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motorway aires: 16

france zone logo

motorway aires[1]
the other motorway
of the two seas
- the A64 and A61

featuring Hastingues, Poey de Lascar,
Pic du Midi, Pyrénées,
Ayguesvives, Renneville, Port Lauragais,
Carcassonne, Pech Loubat aires

Motorways/autoroutes of France, showing the A64 and A61 autoroutes

Click for motorways and motorway aires in France.

interactive map of the A64 and A61 autoroutes/motorways The Hastingues aire, A64 Rennesville aire, A61 The Pyrenees - Tour de France aire, A64 Ayguesvives aire, A61 Port-Lauragais aire, A61 Pech Loubat aire, A61 aires on the autoroute of two seas - the A62 Aires on the motorway to Spain - the A9 autoroute Wildflower haven - Poey de Lascar aire Pic du Midi aire Aires that overlook the Cité de Carcassonne


new : penury of fuel - all 8 french refineries blockaded : useful maps

cathedral labyrinths and mazes in France illustrated
using metal in gothic cathedral construction illustrated

paying at the péage (toll station) .

Germans in France .
cathedral destruction during the French revolution, subsidiary page to Germans in France

click to return to the France Zone home page

on first arriving in France - driving
France is not England

Click for motorways and motorway aires in France.

Transbordeur bridges in France and the world 2: focus on Portugalete, Chicago, Rochefort-Martrou illustrated
Gustave Eiffel’s first work: the Eiffel passerelle, Bordeaux illustrated
a fifth bridge coming to Bordeaux: pont Chaban-Delmas, a new vertical lift bridge illustrated

France’s western isles: Ile de Ré
France’s western iles: Ile d’Oleron

Ile de France, Paris: in the context of Abelard and of French cathedralsillustrated
short biography of Pierre (Peter) Abelard

Marianne - a French national symbol, with French definitive stamps

la Belle Epoque illustrated
Grand Palais, Paris

Click to go to pages about Art Deco at

Click to go to 'the highest, longest: the viaduct de Millau'

Pic du Midi - observing stars clearly, A64 illustrated
Carcassonne, A61: world heritage fortified city illustrated

Space City, Toulouse

the French umbrella & Aurillac

50 years old: Citroën DS
the Citroën 2CV: a French motoring icon

the forest as seen by Francois Mauriac, and today illustrated
Les Landes, places and playtime illustrated
roundabout art of Les Landes

Hermès scarves

Hèrmes logo

bastide towns
mardi gras! carnival in Basque country
country life in France: the poultry fair

what a hair cut! m & french pop/rock

Tour de France route 2015
Le Tour de France: cycling tactics



New translation, the Magna Carta

interactive map: hover with your mouse,
clickable areas in pink or
orange change to a hand icon


end notes

Motorway aires are designed to provide a suitable environment for relaxing, refreshing and recovering during the long, hard journeys.

As well as facilities of often dubious nature, picnic tables and seats, a telephone kiosk, there are often optional extras such as a play area or a display related to some local interest or event.

the other autoroute des deux mers

Our featured motorway system stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, and should be called the Motorway of the Two Seas -l’Autoroute des Deux Mers. However, that title is given to the A62 motorway that runs from Bordeaux to Toulouse and the A61 from Toulouse to Narbonne. These motorways run closely alongside the long Canal that also connects these two seas, the Canal du Midi.

The motorways featured in this page, which also extend from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, are the Pyrenean Autoroute, the A64, from Bayonne in the west to Toulouse and the A61 from Toulouse to Narbonne on the Med.

Both these motorways have several notable aires worth visiting, while Toulouse is home to a scientific theme park - the Cité de l’espace - Space City.

Note that as you approach Toulouse, there is increasing air pollution, both from the weight of traffic and from local heavy industry. It is often better to keep your windows closed, and even close off your car’s air circulation from the exterior.

featured aires

Click on the yellow links to see the full page for each aire.


The pilgrom statue at Hastingues aire, A64

This large open aire with a service station features the pilgrims’ route to Santiago de Compostelle in north western Spain, which close by is a well preserved bastide, or fortified town.

logo for the Saint Jacques de Compostella pilgrimage.

Poey de Lascar

Violet at Poey de Lascar aire, A64Wildflowers at Poey de Lascar aire, A64

Wildflowers at Poey de Lascar aire, A64
Some of the daisies at Poey de Lascar aire, A64

Travelling on the long A64 in south west France need not be boring. Stop at a wildflower haven and relax awhile.

Pic du Midi - observing space clearly

Astronomy play area at Pic du Midi aire, A64

This is a vast aire themed on astronomy and the international Observatory, less than 50 km away by road and over 2000 metres higher, at the top of the Pic du Midi. There are many astronomical installations, a film show and a cafeteria, as well as views over one of the more impressive parts of the Pyrenees mountain range.



The installation at the Pyrenees aire, A64

With a service station and small café and shop, this aire is dominated by an extraodinary sculpture that celebrates the greatest show in the world, the Tour de France.


Port-lauragais and two neighbouring aires
on the Canal du Midi

For a while, to the east of Toulouse, the A61 motorway runs very close to the magnificent canal that goes from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. On the southern side of the motorway are three aires worth visiting, two small and one large one with many facilities, including boat trips on the Canal itself [depending on the time of year].

Lock house at Ecluse du Sanglier


View from the Belvedere de la Cité aire looking towards Carcassonne.
View from the Belvédère de la Cité aire looking towards Carcassonne.

Two aires, one in each direction of the A61 autoroute, provide panaromic views of the magnificent medieval fortified city, restored and now the most visited place in France.

Pech Loubat

In the land of the Cathars [a fervent Christian sect during the Middle Ages], this aire is veritable wild flower park with a dramatic view towards the nearby Mediterranean Sea, observed by three silent watchers - giant Cathar knights surveilling their lands.

Cathar knights at Pech Loubat aire, A61