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Marseille to Moustiers to Nice

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
50 posts
Marseille to Moustiers to Nice

I will be going to Marseille on November and plan to go to Moustiers St Marie from Marseille. I will stay in hostel close to rail station in Marseille. My plan is Marseille - Moustiers - Nice - Monaco (not sure if worth it or skip it) - Milan. Looking for staying around 1-2 nights in each city as not having too much time off.

I have some concerns that I hope you can please kindly help with:

1. Is it better to rent a car from Marseille to go to Moustiers and then return it at Nice? Or is it better to take public transport?

2. If it's better to rent a car, can you please advise some of goof car rental company around Marseille especially close to the railway station in downtown? And is it easy to get automatic car, since I heard people drive manual there. Also how much approximately a rental fee /day for automatic car?

How about driving in France, is it the same as in US (on right side).

3. If rent a car is better, driving from Marseille to Moustiers Saint Marie, I am thinking of 3 possible route but not sure which one is the convenient one, less traffic and have a good view along the way.

Route #1, via D957 (about 2 hours drive?):

https://goo.gl/maps/Wpa0i

Route #2, https://goo.gl/maps/3jOrX

Route #3, thinking of this route because it cross the plateau de Valensole with the fields, a way where you will see the Durance Valley, the lavender fields. . 1hour and 40 minutes: https://goo.gl/maps/eNcrj

4. What is the best driving route from Moustiers to Nice? and is visiting Monaco worth it?

Please advise if you have any better idea or routing. Thank you very much!!!

11 replies to this topic
Penticton, Canada
Level Contributor
20,345 posts
28 reviews
1. Re: Marseille to Moustiers to Nice

hi

look at autoeurope.com for car rentals; if you are under 25 yrs old you will be paying a big premium; automatic transmission on small car are not readily available and they may not have one when you arrive so you need a Plan B. You need to sort that out first before thinking of a route.

if you want to compare to train prices have a look at www.capitainetrain.com for French trains and see which trains need reservations - if reservations are required booking 3 months in advance will give you the cheapest prices. Some local trains are fixed price with no reservations possible.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
50 posts
2. Re: Marseille to Moustiers to Nice

Thanks for the advice, appreciate it. I am over 25 years old. Thanks for the site, I do see that other "consolidators" company try to offer cars at cheaper price, but is it safe or not, I am not sure. Is it better if we book it online via car rental official website and paid first before going to europe?

I am open for any advice about the route to moustiers , please help if anybody else can, thanks a lot.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
98,230 posts
17 reviews
3. Re: Marseille to Moustiers to Nice

Autoeurope.com (and its associate kemwel.com) are both highly reputable and well regarded. They arrange cheap rentals with the major companies.

You can get driving directions, fairly realistic times, and estimated costs (fuel and tolls) from www.viamichelin.com

You will not see lavender anywhere in November.

England, United...
Level Contributor
11,629 posts
44 reviews
4. Re: Marseille to Moustiers to Nice

Moustiers-Ste-Marie sits below a narrow notch at the base of rocky cliffs.

You should be aware that the Tourist Office and several B&Bs close in November (you don't say when in November you intend to visit). The average temperature ranges from 10 to 0 degrees C, dropping considerably at night.

There is no train station but I believe you could take a bus from Marseilles, a journey of 2.5 hrs.

The Valensole plateau will be bare as far as the lavender goes - it is harvested by August and the plants will have died down until the spring.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
50 posts
5. Re: Marseille to Moustiers to Nice

Thanks, I will try to check the autoeurope and kemwell, do you know how much the automatic car rental fee for a day in average?

And that's a bummer if I cannot see the lavender field in Valensole or Durance Valley......any better routes from Marseille to Moustiers St Marie that you could please recommend?

How about this route: https://goo.gl/maps/3jOrX

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
50 posts
6. Re: Marseille to Moustiers to Nice

That's sounds really cold in Nov!!! I will be there on Nov 14 - 18 !! Will it be cold like that? and what about rain? will it be rainy?

2.5 hours for bus and rarity of train station seems inconvenient.....so probably driving is better?

England, United...
Level Contributor
11,629 posts
44 reviews
7. Re: Marseille to Moustiers to Nice

Moustiers Ste. Marie is now classified as being in Haute Provence but before 1970 the department was known as Basse Alpes.

You can be forgiven for thinking that the inclusion of "Provence" suggests warmer temperatures. However, "Basse (Lower) Alpes" is perhaps a better guide as regards the weather - that and the fact that it lies in the unpredictable region of the gorge du verdon.

The normal daily temperature for November is 7.9°C with the highest being 12.6°C.

A little further south, in Aix-en-Provence for example, it is likely to be in the region of 17 degrees in November, dropping to around 13 in December.

Unless you want to take the bus, driving would be your only option although I suspect the driving time would be about the same.

Edited: 07 October 2014, 21:57
England, United...
Level Contributor
11,629 posts
44 reviews
8. Re: Marseille to Moustiers to Nice

I tried to edit my post but got timed out.

While the average temperatures are those given in my earlier post, the ones quoted above (Post No.7) are the predicted temperatures for this coming November. So, it could be anywhere between!

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
50 posts
9. Re: Marseille to Moustiers to Nice

Thanks a lot, do you think kemwell and Autoeurope.com have automatic car available at good price? drop off at airport is not advisable since it usually cost more, isn't it?

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
7,883 posts
21 reviews
10. Re: Marseille to Moustiers to Nice

Instead of asking if AutoEurope or Kemwel have what you want phone them! AE has an 800 number and are located in Maine. (The US one, not the French one) Their phone agents are knowledgeable and the company is well regarded.

Bear in mind that in France a 1 day rental often costs as much as a 3 day which is why you'll find AE offers 3 days as the shortest term. Airport or train station pickups incur a fee of about 40 euros. No charge to drop off though.

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