Family travel to Provence

Old Nov 23rd, 2009, 06:24 PM
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Family travel to Provence

My family, a group of 15, ages 1-53 have been to Provence 3 times. Each time we would go to Paris, spend the night there, take the TGV to Avignon, pick up our rental cars and drive to our rental gite. We are returning there next August and I was thinking of taking a different approach. Choice 1 would be to fly to Geneva, spend the night there, rent cars in Geneva and then drive to that area. Choice 2 is to fly to Marseilles, spend the night there, rent cars from Marseilles and drive from there to our spot. I know nothing about staying in either Marseilles or Geneva or about getting from those locales to western Provence. Could folks who know those places offer an opinion as to how friendly those places are, especially as compared to Paris. We found Paris very nice, but were looking for a different experience. Our rental place is about 20-30 kms east of Avignon. Thanks for any tips.
RayFischer is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2009, 08:52 PM
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It sounds like a wonderful trip, but IMO, with that large of a group that evidently includes young children, the last thing I would want to do would be to drive over 200 miles, as you would if you fly into Geneva. If you can easily fly into Marseilles, that would seem to be the better choice.

Have fun planning and taking the trip!
grandmere is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2009, 09:18 PM
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I definitely don't think part of a day and a night in Geneva is worth the drive.

You might fly into Marseille, but I bet your group would enjoy nearby Aix-en-Provence more. Marseille is busy and a little edgy, and I didn't find it a good walking city. In contrast, Aix is very friendly and laidback, with a lot of charm but a distinct southern feel. The pedestrianized historic center is a delight to walk around.
artsnletters is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2009, 09:37 PM
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I've never been to Paris and how I wish I could spend my next vacation there. I suggest find a place where you and you're family will jive in together. A place where you can do your favorite hobby so that everyone could enjoy your vacation.
MySardinia is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2009, 11:28 PM
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Honestly, neither of your options sounds great to me.

Geneva is just not that exciting a city to visit and then as mentioned above, the next day you'd have a 4 hour drive going the fast way and 4 1/2-5 hour drive going the longer the very beautiful route (straight south skirting the Alps and then west through the Pre-Alps in Provence and the Luberon and then on to Avignon). The drive really is gorgeous, but doing it with youngsters who are jet-lagged and tired?? Well, that's for you to say...

As for Marseille, seems to me once you arrive at the airport it would be just as easy to go straight to your rental and get settled in immediately. Visit Marseille, by all means, it's a fascinating city. But just do it as a day trip from Avignon - it's not far - and you'll save all the hassle of lugging your luggage, dealing with a hotel just for a night (plus the added expense of said). And once again, do you really want to deal with all of this after a long flight ???

kevin_widrow is offline  
Old Nov 24th, 2009, 06:05 AM
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Hi Ray,

Your current route is the best route.

You remind me of professional orchestras, where the musicians get tired of playing the same old thing, so the audience is forced to listen to stuff they don't like.

You have spent 3 nights in Paris and you are tired of it?

ira is offline  
Old Nov 24th, 2009, 10:12 AM
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We've spent some time in Geneva last year & didn't like it at all. Driving in & out of Geneva isn't fun either. I definitely would not consider Geneva.

Maraseille is OK - but if you have not visited Aix, that would ge a great place to stay the first night. I assume that your Gite rental starts on a Saturday. If so, there is a great market in Aix on Saturdays.

Nice would be a good option also.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Old Nov 26th, 2009, 08:27 AM
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Thanks for responding everyone. A lot to consider, but one thing for sure is that we will not be flying to Geneva. Aix is a good idea.
RayFischer is offline  
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