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5 days to see provence and paris! itinerary sugg. please!

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5 days to see provence and paris! itinerary sugg. please!

Hi Forum Friends!

Traveling with a friend in Provence in Sept. (8-13)and have 5 short days to breeze thru Provence and exit via paris (for SFO). Sept 8 will be spent traveling from Zurich to???? Not sure where to take train to??? Nice, Avignon, AIX? I would like it to be fairly central so that we can rent a car with ease.

My questions are:

1. What town would it be smartest/quickest in Provence to get TO FROM Zurich …where we will have nearby access to rental car.

2. A good hub to see the surrounds…we could move once if necessary possible Itinerary suggestions?

3. what is the quickest/easiest/cheapest route to get back to Paris?

are there any speedy trains? (we might do best at the same station we rented the car from….so please keep in mind….

4. any not to miss itinerary suggestions for Provence? great boutique hotels that are somewhat affordable?

My deepest thanks in advance for your kind assistance.

Shelley from San Francisco

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1. Re: 5 days to see provence and paris! itinerary sugg. please!

Do I understand that you don't plan to spend any time in Paris?

The speedy trains are called TGV; you can board one at Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, or Avignon. The TGV from Nice doesn't run all the way on the high-speed tracks, making the run to Paris in about 6 hours. From Avignon the trip takes a little over 2 hours.

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2. Re: 5 days to see provence and paris! itinerary sugg. please!

probably just the day/night before we depart, we will find a guide to twirl us around the city for that last afternoon. have a friend we will meet for dinner. The city can be overwhelming after a few weeks in the country…The Provence leg of the trip we are discussing in this thread follows a week long hike in the Jungfrau…

How is Grasse? worthy of a stop? or out of the way for us in such a short time?

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3. Re: 5 days to see provence and paris! itinerary sugg. please!

Much as I like Grasse, it wouldn't be on my list for a first visit to Provence. With the amount of time you have, sticking to western Provence would be your best bet. There's a LOT to see in that area. Pick up a copy of the Michelin Green Guide to Provence and start your research, then return here for lodging, etc. suggestions.

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4. Re: 5 days to see provence and paris! itinerary sugg. please!

I am in TOTAL agreement with Catullus that you should stick to Western Provence. Furthermore, I recommend that you establish a single base, as the most scenic and important historical sites are easily explored, if your base is well centered.

As Catullus suggested, please get the Michelin Green Guide for Provence, and get back to us for specific recommendations regarding what to see, where to stay and where to eat, etc. ...

Hope to hear from you soon.

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5. Re: 5 days to see provence and paris! itinerary sugg. please!

We are planning to visit Provence in October. We will be travelling by TGV from Paris to Avignon. Must sees for us are Nimes and Arles. Any other suggestions? We will be in the area for about 5-6 days. Is it possible to get over to Nice? Are these locations reachable by train or should we rent a car in Avignon? Any suggestions for hotels, restaurants, etc. Thanks!!

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6. Re: 5 days to see provence and paris! itinerary sugg. please!

Hi Janet M

You should absolutely rent a car if you really want to explore Provence. Trust me, there are more than enough wonderful sites to visit in Western Provence - Nimes. Arles, Avignon, the Camargue,, etc. - and, since you only have 5-6 days, and are starting in Avignon, I would forget about Nice this trip,.

Since Wesern Provence is easily explored via day-trips from a well-centered base, and you only have less than a week to do so, I urge you to to please chek out the Michelin map (# 340 in the Local series) and establish a single base, or maybe two for your stay in Provence.

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7. Re: 5 days to see provence and paris! itinerary sugg. please!

I wouldn't go all the way to Nice, since you only have a few days, there's more than enough to keep you occupied in western Provence. You can get to both Nimes and Arles by train from Avignon. However many of the more interesting places are not reachable by train. You would need to take local buses, or have a car.

Here are the most useful links for buses in the area

http://www.lepilote.com/horaires_ligne/?rub_code=6&part_id=10]

vaucluse.fr/2842-horaires-ligne-par-ligne.htm

This link gives the timetables for local (not TGV) trains

ter-sncf.com/Regions/…

You need to click on the pull down 'liste des fiches horaires' and choose the link you for the timetable. Lines 8-11 will be the most useful for you.

As to other suggestions of what to do, here are my ideas:

St Remy (bus 57 from Avignon) for the Wednesday market and a 20 minute walk up to the ruined Roman town of Glanum, the monastery of St Paul de Mausole

L'Isle sur la Sorgue for the Sunday market and just beyond it Fontaine de Vaucluse for the 'Fountain' and Petrarch's cave see bus timetable oti-delasorgue.fr/pdf/isle-avignon-bus.pdf and there are also some trains

Carpentras, for the fantastic Friday market

Tarascon (by bus or train) for the castle and a look at the Rhone

Uzes and the pont du Gard by bus https:/…20a15.PDF

Vaison la Romaine for the Roman ruins and perched village

Hire a car to see the Luberon villages, esp Bonnieux and Roussillon

Also by car, drive up to Mt Ventoux and along to Brantes and Sault.

Finally, the ruined hilltop village of Les Baux near St Remy is a World Heritage Site, but in October you can only get there by car.

Edited: 18 July 2012, 09:47
8. Re: 5 days to see provence and paris! itinerary sugg. please!

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