I have a week off this month, and my partner & I fancy finding some rock climbing in winter sun. One of the locations we’re looking at is the Cote d’Azur. I am mentally preparing myself for the pain of Ryanair to Marseille or Nice, but if the weather’s solid it could be fun to take the RV down there! Especially as I haven’t had a big trip this year.
From Skydemon, I can see the area is not short of airfields. The big limiting factor (other than VFR) is that we will definitely need a hire car to get around the various crags.
Currently the best option looks like LFTF Cuers:
Looks like hiring a car would be a case of 1) Ouicar (sounds like some people would deliver to the airfield, althought I haven’t asked directly yet), 2) walk/taxi to Cuers to rent at the Intermarche or 3) taxi to Toulon to rent at a major franchise.
The other good option appears to be LFMD Cannes, which despite the location + size seems to have incredibly reasonable fees! EUR 14.30 landing + EUR 6/day parking plus 20% discount for being a homebuilt…am I reading this correctly?! And has car rental on site.
Need to look into more:
Would love to hear any advice or suggestions you folks might have. (I am aware of the Mistral ) Location isn’t a big issue as long it’s somewhere between Marseille & Nice, and has some kind of access to a hire car.
Also, has anyone had any experience renting cars from France’s various hypermarkets? Is there much flexibility? I was trying to look up prices for Intermarche Cuers but the web form doesn’t work…
LFMT Montpellier? Or is it too far? Although, it is 72hrs PPR.
Getting a car at Cuers is a bit of a pain. We leave ours at our house and a friend drops it at the airport when we come; otherwise calling a cab etc. is not efficient.
Out of season Cannes is going to be a simple option.
Re: La Mole, there’s also the requirement of a site qualification or mountain rating.
I would go for LFMD. It has car rental and good public transport. LFTF is in the middle of nowhere, with no public transport. You could probably arrange with a taxi firm in Toulon to pick you up, or maybe Bolt/Uber would work. But it would end up costing you more than LFMD. I know too much about it – I have to do one-way flights to/from Cuers for maintenance. It’s a serious pain.
LFMQ – also the middle of nowhere, and I think quite expensive
LFTZ – out of the question, you need to be approved (and it may be in the middle of the countryside, but it is THE airport for St Tropez and handles lots of private jets)
LFMF – yet again the middle of nowhere (France has a lot of this!). No idea whether car rental is possible but I doubt it
LFMC – military only, out of the question
LFMA – hardly the Cote d’Azur, which is over an hour away by car, but good if you want to go western Provence. A short cab ride into Aix, where you could rent a car.
You need to be aware of all restricted airspace in the area – there is a LOT of it. It’s possible VFR, but it takes careful planning. Also, despite what you’ve heard about the Cote d’Azur, the weather is not always friendly.
If you’re in the UK, RYR won’t help much, but EZY has loads of flight from all over the UK to LFMN.
If you do decide to do it, I’ll be happy to help you with the route planning.
We were refused to land at Cannes (they insisted they were too busy). As we had non refundable expensive hotel reservations, we flew into Fayence.
We then cycled the 10 mins into town and hired a car from the hypermarket. Fayence, for 3 days parking and landing was around €30 and the car hire was very reasonable, but I don’t remember the rate.
The drive to Cannes was about 40mins and very pleasant.
I would love to go back to Fayence. The restaurant was lovely and the airfield was very friendly.
We were refused to land at Cannes (they insisted they were too busy).
That amazes me. Did they refuse while you were in the air? Or refuse a flight plan? Were you VFR or IFR? In summer they are “coordinated” which is essentially PPR, but only for IFR arrivals and departures, not VFR.
I think they refused the parking place, it could be very tricky to find one, even on grass between June and July. Outside this busy period, you won’t have any problem to get a parking, airport is not coordinated anymore, and no PPR required (unless you need Avgas/Jet outside opening hours), in case you park on grass apron.
Indeed there are car location on the terminal, city buses …
for the western part of the region, LFMA/aix-en-Pce is well deserved (not as good as Cannes) but became expensive when oenweship of the airfield did change some years ago. And for sure you will need a car to reach the sea.
In case you have an Ul, you can be tempted to reach Frejus airfield (call the owner before), it’s well placed for rock climbing (Esterel on one side, Roquebrune on the other).
You need to be aware of all restricted airspace in the area – there is a LOT of it
Isn’t that just… all French airspace? ;)
Thanks for the intel, everyone. Sounds like Cannes would be the way to go – a shame, I much prefer small airfields to large ones, but silly to choose a less practical option just for the sake of it on a trip where flying is only the secondary objective :)
In case you have an Ul, you can be tempted to reach Frejus airfield
Yes, I hadn’t thought as much about ULM sites but it crossed my mind: the RV does great on short strips (although with delicate landing gear she doesn’t like rough or wet). Fréjus looks like a nice spot indeed.
There are 2 ULM airfields at Fréjus. LF8352 is 550m and LF8358 is 200m.
Please remember that these are not public airfields and you will need PPR.
BASULM has Visual approach charts and information.
AFAIK, Fréjus LF8352 has never allowed any non-ULM in. And even ULMs (based elsewhere) often get denied permission.
A few people have reported using UCAR Tourrettes successfully at Fayence (with them even providing the car at the airfield). But they also say the runways are bumpy.