For the best prices on train travel, book direct with the operator as far ahead as possible. Tickets go on sale 3 months before travel, and the cheapest tickets often sell out quickly. Discounted ticket prices keep going up as the travel date gets closer.
You can get train times and costs, and make bookings, at en.voyages-sncf.com/en but use Antarctic at the "Ticket collection country" to avoid being transferred to RailEurope, which may not list all the trains.
If you have trouble with voyages-sncf, www.capitainetrain.com is a private website which links directly to the SNCF ticketing system.
Connections from Lyon St Exupery airport station to Avignon Centre station are the best way, but are infrequent. If you have just missed one, it could sometimes be faster to take the tram http://www.rhonexpress.fr/ to Lyon Part Dieu station from where there are more frequent direct trains to both Avignon Centre and Avignon TGV stations.
Thank you both for your advice. I shall look into those websites. I guess it wouldn't make it any easier to get to Avignon if I flew into Nice, would it??
No, it wouldn't. The journey from Nice would take nearly three times as long as the direct trains from Lyon airport to Avignon Centre, requiring a bus to Nice Ville station, a train journey of over three hours, then a shuttle bus from Avignon TGV station.
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