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More questions about Avignon - buses to/from Arles

More questions about Avignon - buses to/from Arles

Feb 6th, 2003, 05:41 AM
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More questions about Avignon - buses to/from Arles

Thank you to everyone that has been so helpful in planning for our trip! Here are 3 questions as I put the final touches on our itinerary...

1) Does anyone have the morning bus schedule from Avignon to Arles. I have the train schedule, but would like to know if there is a bus around betweeon 8:00 and 9:00 AM.

2) Please vote:
6 nights in Avignon vs. 4 nights in Avignon and 2 in Arles?

The Baux tourism office sent me their bus schedule and it looks like the best connection is from Arles. I was originally planning on spending 6 nights in Avignon and doing all the daytrips from there (Arles, Aix, Orange, Nimes, Pont du Gard, Uzes, St. Remy and Les Baux), but now I am wondering if I should spent 2 nights in Arles for variety and to make the day-trip to Les Baux easier.

3) Vote: Hotel Cloitre St. Louis vs. Hotel L'Horloge.
L'Horloge is a bit cheaper, in a great central location in Avignon and recommended by a fodorite (thanks Daph!), but the Cloitre may be more convenient because it is closer to the train station. Any input?
Mariarosa is offline  
Feb 6th, 2003, 09:50 AM
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Am planning a future trip to Provence, and was wondering the same thing, about how long to stay in Avignon, go to Arles for a couple of nights, etc. I probably won't have a car on that trip, so Avignon seems like a good bet for trains and bus tours. Hope you'll get some answers to this, mariarosa.
Sue4 is offline  
Feb 6th, 2003, 10:52 AM
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Avignon is one of the most wonderful spots in France definately plan to stay there a few days. I didnt find Arles took more than half a day. I spent a week outside of Aix...and that is a town that is certainly worth spending a few days in. Bon Voyage
itsmlf is offline  
Feb 6th, 2003, 11:17 AM
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Mariarosa I suggest that you stay at the Hotel L'Horloge.. expecially if is cheaper... The hotel is close to the Cathedral of Notre Dame, great place .. almost at the entrance on the left site there is a statue, made of wood of Jesus Christ....is such a moving piece of art, very spiritual, next to the cathedral there is a fantastic garden that overlook the river and a portion of the city, also dont forget to walk on Pont Saint Benezet.Avignon is a small medieval city, full of history, I am certain that you will enjoy it...By the way I will be there for a couple of days also in july, my cousin lives there..Bon Voyage..
roma0019 is offline  
Feb 6th, 2003, 11:31 AM
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I think it is true that one thing I noticed when I stayed in Avignon was that Les Baux is more accessible from Arles than Avignon by bus -- about the only place I think is. However, I'm not so sure that it isn't just as easy by bus from a private company, just not the public bus route. If you (or others) want to visit Les Baux from Avignon, I'd check that out rather than changing hotels if you don't want to.

As for a bus from Avignon to Arles -- why do you want to do that? I wasn't aware there was one, although I know there are buses from Avignon to other places, some without train stations. There is a train every morning from Avignon to Arles between 8-9 except Sunday and, from my experience, there is never an advantage in taking a bus in Provence if there is a train on that route. And a lot of disadvantages as buses can take forever. Anyway, if there is one, I can't help on that schedule.

Arles is easy to get to from Avignon by train, so the 4/2 day thing doesn't sound like a bad idea if you book hotels easy to get to from the train stations.

I don't know those hotels, but if the one you prefer is within 1/3 mile or so of the train station, I'd go for it. I took the train when there and my hotel was even farther than the main square and that wasn't too bad a walk. Something closer than around the Palais des Papes is nice if you plan to take the train several days, however.

I didn't stay there, but the Hotel Bristol on cours Jean Jaures (3*, maybe Best Western) is a very convenient location, in-between the train station and the main square. It looks nice from the outside and I think is decent on the inside if a bit modern and not "charming". I think I might stay there if I go again for convenience. I saw it recommended in several guidebooks.
Christina is offline  
Feb 6th, 2003, 11:54 AM
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Mariarosa: I have the opposite view of one of the above writers: I would spend a five days in Arles and a day in Avignon. Arles is one of my favorite places in Europe. I like the Roman ruins, the Alychamps cemetery, and the market on Saturday There are some very good restaurants without the price tag found in some of the bigger cities. It is refreshing to stay in a place that is less pretentious than the more glamerous Avignon or Aix-en-Provence.

