You are in for more than just a single treat traveling to France where you can not only have an amazing culinary experience while sipping on the finest wines you can also enjoy the beautiful architecture and scenic parts of the country. Adding the French Grand Prix to your plans simply makes a trip to France an unforgettable one.
The French Grand Prix takes place in the small rural town of Le Castellet at the Circuit Paul Ricard. Your Grand Prix experience is ready and waiting and simply click here to get started on creating it. Let’s take a look at what to expect when traveling to France for the F1 Grand Prix.
PACKING YOUR BAGS
The French Grand Prix usually takes place in the heart of summer in July, which means temperatures will be dry and hot. Temperatures can consistently hit close to thirty degrees on a daily basis and have very comfortable lows closer to twenty degrees. Rain is a rarity, which means packing rain gear is optional and not a must-have.
The beautiful weather is perfect for watching the race and visiting the scenic countryside that surrounds the circuit. Just don’t forget to pack sunscreen and light clothing. Bringing some light formal or chic attire for your nighttime adventures will have you blend in a little easier with the French who have a knack for fashion.
AIRPORTS AND TRANSPORTATION
Traveling within Europe and nearby countries will likely have you land at the Marseille Provence Airport (MRS) which services many of the smaller carriers. The Marseille airport is about sixty-five kilometers from Circuit Paul Ricard and if you travel by car it will take about an hour to get there. Traveling by train to the Le Castellet is not possible so renting a car or booking a taxi or personal car service is essential.
Traveling from outside of Europe it would be wise to try and land in Nice if you want to reduce your travel time to the track compared to landing in Paris. Landing at the Nice Cote D’Azur Airport (NCE) will take you two hundred kilometers from Le Castellet which translates to nearly a two-hour drive by car. Unfortunately, there are no direct buses or trains that can take you to Le Castellet. Taking the bus will require multiple transfers and well over fours of travel time.
Landing in Paris is an option, but you will be nearly seven hundred fifty kilometers away from the Grand Prix which isn’t optimal if you are planning on return trips every day. A speed train can get you to Marseille in three and a half hours. If you are planning an extended stay in France, landing in Paris is completely feasible but if you are planning on a shorter trip, the latter two options are your best bet.
GETTING TO THE TRACK
During the Grand Prix weekend, we strongly recommend renting a car or booking a car service to take you to the race. Parking has been made widely available near the circuit and race organizers have also ensured dedicated lanes on the highway for groups traveling by car or bus.
This tactic has greatly reduced the traffic and travel time, making driving there extremely viable. Shuttle buses are also widely available, but you need to book your tickets in advance to save yourself some seats!
Circuit Paul Ricard offers free parking to cars with four or more passengers, but you will need to reserve your stop beforehand. The circuit also offers multi-tiered paid parking spots that also need to be reserved ahead of time.
WHERE TO STAY
You can’t go wrong choosing any of the following areas to book your accommodations because no matter the size of the city or town there will always be great food and wine at the least to keep you happy.
The French Grand Prix is in the south of France hugging the iconic and stunning Cote D’Azur also known as the French Riviera offering beautiful ocean views and beaches to sink your toes in. You have a large selection of cities or villages to choose from and we believe the following are worth looking into; Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Cassis, and Toulon.
Le Castellet is a small rural village which means accommodations will be short in supply so booking way ahead of time is crucial. Le Castellet, despite its small size, offers some five-star caliber hotels but space is always limited. Campsites are widely available, but most sites will require some travel time to reach the circuit. The closest site is about 4km away, making it a good walk to get to the track.
This beautiful port city has developed a reputation for its cultural roots and amazing architecture found in and around the city. Booking your Hotel in Marseille will present many options from staying in inexpensive hostels to luxurious hotels and everything else in between.
We suggest finding accommodations in the Vieux Port (Old Port) area of Marseille which will offer all the restaurants, cafés, and landmarks you can handle during your stay. Booking a hotel near any subway station instantly gives you access to the entire city if the Vieux Port does not interest you.
Booking along the French Riviera or Cote Azur opens up the doors for daily adventures in different towns and cities along the coast when you aren’t at the track. An extended stay is worth your time and will only make your GP experience even better.
Toulon is a much smaller port city compared to Marseille but does not lack anything in terms of high-quality restaurants, nightlife, and landmarks to enjoy. Toulon is about thirty minutes away from the track which makes it an extremely practical place to book your hotel in. Try to stick to the city center to get the most out of your stay during the GP.
Pretty much every city or village along this beautiful coast is worth visiting or booking your hotel in and Cassis is no exception. Cassis is about thirty minutes away from Le Castellet and offers scheduled shuttle buses throughout the entire GP weekend.
WHERE TO EAT
If you cannot find a great restaurant in France, you must have been dropped on your head multiple times when you were a baby. Finding an amazing restaurant is not the issue but rather can you live with what you weren’t able to try. No matter where you are visiting during the race, your taste buds will have you begin for more.
Due to a large number of amazing restaurants, we are sharing some of the best in the cities mentioned above. Even if you book your hotel in one of the areas not covered you will find a great spot to eat.
|BEAM||TABLES ET COMPTOIR||LA MAISON DU ROTISSEUR|
|AU SOURD||LE LOCAL||BISTROT DU BOUCAN|
|RACINES||LE FINGER||LE SAINT GABRIEL|
The nightlife experience along the coast offers unique spots that can have you enjoying a nice cold drink after soaking up the sun on the beach in open-air lounges or rooftops. Marseille due to its larger size has more nightclubs or “Boite de Nuit” as the locals would call it.
No matter which area you choose to visit, the nightlife scene is always vibrant and offers something for everyone to enjoy. Here are some of the best bars and Nightclubs to enjoy a drink or two in.
MARSEILLE NIGHTCLUBS AND BARS
|BARBEROUSSE MARSEILLE||PELLE-MELE||LE BAZAR MARSEILLE|
|POLIKARPOV||U-PERCUT||CHEZ PABLO DEALER|
|TROLLEY BUS||FLAMINGO||BABY CLUB MARSEILLE|
TOULON NIGHTCLUBS AND BARS
CASSIS NIGHTCLUBS AND BARS
It will feel like everywhere you go in the south of France that you have stepped into a living and breathing postcard. There is no shortage of landmarks to visit and the natural vistas of the ocean and countryside are treats for the eyes. Even the Circuit Paul Ricard is one of the friendliest for spectators due to the grandstands positioning offering more than a single turn to watch.
France is a top destination for tourists, be it for the French Grand Prix or not. Marseille offers both the coastal and urban experience which means there will be plenty of museums and churches to peruse while the other smaller port cities are more subdued offering the same. If you are staying further away from the coast, vineyards and beautiful hiking opportunities are always on the menu.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
- Travel Visas are not required for most travelers from most countries around the world.
- France uses Euro dollars and be sure to have some cash on you because credit cards are not always accepted in smaller establishments.
- France uses Type F sockets so bring a power adaptor if you are traveling from outside of Europe.
- The time zone is +6GMT or +2UTC
- French is the primary language used in the region. English is not uncommon in tourist areas.
- Avoid making any stereotypical comments or gestures about the French culture
- Book with Grandprixexperience.com