How to travel from Monterosso to Arles?

Five adults are leaving Monterosso, Italy the morning of August 10th and need to arrive in Arles, France the same day. Any thoughts on the easiest way to travel that leg of our trip?

Car rental?
Sacrifice the last night in Italy and take the train overnight?
Day train on the 10th?...which one?...buy tickets there?

Thanks a lot.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
4481 posts

Unfortunately, there is no easy way. It's like asking for the "fast and easy way" from Telluride, CO to Sedona, AZ. And when you say "same day," what time that day do you need to be in Arles? It's a long trip, so you may need to leave the day before no matter what.

Using the Bahn.de website http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en, it shows that trains on that route take 11 to 12.5 hours, and involve 3 to 6 changes. There is no single overnight train, only a series of trains, so you won't get much sleep. To see your train options, follow Rick's tutorial: http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/db_tips.htm

If you rent a car in Italy, you will have to pay a potentially substantial drop charge for returning it in France. However, split among 5 people, this may be the better option. Viamichelin http://www.viamichelin.com/ estimates 5h33 for the drive, at a cost of €114.20 (€52 in tolls, the rest in gas). Of course, that's on top of the cost of car rental, and the time you spend picking up and returning the car at each end. And you'll need a vehicle large enough for 5 people plus their luggage, which again will cost more.

Is there any way you can break up the trip? Say, stopping for the night in Nice?

Thanks Harold!
I've done some research and I think that a train ride from Monterosso to Genoa, then from Genoa to Nice will work. Once we are in Nice, we will rent the car we want to have in Arles and take it the rest of the way. If the time tables are correct, it should be about 8 hours total.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
20992 posts

sean,

As you probably found by checking the rail websites, the shortest trip by rail is ~9H:36M with three changes (that's for a departure at about 06:54 and the last leg by Bus). That will be a long travel day, but it's certainly possible.