We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Logistics Question re: Provence/Flight Home

Which Marseille hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
mt. laurel, nj
Level Contributor
341 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
Logistics Question re: Provence/Flight Home

Just booked a two week trip to Southern France w/ my family. Me, DW, and 2 daughters 13&11. We fly into Nice next June 21st for one week, plan on taking a train to Provence on June 28th, renting a car, and flying out of Marseilles on Saturday July 5th @12:15PM. So, a couple of questions..... Where should we "train" to (Aix? Avignon?Marseille?)? Can we rent a car there? Can we return the car at the airport? Should we return where we rent and train it to Marseilles/airport? Should we spend Friday night in Marseilles to be "safe" for our departure?

Additionally, where should we stay? I'd like to base in a town big enough that we could return from sightseeing and have plenty of options....historical, gastronomical, churches, etc. without having to drive to dinners, etc. after driving around Provence during the day. Also, big enough to entertain us as we will probably like to just relax and not drive around sightseeing all 7 days.

Any and all advice and insight appreciated......

Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Destination Expert
for Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Level Contributor
1,789 posts
241 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Logistics Question re: Provence/Flight Home

Your first question will be answered by wherever you decide to stay, but it's likely Avignon will be a better bet and there are several car hire offices at Avignon TGV station (just one, Avis, at Avignon Centre). Dropping off at Marseille airport will likely be more convenient for you than going back to pick up a train at Avignon for the very short journey to Aix (frequent shuttles to the airport). With a 12.15 departure time you have plenty of time to get there on your last morning - unless you are of a particularly cautious disposition.

You are conveniently in Provence for seven nights, Saturday to Saturday, so you could look for a vacation rental to have all the comforts of home - and maybe your own pool. Considering your interests, you might consider a base near one of the major historical towns like Avignon itself, Arles or Nimes. Or a lovely small town like Isle sur la Sorgue, complete with the best market in Provence on a Sunday.

Paris, France
Level Contributor
16,582 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Logistics Question re: Provence/Flight Home

I've always rented a car when leaving Nice. It's not a long or difficult drive to get to Avignon, etc...

According to www.viamichelin.com it's about 157 miles and a 3 hour drive. Fuel and tolls are about 50 euros.

Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Destination Expert
for Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Level Contributor
1,789 posts
241 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Logistics Question re: Provence/Flight Home

Good point, F1racegirl. Flexible, cuts out all the bother of getting bags onto the train, worrying about timetables etc. unless 2girlsdad and family are keen on trains...

The drive from Nice to Avignon is well under 3 hours by motorway, even on a Saturday in June - but of course the OP won't necessarily be going to Avignon, depends on where he decides to stay. Tolls Nice to Aix are EUR17 then a bit more for whatever the final destination.

Los Angeles...
Destination Expert
for Venice, Provence
Level Contributor
7,416 posts
441 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Logistics Question re: Provence/Flight Home

Agree with the above suggestions. Might as well rent the car in Nice and head out West from there. We pick up the can Dowtown Nice. There are several car rental agencies within the walking distance of the Old Town.

Do you know about AutoEurope, American broker situated in Maine? Contact them by phone and get some quotes. They will shop the best rate for you with local rental agencies.

As far as your week in Western Provence, you could rent a place for a week, Saturday to Saturday. Or you could split your stay between the Luberon and another base, say, in/about Avignon. The Luberon will be good for doing lavender drives, which should be blooming by the very end of June/early July. It was late this past summer, but hopefully will work better for you. The in/about Avignon locale will work well for traveling to Uzes, Pont du Gard, etc. You cannot really go wrong one way or another, IMO. Since you want a larger base, then maybe St. Remy, which has restaurants and shops to explore.

Personally, I would wake up super early on July 5th and head to the airport to drop the car off and fly home. I would be comfortable doing this and not spending the night in Marseille.

Philadelphia, PA
Destination Expert
for Cassis, Marseille, Manosque, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Provence
Level Contributor
1,659 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Logistics Question re: Provence/Flight Home

Definitely as already mentioned rent a car in Nice but I suggest as soon as you arrive or quickly thereafter as I am not sure that 7 days in Nice without a vehicle is a great idea unless you are planning some hotel/beach/hotel/beach activity your first week: 2 to 3 days max in Nice should be sufficient, then head for villages around, etc...or... leaving Nice a bit sooner can allow you to make stops along the way: stop in Cassis and do the calanques boat tour; stop in Aix en Provence beautiful city, Cezanne museum, lots of restaurants; stop in Marseilles; then head for Avignon and western Provence.

Totally OK to stay elsewhere than the airport the night before with a 12:15 flight as if in Avignon it should only take around an hour, all highway on the A7.

If you know some basic French go to www.citer.fr and when booking longtime in advance and paying online at time of reservation you can get some wildly fantastic deals!

6. Re: Logistics Question re: Provence/Flight Home

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12:18 am, November 11, 2014