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 All information currently online, I discovered from my research, is out of date by several years, with all the bus charts being from 2007 or older, even on the Pont du Gard website itself.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.