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Suggestions for Provence without a car

Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 06:44 AM
  #1  
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Suggestions for Provence without a car

Hi there,

First fime posting here, so please excuse me if I violate any rules.

I would like to ask for your suggestions for travelling in Provence without a car. We will be arriving in Southern France for 6 days, arriving in Nice first. However, we would like to see some of the sights such as Luberon( for the lavende fieldsr) and Gordes(Saint Croix) as well. As we are travelling without a car, what would be the best way around this. Ideally, we would like to see Nice and Monaco too. Would it be feasible to base in Nice, if we were only to to see a few sights in old Provence? Or should we travel around in different cities, not making Nice as home base. Thank you all!

Many thanks,
Cory
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Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 07:00 AM
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I just got back from spending five nights in the South of France without a car: three nights in Nice, two nights in Arles.

I didn't got to most of the places you mentioned, but I did do a lot of day trips by train and bus. It was convenient enough. Around Nice, I stopped at a lot of coastal towns. (Monaco was the lowlight - a complete waste of time.) If you wonder how to get from place to place, try the website Rome2Rio and plug in the places. It's not 100% accurate (some public transportation is seasonal only or not every day), but it can give you a lead on how to get from place to place - links to bus websites, etc.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 08:33 AM
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Nice is too far away from the Luberon. Without a car, I think basing yourself in Avignon is the best idea. You can easily get a few places by train if you want (eg, Arles or Nimes), and given it is a city of some size, you will find some day bus tours to those Luberon villages you want to see, you could do that one day.

So you could stay in Nice 3 days then take the train to Avignon for 3 nights. From Nice, you can visit Monaco by train one day. From Avignon, you could do Arles one day, Avignon one day, and find a bus day tour to the Luberon for one day.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 09:15 AM
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I agree you just can't really see the Lubéron without a car, though you might happen upon a bus tour from Avignon. Avignon and Nice are really the only logical places to base if you won't rent a car because they have decent public transport. Monaco is a complete waste of travel brain cells. Arles and Aigues-Mortes, on the other hand, have a lot to offer.

If you have only 6 days, I can't see choosing more than one base. And when are you traveling? You do realize, I hope, that blooming lavender isn't going to happen unless you're there at the right time.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 09:18 AM
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Don't bother with Monaco, way better places to see in that area. Villenfranche and St Jean Cap Ferrat can both be reached by train.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 09:07 PM
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Hi coryshen17,

Well of course you can see the Luberon without a car ... you simply can't see a lot of it in a short time or linger a long time in a place that takes your fancy. But you can see it, and see if it enthralls you enough for another visit some time.

A few years ago, I spent about a week in Arles without a car. As StCirq says, it has a lot to offer -- interesting winding streets to explore and get lost in, lots of archeological sites, museums, lots of cafes and restaurants, and lots of tiny and unique shops here and there in the winding streets.

I wanted to see some of the lavender fields and some of the villages, so I found a small-group day-tour that fit the bill. There were 6 of us in a van, and we visited Gordes, Roussilon, and Bonnieux, as well as a lavender field. We met beside a hotel in Arles, and the tour took all day. The guide/driver was very accommodating, and she would stop where we wanted and spend as little or as much time as we wanted, so long as we all agreed.

Anyway, have fun as you plan!

s
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Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 12:43 AM
  #7  
mjs
 
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As Stu notes the lavender fields bloom at a specific time of year. The Luberon without the bloom is still worthwhile visiting. Agree that Avignon would be a good second base if you do not have a car. Driving in the south of France is however not difficult with a Michilin map and a GPS in which case I would base myself somewhere like ST Remy instead of Avignon. Could also just stay in Nice and explore the surrounding area for 6 days.
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