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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.
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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! Cathedrale Saint-Gatien at Tours  Cathedrale Saint-Gatien at Tours

Romanesque churches and cathedrals in south-west France updated: Romanesque churches and cathedrals in south-west France

 the perpendicular or English style of cathedral  Manchester cathedral

the fire at the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris
the fire at the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris
cathedral giants - Amiens and Beauvais

Stone tracery in church and cathedral construction illustrated
stone in church and cathedral construction

stained glass and cathedrals in Normandy illustrated graph

fortified churches, mostly in Les Landes

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

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

Click for an introduction to cathedrals and stained glass in France.

on first arriving in France - driving
France is not England
paying at the péage (toll station)

Click for motorways and motorway aires in France.

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

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 cathedrals
short biography of Pierre (Peter) Abelard

Marianne - a French national symbol, with French definitive stamps

la Belle Epoque
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
Carcassonne, A61: world heritage fortified city

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
Les Landes, places and playtime
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 2024

Le Tour de France: cycling tactics illustrated



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



end notes

  1. aire: in this context, an area —
    aire de loisirs: recreation area;
    aire de pique-nique: picnic area;
    aire de repos: rest area;
    aire de services: services , motorway (GB) or freeway (US) service station.
on first arriving in France - driving motorway aires, introduction
travelling by rail to and within France individual aires                                             
A75 autoroute from Clermont-Ferrand to Béziers and its aires Les Pyrénées, A64 Poey de Lascar, A64
A89 autoroute from Bordeaux to Clermont-Ferrand and beyond - aires Pic du Midi, A64
Hastingues, A64
Dunes, A62
Mas d’Agenais, A62
A7 - aires on the busy A7 autoroute from Lyons to Marseille Pech Loubat, A61
Port-Lauragais, A61
Mas d’Agenais, A62
Garonne, A62
A9- aires on the motorway to Spain Ayguesvives, A61
Renneville, A61
Catalan village, A9
Tavel, A9
A62 - aires on the autoroute of two seas three aires on the canal du midi, A61 Lozay, A10
Poitou-Charente, A10
A65 : the autoroute de Gascogne, from Langon to Pau Carcassonne, A61 Les Bréguières, A8
A64 and A61 - aires on the other autoroute of two seas  
A83 motorway in Poitou-Charentes - aires A63: the French Wild West, Bordeaux to the Spanish border - formerly the N10
A837 motorway in Poitou-Charentes - aires A20 - aires on the Occitane autoroute, from Brive to Montauban
A42 and A40 motorways - aires from Lyon to Switzerland and Italy A87 motorway and its aires in Poitou-Charentes

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