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Self drive or tour?

Level Contributor
303 posts
32 reviews
Self drive or tour?

Hi, I will be visiting Provence for 4 days in April. Never been. I'm trying to decide whether to drive or hook up with three separate day tours. I do like to understand a region's history when I travel, and make the most of my time, so the idea of a group guided tour is appealing. They are running about $150 pp per day in a group, not a personal guide. A rental car is a much more inexpensive option. It seems that's the way most people explore the area.

Would I be missing much driving around and seeing the villages myself without hearing about the history from a guide? Is there much history to learn, or is it all about quaintness of the towns? Or is a guided tour worth the extra $$ to really understand the area. Thinking of basing in Avignon. Is there a reliable driving itinerary I can access? Or just a friendly person willing to spend a few days with us :-)

4 replies to this topic
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
15,511 posts
65 reviews
1. Re: Self drive or tour?

Some people read a book to learn about "history."

It s very easy to drive yourself around and explore Western Provence.

Avignon is a walled city and some visitors get frustrated going in and out of the walls.

Nobody here gas any idea what you might be interested in seeing / doing.....so pretty much impossible to provide you a "driving itinerary."

Just do some research and look at a map.

Edited: 15 November 2018, 07:31
Level Contributor
9,728 posts
93 reviews
2. Re: Self drive or tour?

Please quote prices in €. $ are meaningless in France and many other parts of the world from where contributors will respond. My personal choice is to rent a car. That way I can go where I want when I want and spend the amount of time I want. If you decide to rent a car I recommend a base out of Avignon which is not a very car friendly city.

Berkshire, United...
Destination Expert
for Avignon
Level Contributor
15,819 posts
149 reviews
3. Re: Self drive or tour?

The best choice is the one that you feel is right for you. Avignon is a very good choice for somebody wanting to use public transport as it’s an excellent transport hub, or to go on tours as there are many very good tours on offer.

In April there wouldn’t be any problems with going in and out of Avignon outside the rush hour, although Easter weekend will be busier.

If you decide to drive, you should make sure that a parking space/garage is available for your stay, although many people use a car park while visiting for a few days, an extra to budget for. Or stay somewhere smaller; not too small as any businesses often only get going from Easter. St Remy and L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue are often mentioned as big enough for restaurant choices etc.

Whether you drive or take tours, reading some of the history of the area is a good idea, so start with a good guidebook. We took a couple of tours years ago when we only had a short time and found them very interesting although we had researched the areas ourselves beforehand.

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
2,226 posts
164 reviews
4. Re: Self drive or tour?

As I have recommended many times on these forums, my choice is to stay in Rognonas, 10 minute drive sough of Avignon. We have stayed on 2 occasions at Mas Saint Antoine which is a complex of self-catering gites (apartments) with free parking. What I like about staying in this location is that it is centrally located to many of the towns and villages in this region of Provence. For instance well within 30 minutes you can be in any one of several towns and villages. As dat has suggested, rent a car and read up on some history prior to your trip. Avignon itself has a fascinating history, having at one time been the papal home, hence the Palais de Papes.


Edited: 15 November 2018, 12:52
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