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Provence to and from Paris

I'm planning 10-14 days in Provence after a week or so in Paris. I thought I'd take the TGV form Paris to Arles or Avignon and get a car to drive around. After Rick's suggestion of flying within Europe, I'm now thinking of dropping the car in Nice and flying back to Paris. Has anyone done either or both, and what do you think? Any suggestions on "not to miss" spots. thanks

thanks for all your input. I'm still in the planning stage so I can take advantage of your suggestions. suzy

Posted by
4125 posts

14 days in SE France is fabulous. I'd be tempted, in your position, to go farther afield (Dordogne? Burgundy?), but can hardly argue with your choice.

Logistically, flying Nice-Paris is pretty close to taking the train. Factoring in airport waits and transportation to and from airports, both take about the same amount of time, about 5-1/2 hours. So you can make this decision based on other criteria.

However, if you are flying to Paris to catch a flight home, that tilts the balance in favor of flying. You'd be best off flying home from Nice under your scenario, but perhaps that is not feasible.

Spend at least a week of those 14 days in Provence and see if renting an apartment in a small town in the Rhone Valley area works for you.

Posted by
6898 posts

Sue, the TGV to Arles takes 4.0hrs. Interestingly, the TGV to Avignon takes 2hrs39min. You could consider taking the train into the Avignon TGV station, renting a car there and then heading for Arles. On your return to Paris from Nice, the best runs take 5hr36min. Flying may be a great option.

Posted by
345 posts

We have taken the TGV from Paris to Avignon and then to Nice.

We have flown into Nice and out of Paris, Rick's beloved open jaw.

First, when are you going?

Do you want to visit Nice? If you are still thinking about what to see there, you could also fly back to Paris from Marseilles. That would be much closer than going to Nice unless you have specific plans for Nice.

If not, you could stay in the Luberon area of Provence. There are a lot of small towns to visit. We like the Joucas area.

If you want to be more centrally located in Provence, I would chose Arles or Avignon as a base. You could easily drive to the Pont du Gard and Nimes. You can also visit the Camargue.

It would be nice to go to Dordogne but it is quite a distance to get there. If you have two weeks in Provence, yo

Posted by
3809 posts

If you are flying trans-Atlantic, your flight home from Nice or Marseille can be combined with the international flight at very little extra cost. You will have to change in Paris or other northern gateway but you will have saved time and money. The only drawback is that most flights leave early in the morning to make the connection. If your original flight into Paris can be changed, consider reversing the direction, flying to the south first and then working your way back to Paris. Departure times going home are much more civilized out of the big city.

Posted by
1020 posts

Not to miss really depends upon your own interests. If you haven't already, get a couple of guidebooks to Provence one of which should be Michelin Green. Note that Michelin has a separate guide to the Côte d'Azur including Monaco and Nice. Having said that, I would put the Luberon at the top of my list. It is quintessential Provence.

Flying from Nice is a good idea. Unless you need to return to Paris, book the return flight that suits you best. The last time we flew from Nice we connected to DFW at JFK on Air France/Delta.