Provence to Saint Exupery (Lyon) Airport

Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 11:48 AM
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Provence to Saint Exupery (Lyon) Airport

hello fodorites,

we are staying in provence (near carpentras) in october. on october 7, we are flying (british airways) out of saint exupery (lyon) to london heathrow. our flight leaves at noon. the carrier has advised we should be at the airport two hours in advance.

two questions:

1. what time do we need to leave carpentras to get to the lyon airport by 10 am?

2. has anyone ever dropped off a rental car at this airport? if so, is it time-consuming? is the office located far from the airport? we are renting via auto europe (picking up in avignon and dropping off in lyon airport).

right now, our plan is to leave at 6:30 am ... giving us 3.5 hours to get to the airport before we need to check in. via michelin advises that the trip will take 2 hrs 17 mins.

thanks in advance!
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Old Jun 4th, 2008, 07:35 AM
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ttt
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Old Jun 4th, 2008, 07:49 AM
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Never having been to this airport, I can't be of much help other than to suggest that
a) it's a small airport, so it can't be too difficult
b) worse case scenario is you can drop the keys without getting a signed receipt (not recommended)
c) ask this question at AutoEurope at Avignon and, if need be, they can phone Saint Exupery for you
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 11:33 AM
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does anyone think we should stay overnight in lyon? or will we be okay if we leave carpentras at 6:30 am on the morning of the flight?
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 11:49 AM
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lilaki, the only thing I would add to your plan is that you will probably need to re-fuel your rental car just before you return it at Saint-Exupéry. That only adds 10 minutes to your trip time, though.

I suspect you'll find a gas station on the road from the A432 to the main entrance to the airport. If not, I'd keep driving a bit north past the airport; you'll come across one somewhere in that area.

Anselm
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 11:53 AM
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anselm - thanks for the tip/reminder. maybe we will leave carpentras at 6 am instead ... just feeling a little nervous about getting stuck in a traffic jam or road closure or something like that. i'm completely unfamiliar with the area so i don't want to solely rely on via michelin's quote of 2 hrs and 17 minutes!!
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 12:38 PM
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lilaki, I completely understand your approach to this, as I'd be exactly the same. I'd sooner sit cool my heels at the airport than worry that I was going to be late.

One other tip: if you don't have a GPS with you in the car, pick up a good Michelin map of the Lyon area so that you can plot your route and figure out how to correct any wrong turns. (I like Michelin's 300-series for their detail.) A map outweighs Michelin driving directions, in my experience.

Anselm
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 04:45 PM
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anselm,

thanks again! another great tip.

we won't have a GPS with us (although, i'm tempted)...we will be in paris the week before provence and i need to pick up maps while there. i'm finding it hard to get my hands on the michelin maps here at home (toronto)...

i'll put the lyon map on my list!

by the way, did you mean a gas station off the A432 - as in a typical highway reststop? or will we need to exit the highway somewhere?

if i arrive at the airport WAY too early, then i will start my trip report for this site!
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 06:17 PM
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lilaki, I get my Michelin maps through World of Maps, 1235 Wellington Street, Ottawa. They have a web site at www.worldofmaps.com; you can order online and they will mail you the maps you request. The last couple I bought were $14.95 Cdn each.

Alternatively, you could pick up Michelin maps in France. I have seen them in bookstores and tabacs, even in small towns.

The 300-series has excellent detail, but depending on how much territory you aim to cover in Provence, you may find you need quite a few. You wouldn't need any fine detail to navigate up the autoroute from Carpentras to the Lyon area, but I was thinking that you might want a good map of the Lyon area itself, as you will need to get from the A7 autoroute to the A46 to the A43 and then the A432 that leads directly to the airport. It looks pretty straightforward on my atlas here, but maps are very handy if you miss an exit or discover that you made some other kind of navigation error.

The alternative to the 300-series is, I think, the 500-series; they're smaller scale (slightly less detail) but cover a greater area. They'd be my second choice, but lots of posters here seem to have had good experience with them.

About the gas station ... the A432 becomes a regular road just around the perimeter of the airport. I was thinking you'd find one along the last couple of kilometres on the approach to the airport. However, I was just looking at the satellite image of the approach to the airport on the viamichelin.com website and it looks like there is a full service reststop on A43 immediately after you join it from the A46. If that's the case, you could fill up there and still have the gas gauge showing full when you reach the airport, which is only about another 15 kilometres away.

Hope this helps. I wonder, though, whether there are any maps or websites that show location of highway reststops? It would sure be handy in planning something like this.

AA
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Old Jun 13th, 2008, 07:10 AM
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anselm - thank you SOOO much for all of your help! i'll actually be in ottawa in august so i will make a note to stop off at world of maps.

i know that as a CAA member, i can order triptiks ... route maps that get you from A to B (with various options) ... you give them your start point and your end point. and the triptiks show all rest stations, hotels, etc. etc. i wonder if there is an equivalent to the CAA in europe??

i have noticed on my michelin provence map (#527) that they do show rest stations on the main highways ... i will try to get a more detailed version though. we'll likely need it for all the driving we're planning on doing in provence.

thanks again!!!
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Old Jun 13th, 2008, 08:33 AM
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Try mappy.com, where you can ask for rest stops on your route. But if you're going up the Autoroute du Soleil, there are a number of rest stops, both large and small.
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Old Jun 27th, 2008, 06:37 PM
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does anyone think it's too much of a risk driving up to lyon the morning of the flight (flight leaves at noon)? should we drive up the night before?

i'm hesitant to do this b/c 1) we already have the gite rented until tuesday morning, 2) i don't want to be driving in the dark up to lyon, and 3) given #2, i also don't want to totally cut into my last day in provence (i.e. leave at 3 pm).

but, if it's too risky leaving at 6 am and NOT making it for a noon-hour flight, then i will need to consider over-nighting in lyon.

help!

thanks!!!
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