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texasstar

Arles- road trip

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We are considering a post-cruise road trip to the hill country of Provence. Has anyone done this? How difficult is the driving in this area, for a novice?

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Thank you both for replying. Where did you base your stay? Any suggestions on "must sees" would be appreciated.

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We stayed in Seguret the first week and in Bonnieux the second. We rented houses and did day trips all over the Rhone and Luberon.

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Hopefully you are not traveling there during the summer as parking and crowds become an issue in the most touristy towns. We thought Les Baux was very interesting and the setting is pretty spectacular. La Tour de L'Isle is also charming.

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Do it! We had the opportunity to spend two weeks driving around France and had such an enjoyable time.

 

In Provence we based out of Roussillion - http://www.roussillon-provence.com/

 

We stayed at the Hotel Reves d'Ocres - http://www.hotel-revesdocres.com/home.php

 

If you have Amazon Prime or a decent library nearby, check out the Rudy Maxa video where he goes into the hill country.

 

I found the Rick Steves Provence guidebook particularly useful. This guidebook was not written by Steves but by someone who lives in France and is spot on for highlights to visit.

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Thank you all for your suggestions. We are in the planning stages of a Sept. 2015 trip. I have been reading Rick Steves book. I too like his insight.

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September should be a great time! We used Rick Steve's book among others. Love his guides and tv shows. We got a Michelin map. People don't use maps much, but we loved using it. Gave us the big picture of where we were.

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Texasstar, I concur with Tobique and suggest you obtain a Michelin Road Atlas. We used this and rented a GPS as well with the rental car.

 

With both of these you should have no problem.

 

Be aware that many rental cars have manual transmissions. You will need to reserve specifically an automatic transmission if that is your preference.

 

There are rental cars available at the train station in Arles - that is where we returned our car. It is right next to the river cruise dock as well.

Edited by oysterdam

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Excellent point! My husband drives a manual and I can if needed, but I think we are a distinct minority in US. Automatic transmissions cost more to rent in Europe and are in demand by US visitors, so rent early.

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We rented from Avis - their location at the Arles train station is http://www.avis.com/car-rental/location/EUR/FR/Arles

 

Here's a link a Google satellite image that shows where the river boats dock and where the train station is in reference.

 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Gare+d%27Arles/@43.683479,4.631554,799m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xc82192e0db8a2083

 

You may want to obtain roundtrip air tickets to/from Paris. Once your Provence journey is finished, return your car in Arles and then take the TGV train back to Paris. This is what we did.

Edited by oysterdam

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I've been exploring something similar for next year, and am finding that Avis charges a large penalty for dropping off the car somewhere other than Arles (we're planning to drive to Marseille via Les Baux and Aix). Europcar is much cheaper and has locations at the train stations in both cities [for TGV from Marseille to Paris].

Edited by Host Jazzbeau

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I've been exploring something similar for next year, and am finding that Avis charges a large penalty for dropping off the car somewhere other than Arles (we're planning to drive to Marseille via Les Baux and Aix). Europcar is much cheaper and has locations at the train stations in both cities [for TGV from Marseille to Paris].

 

Rates sure do fluctuate. We rented for a Citroen C5 Tourer for 12 days from Avis, picking it up at CDG and returning it in Arles and found it the least expensive option for the type of vehicle we wanted.

 

Getting a few quotes from different rental car agencies before reserving is always smart.

Edited by oysterdam

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Thank you all for the helpful hints. It looks like our trip has moved to Oct. 2015, as all of the AmaDagio Sept. dates are booked. I thought I was allowing plenty of time. We will be going the second week of Oct. and plan to do our road trip the first week of Oct. Hopefully the weather will still be nice.

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We spent 3 weeks touring France last year, including time based in Provence. If you are interested, the attached is a blog of our journey including where we stayed and what we saw. While we didn't actually get to Arles, we did lots in the area (and do need to go back!!!). Numerous photos included: http://bondfamilytravel.com/france-2013.html

 

Happy planning and enjoy your trip!

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We spent 3 weeks touring France last year, including time based in Provence. If you are interested, the attached is a blog of our journey including where we stayed and what we saw. While we didn't actually get to Arles, we did lots in the area (and do need to go back!!!). Numerous photos included: http://bondfamilytravel.com/france-2013.html

 

Happy planning and enjoy your trip!

 

Thanks! This was a great preview of a trip we are planning for next year.

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One thing that I remember about that area was the number of traffic circles (roundabouts.) Several were double lanes but they were easy to navigate since you could just continue to go around until you figured things out!

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On 8/22/2014 at 7:40 AM, cruisinskier said:

We spent 3 weeks touring France last year, including time based in Provence. If you are interested, the attached is a blog of our journey including where we stayed and what we saw. While we didn't actually get to Arles, we did lots in the area (and do need to go back!!!). Numerous photos included: http://bondfamilytravel.com/france-2013.html

 

Happy planning and enjoy your trip!

I realize this is an old post. 

It says the page is no longer found. Is it still possible to check out your trip somewhere?  Thanks!

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8 minutes ago, travelovingnurse said:

I realize this is an old post. 

It says the page is no longer found. Is it still possible to check out your trip somewhere?  Thanks!

If you put in a @ followed immediately by cruisinskier (like @gnome12) and select that entry from the drop down list (you don't have to type the full user name, just enough to select it) it will display like this @gnome12it should send the user a notification of some sort. If they are still on CC, you are more likely to get an answer this way.

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