I mentioned in my main blog post about Oradour sur Glane that the bus situation to get there was a little complex. So, in case anyone in future stumbles across this blog and wants surety on where to go, then I hope that this might be of some use.
One of the problems that I faced was that all of the bus timetables on posters, at bus stops, bus stations, in publications and on-line are mostly for the local bus company. They include Oradour on the map, but they mark it as “en car” which isn’t perhaps immediately obvious. But, by this, they mean get the alternative bus service, which has a web-site at http://www.moohv87.fr/ (and which has timetables).
So the bus company that goes to Oradour from Limoges is a different one, and it does run services throughout the year. The service seemed reliable and although a little infrequent, it’s cheap and an efficient way to get to the historic site.
There are a number of stops in Limoges which the bus goes through. Personally, I ignored them all and just went to the railway station, because that’s where the service starts. It’s easier to catch a bus at the start point and you’re more likely to get a seat, although that proved to be a little irrelevant….
The service you need is the number 12 bus, although there’s also a 14 bus which does the same route which runs from early July to early September every year.
Above is the bus at the city’s main railway station, and the bus station is accessed by going into the main terminal and turning right. It’s clearly signed, just go past the ATM and vending machine (well, there are tens of vending machines, but follow the signs) and it goes out through an elevated walkway and then down to the bus platforms.
I was the only passenger…. It seemed a shame that the bus service didn’t seem well used, but I wasn’t entirely surprised. The driver was incredibly friendly and she was quite engaging about the whole process. A single fare is €2 and you can buy two tickets at the same time to avoid needing to get a return, although there’s no cost saving for doing this. The ticket needs to be validated in the machine by the driver, but they can help with this. Or, just stand there looking confused, they’ll have to help if they’re not pro-active. The bus driver seemed willing to offer change as well, although it’s best to have the correct money of course.
This is the bus stop at Oradour sur Glane, and it’s in the centre of the new town. It’s only though a five-minute walk to the visitor centre to see the ruins of the old town. The bus stops at Limoges in the same place that it departs from later on in the day.
And here is the timetable at Oradour to get back to Limoges. Overall, for €4 return I thought that the service was excellent, with the bus being clean and comfortable. I’m sure that it could perhaps be better advertised, as I’ve seen many tourists just get taxis, but these cost around €50 each way, so not very cost effective unless it’s for a group.