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Map questions Grenoble - Lourmarin - Mazeres

I'll be driving from Grenoble to Lourmarin where I'll spend a week visiting the Luberon, then driving to Mazeres, south of Toulouse. Should I buy maps in the US to take, or is it easy to buy maps there? Will the TIs have them, or do I seek maps in a bookstore or tabac?

TIA,
Alison

PS I do plan to download appropriate Google Maps on my phone, but have paper seems wise:)

Posted by
8014 posts

You can easily buy Michelin maps in the US. Barnes and Noble carries them.

Posted by
2576 posts

By all means buy the maps you want here rather than spending vacation time trying to find them. Amazon has a good assortment. We stayed in Lourmarin for a week several years ago and enjoyed it. Albert Camus is buried in the cemetery on the outskirts of town. If you want a nice hike visit http://lefortdebuoux.e-monsite.com/ nearby. The restaurants were unfortunately just OK.

Posted by
737 posts

Rent a wireless hot spot to carry with you from Hippocketwifi.com.......and use your maps feature on your phone. We have done this on our last 2 trips to Europe and it has been GREAT. You have wireless service 24-7......and it makes travel so easy to be able to use your phone or IPad. Via Michelin is a great app to use as well that will route your trip and even show you where toll roads and gas stations are on your route.......we used to take our GPS with us (took up so much valuable room in our luggage!) and now we leave it at home!

Posted by
1689 posts

I drive a lot in France each year and use most of the time maps, but that’s more a matter of preference. For me easy overview remains one of the strong points of maps. Combining with GPS and apps like Google Maps will make navigating more easy and you get a wealth of info about points of interest, hotels, museums etc. For planning a scenic itinerary Google Streetview is very helpful for having an idea what to expect to see.

For covering larger distances you can buy maps at home, in your case the Michelin National map (red cover/nr 725) Southern France will be perfect to my idea. Exploring the countryside need more detail, for that I use the yellow cover Michelin Départemental maps. Gas stations and larger supermarket chains you can find everywhere in France like Carrefour, E.Leclerc have a wide selection of these maps, most of the time Michelin. So you can buy those Départemental maps in France in case you need them.

Posted by
4223 posts

There are many bookstores in Grenoble; you will find all the maps you need in a matter of minutes at very centrally located Gibert Joseph for instance. The "national" maps are good for general navigation but insufficient for sightseeing, you'll want local/regional Michelin maps.

Posted by
2916 posts

Rent a GPS

No need to waste your money.

I generally buy Michelin maps before we leave (or use those from prior trips).

Michelin and IGN maps are widely available in highway rest stops (autoroutes and some routes nationales), larger tabacs in towns and cities, bookstores (the French word is librairies), and hypermarchés (large supermarkets such as, in the the U.S., Fred Meyer, Meijer, and Walmart Supercenter) -- these sport names such as Carrefour, Hyper U, E. Leclerc, Géant, Auchan, and Intermarché. Their locations are usually well-marked by directional signs posted on the outskirts of small- to medium-sized towns (they're in big cities too, but harder to find and traffic can quickly become difficult).

It would take very little time or effort to obtain them in France after you arrive, and you could use the same stop to pick up some essentials such as water, snacks, fruit, toiletries too big to fit in your carryon bag, and so on.

Posted by
61 posts

Thanks so much all; I've got a B&N near me, so I'll check out the larger scale here. Good to know where I can get the regional when I get there!
-Alison