Visting Provence and Flying From CDG

Mar 25th, 2007, 02:06 PM
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Visting Provence and Flying From CDG

Experienced travelers will be making first visit to France in September, flying from Newark. Would like to see some of Provence, tour intermediate areas and end with a week in Paris and surroundings. We plan to rent a car and also buy train pass for some day trips from Paris. Are we better off flying directly to Nice, renting the car, touring and then drop the car in Paris OR flying to CVG, renting a car, making a leisurely drive south where we will see cities and countryside along the way and then return to Paris? Another option is to fly to CDG, take the train to Provence and drive back. We don't have any "must see" sites in mind, usually like less touristy areas. All we read about looks great. We have 17 days total. In a quandry! Understand distances and various costs involved.
ryderpj is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 02:30 PM
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Honestly, don't drive from Paris to Provence or vice versa. Either fly to Nice or Marseille and rent a car for Provence then drop it in Avignon and catch the TGV back to Paris for your second week.

Another option would be to fly into CDG then TGV to Avignon, picking up the car there, doing a circuit through Provence and returning to Avignon to dump the car and catch the TGV back to Paris. Just depends on how much the flight costs vary. Multi city tickets via don't appear much more expensive than roundtrips to CDG so the time savings might make multi city flights more attractive.

I believe the TGV between Paris and Avignon is just under three hours while the car ride is about 7.5 hours and I haven't heard any great reasons for driving it. But others with lots of experience will weigh in here as to what is right.

I'm spending a week in Provence then a week in Paris this summer. I chose to go to Provence first because I thought with the slower pace of Provence I will be able to get over jetlag and then when in Paris where opportunities present themselves 24/7 I'll be ready to go!

I'm spending my time in Provence in the area of Avignon, Arles, St. Remy, and the Luberon hill towns of Gordes and Roissilon but you have a few days more than I do so by all means head on down to the Med and enjoy the scene there too.
amwosu is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 02:33 PM
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..Do a bit of home work re price of an open jaw (Nice arrival Paris depart) and also the cost of a TGV ticket one way CDG to Avignon (or the price of a PREM and use it one way only). In addition check flight times for both options. Taking the train right from CDG to Avignon is painless and fast. You can pick up a car there, drive around Provence and drop the car back in Paris (or in Avignon depending on your plans)...just don't rent the car for any sightseeing in Paris.
travelbunny is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 02:41 PM
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You might also want to price round trip to Marseille or Nice with a week stopover in Paris. We find this is usually cheaper and definitely easy!
Judy is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 02:42 PM
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If you need help understanding French train service or PREMS fares just search this forum for MorganBs Booking French Rail SNCF Train Tickets Version 2.
amwosu is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 03:02 PM
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I agree with amwosu: fly direct to Nice, pick up car, tour Provence, drop car at Avignon and take TGV to Paris. Fly out of CDG. I think if you fly to CDG and catch the TGV for Avignon, Marseille or Nice (depending where you plan to begin your stay) makes for a long travel day.
2010 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 03:53 PM
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Interesting, amwosu. I prefer to spend my jet lag time in a city, because there are more options, more things to do, around the clock. Whereas if you're wideawake at 3 AM in Gordes, there's absolutely nothing to do.
Mimar is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 04:52 PM
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Hey Mimar, I never looked at it that way.

Regardless of whether I'm flying east or west my problem with jetlag isn't being wide awake in the middle of the night, its wanting to go to bed early and sleeping and sleeping and sleeping. So I'm saving Paris for when I'm past that stage.
amwosu is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 05:12 PM
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ryderpi, I am flying to CDG from PHL (US Airways) and am taking an Air France flight to Nice (one way) for $67. We do have a bit of a wait between flights, so I hope I don't regret it.

I just don't find train travel as easy as others seem to. I find it very confusing (which track, which direction, etc.) and my luggage difficult to lift (I pack as light a 22" + tote as I can), but still it's heavy.

We do plan to drive from St. Remy to Paris with an overnight stop in Beaune at the end of our week in St. R. Hoping that works out too!

Celiaanne is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 07:26 PM
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Three years ago, we saved well over $250 by flying into Marseilles, renting the car there rather than train from Paris to Provence. Drive time, speed and unfamiliarity w/roads for the first-time European travel made it the best decision.

Enjoy your trip - it will be wonderful to experience many facets of France! Bon Nuit!
vanw is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 10:15 AM
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We're flying from Houston to Marseille and back from Nice to CDG in April. It costs about $100 more than just flying into Paris which is much cheaper than the train. Train was 90 to 217 one way and 139-277 round trip, depending on class, and takes 3 1/2 hours

Used Orbitz to book. The flight is on Air France, but picked Delta option and saved almost $150 per ticket. Have never been able to figure that one out.

Best deal found on a car was with Kemwel usually get best deal with autoeurope but Kemwel beat their price. Web pages are indentical. They maybe one in the same, but price was different.

Happy planning

Cgibson is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 10:49 AM
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Kemwel was bought by Auto Europe. I think you do get different prices from the two sites. I use Kemwel for their lease buy-back. It is cheaper than the Auto Europe rental.
gracejoan3 is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 11:00 AM
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Hi R,

>We plan to r... buy train pass for some day trips from Paris.<

Highly unlikely that a pass will ost less than point-to-point tickets.

Check prices at for all of your rides.

ira is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 02:11 PM
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HELP!!!! We're also planning to fly into CDG, then train down to Avignon. But, I can't get the sncf site to give me the necessary info. It doesn't accept anything I've tried for Aeroport Charles de Gaule. I'm able to find the schedule on RailEurope, but figure their prices are higher than the sncf site. Any tips?
MrTaz is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 06:07 PM
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on that site if you put Paris cdg airport in the slot you will get the schedule
gracejoan3 is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 06:25 PM
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The paris station is called Roissy.

Do a search for MorganBs rail thread. It is extensive and will help you find the best deals without pulling out your hair. There are several oddities about using the site he will help you with.
amwosu is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 06:25 PM
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I meant the CDG station is called Roissy.
amwosu is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 06:35 PM
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The sncf/rail europe site..put in as I said above...Paris cdg airport and the schedule is right there..I have it in front of me...some sites you must use Roissy............
gracejoan3 is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 08:11 PM
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We will be in Provence (Luberon) four times this year... just returned last Saturday.

Our preference is to fly in and out of Marseille, which is about an hour and 15 minutes from Bonnieux. It's a very easy airport to get in and out of and to deal with a rental or leased car. There are several chain places right there at the airport to spend the night before an early flight out.

We have flown from the USA to both Paris and Amsterdam, and then transferred to Marseille. It is nice not to have to worry about luggage. And we have found that the addition of the leg to/from Marseille usually costs almost nothing... saving the cost of the train.

KathyWood is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 08:17 PM
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I don't consider the Cote DÁzur as the true Provence. We have taken the train from CDG to Avignon but we prefer to rent a car and pick it up at CDG and spend a night in Burgundy on our way to Provence. Nice is better for visiting the Coté D'Azur.
cigalechanta is offline  
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