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Driving/parking in Avignon

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Denver, Colorado
posts: 8
Driving/parking in Avignon

I was considering picking up a rental car at the airport in Marseille and heading to Avignon in mid September. I've never driven in Europe and I am terrified that I will get into a wreck or screw something up etc. One of my main concerns is the lack of ability to find parking, is there good parking there and what do I do if all of the car parks are full?

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 8,024
reviews: 53
1. Re: Driving/parking in Avignon

Don't worry about driving in France......you will be fine! By mid-Septmber, things are getting quieter and parking is a lot easier to find. Have you thought of perhaps not basing yourself in Avignon, but rather in St Remy or L'Isle sur la Sorgue? Because it is a walled city, Avignon is a challenge.....

Paris, France
Destination Expert
for Paris, Loire Valley
posts: 16,874
reviews: 4
2. Re: Driving/parking in Avignon

You are really worrying about all of the wrong things.

If you drive in France, you should be much more concerned about:

1. "Priorité à droite" or yielding to traffic on the right

2. Knowing what the speed limit is (it's not always obvious to those who have not familiarized themselves with the laws) and the huge number of radar cameras (some hidden, some announced) all over France.

3. Having sufficient insurance coverage without over paying.

Parking in Avignon will be the least of your problems:

www.palais-des-papes.com/pages/parking.html

Denver, Colorado
posts: 8
3. Re: Driving/parking in Avignon

Thanks for the replies. I was hoping that by September things would be calmer. Thanks for assuaging my fears. The cost seems fairly reasonable. Is it best to get insurance from the rental car company or third parties?

Paris, France
Destination Expert
for Paris, Loire Valley
posts: 16,874
reviews: 4
4. Re: Driving/parking in Avignon

You can make your own comparisons on insurance costs but check the coverage limits and deductibles on rental company insurance carefully before you agree to something that in not clear. I use the AmEx coverage which is a special program offered to card holders at only $25 per rental of up to 48 days. This insurance is primary insurance meaning you walk away in the event of any problem:

https:/…

Edited: 2:44 am, July 06, 2013
Andrésy, France
posts: 2,163
reviews: 89
5. Re: Driving/parking in Avignon

If your destination is just Avignon don't bother with a rental car. If you want to explore the surrounding area then you'll be better off with one.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 58,089
reviews: 11
6. Re: Driving/parking in Avignon

There are some notes on driving in France at www.nickbooth.id.au/Tips/FrenchDrive.htm

Provence
posts: 629
reviews: 7
7. Re: Driving/parking in Avignon

Avignon has plenty of car park easy to park. I would avoid driving in the centre with the chance of getting stuck in a tiny street. But I think you ought to have a car in order to discover the region around avignon and at least go to villeneuve at the bottom of the Fort St Andre for a stunning view over Avignon.

Upland, California
posts: 3
reviews: 18
8. Re: Driving/parking in Avignon

Thank you for all this useful information about Avignon and driving/parking in France. I will be going there this October and staying in a little Luberon village called Cucuron. Will indeed have a rental car and head for Avignon and many other areas.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 8,024
reviews: 53
9. Re: Driving/parking in Avignon

Cucuron is a lovely little place, but it is not particularly central for exploring. Most of everything that you want to see is west of you, so you will likely end up driving the same road westward (and then back home every night). The stretch between Lourmarin and Bonnieux is pretty but slow going.

There is an excellent market in Lourmarin on Fridays.

For a world-class meal, eat at La Petite Maison right on the square in Cucuron. Right beside the bassin. Make sure you have lots of room on your credit card. Excellent but pricey. Only 2 or 3 other restaurants in Cucuron.

Upland, California
posts: 3
reviews: 18
10. Re: Driving/parking in Avignon

Thank you for your input datthecoast. I chose Cucuron to actually get away from the crowds, except for Avignon. Only plan to go to Avignon because my travel partner wants to see the famous bridge! I'm happy just exploring the little villages and blending in with the natives. We just finished a whirlwind Mediterranean cruise in late May, so I'm ready for a slower, more relaxed journey. But all suggestions are indeed appreciated, and no plans have been made yet.