My husband and I will be in the Arles/Avignon general area for 5 days in Sept. I can't decide whether we should stay in Arles or Avignon. We have a car so driving to sights isn't an issue but we have heard that parking can be an issue in Avignon. Also, I am considering trying AirBnB for accommodations in either place. I haven't used them before so would love any input or advice about using them. But if anyone has a recommended B&B they particularly liked that isn't AirBnB, we would love to hear about it. We are working with a $$ - $$$ budget. Any help is appreciated!
I can address staying in Avignon, but not Arles. The parking we used were the public lots just outside the city walls, there are a few of them. We had about a 10-15 minute walk from our B & B to the car, but well worth avoiding driving inside the wall. Never a problem security wise in the lot, we never left anything at all in the car or the trunk.
We stayed at Maison Boussingault, and I can highly recommend it. It was moderately priced, 125 euro a night or so, stayed four nights at the beginning of our trip after coming into Marseille, and we loved it.
Find the large indoor market in Avignon-especially the oyster guys over in the corner, excellent place for some good food.
With regards to AirBnB, as with any rental it will take homework and diligence to locate the right one for you. Lots and lots of positive reviews from people who have been there is of course the best indicator, and that is what you get with Air-reviews from actual users. Do not pay outside of the AirBnB system!
Thanks, Dave, we so appreciate your advice!
For my bet Arles is the most centrally located with best rail links.
Nimes & Montpellier to the west
Avignon & Orange to the north
Aix-en-Provence & Marseille to the east
Parking can be an issue in Arles (the historic center), not just in Avignon.
You'll probably want to look for lodging that facilitates your overnight parking.
A strategy I've used in this area is to sleep in one of the smaller towns that is more car friendly, use the car to visit the sights that are away from the rail lines, and park the car at a train station and use the train to access Avignon, Arles, and Nimes.
You may find this discussion thread helpful:
Thanks, Kent! That is what we are thinking now. We are looking at staying in St. Remy and do day trips from there. Do you know if there are trains to Avignon and Arles from St. Remy? I will also need some help finding a good B&B or hotel in St. Remy as there are no recommendations in Rick Steves' France GB. Any suggestions?
Rick's Provence And The French Riviera guidebook has MUCH more information on this area than his general France book does. For a trip of 5 days including smaller towns, it's worth getting even if you also have the France book.