Nice Côte d'Azur (airport code: NCE; www.nice.aeroport.fr) is France’s second airport. It’s served by direct flights from New York and Montreal, as well as up to 30 daily flights from both Paris and the U.K. Dozens of other destinations cover Europe the Middle East. This being France, the airport greets passengers with free Wi-Fi plus a fleet of free bikes and electric share-cars.
Marseille Provence (airport code: MRS; www.mrsairport.com) is midway between Marseille and Aix-en-Provence. Since 2013 it’s been served by direct flights from New York, adding to its scores of daily routes from around France and Europe.
Most airlines charge their lowest fares between November and mid-March. The shoulder season (Oct and mid-March to mid-June) is a bit more expensive, but we think it’s the ideal time to visit France.
Marseille, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, and Nice are four of France’s busiest rail junctions, with trains departing across France every few minutes. If you are Italy or Spain, our recommendation would be to travel to the South of France by train; and the journey is even a treat if coming from as far as the U.K. or Germany.
Eurostar (www.eurostar.com; [tel] 800/387-6782 in the U.S.) trains even run directly from London to Avignon each summer from as little as $179 round-trip; journey time is just under 6 hours. Easier still, trips from London can be booked online on the Eurostar to any major station in southern France, with a short station change in Paris en-route. For the best deals, book as tickets become available exactly three months in advance. Highly recommended is train and accommodation specialist Railbookers (www.railbookers.com; [tel] 888/829-3040 in the U.S.). Their specialized team can plan bespoke rail journeys throughout the region.
The major highway from Paris to the South of France is the A7. It’s called the Autoroute du Soleil, which poetically translates as the “Highway to the Sun.” From Marseille and Aix-en-Provence, drivers may take the A8, La Provençale, eastwards towards Cannes, Nice and Monaco.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.