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South of France: TGV from CDG to see new places

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Jul 5th, 2013, 06:14 PM
  #1
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South of France: TGV from CDG to see new places

Arriving into CDG in September and need some help planning my route from Paris. Want to see few new places before continuing to Toulouse then to Lourdes for 2 nights. Have 2 or 3 days to enjoy and might be able to include a day trip before continuing journey. Have been to Nice, Monaco, St. Remo. Any suggestions and if I should use one stopover and take day trips. Like to walk around nice cities, visit gardens and parks, historic areas and more. Not looking at beach resorts. Any good ideas, please. Will book by SNCF tickets online.
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Jul 5th, 2013, 06:19 PM
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Lyon - nice old-town area, incredible gastronomy. An overnight stay.
Avignon - the TGV terminal is a short distance from the old town. At least an overnight - there is a lot to see in the vicinity, too.
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Jul 5th, 2013, 06:34 PM
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I took the TGV from CDG on arrival to Avignon, stayed a couple of days there then went by bus to Uzes for a week. Returned to Avignon for a few more days then to Paris. Easy day trips by train or bus from Avignon or Uzes could include Nimes, Arles, and the Pont du Gard.
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Jul 5th, 2013, 07:17 PM
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We spent a few nice days in Montpellier. We liked it and would suggest you consider it.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...and-report.cfm
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Jul 7th, 2013, 08:21 AM
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Thanks for responses. My flight arrives CDG 5pm and was hoping to get on evening TGV from CDG. If I use just one base to spend 3 nights/4 days, which one would be better? Avignon sounds good if there are good choices for day trips; not familiar with UZES, PontduGard areas, would like some idea of the distances to these places. If someone can give me help selecting the route for (say) 4 days and still be able to get a train into Toulouse or somewhere near enough to reach Lourdes, that will be great I can start looking at sncf. Need to be close to trains as will be traveling using only public transport, including buses. Looking forward to more guidance. Thank you all, this message board is fantastic.
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Jul 7th, 2013, 09:14 AM
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There's bus service to the Pont du Gard and on to Uzes from Avignon. And other services in the area.

This is the company website: http://www.edgard-transport.fr/

Timetable for the A15 service:
http://www.natu-rando.com/Files/Othe...A15%202012.pdf

There's bus service from the TGV station into town that brings you right to the edge of the old town in front of the main post office. Bus station is about a block away. Local train station less than that.

Probably a good idea to pick up a schedule from the bus station or tourist information to be sure you have current information.

I stayed at the Hotel Colbert, a very short walk from where one gets off the TGV bus. I liked it very much and the location is perfect, especially for all transport options:
http://www.lecolbert-hotel.com/
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Jul 7th, 2013, 09:25 AM
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Looking at the bus schedule I gave you above I see it mentions the Avignon TVG station. But there's a separate bus exclusively for service back and forth from town to the TGV station that runs all day and is the one that drops you at the post office, very convenient.

The buses on the schedule leave from the Gare Routiere, the main bus station, about a block from the post office. The local train station is just across the main road from the post office.
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Jul 7th, 2013, 09:38 AM
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I think Montpellier a good suggestion. It's then a direct train to Toulouse. From Lyon or Avignon you'd have to change.

Scratch that. I just saw your arrival time at CDG. If you're arriving after a long, tiring flight, spend the night at CDG and catch a train the next day. Otherwise, I'd check the schedule for trains leaving after 7 PM. And let the train availability determine your first night destination. Lyon and Avignon are closer to CDG than Montpellier.
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Jul 8th, 2013, 10:14 AM
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Thanks to all, I am considering Avignon and day trips to few other towns that are not too distant. Want to avoid overnight at CDG as feel better to arrive at base late evening which will give me more time following days. Since I plan continuing to Lourdes, is there a direct route that I could use on the SNCF and avoid having layover in Toulouse? Will now begin hotel search.
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Jul 8th, 2013, 10:25 AM
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Not only is there not direct train service from Avignon to Lourdes, all routes require two changes. Your choices:

Avignon>Nîmes>Toulouse>Lourdes
Avignon>Montpellier>Toulouse>Lourdes
Avignon>Arles>Toulouse>Lourdes

Depending on the route, the trip will take 6-8 hours.
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Jul 8th, 2013, 02:15 PM
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I've booked the SNCF tickets making 2 overnight stops in Avignon. Will arrive before 10:50pm and if someone lets me know if area near to TGV station is safe enough I will begin my hotel search to be close to trains. Taking an afternoon train to Montpellier for 1 overnight and then a morning train to Lourdes with one change in Toulouse. Got good fares and tickets will be mailed to me within a week.
This lets me look forward to seeing some new places. Will leave Lourdes taking train to Bordeaux late morning and continue to Dublin to get my Aer Lingus flight home. Many thanks for all the help received.
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Jul 8th, 2013, 02:55 PM
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You're having tickets mailed to you???? You didn't book through Rail Europe did you? That would have been a costly mistake. Maybe since you're in Ireland SNCF will mil you tickets (they won't to the USA).

The TVG station in Avignon is outside of town in a bit of a wasteland. I'm sure it's not unsafe. I just doubt there are hotels there (maybe there are - I never needed one and so didn't look). If there aren't, just take the shuttle bus into town (it stops at the Gare Centrale) - there are bound to be many hotels in that area.
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Jul 8th, 2013, 03:32 PM
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Make sure you know from which of the Avignon train stations you leave for your onward trips.

This is a partial repeat of my post above since I can't tell if you saw it:

There's bus service from the TGV station into town that brings you right to the edge of the old town in front of the main post office. Bus station is about a block away. Local train station less than that.

I stayed at the Hotel Colbert, a very short walk from where one gets off the TGV bus. I liked it very much and the location is perfect, especially for all transport options:
http://www.lecolbert-hotel.com/
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Jul 8th, 2013, 04:16 PM
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I booked all my tickets on SNCF site using Ireland in country line, as I've been doing for several years and my mailing address here in NY and tickets always arrived quickly under zipcode. I have never used Rail Europe because I am fully aware they are in the business to make lots of money from the tour companies by charging highest fares. Once I looked at a route and when I selected they tried to charge me $18 just for mailing the ticket which I did not accept.
Thanks for info on the TGV station in Avignon. As long as there is bus or taxi to and from the station, I will look at hotels in city center or near old town and read some reviews. Expect midweek in September will not be too busy. Thanks.
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Jul 9th, 2013, 08:59 AM
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I will be looking at Colbert hotel and others in Avignon today. Thank you so much for all the info on the buses and for alerting me of other RR stations in Avignon. My train leaves from Central station. I got very good fares, 2 of the longer journeys are in 1st class, Avignon to Montpellier 12.60 euros, Lourdes to Bordeaux only 15 euros, Got it all for 103.60; feels great having all of this accomplished. Greatly appreciate all the support offered on this board.
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Jul 9th, 2013, 09:23 AM
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Those are great prices - good for you!
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