I was able to travel to Avignon, Nimes and Marseille by train and to the Camarague by bus which runs from the train station. There were also buses to Les Baux both times I was in Arles. You could also go to Orange by train to see the Roman theater there.

I found Avignon a little precious. The Palace du Papes is interesting and there are some nice but overpriced shops and restaurants.

I really liked Nimes and the Roman Ruins there very much. The Roman House, the Arena and the Pont du Gard (which is a bus ride into the country) are very fine examples of Roman architecure.

From Nimes you can get the train to go to Carcassone, Montpelier and to Barcelona if you are going on to Spain.

From Arles you could go to Avignon to get a TGV to the Riviera or to Aix. Or you can hop on a train to Marseille and catch a TGV there.

You have many sightseeing options staying in either place and you must decide what suits your interests most and plan accordingly.
mes10 is offline  
Feb 6th, 2003, 12:29 PM
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Buses run quite frequently in Avignon--(I think every 10 to 15 minutes) so that shouldn't be a problem. Both hotels are within the walls of old Avignon which is smaller than you might think. I am biased, but I loved Hotel Cloitre St. Louis. It's architectural cool-looking inside.
Also, I think you could do Avignon in less than 4 days so I wouldn't spend too much time there. Have fun!
Feb 7th, 2003, 05:46 AM
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Thank you! I love the diversity of opinions and suggestions. Tons of great info, thanks!

Sue4 - I have gathered quite a bit of info on transportation, let me know if you have any specific questions that I may be able to help answer.

Christina - good question why bother with buses? The trains from Avignon Central leave around 7:15 AM and 9:45 AM. The 8:00 AM train leaves from the TGV station, and since it is farther away, I was wondering if there was a more convenient bus.
Mariarosa is offline  
Feb 7th, 2003, 08:23 AM
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We spent eight nights based in Arles in October and loved it. We had debated as to whether or not we wanted to stay in 2 or 3 spots. We were very pleased with our choice to stay in one location. If you are sold on Avignon - I would vote to base there the whole time. Arles is only about 25 minutes or so away. Make it easy on yourself.

JoeG is offline  
Feb 7th, 2003, 01:25 PM
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oh, well, there is a constant shuttle between the in-town train station and the TGV station outside Avignon and it's only about 15 min. or so, so you might consider that as it could still end up being quicker than a bus. All I know is I took a bus from Avignon to St Remy and it took FOREVER because it had a lot of stops and meandered down side roads, etc, it wasn't an express at all. So it took a lot longer than the train, that's what I was thinking about.
Christina is offline  
Feb 7th, 2003, 02:48 PM
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The 8 AM 'train' from Avignon TGV to Arles is actually a bus. Leaves at 8:10, arrives at 8:50.
Although the shuttle takes only 15 minutes, its timing is linked to the TGV train schedule. In this case, for instance, you'd have to take the shuttle at 7:26, arr 7:40
At 29 minutes, the direct 9:48 train from Avignon Center seems the best bet.
Unless "Rapides du Sud-Est" who I am pretty sure has a bus connection Avignon-Arles, would have one at that time. No online info though.

Here is the time roster for the shuttle bus Avignon center to TGV Station.
1 Euro per trip.

For trains:
For buses, within Bouches-du-Rhone:
Click on 'Cartreize'.

Registered is offline  
Feb 7th, 2003, 05:52 PM
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Mariarosa, hope you will post a trip report when you return, as I'll be very interested in how it all worked out. My trip to Provence will be later than yours, I'm sure. I'll be very interested in your hotels, how the trains worked out, etc. I had researched this several months ago, and about decided that Avignon would be best as a base without a car - because of the private bus tours from there. But Arles sounds good too. Good luck!
Sue4 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2003, 12:36 PM
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The 8 am train is really a bus??! how drole. If the train station shuttle isn't working at that hour, that does seem to be an express bus, so if you prefer that earlier schedule, I'd simply take a taxi to the TGV station, it's not that far. Unless that regular bus company does have a good time schedule, of course.
Christina is offline  
Feb 9th, 2003, 01:44 PM
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Thank you so much! Registered, I had seen the 8:10 listed as a bus in the bahn site, and just assumed it was wrong. Goes to show you that when it comes to schedules, one really needs to trust the Germans!

We decided to book the 6 nights in Avignon, and take day-trips from there. We will defintely post a trip report when we return.

DOes anyone have a "don't miss" recommendation for dinner in Avignon (especially for the very tricky Sunday and Monday nights).
Mariarosa is offline  
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