How to get to Soulac-sur-mer without a car

 By train via Bordeaux

Soulac-sur-Mer has a railway station on the branch line (Ligne du Médoc) from Bordeaux (St Jean) to Le Verdon. These are local TER trains, therefore reservations are not available between Bordeaux and Soulac.

Trains are timed to connect with TGV trains at Bordeaux (St. Jean) arriving from and leaving for Paris-Montparnasse. The journey is about 2 hours.

Download and print timetables at: :  http://www.ter.sncf.com/aquitaine

Select the 'fiche horaire' for the line 33 Le Verdon - Lesparre - Bordeaux.  This no longer shows the connections to and from Paris.  The best source of up to date information about all connections at Bordeaux is http://www.voyages-sncf.com

Bikes, surfboards, bodyboards etc are allowed on the trains and are carried free of charge in a special compartment.

Summary of train service - summer ie July and August - these are times for 2016

Trains leave Bordeaux St Jean at these times on weekdays : 0711, 0920, 1111, 1311, 1611, 1811 and 1941. On Saturdays 0920, 1111, 1311 1611 and 1811 and on Sundays and Holidays at 0920, 1111, 1311, 1611 and 1811.

 From Soulac to Bordeaux weekdays at 0632, 0754, 0954, 1154, 1354, 1654 and 1854; Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays at 0754, 0954, 1154, 1354, 1654 and 1854.

Journey time is 1hr 50 minutes approximately. There are far fewer trains in winter. 

Station location at Soulac-sur-Mer

The station at Soulac is 7 or 8 minutes walk from the centre of the village, but a considerable distance from the many 'campings' that are to be found in the area. A taxi sometimes waits at the station or can be phoned - the number is posted at the station. There is no local bus service to most places.

By Bus from Bordeaux

This is not really practicable since the bus at Soulac (Route 713) starts and finishes at Lesparre, a town on the way to Bordeaux on the railway line mentioned above. The bus timetable can be downloaded from

http://transgironde.gironde.fr

It serves Soulac sur Mer three times a day on weekdays and Saturdays, once a day on Sundays.

By Ferry from Royan to Pointe de Grave

Soulac-sur-Mer is almost at the very tip of the Médoc peninsular. The ferry terminal at Le Pointe de Grave is about 6 miles/9.5km from Soulac.

Ferries cross the mouth of the Gironde from Royan in about 20 minutes. Coming from the north by motorbike or bike you can save 120 miles by taking this route.

The timetables and fares for the ferries can be found at http://transgironde.gironde.fr/ftp/FR... In July and August there is a ferry about every 50 minutes.

The trains from Pointe de Grave towards Soulac and Lesparre (see above) run only in July and August. The 'station' is about 200 metres from the ferry dock. It has no staff, buy tickets on the train.

 Bus 713 to Soulac runs from a stop about 200 metres from the ferry dock, close to the railway 'station'. This bus runs three times a day on weekdays and Saturdays, once a day on Sundays. This bus runs to Lesparre via Soulac sur Mer. In summer there is also bus 718 twice a day to Vendays-Montalivet via Soulac. Fare  (2016) is €2,60 for any journey.

 Bus timetables can be downloaded from http://transgironde.gironde.fr

 You can cycle, rollerblade or walk - there is a nice footpath and bike path (concrete or tarmac) all the way from Pointe de Grave to Soulac (and beyond) through the woods and dunes, alongside the little tourist train line (summer only) that goes most of the way. It is more or less flat and is an easy ride.

 There is also the tourist train from Pointe de Grave to Soulac Les Arros. This runs seven times every day, during July and August. Although primarily a train 'just for the ride' it does serve a useful purpose. The little train starts from its own station about 50 metres further down the road than the other station. One way ticket is 4 Euros, round - trip 7 Euros cash payments only. Times at  http://www.tourisme-leverdon.com/trai...

This is a real train, running on rails originally laid in the 1920's during the construction of defences against the encroaching seas.

The stop in Soulac is about 10 minutes walk from the town centre.

From Bordeaux airport

 Option1 - Take the 'Airbus' from outside the airport terminal to the Gare St Jean. It costs 7,20 Euros and runs every 60 minutes every day. The bus journey takes between 30 and 45 minutes depending on traffic and ends its run at the station.

Option 2 - There is also an ordinary city bus (Liane 1) every 10 - 20 minutes from the airport to the main station. This takes about 45 minutes, longer during weekday rush hours.  The fare is €1,50. Buses used have luggage racks.

For a shorter but less straightforward connection to Soulac, take the Liane 1 bus as far as the Lycées Mérignac stop. Change there for the tram to Fontaines D'Arlac, which is next to the railway station Mérignac - Arlac, which is a stop on the line from Bordeaux to Soulac

The railway station there is unstaffed. There is a ticket machine that takes cash and cards.

However, if the wait is long at Mérignac - Arlac be warned that there is neither bar nor shop in that area!

 Tram and bus details are at www.infotbc.com

Option 3 - A taxi from airport to Gare St Jean will cost at least 30 Euros, less to Mérignac - Arlac.

From Bordeaux City Centre etc

Take the train as above from Gare St Jean. If staying in of the many hotels in the Meriadeck area, the tram will take you to Fontaines D'Arlac as above and to the railway station on the Médoc line at Mérignac - Arlac. This is next to the Fontaines d'Arlac tram stop on Ligne A and also served by buses 23, 42 and 54. This gives good connections from the Mérignac area and western suburbs without having to go back into the city. 

Getting around while there

Soulac and the surrounding area has an excellent network of cycle paths, all hard surfaced, which  the many thousands of visitors to the 'campings' find indispensible during their stay. The whole area is virtually flat and the riding is easy. Maps are available from the tourist office at  68, rue de la Plage opposite the market.

There are bike hire shops in Soulac but get there early, as demand is very high during July and August.

  Cyclo-Star http://www.cyclo-star.com/  9 Rue Fernand Laffargue

   Ericycles,  5 Rue Du Cardinal Donnet

   Several campings also rent bikes.

 In July and August there is a little tourist train that rumbles its way slowly through the woods, seven times a day, between Soulac (Les Arros) and the Pointe de Grave stopping near a couple of the popular beaches on the way. More information at http://www.ville-verdon.org/le-verdon...

The only local buses are the 713 (three buses each way weekdays and Saturdays, one each way on Sundays) Lesparre - Soulac - Le Verdon - Pointe de Grave and 718 (summer only, two buses each day) Vendays - Montalivet - Grayan - Soulac - Le Verdon - Pointe de Grave.

Timetables can be downloaded from http://transgironde.gironde.fr/