Driving guides

Driving to Calais

Eurotunnel Le Shuttle is one of the fastest ways to travel to France. Making the journey in 35 minutes, it beats the 90-minute ferry crossing from Dover to Calais.

The best place to begin a French road trip adventure is from Calais, but the port-city is much more than just a gateway to France, it has a variety of attractions and sights worth seeing. So, whether you plan to use it as a launchpad, or soak up what Calais has to offer, one thing is for sure - Eurotunnel Le Shuttle gets you across the Channel faster than a ferry from Dover to Calais!

Did you know?

  • Prices start from £50 per vehicle, each way
  • There are up to four departures every hour, 365 days a year
  • Eurotunnel Le Shuttle takes just 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais
  • There are no baggage restrictions, so you can pack as much as you like

Thinking of travelling from Dover to Calais by ferry?

For some people, the first travel option that might spring to mind when considering a trip to France is the Dover to Calais ferry. But in fact, the most flexible, cost efficient and speedy option for holidaymakers looking to cross the channel is to book with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle.

How long does the ferry take from Dover to Calais?

The time it takes a ferry to sail to Calais from Dover can vary, with the shortest duration being 90 minutes - rather lengthy when compared to the Eurotunnel’s 35-minute transit. The benefit of a faster transit is the time saved, which allows you to better explore not just Calais, but the entirety of France. You’ll have more time to visit the cities, each brimming with their own unique culture, or head off the beaten track to experience the beautiful, rural landscape. 

Birds eye view of Eurotunnel terminal check in in Calais

Driving to our Folkestone terminal

If you’re planning to drive from London to Calais, or from anywhere else in the UK, Eurotunnel Le Shuttle is also your easiest and fastest option. The swift journey beneath the channel permits even a day trip to Calais from London!

Eurotunnel Le Shuttle is much easier to reach when compared to the ferries from Dover to Calais, to find us simply make your way to the M20 and take exit 11A.

Take a look at our handy table to see the distances to our Folkestone terminal from these British cities:

Cities in the UK Distance Driving Time
London 67.4 miles/109km 1h 21m
Portsmouth 127 miles/205km 2h 08m
Bristol 186 miles/298km 3h 02m
Birmingham 194 miles/313km 3h 08m
Exeter 235 miles/378km 4h 07m
Leeds 259 miles/417km 4h 13m
Manchester 275 miles/444km 4h 32m
Newcastle 341 miles/549km 5h 26m
Glasgow 463 miles/746km 7h 22m
Edinburgh 461 miles/742km 7h 41m
Please note: These distance and driving times to our UK terminal are approximate and given as guidance only.

What to see in Calais

As mentioned above, Calais is often regarded as the starting point when setting off on a French adventure. But what could you experience if you chose to linger for a while? One popular place to visit when in Calais is Carrefour Cité Europe. One of the largest in the region, this supermarket is just a five-minute drive from Eurotunnel Le Shuttle Calais terminal. Many Brits pop in to sample the local cheeses, wines and meats, as well to stock up on French travel snacks.

If you’d like to soak up some culture, the historic Town Hall, Le Beffroi de Calais (pictured top), is an architectural gem certainly worth a visit. Built in 1885, this landmark provides impressive views of Calais, which you can take advantage of during a guided tour that takes groups to the top of the tower.


If you want to feel the wind in your hair then drive to the stunning Côte d'Opale, which is a short drive west of Calais. Once there you can stroll along the Sentier des Balcons d'Escalles, a beautiful 8km coastal path that grants views of the chalk cliffs and stunning French countryside, as well as the chance to hunt for fossils.

Some other sandy spots worth visiting are Blériot-Plage and Plage de Calais. The latter features a long pier that stretches out to sea and is the closest beach to our Calais terminal. A stroll along the pier is a great way to work up an appetite, which can be satisfied in any of the local restaurants or cafés.

Lastly, the Musée Mémoire is a must see for visitors interested in Calais’ significant role in the Second World War. The museum sits within the gorgeous, Parc-Saint-Pierre and boasts an impressive collection of articles, spread across its 22 exhibition halls.

Travelling to Calais with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

The journey to Calais with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle is quick and easy, but may be a mystery to those who have never travelled with us before. The first thing to do is book by selecting your time and date of travel, then follow these steps as you approach our Folkestone terminal.

  1. Arriving at our Folkestone terminal
    Exit the motorway at Junction 11A and drive straight to our check-in booths. Allow yourself between 30 minutes and two hours before your chosen departure time.
  2. Collecting your Departure Hanger info
    You will need your booking reference number and the credit/debit card used at the time of booking to collect this. Your hanger will print from the self-service machine or will be handed to you by check-in staff, depending on which booth you choose to use. A letter will be displayed on your hanger, which is the letter given to your timed shuttle.
  3. Our Passenger Terminal
    Once you're through check-in, take some time to relax and visit our Passenger Terminal Building for a spot of shopping, or enjoy some refreshments at one of the cafés. You can board approximately 25 minutes before your departure time, customer information screens and service announcements will let you know when Le Shuttle is ready, so keep an eye on your shuttle's letter.
  4. Have your passport ready
    When it's time, drive straight through to the British and French border controls where your passport, vehicle and official documentation will be checked. Please have all passports to hand, removed from wallets and open at the photo page until you have cleared all controls.
  5. Drive on
    Follow the signs to France to find your way to the boarding lanes, where you may face a small wait. When your shuttle is ready to board the barrier will open in your lane, please proceed on the marked route towards the platform. Once boarded, you'll be able to stretch your legs and explore the light and air-conditioned Eurotunnel Le Shuttle carriages or sit back and relax.
  6. Drive off
    Once you’ve reached Calais, simply drive off at the end of the crossing and voilà, your French adventure awaits!

If you want to know more or have any questions, take a look at our contact page for a range of ways to get in touch.

Whether you're going on holiday or travelling with work, making the trip to Calais has never been so easy. Book your next journey with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle today, for a convenient and affordable travel experience.

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