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How to take the Scenic View from Paris to Provence?

How to take the Scenic View from Paris to Provence?

Old Feb 17th, 2012, 09:32 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 4
How to take the Scenic View from Paris to Provence?

I am starting to put together an itinerary for 2 1/2 weeks (18 days) in France in May. We are flying in and out of Paris. The first week we will be using a village in the Luberon, just outside of Avignon, as our base to explore Provence, and specifically the Luberon. We have two full days upon arrival to get from CDG to Avignon (have been to Paris before so no plans to spend more than a day or so in Paris on the tail end of the trip). I am debating between taking the train to Avignon and renting a car from there for two weeks or else just renting the car in Paris (more flexibility this way, but way more driving).

If we drive, it would be nice to see something else of France enroute to the region we will spend most of our time. I would love to see the Dordognes region, but note that it will add four+ hrs of driving time and we won't have much time when we are there. We have only 2 days to get from Paris to Avignon. I know it isn't ideal, and we will - of course - have to go back if we want to really "see" anything in the area, but do you think it is worth the extra driving to spend the afternoon of one day and the morning of the next in the area? I have no specific "must-sees" at present. I just think the area looks beautiful. Is there a better route that makes a scenic (non super highway) two day drive from Paris to Provence?

The second half (9 days) of our trip will likely include some hiking and sightseeing in/around the Gorges du Verdon and other parts of southern France. Still not quite sure of the itinerary, and possible we could include Dordognes on way back to Paris. The main question about the 2nd leg I have right now is whether there is a good 2 day scenic route to get from the Nice/Northern Italy back up to Paris, perhaps taking in some of the Alps?

A couple of final points: Flying into CDG is not negotiable given where we are coming from. Hiking, natural beauty, good food, wine, beautiful architecture and scenery are my priorities for this trip (not museums, cities, cultural events etc.)

Deevalici is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2012, 09:42 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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The possibilities are endless, but the more you use a car, the more you can improvise. Taking the TGV from CDG to Avignon would be a good start, and then you could get a car that you could return to CDG at the end of your trip if you want. Or you could get a car there and return it somewhere else and then get a new car a couple of days later depending on what you are doing and where you are.

Everybody is fascinated by different things, so I won't try to tell you where to go, but I can give you a glimpse of one or two of my recent road trips in the south of France.

I loved driving from Sète to Millau, for example:

But a minor sight like the Viaduc de Garabit (built by Gustave Eiffel just before he built his tower in Paris) is also a pleasure to see:
kerouac is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2012, 09:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I wouldn't drive from Paris to Provence. If you have extra time and don't care to use it in Paris I'd take the train to Lyon for a day or two and then continue on to Avignon by train and pick up a car there.

The Dordogne IMO isn't worth it with so little time.
StCirq is online now  
Old Feb 17th, 2012, 01:48 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,388
We stopped for a night in Vezelay and four nights in Beaune
between Paris and Avignon.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Old Feb 17th, 2012, 02:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,022
WE loved driving from the airport to Provence, stopping for stays in Burgundy, visiing vineyards, restaurants and noted sites. One year we stayed in Burgundy so I could visit a
favorte French Writer's childhood home. This was the writer,
Colette. The village chateau is now a museum dedicated to her.
Filmas adapted from her books are shown in one room. The stepse have all the titles of her books. All her glass globes, her desk, are there. There's also a cafe and books fo
bring home a memory.
cigalechanta is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2012, 04:43 AM
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Thanks all. Will consider all these options.
Deevalici is offline  
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