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    CHEAP CAR HIRE IN AIX EN PROVENCE

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    Car hire in Aix-en-Provence - Discover the Alps-Provence-Côte d'Azur

    Uncover the stunning former capital of Provence in southern France by car today and discover the City of Fountains at your own pace. Drive your car hire through the exciting region of Bouches-du-Rhone to enjoy harbour towns, lively cities and amazing scenery. Aix-en-Provence (or simply Aix as it is known by the locals) is cheaper than Paris, richer than Marseille and has 300 days of sunshine, which makes this city perfect for romantic breaks and dreamy summer vacations.

    At the heart of the city lies Cours Mirabeau, a beautiful tree-lined avenue with many delightful cafes and bookshops. Visit the old town with its many historical sites, markets and museums and do not forget to try out the famous French-Mediterranean cuisine. Once you are comfortably seated in your car rental, travel north-west of the town where you'll find the 18th-century hot spring baths built on the site of an ancient Roman thermae where you can totally unwind by relaxing in a thermal bath. Or why not head for the coast and take your car hire to Marseille, the perfect place to soak up the Mediterranean sun.

    Here at Auto Europe we pride ourselves on having the best rates for a car hire in Aix-en-Provence and other destinations in France, followed by excellent customer care. Not only do we have strong partnerships with some of the best car hire companies around the world, giving you the benefit of finding the best possible offer for your trip, along with a wide selection of vehicles and added extras, but we also offer you customer support 7 days a week thanks to our experienced reservations staff who can be reached on +44 123 3225 114. Book online today in 3 easy and secure steps, or for more information or questions contact us by telephone or e-mail.

    How's the traffic in Aix-en-Provence?

    Driving your car hire in Aix-en-Provence can be a slow process, especially on market days and during the rush hour, which tends to discourage the use of cars in the town centre. On Rue d’Italie, traffic is restricted in the afternoon although cars with a badge can still enter (residents, city services, taxis and public transport). Therefore, traffic is regulated but not completely absent. While most of the French drivers are skilful and courteous, be careful and pay attention at all times. Driving is better at weekends as the majority of large trucks are banned between 10pm on Saturday and 10pm on Sunday. As elsewhere in France, you might encounter a lot of cyclists, when overtaking them you should leave a distance of at least a 3.3 feet in towns and 5 feet in the countryside.

    Roundabouts are very common on French roads and vehicles on their way and arriving from the left have priority. You must give priority to those arriving from the right but when in doubt, just give way. Normally the speed limit in towns is 50kph, on country roads it is 70kph, divided motorways 90kph, wet motorways 110kph and dry motorways 130kph. The speed limit can change, so look out for signage. The toll system is called 'Autoroute peage' and indicated with blue signs and the letter A before the number. You must take a ticket at the entrance and pay the toll according to the distance you have travelled. For more tips on driving in France, please visit our dedicated Driving Information Guide for France.

    Where can I park my car hire in Aix-en-Provence?

    Parking your car rental in Aix-en-Provence, like in most major cities in France, can be difficult to do cheaply. Five different parking zones exist in Aix-en-Provence and can be paid for using a mobile app, via SMS or directly at the parking meter. The zone closest to the centre is the Red Zone and more expensive, around 4€ for two hours' parking, the Orange Zone is about 2€ for two hours and the Yellow Zone is 1.60€ for two hours' parking. Outside the centre, you find the Green Zone which offers parking free of charge and the Black Dotted and Black Zones which are both prohibited parking areas.

    Remember that Aix-en-Provence is a narrow city with few street parking options and the few that exist are generally more expensive than paying for a space at a parking garage just outside of the city centre. For this option, Aix-en-Provence offers 'park and ride car parks' services with some P&R parks offering a free bus service for drivers and passengers.

    Aix-en-Provence Airport

    The closest airport to Aix-en-Provence is Marseille Airport which lies approximately 20 miles away from the city, which is about a 30-minute drive depending on the traffic. Various airlines connect Marseille with a good selection of UK cities such as Bristol, Glasgow, London and Manchester. Auto Europe works with several local and international partners at the airport, including Sixt, Avis, Hertz, Enterprise and Alamo, to name a few. The car hire desks are located in the car park directly in front of terminal 1.

