Car Hire at Lourdes Airport
This information is correct as of July 2015
When you hire a car at Lourdes Airport you can do more than pay tribute to the Virgin Mary. You can also explore the ancient cheese and wine producing towns of the Midi-Pyrenees. If you visit during winter you can try your hand at skiing.
Where to hire a car at Lourdes Airport
Avis, Enterprise, Europcar and Hertz all have desks in the arrivals hall of Lourdes Airport.
Petrol stations near Lourdes Airport
Depending on your car rental agreement, you may need to hand your car back with a full tank.
There is an Esso petrol station on the N21 just outside of Lourdes. This is the last petrol station before the airport, so it’s best to fill your tank here. If you’re coming from Tarbes, there’s an Esso on the D935a just before you join the N21. This is the most convenient place to fill up.
Driving around Lourdes Airport
The N21 trunk road passes the airport. There are no tolls on the road. The road becomes a dual carriageway south of Lourdes, but to the north there is only one lane in each direction. People drive fast along this road, and aren’t averse to dangerous overtaking. Keep a good distance between yourself and the car in front. Remember to drive on the right hand side.
Getting to your destination
With its beautiful sanctuary and abundance of shops selling religious items, Lourdes is often likened to a Catholic Disneyland.
It takes just over 15 minutes to drive to Lourdes from the airport. There are some free parking lots on the outskirts of the town, which is ideal if you don’t mind a short walk to the sanctuary. Lots of hotels in Lourdes also offer free parking. If you want to get a bit closer to the action there are a few paid car parks: one of the largest is on Place Peyramale, underneath the Tourist Information Centre.
With its beautiful park (Jardin Massey) and great shopping, Tarbes makes the perfect base for exploring the region. The Madiran wine region is a short drive away, as is Marciac (famous for its jazz festival) and Laruns (famed for its cheese).
Tarbes is about 15 minutes drive from Lourdes Airport. Parking in Tarbes is split into three zones: non-pay, green, and red. In the non-pay zones you can’t leave your car for more than 24 hours in the same space. If your hotel doesn’t have car parking, remember to shift your car every morning. Parking in the Green Zone costs 30 cents (about 20p) for 15 minutes and €2.80 (about £2) for eight hours. Prices in the Red Zone start at 30 cents (about 20p) for 15 minutes rising to €3.60 (about £2.60) for three hours: the maximum stay. Most of the parking in Tarbes falls under the Red Zone.
La Mongie has 39 ski runs, a great ski school, and plenty of places nearby where you can enjoy cross country skiing. Add a low key après ski scene and you’ve got the perfect spot for a winter break.
It takes about an hour to drive to La Mongie from the airport. During winter you will need snow chains to access the ski resort. These can be bought from garages along the route, or from larger French supermarkets. Some car hire companies will provide them for an extra charge. There’s a large public car park in La Mongie and loads of on-street spaces where you can leave your hire car while you hit the slopes.
Prices subject to change