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Paris to Lyon and then on Aix-en-Provence and....

North Woodmere, New...
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Paris to Lyon and then on Aix-en-Provence and....

We are traveling to France the last week in Sept. and first week in Oct. arriving in Paris for a total of 2 full weeks. We are spending 6 nights in Paris and are tentative plans as of now are taking the train to Lyon and spending 1- 2 nights there. Then we were going to rent a car in Lyon and visit Avignon, Aix-en-Provence and on to the Cote D' Azur. I am trying to estimate now how much time I need and what towns would interest us in Provence. We are not huge museum fans. We love to stroll the towns, looking at beautiful architecture, scenery, good food, shopping, various markets and wineries..especially ice wines! In saying that would it be wise to spend 1-2 nights in Aix-en-Provence as well and then onto Nice for the remainder of our stay? Also we would need an automatic car. I have looked on Europcar, Autoeurope.com and Kemwel.com so far, all quite costly. Any other suggestions for car rentals and mid range hotels in Lyon and Aix-en-Provence would be quite helpful. Thanks!

Sydney, Australia
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11. Re: Paris to Lyon and then on Aix-en-Provence and....

Do not use AutoEuropa (with an A at the end): this company has been the source of many complaints. Do not confuse it with AutoEurope (with an E at the end), which is a reputable agency arranging cheap rentals with the major companies.

Paris, France
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for Paris, Loire Valley
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12. Re: Paris to Lyon and then on Aix-en-Provence and....

If you definitively must have a car with automatic transmission, I would plan a pickup location carefully. Even if you are able to obtain a reservation, actually having one available at pickup can be problematic. I would choose to pickup in a large city where you will be surer of actually getting what you have ordered.

As for costs, you will not find cheaper or noticeably cheaper than what Autoeurope or Kemwel offers. If you think you have found a lower cost alternative, be careful about mileage charges or one way fees which booking through one of the mentioned sites should avoid. (Note: Avis and Hertz regularly charge one way, within France, drop off fees, Citer, Europcar, or Sixt will not)

Further, a simple side be side comparison of cars with automatic transmissions against those without, easy to do on www.autoeurope.com, will show you the base price differential which I have found to be substantial. Additionally, cars with automatic transmissions are charged an environmental fee which can add another 30€ to the price of the rental. This fee is not generally included in quotes but is paid separately at drop off, as well as location surcharges, road taxi and a host of other charges.

Another major cost concern is insurance. Check the options carefully before you commit to any contract. Consider options offer by credit card issuers particularly from AmEx which offers complete insurance protection for only $25 to card holders enrolled in the plan.

Princes Risborough...
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13. Re: Paris to Lyon and then on Aix-en-Provence and....

surahp, I always use Hertz.

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14. Re: Paris to Lyon and then on Aix-en-Provence and....

You may be happier if you take the train to Avignon and skip Lyon. Then you could spend several nights in Provence before going on to Nice. St.-Remy-de-Provence is large enough to have amenities and is quite central, so you could get into the Luberon, to Arles and to Aix for day trips. Aix is nice, but also is a small city and not at all like the villages.

Here's a web site with good descriptions of dozens of Provencal villages and towns: http://www.beyond.fr/

For travel planning by car, www.viamichelin.com is the best.

I don't think an automatic car should cost more, and it's usually less expensive to book in advance. Auto Europe usually has good prices, but it can vary a lot. You may find picking up in Avignon less costly. Don't rule out Avis or even Hertz; I've sometimes gotten the best prices with them.

You'll find the best rose wines in Provence and some excellent, robust reds, but no ice wines that I know of.

15. Re: Paris to Lyon and then on Aix-en-Provence and....

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