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Driving from Nice to Geneva - which route is better?

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May 29th, 2011, 08:53 PM
  #1
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Driving from Nice to Geneva - which route is better?

Greetings! Preparing for our upcoming Provence trip in a few weeks and just looking at the last leg of our trip which will be driving from Nice to Geneva, where where are spending out last night before departure from that airport.

Viamichelin has proposed two routes - the first being 5 hrs 29 minutes and almost 90 Euro in tolls (yikes!). It would also appear to route us through Italy and then back over into Switzerland.

An alternate route is northwest out of Nice, through Grenoble, Chambrey etc. It is 6hrs 29 minutes but only 21 Euro in tolls.

I'm more inclined to do the latter since we'll be in no hurry (only going to our airport hotel). Any solid reasons I should spend more and go through Italy?

Provided we say in France, would there be any particular places that you would recommend to stop along the way for a nice meal or short break?
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May 29th, 2011, 09:14 PM
  #2
 
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The higher rate of tolls on the faster route will likely be due to crossing through the Mont Blanc Tunnel, which has a rather large toll attached. That route is great for mountain scenery, but the second round heading north west also has some great, slightly flatter scenery, particularly at the start.

As for places to stop, there are always the ubiquitous, but good, buffet offerings at the motorway stops like L'Arche, Autogrill (same set up as in Italy), etc. They are great for a stretch of legs, full meal or tasty cup of coffee, and the facilities in the larger ones are quite good. If you take the north western route, you could stop in Avignon for an early lunch and a look around (Palace du Papes if you have time, otherwise view from the outside, wander across the half-bridge of Pont du Avignon, bistros and snack shops along with food stalls on some days in the main square). Aix warrants more than a few hours, but stop if you've not been before.
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May 29th, 2011, 10:24 PM
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If you take route 1, through the Mont Blanc tunnel, you have some great mountain scenery and you can stop at Torino and Aosta, both with interesting sights.

If you take route 2, I agree with madamtasheap that Avignon is a good stop and if you are inclided to take a small detour, I would suggest Pont du Gard near Nimes and the roman Arena in Arles. Otherwise pit-stops in Avignon and Annecy would make it lovely trip.

You need to budget in an extra 40 CHF for the freeway toll (sticker) in Switzerland. But that is one fee for a whole year of driving.
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May 30th, 2011, 06:53 AM
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Thanks for the responses. In the early leg of our trip we will be in the Avignon area so will have seen those sites and Annecy is actually our first overnight since we wanted to keep the first day easy after the overnight flight, but Mouisters Sainte Marie is on the list of things we'd like to see and it appears to be an easy detour.

Suja - Thanks for the warning about the freeway toll sticker!
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