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Help with best route from Cinque Terre to Marseilles

Help with best route from Cinque Terre to Marseilles

Jun 2nd, 2014, 12:08 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Help with best route from Cinque Terre to Marseilles

We are a family of 4 (2 small children) ending our Italian holiday and flying home from Marseilles. It was a mistake to book it home from Marseilles but now we can't change it!
Our flight leaves MRS at 11am on July 17th. Can somebody recommend the best way to get to Marseilles from CT?
Should we stop somewhere on the way to MRS and spend a night to cut the journey? I just don't like moving the kids around too much as we'll be exhausted at the end of the holiday.


Any help would be amazing.
nextexit is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2014, 12:33 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Going by car or train? Cars picked up in Italy and returned in France may incur a steep drop-off charge so check on that - it is a long drive straight thru - if taking the train I could tell you a detailed look at that.
PalenQ is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2014, 12:48 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
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There is a single route, along the coast, and it is not a fast route. As a flight at 11am will require being at the airport at 9am or 9.30am, obviously the place to spend the last night is Marseille.
asps is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2014, 07:55 PM
  #4  
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It would be by train.
nextexit is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2014, 09:34 PM
  #5  
 
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Your trip is actually ending on July 16. Have you done analysis of tangible and intangible cost of traveling from CT to Marseille including lodgings unrelated to your itinerary vs. flight change cost in returning home on July 16 from Pisa, Florence, Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate? The CT to Marseille is at best a 8.5 hour trip requiring minimum of 3 trains. Look at www.bahn.com for schedules.
greg is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2014, 06:23 AM
  #6  
 
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It would be by train.>

Like Greg says this is a slow rail line thru numerous congested seaside towns - trains cannot go high speeds like throughout Europe - It's about 5-6 hours to Nice - try to split it up - anyway for lots of great info on trains check www.seat61.com - good info on discounted tickets for the French portion; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

The Italian portion is via regional and or IC trains with a fairly flat fare structure - minor savings maybe by booking way ahead but then you are locked into specific trains on a specifc day - I would just buy a Cinque Terre to Ventimiglia ticket in Italy - again regional trains do not require seat reservations so with a ticket just hop on.

French trains do require seat reservations for long-distance trains like TGVs between Nice and Marseilles and you can get discounted tickets at www.voyges-sncf.com - but there may be slower regional trains that do not require seat reservations and are a fairly flat fare so in Ventimiglia you could buy a ticket to Mice and Marseilles on those trains once you get there. But if you want to take faster TGVs book in advance for potential savings.
PalenQ is online now  
Jun 3rd, 2014, 11:44 AM
  #7  
 
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Supposedly starting this summer there will again for the first time in several years be thru trains from Genoa to Nice - a snafu between the French and Italian railways has caused a rupture where now you always must change trains in Ventimiglia, the border station - so if thru trains are possible that would cut the travel time by maybe an hour or so - the thru trains would be EC trains like before and not stop so much - currently when you change at Ventimiglia you change to regional commuter trains that take forever to get to Nice - the newer trains short cut the time a lot. So check schedules - so far I cannot see such trains appearing.
PalenQ is online now  
Jun 3rd, 2014, 06:27 PM
  #8  
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Wow, great info!
So my latest thought is train from CT to Genoa in the AM on the 16th. Bus to Nice (3 hours). Spend the night in Nice at a hotel. Then find a way from Nice to MRS airport early AM on the 17th in time for our 11am flight to London on BA.
Any thoughts on that?

the fast train would be amazing (especially with 2 small children!)
nextexit is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2014, 08:12 PM
  #9  
 
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Is London your final destination? However you split it, it would be a long trip especially with small children. Compare this with booking a new flight:

Genoa-London Gatwick 7/16 BA2689,13:05-14:00, 422.64EU with checked luggage for 4 passengers.

How does this compare to booking trains and buses to Marseille plus staying overnight in Nice, spending 7/16 dinner and 7/17 breakfast, plus doing this long trip in hot weather?
greg is offline  
Jun 4th, 2014, 12:45 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Staying the last night in Nice will not change a lot of things. You can count on 3 h by car from Nice to Marseilles. This means rent a car when you arrive in Nice and leave around 4 or 5am to the airport, crossing fingers nothing happens on the road
parisian is offline  
Jun 4th, 2014, 05:17 AM
  #11  
 
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A flight from Pisa to Gatwick on easyjet is less than €300 for you all plus luggage. However, it doen't get into Gatwick until 5:30pm, so if London isn't your final destination, it may not fit.
Rubicund is offline  
Jun 4th, 2014, 07:39 PM
  #12  
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Our final destination is Los Angeles. I called British and begged them to let me cancel the MRS to Heathrow part and I would just book a cheap flight from Italy but they won't let me!! They said that if we don't show up for our MRS-LON flight, they will cancel our LON-LAX flight, can you believe that?
nextexit is offline  
Jun 4th, 2014, 07:40 PM
  #13  
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I would happily pay the 300 from Italy to London to cancel the first leg, but they won't allow it. They want about 300 per person to change the flight!
nextexit is offline  
Jun 5th, 2014, 05:26 AM
  #14  
 
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They said that if we don't show up for our MRS-LON flight, they will cancel our LON-LAX flight, can you believe that?>

Unfortunately yes - it has been long standing policy - don't show up for your connecting flight the other flight is cancelled with no refund - why? Sometimes because a flight involving a connection may actually be cheaper than just the main flight itself - do to the mysterious pricing policy of airlines - all calculated to entice the most passengers to pay the most money.

Caveat emptor!
PalenQ is online now  

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