Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How to Get to Pont du Gard from Nîmes or Avignon by Bus

Warning: This post is more informative than fun. My “fun” post regarding my reactions to the Pont du Gard will be posted tomorrow. J

Me in front of the famous Roman bridge and aquaduct.
           I chose the title for my post, hoping that Google will direct the confused and lost potential tourists of the world to my site for an explanation, because, awesome as the Pont du Gard was, figuring out how to get there was nearly impossible, completely confusing, entirely stressful and totally discouraging. In short, a real pain in the ass. All information currently online, I discovered from my research, is out of date by several years, with all the bus charts being from 2007 or older, even on the Pont du Gard website itself. The buses have all been entirely renumbered since then! Even my guidebook was irritatingly unhelpful on the subject.

           But let me reiterate to you: it is completely worth it to visit the Pont du Gard.

           You want to go. Trust me.

           Especially because now, I’m here to provide you with answers:

          If you are leaving from Nîmes (pronounced “neem”), take bus B21, for about 1.50 euro. It will take about 45 mins plus a teeny bit of walking, but there will be a giant billboard at the round-about to point you in the right direction. You pick up the bus itself by the SNCF station, and there is a screen outside that lists what buses are arriving when. Simply look for the one that says B21 and go to the corresponding numbered parking space. There’s also a sales office for the bus company, Edgard, inside the train station, but it’s only open Mon-Fri for a few hours at a time. They should have current schedules there, but what we had to do, since it was a Saturday, was ask a random bus driver just sitting around in his bus if he had an extra Edgard schedule.

           If you’re leaving from Avignon, take bus A15, for 1.50 euro, and it will take about 40 minutes. You pick up the A15 at what is called Gare Routière. If you are facing the Avignon Centre station, go left, past the Ibis hotel, and down some stairs into a creepy, sketchy looking tunnel, where the scary, unlit bus garage awaits you. (It is worth it even though it is dirty and scary. The bridge is that cool.) There is an information desk open during weekdays who can give you a schedule, and a TV screen in the bus garage where you can search for A15 buses and the corresponding numbered parking space where your bus will await. Get off at the Rond Pont du Gard stop and follow the giant billboard's arrow. It will be a 5 minute brisk walk. I left on a Monday morning at 8:45 am and caught the next bus at 1:24 pm. This was the perfect amount of time for a thorough tourist. Both the A15 and the B21 pick up are at the same spot on the round-about.


           Renting a car is of course the ideal way to visit this place, and there are reliable directions for that elsewhere online and in books. If you prefer to take a taxi, it would be considerably cheaper to take it from Avignon than from Nîmes, and would cost you about 40-45 euro each way, if your taxi driver is being fair. You can also book a private tour through the Avignon or Nîmes tourism centers, but those can be pricey depending on if it's guided and where else you visit. I was unable to get a tour in January, because they require a minimum amount of people to go on a tour, and I was travelling alone in the unpopular season for tourism. 

           I hope you take up my advice and check this place out. The museum was incredibly nifty too, and not worth skipping.

31 comments:

  1. Amazing. Consider your goal achieved. I was getting super frustrated trying to find out how to get to Pont du Gard and found your site. Great overview. Cheers!

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  2. OMG thank you so much. you're a life saver. I LOVE YOU!! haha. i am going to visit there tomorrow!

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  3. thank you very much. I have been having trouble finding info online as well. I might be visiting on a Sunday, and I am hoping they will still have the bus routes still going...

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  4. Very helpful, thanks!

    Also for those looking for bus times, check out www.edgard-transport.fr

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  5. All very accurate info! I've been taking these lines, for a couple years, to a nearby stop and would add: the Nîmes B21 bus currently leaves from platform (quai) 8 and the Avignon A15 bus from platform 11. Subject to change but hasn't yet.

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  6. Thanks, will go tomorrow!

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  7. Yep, it's still accurate :)

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  8. Thanks for this. Yes, still 1.50 each way. Re the Nîmes route: the Gare Routière (bus station) is behind the railway station. Drivers sell tickets so no need to worry about the office in the Gare de Nîmes. The Edgard schedule states that the bus stops at the Pont du Gard parking lot in summer months, but it doesn't (at least not in June), so you do need to get off at the roundabout/rotary ('Rond Pont du Gard') and walk. Note that to go back you need to go to the stop diagonally opposite, across the 'Rond'. There is a long gap between a bus at 1.54pm and one at 4.10pm, so plan ahead. Definitely worth it though!

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  9. Could you tell me what time they leave in the morning ot early afternoon? I've been trying to get the timetable form the website for days and it's so frustrating

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  10. Just managed to find times, 1130, 1330

    return 1608, 1730, 1818

    Number B21

    C32 TO ARLES EVERY HOUR AT 20 MINS PAST
    C30 TO AIGUES MORTES
    SO MUCH CHEAPER THAN THE TRAIN.

