12 day trip Paris and Provence

Old Mar 18th, 2016, 07:34 AM
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12 day trip Paris and Provence

Looking for itinerary ideas. I'm planning on spending five days in Paris and seven in Provence. I'll be visiting friends in the Provence, so I won't have to pay for lodging. Yay.

I'm looking at flights and I'm not sure if I should book my trip via Paris or book my arrival to Paris and departure out of Marseille.
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Old Mar 18th, 2016, 08:09 AM
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Welcome to Fodors.

My wife & I have vacationed for 20 weeks in Provence & 20 on the Cote d'Azur. I developed a 30+ page itinerary that describes our favorite villages, scenic drives, markets, restaurants, and has a section on Provence fabric. I've sent the itinerary to over 3,000 people on Fodors.

If you would like a copy, e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attach one to the reply e-mail.

Getting to Provence. When we want to visit Paris, Provence, & Cote d'Azur, we'll fly to Nice, visit the Cote, visit Provence, and then take the TGV back to Paris from the Avignon TGV station and spend our remaining days/weeks there. If we just want to visit Provence, we'll fly to Paris and immediately take the TGV from CDG to the Avignon TGV station, visit Provence, then back to Paris. The TGV is VERY relaxing.

About 3 years ago we decided to avoid taking two flights back home. It makes for a very long day (we live near San Francisco). So we almost always end our trips to France in Paris - even if it is just for a one-nighter - like we are doing twice this year.

Stu Dudley
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Old Mar 18th, 2016, 08:33 AM
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If you have never been to France before, you might want to stay with the friends first to get used to being in France, and then visit Paris on your own.
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Old Mar 18th, 2016, 08:34 AM
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It's really up to you which place you start, it doesn't matter logistically. Personally, I like to fly out of the airport where I can get home in the shortest time, rather than start that way. I just have more energy at beginning of trip and want to get the long flights over with. So I'd go to Provence first and end in Paris. But you may feel the reserve or there could be holidays or events that might affect decision.

However, when you say book your flights "via Paris", I don't know what that means. It almost sounds like you mean RT Paris, and I don't know why you'd do that. MRS is a big airport, you can easily fly either into it or out of it to go home. Now I usually fly Air France and the connecting flight to/from MRS costs very little (and in fact, once I got a cheaper rate doing that than booking Paris RT), so I could see doing RT Paris if the cost difference were huge but then you have to take the train down there.
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Old Mar 18th, 2016, 09:44 AM
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Are you driving or taking trains - if going to the heart of tourist Provence - the Avignon/Arles area you can take buses or trains to several neat places but a car would be better as some have sporadic bus service.

anyway return from Marseille or Paris - if you end your car trip in the Avignon area it is only about 3 hours to CDG Airport in Paris- not much more than to Marseille airport but Aix-en-Provence is a sweet town - finish there and Marseille airport is quite close.

Or finish in Nice and fly out of there.
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Old Mar 18th, 2016, 02:40 PM
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Hard to say without knowing where your friends are in Provence - it's a huge area. But I'd probably head there first and do Paris at the end of the trip.
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