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need driving help in Provence

Huntington Beach CA
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666 posts
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need driving help in Provence

We will be renting a car from the Avignon TGV station area. We are staying in ISLS. I am so nervous about driving around & getting lost. I am renting a gps. Not sure how to use one. I don't see many addresses to sights, so I don't know how much help the gps will be. I got a map. Will google map driving directions help, if I do that before I leave? I am so stressed about it. We will be taking day trips around. ANy help will be appreciated.

San Francisco...
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1. Re: need driving help in Provence

I'd recommend purchasing the Michelin maps for Provence. I bought them for an upcoming trip to drive around France. Many of my friends who have visited France recommended them to me.

2. Re: need driving help in Provence

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Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: need driving help in Provence

Just get Michelin Maps 340, 341 and 332. Or you can by the complete, but bulky MIchelin map book for all of France . You might save a couple of bucks with the latter.

Signange is excellent and there are worse things than getting lost in Provence! You always stumble across someplace cool...

Worcester, MA
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for Dordogne
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4. Re: need driving help in Provence

Definitely get the Michelin Map for Provence. One thing we do before we go is highlight on the map the places we want to visit. Then we look to see the routes we will take to/from where we are staying. Hotels very often have directions that will be helpful getting you back and forth to/from highways and other routes. Driving in France is very user -friendly with lots of signage for towns and tourist sites (usually in Brown) along the way. "center ville " signs direct you to the center of a town and usually good parking places. GPS will help but a good local and or regional map is a must.Another resource that we find extremely helpful is: WWW.via michelin.com Give your startiing and end point and they will provide you with a route (either scenic, highway etc). Very good for finding your way- We often do this before we leave and print out directions to places we want to visit.


Le Bugue, France
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5. Re: need driving help in Provence

There is little to be nervous about if you look at maps ahead of time and familiarize yourself with the territory. I wouldn't rely completely on the GPS - having route knowledge ahead of time is more important. And so what if you get lost? Some of the best adventures abroad involve being lost.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
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6. Re: need driving help in Provence

In France, you will generally get better results from www.viamichelin.com rather than Google Maps. Its time estimation is better, and it gives costs of tolls and fuel.

The area is well signed, and it is unlikely that you will get lost. See my tips at www.nickbooth.id.au/Tips/FrenchDrive.htm

Destination Expert
for Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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7. Re: need driving help in Provence

Michelin Maps ( # 340, and 332 ) are absolutely the way to go - they are in the local series, and will provide you with a really good sense of distance between sites that you will be likely to visit on any given day. Keep in mind that the most scenic routes are highlighted in green, and that that's the way to go to see the most beautiful parts of Provence

Also, remember that there is nothing wrong about just exploring, as even the small roads in France are really well-marked, and you will ultimately find / reach your destination by a more interesting route if you just explore .... not to mention that you will have wonderful stories to tell about your exploration for years to come ...

We have spent a month in Provence every year since '95, and have never found any problems with regard to exploring the area. have to admit that we're not into having a voice tell us to,"Turn left," so, even though the last couple of cars that we have rented have come with a GPS, we have NEVER used them. I tend to look at it this way - hey, it's a vacation, so, I can chill out and just explore things at my pace if that's what i want to do - and, that is exactly what I want to do.

Memphis, TN
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336 posts
27 reviews
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8. Re: need driving help in Provence

Get the Michelin maps. Usually they are so detailed you will end up following the shapes of the roads as much as road numbers. I also like to look at the Google street views and birds eye view, and will print screen shots of destinations.

Once you get out of Avignon you will be fine. If you are returning to Avignon TGV to depart allow plenty of time. We lost much time looking for a gas station to top off the car right before departing. If you are really worried & money is no problem you might want to let the rental company fill it, though that will cost greatly. Opinions from other TA's are welcome on this option.

Upon our return I recall we had trouble finding one turn, and that was the turn on to the peripheral road around Avignon that goes to the Gare TGV. It's not too difficult, just allow plenty of time.

I did a screen print of the Avignon TGV station which helped us greatly in getting out and back in to the rental car area (it's behind the station, but upon return you must choose the correct road as you approach).

Do not panic - the first 15 minutes of driving you will think you have made a big mistake. After that you will be fine.

Can you drive a standard transmission?

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9. Re: need driving help in Provence

Here are my tips on driving in France


However remember that if you get lost in the Luberon, you'll discover hidden sites and will most probably enjoy yourself prior findinf a road sign showing you were to go.

Should you need assistance for a private day tour I can help as well.

The only difference is indeed that if you do a private tour, you'll be probably able to see more site that on your own.

But dont worry about driving in the region, it's not that bad....

Hope that will helps.

Huntington Beach CA
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666 posts
9 reviews
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10. Re: need driving help in Provence

Thanks all! I got the michelin map for all of Provence & French Riveria. Wow it covers a lot. Too confusing! After reading your posts, I am getting 332 & 340. They will cover where I think I'm going. (haven't quite figured that out yet. Still researching!) I had a hard time finding 340. Out of stock everywhere! I finally found one in England of all places. It will get to me before I leave. Free shipping too! My plan is to figure out what I want to see & then get directions, routes to those places ahead of time. Print them out. I'll have a gps also, but how do I use that if there are no addresses? (never used a gps before!). I've got a little over a mont to figure it all out. I will here for questions & answers, so be prepared! Thank you so much!