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Getting from Nice to Avignon

Nice to Avignon Avignon to Nice
People know that Nice is on the Mediterranean (gosh, I hope they do), but Avignon… it’s in Provence, right? And that’s in the south? Is it close? What’s even there? …and they just decide to stay where they are. But Nice and Avignon are two excellent cities to include on any French itinerary – and must-sees for anyone visiting the south – and I’m going to tell you how to get from one to the other, so you’re not going to have any more excuses.
Also, I’m including this in my “Getting From/To” series because there is a direct flight from New York’s JFK to Nice. When combined with an open-jaw ticket, you can start off in Nice and work your way up north to Paris, then fly back to the States from Paris. Slick, right? NO EXCUSES. DO IT.

How to Get from Nice to Avignon (and, unsurprisingly, from Avignon to Nice)

Taking the Train

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There are two ways to get from Nice to Avignon by train, and which one you choose depends on whether you want to make a day of it. If you just want to get there already, then take the direct TGV train. It takes just a hair under three hours and costs between €43-48.
If you want to use the trip as a way to see another city, say, Marseille, there are a couple trains a day that make a pit-stop there. Simply disembark, check out Marseille (or even stay overnight!), then get on another train from Marseille to Avignon. At the very least, even if you just get off one train and on the very next one, step outside the Marseille train station and admire the view. I always do.
(Note that the Avignon TGV station is NOT in Avignon city center. There is a shuttle that takes you back and forth; it leaves every 15 minutes from right outside the station.)

Driving the Car

Despite what you may have heard, driving in France is actually pretty easy – and very, very scenic. And from Nice to Avignon, the most direct route (on the A8 Autoroute) doesn’t take much longer than the train (under optimum driving conditions).
The great thing about driving, though, is your choice of rest stops. I’m not talking about the highway ones; I’m talking about stopping off in Aix-en-Provence to stretch your legs and have a bit of lunch. Or just after Aix, switching to the coast-hugging N568 and stopping off in Arles, too, after driving through the Coussouls de Crau Nature Reserve. You could do both, and still get to Avignon in time to take a picture like the one above.

Buses & Planes

Yeah, not so much with the buses and planes.
>>Here are some other links to help you plan a fantastic trip to France, and to these regions in particular:

Photo: Jean-David & Anne-Laure