circuit but I’ve been allowed to take food and beer into circuits in the UK, Belgium and Italy so I’d imagine it’s the same here.

    Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

  18. Balazs Pasztori says:

    Hello F1 fans,

    My girlfriend and I will be visiting the practice on Friday only. As I see the shuttle is very expensive and the schedule is not the best as well. If you rent a car and you have 2 seats we are happy to join you and split the costs for that day. If you are planning to go by cab/taxi we can share and save a lot. I hope we will find somebody who has the same issue.

    Have a good day!

    Balazs

  19. Val Bedford says:

    My husband & I are staying at La Ciotat,13600 Bouches du Rhone, is anyone close to share travel to circuit? Any suggestions will be appreciated. Sorry, think we’re the only people in the world not on facebook!

  20. Charlotte says:

    we are arriving on the weds and are getting public transport and are fairly stuck after we get to Toulon I guess, such a shame its so in accessable for people! hope we bump into people in the same boat to share that huge taxi fare

  21. Kenn Meier says:

    Does anuboduý knows if there will be buses from Bandol to the Circuit Paul Ricard from this week?

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