train travel in southern France

Old Apr 20th, 2010, 05:19 AM
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train travel in southern France

We are traveling from San Sebastain, Spain to Italy. we are traveling by train. Our first experience/trip. Would like to know about stopping in small towns along the way. Looking for a nice place (inexpensive) to stay around Avignon.
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Old Apr 20th, 2010, 05:30 AM
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I checked several connections. The fast connections do not stop in small towns (with the exception of Lourdes). The closest to Avignon is Montpellier. If you change to a regional train, there are also stops in Sète, Nimes and Arles.

Sète is an old fishing town with a picturesque harbour and lots of seafood restaurants. Nimes is a medium-sized city with boulevards and has the best Roman ruins in Southern France. Arles is a small town with a central square, alleys and also very impressive Roman ruins. Maybe Arles is the best option for you.
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Old Apr 20th, 2010, 05:46 AM
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From San Sebastian, there are frequent local trains to Hendaye, the first station in France.
The easiest way to check train schedules is on
If you want to go to Avignon, try looking at trains from Hendaye to Avignon, then from Avignon to wherever you want to go in Italy.
If the trains to and from Avignon are not convenient, try places en route.
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Old Apr 20th, 2010, 05:55 AM
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If you want to stop in small towns, you probably need to get out at Nice and do local runs from there. I know trains stop in Antibes, Cannes and Toulon.

Nimes, Arles, Sete etc are farther west than Avignon, so you'd have to keep going past Avignon to get to them. Arles isn't a small town, although it has less population than Nimes. But it's a city by most people's standards (over 50K pop, if that's a small town to you, it isn't to me).

Why don't you just stay in Avignon, there are plenty of cheap places there and it's a convenient rail hub.
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Old Apr 20th, 2010, 06:06 AM
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I would go to Avignon and do trains to small towns from there. And I agree, Arles is definitely not a "small town." It's a city, and a nice one.
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Old Apr 21st, 2010, 01:05 AM
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Near Avignon, there're beautiful place (Luberon region) you could visit Apt city, Carpentras, Aix en Provence, Draguignan.
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