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Ten days without a car

New England
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Ten days without a car

We need help planning an itinerary. We would either fly into Nice, CDG or MRS and take trains and buses from there. looking for suggestions on places to visit without a car that capture the true essence of Provence, from large towns to smaller ones. Proposed itineraries welcome. We have been to Avignon, Arles and Orange before, so we don't feel the need to visit these towns. If we could base ourselves in one or two places only and day trip from these that would be great, but open to other ideas.

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Ten days without a car

Provence is best explored with a car. Public transport in Provence is not designed for touristic travel rather to get French citizens to and from work and school.

If you want to use public transport you would be best served to base yourself in a place like Avignon or Aix. IMO...the essence of Provence is the smaller villages. And getting to those places, like Maussane les Alpilles or Goult in the Luberon would be unbelievably complicated and time-consuming using buses. And you are completely at the mercy of an inconvenient schedule.

New England
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2. Re: Ten days without a car

I agree but isn't that all part of the adventure of travel?

I drive countless hours of commuting every week and will never drive when out of the country.

Nice
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3. Re: Ten days without a car

what do you mean by the essence of provence?

You can see masses of interesting places from Nice without a car -what sort of things arew you interested in specifically?

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Ten days without a car

Don't understand why you wouldn't drive outside of the the US. But it's your trip.

Just understand that the SNCF and the LER could care less about geting you to the lovely little villages that you want to get to in reasonable times.

Provence
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5. Re: Ten days without a car

I do agree with the other responses. Not having a car in Provence, you will miss a lot.

You may use the local train system

…ter-sncf.com/Images/Paca/Tridion/1.1.0_CART…

Or the buses

www.regionpaca.fr/carte-interactive.html

Choose a place where you'll see the links suitable to you and then ask the local tourist office.

As an example, in St Remy, you'll find buses to Cavaillon, Arles, Avignon, Tarascon. About 6 a day.

In July & August a link to Les Baux is also on.

Avignon will offer of course more route + trains.

You will be able to go to places but on a slower pace and miss some of the lovely off side roads.

Hope this will help.

6. Re: Ten days without a car

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New England
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7. Re: Ten days without a car

" It's a very different sort of 'soaking up the atmosphere' holiday if you're using local buses - you aren't quite so cut off as you can be in a car."

That more or less sums up much of our reasoning for not renting a car.

Very helpful responses, one and all. Thank you. Lots of research for me to do now and I will definitely report back. I omitted to mention that we have been to nice many times and have explored countless towns and villages within an hours bus or train ride from there. however while technically part of Provence I usually view the Cote d'azur as a separate entity.

St Remy seems like an ideal base for us and perhaps we will choose one other town and split our ten days.

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Ten days without a car

NIce and the Cote d'Azur is extremely well served by subsdized public transport.

Public transportation in Western Provence is an enirely different animal.

New England
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9. Re: Ten days without a car

Lat year we visited a somewhat remote winery in Catalunya. Of course we came from Barcelona by train. When our host picked us up at the train station he told us we were the first Americans ever to come by train. Only thing he was incorrect on eas - we are not Americans, though we live here.

Getting around inconvenient public transport options is something I have spent much of my life navigating and while I drive every day here in the US, I will not drive on holiday/vacation - our own choice.

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: Ten days without a car

I too will be interested in any suggestions for this area as we choose to not drive when we travel as well. We love trains and being on the bus and as both of us want to be able to look around when travelling it is the only way to accomplish that. We are looking for 2-3 day getaways from Paris where we will have an apartment booked for a month.