What is the closest major airport to Avignon?
There are actually two major airports near Avignon: Montpellier and Marseilles. But before deciding which to use, be sure to check which public transportation options are available once you land, and the times, for the date you choose to travel. Another lovely option is to fly in and out of Paris, and using the train whenever possible for travel within France.
Coming from the United States or Canada, what is the best way to meet up with the barge in either Avignon or Aigues-Mortes?
Regardless of which trip you are on (May 21 – 28 Avignon to Aigues – Mortes OR May 28 – June 4, Aigues Mortes – Avignon) I recommend you plan to start and end in Avignon. It would offer numerous delightful options, particularly if you may be a little travel-weary.
The Rome2Rio app is indispensable when it come to finding all the options available to get between any two points in the world. . . . .even starting from home. So I suggest you you go to Rome2Rio, put in where you want to start and where you want to end up and explore the options. Don’t forget to include your dates of preferred travel as that may make a difference in what options are available.
Getting to and from Aigues Mortes, which will either be your starting or ending point may be a wee bit trickier. There does seem to be train service between the Avignon City Center and Aigues Mortes, which would be my first choice. Unfortunately, the train schedules are not posted beyond April, just yet. In any case, whether you go by bus or train or a combination, they all seem to go through Nimes, which I have heard is a lovely city and probably worth a stop.
At what time should we be able to to board the barge? And what time does the trip end?
Your time on the barge begins at 6pm on the first day, just in time for dinner. (If I get the OK to meet at the barge at an earlier time, I will let you know) If you are staying at the Hotel L’Magnan AND departing from Avignon, we may be able to arrange to have your luggage dropped at the barge in the late afternoon.
Both trips end after breakfast on the last day. . . . .around 9am. After which you are on your own.
Are the side trips originally planned for the days before we board the barge still being planned?
As you can imagine, the Omicrom variant has put small tour operators in France in a bit of turmoil. So the half-day trips we had originally planned are still up in the air. However, this is something we can organize as we get closer to the date and there are numerous options. What I was hoping to do was to offer a few options that were not part of the regular itineraries. In any case, if you are planning on arriving in Avignon a few days early or staying a few days after the barge trip, you will find plenty to see and do.
I am interested in the 8-day Rambling in the Luberon supplement but would rather not pay the “solo traveler” surcharge. Is anyone else from our barge excursion planning to do the ramble?
Indeed, there are people interested in doing the Ramble after each of the trips, primarily starting on Sunday. So, if you are interested, please let me know right away so I can coordinate. By the way, you can still do the ramble completely on your own and don’t have to choose the same accommodation type. You merely have to start and end on the same day.