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  11. Thanks for all the helpful info - going to make the trip today :)

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  12. After my fifth desperate google for the bus times and confirmation of the location of the Avignon bus station (yes, this is also after going directly to the train station and talking with someone who was entirely unhelpful), your blog post finally showed up. Amazing instructions, cleared up all the ambiguous information we found elsewhere. This place was a total win, including the indoor museum exhibits, which we fortunately visited despite the beautiful weather.

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  13. I'm so glad I've been able to help you guys! And also that you've been helping each other. It's really rewarding to feel and very nice to see. :)

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    1. This looks like really helpful information. We are going to Avignon in September and want to go to the Pont du Gard so I hope all this is still relevant.

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  14. Thanks! It will help me a lot.
    I'm coming to France in December and we're going to explore some places in the south of France with my friend from Taiwan. Join us :)

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  15. Thanks, this is clearer than Rick Steves' guide!

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  16. Thanks for this - very reassuring info. Found an up to date timetable/line map for the Avignon to Pont du Gard bus here:

    http://www.edgard-transport.fr/horaires_ligne/?rub_code=6&sens=1&date=03/05/2013&lign_id=6

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  17. Thank you very much for the information...!!!

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  18. This blog saved us! We would NEVER have found the Avignon bus station without your very specific instructions. We literally stood facing the central station, looked left, found the Ibis hotel and walked to the left of that. Even then, the bus station is not well-marked ( well, this is France after all) and it is every bit as dark and creepy as described. One thing-- it looked like there was some sort of walkway that connected the train station/Ibis/Bus station, with an escalator or stairway heading down from the Ibis to the bus station. NB that you do not have to enter the Train station parking lot, the directions on this blog work just fine if you are standing on the sidewalk across the street from the train station. (facing the station). On weekends there are no helpful information personnel,but current schedules are posted on the wall behind glass. The bus ride was 2 euro 30 June 2013. also NB that for the return trip to Avignon from Pont du Gard the bus picks up at a different spot in the traffic circle, opposite where you were left off. Be sure to double check with the driver, he will point out the exact spot for you!

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  19. Well done Melissa! I live a mile from P d G and can walk it, which I do often. Visitors are very welcome in the area, they are a crucial input to the economy and I have noticed that the verges and roundabouts on way into the Pont are better cared for than in my street.

    Just one thing, in this part of the world, Nîmes is pronounced Neemah, all final e being bellowed. So it is Marseillah, Vivah la Francah, Cotah du Rhonah.

    In August, if you walk from one side to the other, be prepared to be on the grill, so take water with you.

    Another tip - the Pope's palace in Avignon looks far more impressive from the outside than it does from within. Save time and money and just look at the edifice from the square. The Pont d'Avignon is also barely worth the effort. I've had guests say "Is that it?" or "Where is it?" as they stood looking at it.

    The Prof Robin

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    1. Between Avignon and Nimes, which would be a better place to get to Pont du Gard (in terms of frequency of buses)? I have hotel bookings at both places and I am trying to decide whether to go there from Avignon or from Nimes.

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  20. Great we will be there this Sept 2013

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  21. I'm so glad I found this blog - Thank you so much Melissa and and all of you for giving priceless pieces of information! I've just been to Pont du Gard and if it wasn't for this wonderful blog, I don't think I would have made it. I was visiting Avignon for just one day (from my 'base' in Cannes) and the schedule was tight. Fortunately, things went smoothly and I must say the place is really worth visiting! So thank you once again. :)

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  22. Thank you Melissa, I've been searching ways n means to get there from Avignon. traveling May 2014 solo. Tks again. appreciate. ; ) is it safe to walk the quiet lane towards the bus station?

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  23. Avignon bus station has moved. It's now across from the post office, just inside the town walls across from the train station.

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    1. Thanks......appreciate

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  24. Just wanted to update-- this blog was VERY helpful for me. I took the bus from the Avignon bus station, which is totally new as others mentioned. No issues at all. Schedule even still the same! In hindsight, I should have brought swim clothes, since it was summer and the river is gorgeous. Also bring beach shoes, since it's all rocks. Also, it's 10 Euro to get in, which I didn't realize for some reason.

    Keep in mind the bus stop to return is on the other side of the rotary, just north a bit... otherwise, these are still accurate. thank you!

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  25. hi Melissa,
    Thanks for your sharing. May I ask for your advice ?
    I'll take a train from Paris to Nimes that arrives at 15h on a saturday of march and I'll have to leave Nimes at 17h of the next day. I did not imagine that the Pont du Gard is located so far from Nimes butI really love to see it. Do you think that I can go there and return to Nimes on the same day ?
    Thanks so much for your precious advice ++++
    HT.

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  26. Thank you so much Melissa and and all of you for giving priceless pieces of information! I've just been to Pont du Gard and if it wasn't for this wonderful blog, I don't think I would have made it.
    touring France by car

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