    Marseille Provence Airport (MRS)
    Website: Marseille Airport
    Telephone: +33 820 81 14 14
    Address: 13727 Marignane, France

    What to do in Aix-en-Provence

    Located north of Marseille in the foothills of the Alps, Aix-en-Provence provides you with a picture-postcard square around every corner. Famous for its outdoor markets and handsome pedestrian lanes, nowhere else in France offers the kind of l'art de vivre (the art of living) so stylishly displayed. Below you can find our pick for the most iconic places around Aix-en-Provence that shouldn't be missed.

    • Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur d’Aix-en-Provence: Located on Rue Gaston de Saporta, the Cathedral contains a mixture of styles from the 5th to the 7th centuries and contains plenty of beautiful architecture, from the Gothic portal with a sculpture of the Virgin with the Child to a Romanesque entrance from the 1100s connected to a much older Roman wall and the 15th-century Burning Bush Triptych painted by Nicolas Froment. The middle panel represents the Virgin and Child with Moses in the foreground with René of Anjou and Queen Jeanne (who commissioned the work) on the sides. Be sure to visit the cloister, the baptistery and the belltower to admire all the influences that this cathedral has achieved over the years.

    • Old Aix-en-Provence: Gorgeous architecture, charming markets and the constant feeling that you are walking in the shoes of great artists and writers. Discover cafés, boutiques, classic French galleries before wandering around the Cours Mirabeau. This avenue has a walkway shaded by lush trees contrasting with mansions and restaurants haunted by French cultural icons. The most beautiful fountain is La Fontaine d'Eau Chaude at La Rotonde where the moss creates a mist on cold winter days.

    • Atelier Cézanne: The famous painter Paul Cézanne lived and worked in Aix-en-Provence and he is now a source of great pride for the city. This Atelier is the studio where he created the majority of his work and the place hasn’t been touched since he passed away. His hanging smock is still stained with paint and some objects are placed all around this single room. For art lovers wanting a more intimate experience than a museum, this is the place to visit.

    • Markets: For sure you’ll catch the scent of lavender while wandering around an open-air market in Aix-en-Provence and it should be your first choice for fresh produce and local Provençal delights. There are food markets on Place des Prêcheurs and Place de la Madeleine on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and every day on Place Richelme. There’s also a flower market on alternating days on Place de la Mairie and Place des Prêcheurs, while on Tuesdays and Thursdays there are clothing and fabrics markets.

    • Château la Coste: As the second-largest wine region in Provence, Aix grows Mourvèdre, Grenache and Cinsaut grapes. There are several vineyards and caves around Coteaus d'Aix-en-Provence AOC and all-day tours that will take you around them. However, this Château has a modern sculpture park with works of notable artists. Located just north of the city and with educational tours about grapes used in each wine and how they're fermented and aged, this gorgeous Château deserves a place on this list!

    • Musée du Calisson: The Calisson of Aix is recognized as a heritage of the city and one of the gastronomic emblems of Provence. Just 10 minutes downtown and surrounded by 2 hectares of young almond trees stands the Fabrique du Roy René and the Calisson Museum, which combines tradition with modernity. This museum allows you to follow the work of the confectioners and the stages of production through a unique sensorial tour.

    Best day trips with my car rental in Aix-en-Provence

    The best part when you rent a car in Aix-en-Provence is the flexibility it provides for day-trips and the added benefit of exploring its surrounding areas. Below are our best suggestions for a day-trip around the region.

    Cap Canailles

    A one-hour drive or less, this astonishing headland overlooking the Mediterranean Sea is the highest cliff in France with a small beach at the bottom. While driving there, don't forget to stop at the port-side town of Cassis for some delightful scenery and beaches. If you have time to spare, visit one of the local vineyards to taste some award-winning wines.

