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Need assistance-5 night stay in Avignon

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New Jersey
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Need assistance-5 night stay in Avignon

I will be staying 5 nights in Avignon. After reviewing hotel reviews, hope to stay at La Banasterie. I will arrive via London and take the TGV from Gar du Nord. I am hesitant to drive in France so would like to know if it is feasible to take day trips via public transportation? Are there any markets in nearby towns that might have antiques and if so, which days are best? Also, would one return to Paris for return flight home or could one travel to Nice for flight back via Continental Airlines? Appreciate any replies.

Ohio, USA
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1. Re: Need assistance-5 night stay in Avignon

Hi medoncology — and welcome!

A few answers for you:

1) Your Eurostar train from London arrives at Gare du Nord. Trains to Avignon leave from Gare de Lyon, not far away. You will need to use the métro (or, to be more precise, Line D of the RER) or a taxi to get from one to the other.

If you have not already ourchased your train tickets you might want to avoid Paris altogether since you are apparently just passing through. You can do this either by taking the Eurostar to Lille and changing there or by changing at Marne-la-Vallée, the TGV station near Disneyland just a few km east of Paris.

2) You should not be concerned about driving in France, The roads are excellent and well marked and top quality maps are readily available. Distances and driving times in Provence tend to be quite small. An hour drive from Avignon or less will get you to most places you are likely to want to go.Without a car you will find it difficult to get to most of the smaller and more charming places in Provence.

If you are determined to rely only on trains (and possibly buses, though those tend to be infrequent and inconvenient for tourists) you will be able to reach Arles, Nîmes, Aix-en-Provence, Orange, and even Marseille fairly easily. Other places — St. Rémy, Les Baux, the Camargue, the Pont du Gard etc. — will be more problematic.

3) You can easily travel from Avignon to Nice for your flight home — about three hours by car or train. Paris is a little more than 2.5 hours from Avignon by train, a whole lot longer by car (high speed trains...). The Nice airport is a lot smaller, easier to access and more "user-friendly" than CDG. It's your call from there...

Hope that will get you started. When are you travelling?

North Royalton, Ohio
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2. Re: Need assistance-5 night stay in Avignon

Don't be afraid to drive in france. Just take a look at the map and decide what city to go to and just follow the signs. don't look for route numbers, look for the next city on your route.

A note about parking, be sure to look for the pay station to get a parking reciept to leave in your window,its usually in the middle of the block, you won't find meters like in the US.

We flew in to deGaulle and out thru Nice and that was a great decision that gave us an extra day to vacation rather than travel. I have heard that Marseille has a smaller easier to navigate airport than Nice.

Paris, France
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for Paris, Loire Valley
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3. Re: Need assistance-5 night stay in Avignon

Medoncology,

There really is no reason to be afraid of driving in France; it’s just like driving in the US (well almost).

All of the French cities have a weekly market but to purchase antiques, visit L’Isle sur la Sorgue just east of Avignon. There is a large market on the weekend but most of the antique dealers are there during the week as well. One never knows what he’ll find here, there is a great deal of furniture and accessories and the prices are usually very reasonable (keeping in mind the dollar does not go very far presently). Public transportation is available. For complete information contact http://www.ot-avignon.fr/

For your travel home, take the TGV back to Paris (tickets may be purchased in advance, on line at reduced prices, www.sncf.com). Nice is quite a ways and only Delta has (or had) nonstop flight from there to New York.

Raleigh, NC
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4. Re: Need assistance-5 night stay in Avignon

I would agree that there is too much to pass up by not renting a car. The by-ways are scenic and they drive on the correct side of the road. Isle-sur-Sorge is the primary antique market, but you will also find interesting markets in Arles and Gordes, among others.

While in Avignon, I would highly recommend dinner in the kitchen at Hotel la Mirande. They have it on the night the regular restaurant is closed-Monday, I think-but is is well worthwhile and, it's in the antique kitchen.

Jeem

5. Re: Need assistance-5 night stay in Avignon

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