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Best Base in Provence without a car (besides Avignon!)

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Hi everyone!

A friend and I will be in the Provence area between the dates of Tuesday July 9 (arriving in the evening from Nice) and Saturday July 13 (leaving from the avignon tav station at 4 pm).

We do not want to rent a car, because neither of us can drive Manual and we are both under 25, and so would have to pay a young driver's fee of ~35 euro per day. These things together make renting a car beyond our financial means.

Because of this, we decided to make our base in Provence Avignon, because of it's connections to the major cities in provence, and the availability of tours to get to the smaller villages. However, looking for a hotel, we realized that unfortunately (or fortunately, if it were not such a headache) we will be in Avignon during the theatre festival, and so everything is booked! And what isn't booked, is way beyond our budget (we'd like to spend approx 100 euro a night, but will go a little above that if necessary), or far removed from the centre of town and the train/bus stations, which defeats the purpose of staying in Avignon.

Can you suggest a different base for us? Our interests lie in visiting the small villages, markets, vineyards and lavendar fields, but would like to spend at least a half day at les beaux and the pont du gard (figured we'd get a tour). As we don't have a car, we want something that is well connected via public transit and will make it easy for us to get out and see what we can of Provence. Or is it still worth it to stay in Avignon if we are on the outskirts?

One of our priorities is to attend the market in st remy on wednesday morning (which is why we're arriving on Tuesday night).

Thank you for any help you have to offer! And if you need anymore information, please let me know!

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