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Driving from Paris to Toulouse, then Nice with bike bags

Melbourne, Australia
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Driving from Paris to Toulouse, then Nice with bike bags

First trip to Europe and hoping we can get some advice

In July, we are driving from Paris to Toulouse (3/4 days) then onto Nice (1 week)

There are 3 passengers in the 1st leg & 2 after that and we have 2 bike bags.

Can anyone suggest a car hire company and maybe the places to see/ stay at ?

Also when we leave the car in Nice, we need to travel to Venice - should we do this by train & will they accept the bike bags ?

Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: Driving from Paris to Toulouse, then Nice with bike bags

Have a look at http://www.autoeurope.com.au They are brokers who specialize in European rentals. With 2 bikes you are going to need to rent a minivan or people carrier. Bikes on trains in Europe are common so you shouldn't have a problem there.

Paris to Toulouse by road opens many possibilities... here's a link to a Google map with 3 suggested routes:

https://goo.gl/maps/4o2Tg Note that routes will be mostly autoroutes... you can take the smaller local roads as time allows. See also http://www.viamichelin.com for more route planning.

Paris, France
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2. Re: Driving from Paris to Toulouse, then Nice with bike bags

There are different rules about bikes on trains depending on the type of train. Usually on the local TER trains bikes can be brought fully assembled but on other trains (TGV and some Intercités trains) bikes will have to be in a box or a bike bag. I'm only familiar with rules for French trains so you'll have to look into the rules on the Italian trains. Here are a couple of websites to research bike/train rules:

europebicycletouring.com/Commentary-advice/t…

…sncf.com/wp-content/…A9lo_SNCF.pdf

The second link notes that (in France) bikes in bags are considered as ordinary luggage but the bike bag dimensions must be no larger than 120cm x 90cm.

Edited: 18 February 2014, 14:16
Imperia, Italy
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for Italian Riviera
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3. Re: Driving from Paris to Toulouse, then Nice with bike bags

From Nice to Venice you need to take a double-deck French commuter train for the 50 minute ride from Nice to Ventimiglia in Italy (or cycle there next to the sea - a lovely ride but quite a lot of traffic).

From Ventimiglia you take two trains to Venezia S. Lucia, changing in Milano Centrale on the way. Bikes in bike bags travel free on Italian trains in 'an appropriate case' - no specified dimensions..

However, be warned that storage space on the Intercity trains from Ventimiglia to Milan is limited - most accommodation on these trains is in six-seat compartments linked by a side corridor, and the only luggage storage is on overhead racks above the seats. Unless you have folding bikes, a bike-bag won't fit. So they'll need to go on the floor between the seats, to the discomfort of you and the other passengers sharing your compartment. Travelling first class will give more legroom between the seats, but possibly more disapproving fellow-passengers!

The Frecciabianca trains between Milan and Venice have open cars and larger racks, so shouldn't be a problem. Riding bicycles in Venice is strictly prohibited, except on the mainland or the Lido..

4. Re: Driving from Paris to Toulouse, then Nice with bike bags

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