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is a part of France that is easy to reach. Travellers from
want to drive can fly to a choice of destinations in or near Provence;
you want to travel to
Provence by car, remember to allow eight to twelve hours' driving from
on where your destination is. The
alternative solution is to take the Eurostar Provence service, which
will take you at high-speed all the way from London St. Pancras to
Avignon (only in summer).
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is relatively well served by airports; the main airports
serving Provence are located in Marseilles and Nice, with smaller
airports at Toulon-Hyères and Avignon.
Nimes airport is just
For visitors arriving in Paris, there are plenty of connecting flights
from Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports - or the option of hiring a
number of traditional airlines serve the airports at Marseilles and
Nice from a range of cities throughout Europe and beyond. Here is a
selection of carriers with direct services. to and from the British
Isles and the USA.
to / from
Air France / Delta
Gatwick, London Heathrow, and more
New York JFK
four Provence airports are served by direct flights from a number of
UK and Irish airports.
to / from
Liverpool, London Gatwick, Luton, London
Birmingham, East Midlands, London Heathrow
Dublin, Glasgow, London Stansted
and Drive to Provence
driving to Provence, the easiest way is to take a short
crossing to Calais (using P&O Ferries, Eurotunnel or others),
the French motorway network via Arras,
Reims, Chaumont, Dijon, Bourg-en-Bresse, and Lyon,
avoiding Paris by passing well to the east. (see right)
Much of the driving will be
on fairly clear motorways with a fraction of the traffic found on major
UK motorways. However, the Lyon area and the Rhone valley to the south
are unavoidable bottlenecks. On Saturdays in July and August, traffic
jams and slowdowns can occur anywhere, and are virtually guaranteed in
the bottleneck areas.
If entering France at Boulogne, the eastern
route is still
If travelling from Cherbourg
a good route is to drive via
Orleans, Clermont Ferrand and St. Etienne, or else from
Clermont Ferrand go south via Le Puy en Velay and Aubenas, to
join the Rhone valley at Montelimar. This avoids all major bottlenecks,
but includes about 180 km on single carriageway roads, through
beautiful countryside and hills.
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route to Provence (with map)
|The best route for driving from
the UK to Provence:
- From Calais
follow A 26 motorway to Reims
- At Reims:
join A 4, direction Metz Strasbourg.
- At Chalon
en Champagne, rejoin A 26, direction
- At Troyes,
join A 5, direction Chaumont, Dijon.
- At Chaumont,
join A 31, direction Dijon
- At Dijon,
take A 39, direction Dole, Bourg en Bresse
- At Bourg-en-Bresse,
follow A 40, then A 42, direction Lyon.
Lyon, turn off onto A 432 direction Airport Lyon St
after the airport, join A 43 direction Lyon, Marseille.
just 8 km, turn right (south) onto A 46 Lyon orbital,
just follow signs for Marseille
Click here for route
map showing convenient hotels
Train / Train and drive to Provence
means of travelling by train from London to
Provence is to
service to Avignon. This is a summer Saturday service only, departing
St Pancras at 7.19, but getting you to Avignon at 14.08, with plenty of
time to reach your holiday destination in time for a dip in the pool.
On other days, take a Eurostar train from
London, Ebbsfleet or Ashford to Lille, and connect at Lille
to a French
TGV running directly to Avignon, Aix en Provence, Marseilles
or Nice. By changing at Lille, travellers do not need to change
stations or cross Paris; Eurostars and French TGVs share the same
platforms at Lille Europe station.
Trains with direct connections to Provence from Lille leave St
Pancras at 7.00, 9.57 and 12.57.
to check timetables and book tickets.
Provence involves taking the Eurotunnel
shuttle, then following the motorway as indicated above
Holiday cottages & gites in
Provence gites tend to be quickly booked up for the peak season,
notably between mid July and mid August, so booking early is a wise
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