Provence travel

Travel to Provence

How to get to and around the South of France

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On this page:    Fly to Provence       Sail and drive to Provence      Train to Provence       Holiday cottages

 Provence is a part of France that is easy to reach. Travellers from Britain who don't want to drive can fly to a choice of destinations in or near Provence; but if you want to travel to Provence by car, remember to allow eight to twelve hours' driving from Calais, depending 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 or Marseille, though direct services do not operate year-round.

 Flights to Provence 

Provence 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 outside Provence.
For visitors arriving in Paris, there are plenty of connecting flights from Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports - or the option of hiring a car.

Low cost carriers
Four airports in or close to Provence  are served by direct flights from a number of UK and Irish airports.

Provence & Midi Carrier Flights to / from

Nice city guide

Jet 2
Aer Lingus
British Airways
Air Transat
Air France
2021 Belfast, Bristol,  Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester, London Gatwick,  Luton,  
2021 Leeds-Bradford, Manchester, London Stansted
2021 Dublin, London Stansted
2021 Dublin
London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow

New York
Aer Lingus
Air Transat
London Heathrow
2021 Dublin, Edinburgh,  London Stansted, Manchester, Southend
2021 London Gatwick, London Luton, Bristol, Glasgow
2021 Dublin
2021 Montreal
Toulon Hyères Flybe - now closed 2021 no flights from UK announced
Montpellier Easyjet
British Airways
Aer Lingus
2021 London Gatwick, Luton,
London Heathrow
2021 Dublin
Nimes Ryanair 2021 London Luton,

For flights to other French airports, see UK-France flights guide

Sail and Drive to Provence

If driving to Provence, the easiest way is to take a short Channel crossing to Calais (using P&O Ferries, Eurotunnel or others), then follow 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 travelling from Cherbourg or Caen or  Le Havre, a good route is to drive via the A71 to Clermont Ferrand, then the A75 then the N102 to (or past)  Le Puy en Velay and Aubenas, to join the Rhone valley at Montelimar. This avoids the major bottlenecks, but includes about 180 km on single carriageway roads, through beautiful countryside and hills. And on peak Saturdays, even this route can have slowdowns.  

Click for no-tolls route to Provence (with map)

For more information about driving to the south of France in general, see routes from Calais

Click here to check ferry prices and book online.
The best route for driving from the UK to Provence:
Click here for route map showing convenient hotels
  •  From Calais follow A 26 motorway to Reims (Rheims).
  • At Reims: join A 4, direction Metz Strasbourg.
  • At Chalon en Champagne, rejoin A 26, direction Troyes, Lyon.
  • 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.
  • Before Lyon, turn off onto A 432 direction Airport Lyon St Exupery, Grenoble.
  • Just after the airport, join A 43 direction Lyon, Marseille.
  • After just 8 km, turn right (south) onto A 46 Lyon orbital, direction Marseille.
  • Thereafter, just follow signs for Marseille

Train / Train and drive to Provence  

The most convenient means of travelling by train from London to Provence is to take the  Eurostar  direct service to Avignon or Marseilles. This is a seasonal service only, and does not run every day.

the alternative is to take a Eurostar train from London, Ebbsfleet or Ashford to Paris or Lille.
Changing to a French TGV at Lille Europe, or at Marne-la-Vallée or at Lyon is easier than changing at Paris, as travellers do not need to change stations or cross Paris; Eurostars and French TGVs share the same platforms at Lille Europe station.
  However for most of the year there are very few handy connections, so changing at Paris and crossing from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon is often the easiest and quickest option.

Train and drive to Provence involves taking the Eurotunnel shuttle, then following the motorway as indicated above
Car hire in Provence
Find best rates on car hire in Provence
Click to compare rates
Compare rates at airports, train stations and city locations.

Holiday cottages & gites in Provence
   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 move.

Click here to view Provence gites and holiday cottages in the Gitelink directory

   Provence Regional guide
Gitelink home Independent hotels in Provence

Photo top of page: in Provençal towns restaurants spill out into the narrow streets, shaded from the midday sun.

Map of Provence region
Provence region, covering the French Riviera, the Provence Alps, historic Provence and the area historically linked to Provence

A Gitelink guide


Other useful resources
Provence online resources
Gites and villas in Provence
Regional tourist office
Driving in France
Bed and breakfast in France
Rural camping in the south of France

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