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To avignon

Hi, need to get to Avignon, will be flying to France from US, which a airport should I plan on flying into? I will be flying out of Paris, is a roundtrip Paris the best bet? Train to avignon?
Thanks in advance, Robin

Posted by
23579 posts

Are you planning on this trip immediately or will you be going after the borders are open again and things are returning to something like normal?

It will make a difference

Posted by
472 posts

I've not been to Avignon but am currently reading Rick Steves' travel guide about Provence. You can make your connection in Paris and fly to Marseille. You can also take the TGV train from Paris (including directly from CDG).

Posted by
16846 posts

Marseille Airport is close enough to Avignon that you can travel between the two in as little as 38 minutes, though in most cases the travel time will be around an hour via TGV. The current schedule doesn't show a lot of trains, but that may be due to coronavirus-related reductions (I don't know). Flying into Marseille will probably mean an extra flight, plus there's the transfer time at (probably) CDG.

By comparison, the fastest trip from Paris-CDG to Avignon currently takes 3 hr. 23 min., but the trip can take over 5 hours. I'm guessing connections between CDG and Avignon are not very frequent even in normal times.

Which route is cheaper will depend on your origin airport and travel date as well as when you choose to buy the airline ticket. From my origin (Washington DC), Marseille is not usually a cheap destination.

Which route is faster will depend on how flight arrival times align with train departure times. I'd be a bit more concerned about switching from air to rail at CDG, because I think you'll find fewer train options there, which may make it trickier to figure out what train you can safely make.

You can check rail fares on the SNCF website.

Posted by
10 posts

I don't plan on traveling til Sept. 2021. I think, but am not sure, that I can catch a train to Avignon from CDG, might be a nice look at the countryside, or maybe an open jaw to marseille might be a better bet, that's basically what I'm trying to sort,
thanks Robin

Posted by
30 posts

Travelling directly from CDG to Avignon is stress free, and as you mentioned, with the benefit of enjoying the view.

Posted by
3441 posts

I have flown trans-Atlantic through Paris to Marseille Provence airport, moved by train to Avignon, then later by train on to Paris and home from there. The airline price was about the same as a simple round trip to Paris and saved one train fare. It must be arranged as a single itinerary using a multi-destination search function.

Marseille Provence airport is efficient, with a lot of traffic from Paris. The airport is a five-minute shuttle bus ride from a nearby regional train station, with local trains to the old Avignon station just outside the city walls. Or there is a longer shuttle ride to Aix-en-Provence to catch the fast train to Avignon stopping outside the city and then a short shuttle to the gates.

The fast trains between Charles de Gaulle and Avignon run two or three times a day so, depending on when your plane lands there, you may sit around awhile for the next train.

https://www.marseille.aeroport.fr/

Posted by
17 posts

CDG and MRS are both good options. It also depends what time of day your flight will get in, and what your mode of transportation from the airport to Avignon will be. (Train? Rental car?)

From CDG, you can catch the TGV in terminal 2 that goes to Avignon TGV station, and then catch a train to Avignon Centre (the train Avignon TGV - Avignon Centre runs typically every 30 min). [Otherwise, a taxi to centre ville is about 16 euro.] On the TGV, sit on the top deck if you want the the best view. :-)

From MRS, you can take a free shuttle (runs every 5-10 minutes) to the Vitrolles station, and take the train to Avignon Centre (1 hr or 1h30, depends on the route). The last train from Vitrolles is at around 20h. This train is quite scenic: past the lake Berre, then through the olive groves and skirting the Alpilles regional parc.

Posted by
1164 posts

Best bet is to fly into MRS. An RER train will bring you to Avignon CENTRAL (not TGV) in about an hour.

I took the TGV from Gare to Lyon to Avignon TGV--2:45. I wouldn't do that for the "scenery." Not all that great anyway. Plus, I don't know if you can get on a TGV at CDG and stay on it until Avignon. You might have to get yourself to Gare de Lyon.

Posted by
17 posts

Plus, I don't know if you can get on a TGV at CDG and stay on it until Avignon. You might have to get yourself to Gare de Lyon.

You can! At least, on the normal schedule, there are some TGV that run from CDG to Avignon (and then to Marseille). But of course not every TGV leaving CDG going south will stop at Avignon.

I live in Avignon, I have taken this train recently. Of course, these TGV will go to the Gare TGV.

Posted by
6808 posts

Before the virus, you used to be able to book on Air France from your US airport all the way through to Avignon on one ticket. Transatlantic was by plane, if course, but the CDG to Avignon part was handled like any plane transfer, but it was by train. Your luggage was checked through to Avignon, AF had/has its own waiting room in the CDG train station, and AF handles getting your ticket. This service may be available again one day.

Posted by
10 posts

A lot of interesting options here, thanks everyone, when the time gets closer I will come back to this thread and investigate thoroughly, thanks again, Robin