We are travelling to france for the first time for a little over two weeks in June. Our plan is to spend the first 5 nights in Paris, then 2 nights in Amboise. After that we want to make our way to Provence for 3 nights then Nice for 3 nights. We will then return to Paris by plane for our last night in France. I am having trouble figuring out the best route and mode of transportation to get to Provence from Amboise. We are not afraid of driving long distances as we regularly take a 6 hour drive to visit our daughter and often return the next day. If driving is an option, is there a good halfway point to stop and stretch or is it best to power through? Should we ditch the drive altogether and train back to Paris then take TGV or fly? This seems like an expensive option and may take just as much time. At advise is greatly appreciated!
Try viamichelin.fr for the route. I looked and saw it recommends you go Amboise to Bourges to Clermont-Ferrand, then across volcanic (dormant) mountains in what's called the Massif Central to Lyon and on down the Rhone Valley. This is all freeway, although kind of twisty, turning freeway from Clermont to Lyon. My husband likes driving it, but I don't. An alternative would be to leave the freeway in Bourges and take highways, mostly two-lane, across to Nevers, to Chalons-sur-Saone and then on down the Rhone Valley on the freeway. Chalons is just south of Beaune, the popular RS watering hole. That would be about halfway and Beaune would be a nice place to go for the night, about 30 km north of Chalons. You get some hills on this route, but you avoid the mountains. It goes through farmland. This is the best I can describe, but perhaps Ed, the road master will come by and be able to help you better.
Hi Cindy. It's not surprising you're asking; no quick way to get from here to there... Some ideas would be: 1. Driving would work fine; just know that it's a quite long drive. 2. Train back to Paris, then train to Avignon. It sounds goofy, but this will likely be faster than driving. The high speed train is so fast (140 mph) that the Paris to Avignon train covers a huge distance in less than 3 hours.
3. Rearrange your trip to go to Amboise for your first few days, then time in Paris, then to Provence via train. Any of these will work fine; just depends on what you prefer. Enjoy your trip!
Since you are going to fly anyway, consider flying from Paris to Nice after Amboise, then to Provence by whatever mode pleases you. The advantage of this is that you can catch an early train that goes directly to Charles deGaulle from Provence, arriving 10:30 AM. That lets you avoid the whole largely-wasted-day-of-schlepping-about-to-be-near-the-airport thing and frees up a day. Of course if you have a morning flight home that won't work.
Thank you all for your responses! Unfortunately, we cannot rearrange our itinerary at this point as i have already put a deposit down on our apartment in Paris and on Chateau De Pray in Amboise. We return to Paris for one night (our 27th anniversary and to pick up our daughter) then travel on to Italy. Leaning towards training back to. Paris then taking the TGV to Avignon. I have been tools the train ride is beautiful. I am having a little difficulty navigating the eurail site to figure out the timing and fares. Any help there?
Hi Cindy. For France train info and tickets, use site tgv-europe.com. the first couple of pages are quirky, but after that, it is great. NOTE: Click that you live in England and want to use tgv site, do NOT say that you want to be directed to raileurope site. If asked where you will pick up your tix, say France. You can put in Amboise to Avignon, and it will show both trips on fast trains via Paris, or slow trains not via Paris. Uncheck the box that says 'direct trains' since there aren't any. The prices will vary quite a bit by train. If it is not yet showing trains for your dates, pick earlier dates to get the idea, then come back when your dates are available (likely 90 days ahead). Enjoy your trip!
Thank you Bob, I will give it a go and let you all know how it went. It appears the train will be the best option. I had not considered the multitude of toll roads and gas prices-I received that info via a private message.
The standard 2nd class fare for Amboise-Paris Gare d'Austerlitz plus Paris Gare de Lyon-Avignon is €138.70. Booked ASAP (up to three months allowed) on tgv-europe.com, you can get a Prem's fare as low as €45.00.