Travel from 5Terre through Provence

Jul 13th, 2017, 03:56 PM
  #1  
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Travel from 5Terre through Provence

I am trying to plan a trip leaving Cinque Terre and travelling through Provence and on to Paris. I have about a week for Provence but cannot sort out how to organize that portion. I can base myself at a larger center such as Marseille but I would prefer a smaller center. I will not have a vehicle so will use trains and tours. Single traveller, into dining, walking, exploring smaller towns, enjoy art and museums, prefer waterfront. Any suggestions are much appreciated. Thank you.
mycatfluffy is offline  
Jul 13th, 2017, 04:33 PM
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I recently traveled from the Italian Riviera to Provence, by train, but I suspect your interests may differ from mine.

I took the train from Genoa to Nice, where I spent a few days. Then I took the train from Nice to Arles, with a change in Marseille. I didn't stop in Marseille.

I had only a few days in Provence - my biggest "must" was seeing the Pont du Gard. It's an easy day trip from Avignon (which is easy to get to from Arles by train). Many people seem to love basing in Arles, but I found it pretty dead at night and wished I'd based in Avignon instead, just because it felt a bit more lively (though more touristy and in some ways, less interesting). It's easy to get by bus from Avignon to towns like Uzes and Nimes. Someone else recently posted about taking a day tour from Avignon to other towns. Avignon does seem to be a good base without a car. And there are lots of daily fast, direct TGV trains from Avignon to Paris.
Andrew is offline  
Jul 13th, 2017, 04:41 PM
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Thank you so much. This is exactly the type of information I am seeking. So Avignon might be a good base even though it is a larger city. What about Aix-en-Provence would that be a good base?
mycatfluffy is offline  
Jul 13th, 2017, 05:02 PM
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Sorry, I can't answer that. I was only in the region a short time - and there are lots of threads about Provence. I'm not sure if the forum search works or not (given all of the Fodor's forum problems lately), but you should be able to search the forums for "Provence" and just read - or choose the "French" forum (which filters out everything but the French threads in the Europe forum) - lots of them will be about Provence.
Andrew is offline  
Jul 13th, 2017, 06:48 PM
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Small towns and no car do not mix well. If you want to experience small-town Provence, a car is pretty much essential, as France does not have a bus system that is conducive to tourism.
StCirq is offline  
Jul 14th, 2017, 08:01 AM
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ttt
Andrew is offline  
Jul 14th, 2017, 10:42 AM
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with limited time either make it an all-driving tour -if you want to experience those proverbial Provencal villages and lovely countryside but if you want to see historic cities and do easy day trips from them by train or bus or guided tour - I agree with andrew Avignon (or Arles) is tops- so many things within an easy strike of town.

Aix's day trips are there but not as famous or easy as from the Avignon area. Aix is a neat town but with limited time I'd hop the train to Avignon-TGV station.

It is a long slog from CTerre however -may consider flying to Marseille or Nimes or even Lyon and taking train to Avignon or break your journey in say Nice for a day or two. Otherwsie all day on trains.

For lots of great info on trains check www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

TGVs from Avignon TGV station (few miles out of town - connected with town center by navette or shuttle trains) to Paris only take about 2.5 hours now - book ahead for sweet discounts at www.voyages-sncf.com or www.thetrainline.eu - same fares - latter is said to be easier for Americans at least to get to work - book your own online.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 14th, 2017, 03:51 PM
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I absolutely love Aix-en-Provence, but Avignon is much closer to the sights you are most likely to want to see, and if you will not have a car, it is much easier to get to those places by train, bus, or day tour from Avignon.
artsnletters is offline  
Jul 15th, 2017, 10:33 AM
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Thank you so much for all of your helpful comments and suggestions. I also thought travel by train from Cinque Terre to Avignon might be too time consuming so was thinking of flying into Marseille, spending a couple of nights there and travelling to Cassis for a day and maybe Montpellier, then train to Avignon and touring from there. I think this will work and then TGV to Paris. I really want to see Cassis.
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Jul 15th, 2017, 10:35 AM
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That sounds like a good plan. I took the train to Cassis for a day trip when I was staying in Marseille, that's very easy.
Christina is offline  
Jul 15th, 2017, 01:10 PM
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Why Montpelier? Nice town but not so much for the average tourist -unless you have some other reason I'd spend a day more in Avignon area.
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