TGV to Avignon or Nimes?

Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 07:43 AM
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TGV to Avignon or Nimes?

All along I have been planning on taking the TGV from Paris to Avignon and renting a car there. We were planning on going to Pont du Gard after picking up the car. Now that I am looking more closely at some maps, does it make more sense to take the TGV into Avignon or Nimes if we are going to PdG right away? And is it as easy to rent a car at the Nimes TGV station as it is at the Avignon TGV?

Thanks!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 09:08 AM
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I'd probably choose Nimes, although I'm not sure where the TGV station is there. But I've driven in Nimes and it isn't that difficult, and it's a fairly straight shot up the A9 to near Pont du Gard. I've also driven from Avignon TGV and I think it might be a little more confusing as you have to cross the river to get to the Pont du Gard and the road right around Avignon is more confusing and busy with traffic IMO.

I don't know about car availability, you can check that easily. Nimes isn't a small town, I think it's about the same size as Avignon in population, or almost. I suspect the distance is about the same, or not much different. It may not really be that much easier from Nimes -- from Avignon, you'd have to follow the Chemin de Courtine the right direction and then find the signs to get onto the N100 towards Nimes and that will get you going the right way. I just had a bad time driving around the Avignon TGV station, but partly that was even finding how to get there on a map. It is probably easier to leave it than find it.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 10:07 AM
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I suspect it might be six of one and half a dozen of the other ... it looks like Nîmes is very slightly closer to Pont du Gard. However, I think the TGV station is in the city itself, so you'd have to have a good map to get out to either the N86 or the A9.

I have driven several times from Avignon TGV to Pont du Gard. Christina's right--it can be a bit confusing, but take a good look at your map. It goes like this:

- leave the car rental parking lot and follow signs for the city centre

- you will reach a roundabout where you can join the Rocade Charles de Gaulle, a ring-road around the city of Avignon

- look for a green sign saying Nîmes--follow this to join the Rocade heading northwest towards Avignon.

- The Rhône will soon appear on your left; you will go through traffic signals, go under an old railway bridge, and then under a big road bridge (I think it is called Pont d'Europe)

- Immediately after going under the big road bridge, the green signs for Nîmes will take you on an exit to the right. You'll climb up onto the bridge and cross the Rhône. At this point you are going west on N100

- Follow signs for Remoulins. Just before Remoulins you will see signs for Pont du Gard and Uzès; follow those and you'll bypass Remoulins. Keep following the signs for Pont du Gard ...

The total travel distance is about 30 kilomtres and your total travel time will be about 35 or 40 minutes.

Anselm
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Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 10:27 AM
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Christina & Anselme are correct - it's a little confusing to get from the Avignon TGV to the Pont du Gard area. We got completly lost leaving the TGV the last time we tried to do this, and we had to stop to ask for instructions. Heading east from the TGV is very easy, but west is a bear. There is a road on the map that looks like it's the one to take, but when we got there, it was completly & permanently blocked.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 03:56 PM
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One thing to keep in mind is that the TGV line splits at Avignon, so there are more trains from Paris to Avignon than there are to Nimes. We rented a car at the downtown Avignon train station this summer, and drove from there to the Pont du Gard. It took about 45 minutes, and wasn't hard to find at all. The TGV station in Avignon is a couple of miles south of downtown.
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