Hello - I will be in Arles for 5 nights and want to explore the area. What are the pros and cons to renting a car vs public transport in the region. We are staying on the older part of Arles.
You will be able to see much more in Provence with a car. You can check the train and bus schedules to see if they go to the places you want to see, and when. Personally, I would (and did) have a car for the area.
I agree with Andrea, especially for a five-day stay. A car will greatly extend your reach. Depending on time of year, many buses do not even run. But you asked for cons. If you see more, you may spend more (though not necessarily). Apart from that, the car may cost more than trains and buses (though not necessarily). And there is the hassle of parking, especially overnight, though in Arles that should not be a big problem. Arles a great town, have a blast!
Thank you Adam and Andrea :) I will be looking into a car.
Lisa, when we stayed in the old part of Arles, we had a rental car. It allowed us to take day trips to anywhere we wanted. But there are things you should know. Do not even attempt to drive into and out of old town without your GPS from home, and a good map of Arles! ( I also got a Michelin fold-out map of France at a gas station there.) Even with the GPS we had a heck of a time finding our hotel. One day we were walking in old town and kept noticing a car circling the area. Finally the people stopped us and asked how they could get out...they could not find their way out! The streets are VERY NARROW! Be prepared! Even though it was a challenge, we would take a rental car into old town again.
When I went to this area, I did not have a car. I stayed in Marseilles, Arles, Avignon, and Aix-en-Provence. In addition to these, I saw Nimes and Orange. Trains and some buses were how I got around, and for these places it was fine. If you want to see much more than these places, a car is really recommended/necessary.
@Steve... could have been me... I have done that circle drive myself. That was before I had a GPS and I don't think I had a decent map. I finally found my way, but it is confusing, and I am sure GPS would help. I always have a car when I am there and it greatly adds to my enjoyment of the area. Roadside picnics, lavendar fields, vineyards, villages,... you can go anywhere you want on your schedule and on the spur of the moment.