Nimes & Provence by High-Speed Train & Luxury Coach
October 8, 2023
Sunday 8th October – Sunday 15th October 2023
Provence with its ancient towns, stunning scenery, wonderful cuisine and glorious sunshine, has long been a magnet for visitors, especially artists, who have been attracted by the renowned intensity of Provencal light. With average temperatures in the low 20s when we go, our break should prove a welcome extension to our UK Summer.
The holiday is based in the historic city of Nimes which is situated between the Mediterranean and Cevennes Mountains. It is best known for it’s 2,000 year old Roman Amphitheatre and the maze of mediaeval streets and ancient courtyards that characterise its charming centre.
Holiday highlights, apart from the time spent in Nimes, include a visit to historic Arles; to the Pont Du Gard and Avignon, where you can visit the Palais des Papes, the former fortress and papal residence that is now listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site and an outing to lively and fashionable Aix-en-Provence.
THE 4* APPART’CITY HOTEL NIMES ARENES
Opened in 2019 the hotel occupies a beautifully renovated Hausmann style building in the centre of Nimes, 300m from the TGV Station and 200m from the 2,000 year old Roman Arena which, far from a ruin, is still used regularly for events today.
Breakfast is a continental style buffet. Evening meals with wine are included at a local restaurant on three of the nights we are in Nimes. On our free nights in Nimes, the hotel’s fantastic central location means there is a great choice of restaurants for us to choose from, something that is also true of our free evening in Aix-en-Provence.
Apartment style hotels are increasingly popular and each room, as well as offering what you would expect in a four-star hotel, also includes a galley style kitchenette, allowing anyone who wants to, to prepare their own meals and snacks.
The hotel also has a gym and a laundry.
Sunday – After leaving Dorking at 7.30am, the coach drives to Folkestone, crossing the channel via Eurotunnel to arrive at our Paris hotel by late afternoon. Having packed an overnight bag for our one night stay in Paris, we wave goodbye to the coach with our main luggage as it heads south to meet us in Nimes. This means we can travel light on the TGV on Monday morning. Once we have checked in, Sunday evening is free for us to enjoy the French capital. With our hotel close to the Gare de Lyon, the area offers a great choice of restaurants and cafes.
Monday – After breakfast, with just our overnight bag to hand, we will stroll across to the impressive Gare de Lyon to catch our mid-morning TGV to Nimes. The journey takes just 3 hours and so we are scheduled to arrive in Nimes at lunchtime. With the hotel being so central and just a short walk from the train station, it is ideally situated for us to drop off our overnight bags and head into the centre of Nimes for our first look around, and have some lunch. At our leisure we can return to the hotel to check-in. Our coach is scheduled to arrive with the bulk of our luggage mid-afternoon.
3-Course dinners with wine in a local restaurant are included on Monday, Tuesday & Thursday evenings.
Tuesday – Our first full day in Nimes is free for independent sightseeing. We especially recommend the Mini-tourist train that departs from close by the hotel and provides an ideal introduction to Nimes. The cost is currently 10 Euros.
Wednesday – Today will combine visits to two wonderful but contrasting Provencal cities. First is historic Arles, famed for its picturesque streets and links with the artist Van Gough. From here the coach will continue to lively and fashionable Aix-en-Provence with its attractive maze of streets and attractive courtyards with their marvellous choice of restaurants. The coach will return to Nimes by 10.30pm.
Thursday – Keeping things relaxed, the focus today is on the island town of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, best known for its picturesque market that lines the banks of the crystal clear River Sorgue.
Friday – After a leisurely breakfast, leaving the hotel at 9.30am, we take the short coach journey to visit the Pont Du Gard, a wonderfully pre served Roman Aqueduct, 30 minutes east of Nimes. From here the coach takes us a further 30 minutes east to Avignon where there is the opportunity to visit the Palais des Papes, a former fortress that became the papal residence and was the seat of Western Christianity during the 14th Century. A local guide will accompany us throughout the day.
Saturday – This morning, after breakfast, between 9.30-10.00am, we load the coach with our main luggage as the coach sets off north ready to meet us in Lille on Sunday. Left with an overnight bag at the hotel for our last day and night in Nimes, Saturday is free to enjoy the City that has become home to us for the week. By now we will be familiar with our surroundings and will no doubt have ideas of what to do, but one suggestion would be to visit the lovely city of Montpelier by train with the journey being just 30 minutes each way. Another option could be to take the Cevenol Railway that runs north from Nimes into the Cevennes Mountains and is widely regarded as the most beautiful railway line in France. Our last night in Nimes leaves us free to choose when and where we might like to take dinner.
Sunday – Following breakfast we take the short stroll back to the station. Accompanied by just our overnight bag, we catch the morning TGV to Lille. The train arrives in Lille at around 2pm where we will have some free time for a stroll and lunch. We then board our coach for the 90-minute journey back to Calais to catch our Eurotunnel crossing. The anticipated arrival time in Dorking is between 8-8.30pm.
- Luxury coach travel throughout
- Return Eurotunnel crossings
- Return TGV tickets – Paris/Nimes & Nimes/Lille
- Overnight stop-over in Paris on first night
- 6 nights 4* hotel accommodation in Nimes
- Buffet breakfasts throughout
- Three evening meals with wine in Nimes
- Services of a local guide in Avignon
- Full sightseeing programme – see itinerary
- First class travel on TGV – £100
- Travel insurance – On Application
Offer price £995 (8 days)
per person based on 2 people sharing a twin or double room (Single room supplement £240)
Pick up 7.30am
Location: Dorking Halls
Call 07771 793294 & ask for Neil,
or use our contact form to email me.