Travelling to Laroque des Alberes using Luton-Nimes flights
During the summer there are lots of flight options from the UK to the area. Perpignan nearest, then Carcassonne or Girona, Beziers, Montpellier, Barcelona, Toulouse….
Unfortunately there are fewer flights in the winter: this winter there haven’t been any flights from the UK to Perpignan. We’ve used the flights to Carcassonne, but for our most recent trip (last weekend) we tried out the Luton to Nimes Ryanair flights on Mondays and Fridays. For a weekend break these are very attractive, leaving Luton early (6.25am) on Friday and returning midday (12.20) from Nimes on Monday…. And the price was very attractive when we booked (£118.76 for the two of us), car hire from Thrifty via Ryanair (about £60 I think) and airport parking (£38.99).
The outside of Luton is a bit of a building site at present as they redevelop, but inside was fine and progress through the airport was smooth. The flight left on time and the 2 hour flight arrived 20 minutes early. We were first off and quickly through passports and first at the car-hire desk. The desk is in the main building and although we booked it with Thrifty its actually Hertz who deal with it. They were very pleasant and efficient and we were issued with a brand new car. The car park is just across the road and straightforward to exit onto the motorway, which we did at 9.25am. Nimes airport itself is quite small but modern, clean and comfortable with a small café in arrivals/departures area, but no shop.
The journey from the airport to our villa in Laroque is straightforward on the motorways. It takes about 2 hours, with some beautiful scenery to enjoy en-route but there are currently extensive roadworks around Montpellier for widening with a reduced speed limit and some congestion which delayed us a bit. …..But still we can set off early morning from home and enjoy a late lunch in Laroque.
For the return trip we left the villa in Laroque at 8.15am on Monday. Again there were some small delays around Montpellier but arrived with plenty of time and dropped the car off. Once you’re through security there’s no catering except for vending machines for coffee and soft drinks – we had coffee which was good. The seating in the lounge was sufficient for a plane load of people and gave a good view of the incoming flights. Again our flight was on time and arrived at Luton slightly ahead of schedule, but due to storm Imogen battering the UK it was rather a bumpy landing, and we didn’t appreciate having to wait for the bus to the car-park exposed to the British weather (there is no shelter from the elements in the bus station at Luton airport, and there was an excessively long gap between car park buses). How we wished we were still in the sunny South of France!
Overall, would we use Luton-Nimes again? Definitely yes, especially with these useful timings for a weekend away. (But once there are Perpignan flights again we’d choose them first if they were convenient days and times, just because its so much nearer, and then probably our second choice would be Carcassonne or Girona).