Provence Holidays in the Luberon Without a Car?
Recently, I’ve seen quite a few questions about whether it’s possible to visit the Luberon without coming by car. The queries range from how to get to the area from airports across France to whether it’s possible to explore once they arrive. The simple answer to them all is yes.
It may be a National Park, and no railways are running through the valley, but with the TGV stations at Avignon and Aix, which are both well connected to the area with regular bus services, it’s easier than you may imagine enjoying a visit, without having to consider hiring a car. Contributor blog post by: Vaucluse Dreamer
Arriving in Provence
Air travellers typically arrive in Provence at either the Marseille Provence Airport (Aéroport Marseille-Provence) or Nice Côte d’Azur Airport (Aéroport Nice Côte d’Azur).
The airport closest to Marseille and Aix-en-Provence is known as MRS by the airlines, and it celebrated its 100th anniversary of passenger and cargo service in October 2022. MRS is a significant destination for Air France, British Airways, and Ryanair, along with many airlines servicing over 130 destinations in North America, Europe and North Africa. This airport is the fifth busiest in France for passenger traffic. There are bus connections to major cities such as Marseille, Aix, Arles and Avignon from the airport.
Flying into Nice, you are treated to sweeping views of the French Riviera and the Southern Alps just before touching down. The airport symbol is NCE, the third busiest airport in the country. Situated at the end of the famous Promenade des Anglais getting into the heart of Nice is a quick tram or taxi ride from the airport.
Fast train service in France is something that North American travellers should try. The Train à Grande Vitesse (TGV) operates out of Paris and other destinations. From Paris to Avignon station is three and a half (3.5) hours and to Nice is roughly seven (7) hours.
Getting Around Provence
Once you arrive, if you are not planning to drive, then staying in a city centre provides more options for public transport such as buses, local trains and taxis. However, there are also private driver services and, in some areas, rideshare options. For more active holidays, hiking, cycling, and e-biking are great fun.