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Practical Information : Travelling - how and where to go by car | how to get there
on foot - with bicycle - by bus - by car - with rail and air travel - by coach
By car around Aix en Provence
Recommended excursions by car, voiture  >vwatyr< leaving from Aix-en-Provence.
 Half day excursions

Le Tholonet / Saint-Antonin / Puyloubier / Vauvenargues

Rognes / Abbaye de Sylvacane / Lourmarin / Bonnieux / Apt

Lacoste / Roussillon / Gordes / Abbaye de Sénanque

Fontaine de Vaucluse / l’Isle sur la Sorgue (Sunday market)

Entremont / Puyricard / la Trévaresse / Château d’Ansouis / la Tour d’Aigues

Whole day excursions

Arles / la Camargue / les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer / Aigues Mortes

Nîmes / Pont du Gard

Avignon / Villeneuve-lès-Avignon

Carpentras / le Mont Ventoux / Vaison la Romaine / Suze-la-Rousse

Gréoux-les Bains / Moustiers Sainte-Marie / Aiguine

Cassis / les Calanques / Chemin de la Crête > la Ciotat

Marseille / le Vieux Port / l’Abbaye Saint-Victor / la Vieille Charité / Musée du Vieux Marreille / (Centre Bourse) la Corniche / le Chateau d’If / la Pointe Rouge / Notre Dame de la Garde / Musée Longchamp / Musée Cantini / Musée Pastreau

Saint-Rémy / Les Baux / Abbaye de Montmajour / Fontvieille

See historic map

Where to Park in Aix-en-Provence down-town :

Kerb-side parking in and around town is regulated by meter... and uniformed "officers", contractuels > kohntrakty-el < armed with pencils and parking tickets, p.v’s > pehveh < , an abbreviation of procès verbaux > prosseh vairhboh < Parking is payant > peh-iaahn < (untranslatable!), between 8 am and noon, and 2 pm. and 7 pm, and free on holidays and Sundays. Prices and restrictions are posted on the horodateurs, > orrodahtuhr < rectangular dispensers located in each parking zone. Coins, ususally 10, 20, 50 cents and 1 and 2 € pieces purchase small white tickets bearing the date and time limits authorised by your payment. The "dateur" is usually reliable though the "horo" part can be sadly out of joint. The ticket must be displayed behind the windscreen and legible to a peeking, vertical official.

A number of parking garages whose existence is signaled on the boulevards by a large sign: "P" with arrow, are usually your best bet. "Places disponibles" > plass deesponeeebluh < or complet > conpleh < flash the glad, or sad, tidings on luminous screens asyou approach. Press button and take ticket as you enter (right-hand drive cars require a long arm, or a left seated passenger), and pay at the automatic caisse before retrieving your vehicle. Have 10, 20, 50 cents and 1 and 2 € coins at the ready. The first half hour is free, except during night hours. Rates are posted at the entrance.



-30 min

First hour

from 7 pm to 3 am



1 euros

2 euros



1 euros



1 euros



1 euros



1 euros



1 euros



1 euros



1 euros


Note : Never leave stealables visible in your car. If possible, leave nothing, not even a pitbull.

Hotel Parking : Many hotels have their own, enclosed parking space. Those that do not will indicate the nearest public parking area located within five minutes of your hotel. See "Section 2, Where to stay" for hotels with private parking areas : "P".

Road manners and customs.

…generally part of the "bad news". While most French drivers are skillful and courteous, the lunatic "fringe" is impatient, antisocial and dangerous. Beware of high-speed motor cycles weaving through traffic, tail-enders with flashing headlights, and drivers whose aggressive gestures suggest a frustrated manliness expressed by unmannerliness. On three-lane autoroutes the right lane normally moves at a stately 80 - 100 kms per hour ; the middle lane, at 120 - 130 kms, and the left "fast lane" ... anything up to 200 kms per hour, defying death, danger, common sense, good manners, and the law..

Traffic circles, “roundabouts,” now common on French roads, have done much to reduce traffic mortality. Vehicles already on their way around, arriving from the left, have priority. In town as in the country, two roads of equal importance still reserve priority for traffic arriving from the right. When in doubt, give way.

The greatest hazard next to driver desperadoes is the “pile up,” carambolage > karhahnbohlaszch < usually the result of tail-gating at high speed, sudden patches of fog, heavy rain, or disabled vehicles which can set off a chain reaction of braking, successive drivers having less and less time in which to bring their vehicle to a halt.

British drivers will be wary when crossing busy traffic lanes, or confronting on coming vehicles on narrow country lanes, particularly in the early hours. American drivers, on the other hand, may have their fun with stick shifts and gear grinding, at least until they master clutch-gearshift-accelerator synchrony. A few “dry runs” are recommended for all drivers weened on automatic shifts.


 Driving : mph / kmh





















Speed limits : (kmh)






in town andon wet country road

country road & wet highway

divided highway

wet autoroute

dry autoroute

free advice : stay legal and alive... and... buckle up, front and rear! c’est la loi.


Infractions :
If you receive a ticket   un p.v. > peh veh < you may be invited to pay up on the spot.
A shameless display of linguistic incompetence can help.


... on the autoroutes and some routes nationales telephones are stationed on the roadside at 2 kilometer intervals. Be sure to switch on emergency blinkers, and pull off the road. Do not cross the highway if you can help it, or attempt to push your car without infinite precaution. Give the identity number of your telephone "post" and await a tow truck which will cost 54 € for a lift to a nearby garage. In all events try not to obstruct traffic ! Raise the hood / bonnet capot > kapoh <, and, if you are on a minor road, be prepared to walk, or hitch a ride, having first removed valuables from your car. Local French mechanics work miracles, but rarely on weekends !


See map ! Traffic conditions and lack of parking space tend to discourage, but not prevent, the use of cars in mid-town. Market day mornings and rush hours are vehicular nightmares. Do not park on, or near, the market places on the eve of market days (Mondays… for Tuesday, Wednesdays… for Thursday, and Fridays… for Saturday). "Foreigners" (you) may expect amnesty for a first parking offence. This does not prevent their cars from being towed ! Contact the police at tel. : +33 442 939 700, or the pound, fourrière > foorhee-ehrh < at +33 442 642 293. Markets run from 7 am. to 1:30 pm. During the school year the "boulevards extérieurs" tend to clog, though at such times they are still the quickest (and most exciting) distance between two points, unless, of course, you walk.

Petrol / gasoline (essence) > essahns < ... is expensive. It is advisable to "ill her up" at a supermarket which can cost anything up to 10 cents less per liter than at the roadside pump. In either case you will likely find "self service" with payment at the counter or exit. Prices, as of January 2002 are about 1 € per liter for lead-free at Carrefour. Diesel gazoil > gazwal < costs about 81 cents per liter and rising. Petrol prices on the autoroutes are abusif.


quarts/gallon s. U.K

1 qt.

1 gal.

10 gals.

quarts / gallons U.S

1.201 qts.

1.201 gals.

12.01 gals.


1.136 l.

4.546 l.

45.46 l.





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