    Luberon Villages

    Discovering the most perfect part of Provence is easy at the Luberon Villages. Nested in the heart of Provence, some of the best villages are Gordes, Roussillon, Menerbes and Lacoste. These villages are known for their hilltop positions and cobbled lanes. Wandering around you find sunbathing cats, châteaus with manicured gardens, churches and shaded squares ideal for taking a rest.

    Marseille

    it is impossible to go to Aix-en-Provence without stopping at the third-largest city in France. This lovely city is known for its beautiful architecture, museums and historical sites. Strolling around the Vieux port you find several key attractions including the Palais du Pharo, the Savon de Marseille Museum, Big-Wheel, the Santons Museum, Fort Saint-Nicolas and the impressive Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations. Take your time to visit the astonishing Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, a Romanesque and Byzantine architectural Catholic church.

    Lavender Fields of Provence

    There are many places to see lavender fields, but the highest concentration of them can be found around Valensole Plateau. The best time to visit is usually July when the fields are awash with beautiful blue/lilac lavender in bloom, and it will be a sight and scent to behold for sure! You can stop in Valensole for lunch or lavender ice cream before continuing your road-trip.

    Avignon

    Full of incredible sights and Gothic and Renaissance structures, Avignon is just a little over an hour's drive from Aix-en-Provence, but these two Provence cities are very different in appearance. Built on the left bank of the Rhône River, Avignon is famous for its medieval monuments and well-conserved historical centre. The most popular attractions are the Palais des Papes, Place de l'Horloge and the Pont d'Avignon. The town's Les Halles market is the perfect place to fill up on fresh, local food. You can dine at the Michelin-starred restaurants of Christian Etienne or Fou de Fafa for a more affordable option.

    How to get around Aix-en-Provence

    As you might have noticed by now, Aix-en-Provence is a compact city and many major sites can be visited on foot, including the Old Town. However, if you want a different way to get around than by car, there are several options available. Aix has a bus system, several bike rental shops, taxis and even a nippy little electric-powered vehicle called Diabline and Comtaline. We advise you to book a car hire so you can discover this amazing city at your own pace! If it’s not an option for you, below are some details on the local public transport system.

    Bus

    you can buy tickets directly from the driver when boarding the bus, at the tourism office, from newspaper kiosks or official shops dotted around the city. The ticket called 'lacarte' allows you to make journeys or adapt transport tickets to your needs free of charge. There is a ticket that allows you to travel freely on all lines for 24, 48 or 72 hours called '24/48/72'. This ticket also includes several entries to museums and exhibitions and you can buy it at the tourism office.

    Diabline and Comtaline

    These small electric vehicles will take you on three fixed circuits in the city centre, the difference from buses is that you can stop them like a taxi. They are usually a cheaper deal than a bus and tickets can only be bought on-board from the driver. You can change circuits without paying again under the one-hour rule and children under the age of four travel free. They run roughly every ten minutes from 8.30am to 7.30pm but don't offer a service on Sundays or public holidays. The Comtaline is a recent addition and acts as a shuttle service between the Rambot car-park and the market squares in the centre and runs from 10am until 7pm Mondays to Saturdays.

    Metro

    Aix-en-Provence's excellent metro system stems from Centraal Station to reach many of the city's outlying areas. Its four routes are often the fastest way to get to some of the city's more interesting suburbs like Bijlmer, Amstelveen and Diemen, plus many of the most popular tourist districts in-between.

    Petit Train

    This little train offers tours of the city with an earphone commentary in several languages. It leaves from the statue of Paul Cézanne on La Rotonde at the end of the Cours Mirabeau and offers a 45-minute tour of the city centre. Tickets can be bought on-board or at the tourism office.

    Train

    There are two stations at Aix-en-Provence, the high-speed train station (TGV) outside the city and Aix Centre, the regional (TER) station. There is a ticket office a few metres on the right side of the station and some ticket machines. In the winter, a snow train runs from Aix Central station to a range of ski resorts at weekends. Travelling from London, you can take the direct London-Marseille Eurostar and change at Avignon or Marseille, or take the Eurostar via Lille or Paris. There is a ticket office at the TGV station and you can buy them online for a better deal.

    Useful links

    Aix-en-Provence Tourist Info