Avignon-Provence airport is perfectly positioned for such tourist attractions as L'Isle sur la Sorgue, the ochre trail and lavender fields of the Luberon, the Pont du Gard and Avignon itself and Saint Rémy, Les Baux, Orange and Carpentras.
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Sometimes called Avignon-Caumont or just plain Avignon, this little airport has a very British feel, with most passengers arriving from the UK regions.
In summer a regular Flybe service runs to and from Birmingham and Southampton, from where it's a short-ish train commute into central London. Flybe also has onward connections to other regional destinations, while Cityjet is offering flights to London City.
A very brief newcomer in the summer of 2015 was the Belgian airline VLM, which operated a service between Liège and Avignon four days a week from 1 May. Alas, advance bookings were so low that the service was discontinued in mid-June.
Just outside the main terminal building, Aile de Provence is a helicopter company that offers business travel facilities, pleasure trips and flying lessons.
If by any chance you happen to have your own private jet, Avignon can accommodate that too (up to 130-seaters) and will give you the VIP treatment. It's the only airport in South-East France to offer this facility, apart from Cannes.
Created as an aerodrome in 1937, Avignon airport was initially used for freight traffic, and first opened its doors to international passenger flights in 2006.
It sits in an unlovely sprawl of strip development nine km / five miles south-east of Avignon and six km / three miles from the nearby town of Caumont sur Durance (the closest village is Montfavet).
It's just off the national road RN7 and the A7 motorway (take the Avignon Sud exit). Click here for a road map of the area around Avignon airport.
The IATA code of Avignon airport is AVN and its address is 141 allée de la Chartreuse, 84140 Montfavet. Tel: (+33) 4 90 81 51 51. Website for Avignon airport
FACILITIES AT AVIGNON-PROVENCE AIRPORT
Avignon airport has three runways (only one of which is tarmac), two boarding gates and four check-in desks. It would be difficult to get lost in this tiny terminal.
Oddly, the ticket booking desk is prominently labelled Air France, even though this airline does not operate out of Avignon (though it does run flights to and from Marseille-Provence airport). However, you can buy tickets for other airlines, such as Flybe, at this desk.
To the right of the Air France desk, La Provence Vue d'Avion (Provence By Plane) offers tourist flights lasting between 15 and 30 minutes over Avignon and the surrounding countryside including Arles, the Pont du Gard, Saint Rémy and Les Baux de Provence. Tel: (+33) 4 90 92 22 84 or (+33) 6 14 81 34 85. Website for La Provence Vue d'Avion
Other facilities include a gift shop that sells provençal fabrics and other souvenirs, a business lounge, toilets with baby-changing tables, copious tourist information and a phone booth. A notable omission: there is no cash dispenser (ATM) in Avignon airport.
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Three car-parks offer a total of 300 spaces: P1 (short term), P2 (long-term) and P3 (rental cars). You can pay for parking at the checkout machine in the terminal building or by bank card at the exit to the car-parks.
Both P1 and P2 have a free 30 minute "kiss and ride" (dépose minute) facility as well as monthly, quarterly, half-yearly and annual season tickets (abonnements) which allow you to come and go as many times as you wish.
These are significantly cheaper for the P2 long-term car-park. P2 also proposes a "Skypass" at very modest rates, but it only entitles you to enter and exit once. Tel: (+33) 4 90 81 51 15. Website for Avignon airport car-parks
Built all on one level, the airport has excellent disabled access, with eight designated parking spaces, ramps, special toilets and telephone cabins and a wheelchair service.
Though the terminal itself is very compact, it's set in a rather sprawling complex. If you go out, turn left and walk for around five minutes, you will see an old Caravelle plane from the early 1950s parked outside another building.
This is the Vaucluse Flying Club (Aéroclub Vauclusien), which celebrated its centenary in 2011 and which offers flying lessons and organises an annual air show each year in late September. Tel: (+33). 4 90 84 17 17. Website for the Vaucluse Flying Club
For an airport of its modest size, Avignon is rather well-supplied with food and drink outlets.
Inside the terminal itself is a small area with drinks vending machines, and a bar (pictured) overlooking the runway. It sells steak and chips, microwaved hot meals and other snacks and opens shortly before a flight is due to depart.
If hunger demands it and time permits, there are several eateries with a wider choice of food a short walk from the airport. The chain restaurant, Courtepaille, which specialises in grills, is on the main roundabout about a five minute walk from the terminal building. Tel: ( +33) 4 90 84 19 60. Nearby is a small Best Western hotel and restaurant with a typically provençal tiled roof, its own car-park and, handily, a trolley-park.
The best of the bunch is over in the Aéroclub Vauclusien, where the Restaurant Mamma Mia - which is open to the public - has a nice little outdoor terrace and serves Italian and classic French cuisine. It's open for lunch only from Monday to Friday, and on Saturday too in summer. Evenings by reservation. Tel: (+33) 6 85 95 56 82. Website for Mamma Mia restaurant at Avignon airport
GETTING TO AND FROM AVIGNON AIRPORT
A regional bus, no.22, connects Avignon airport with Avignon TGV station, Avignon bus station on the edge of the walled city and other towns in the surrounding area, including Cavaillon, Apt and Fourcalquier. However the service is rather infrequent and the bus stops and picks up at the airport on request only. Click here for the timetable for regional bus 22 to Avignon airport.
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Several car hire companies, including Avis and Europcar, have desks at Avignon airport. Useful phone numbers: Avis (+33) 4 90 87 17 75 and Europcar (+33) 4 90 84 05 74.
The vehicles are parked in P3, on the left as you come out of the terminal. Note that the desks are are only manned at times of flight arrivals, but if you are returning your rental car out of office hours you can leave the keys in a drop-box in the departure lounge. There is an ELF petrol / gas station just outside the airport at 4316 route de Marseille (the N7).
Taxis leave from in front of the terminal building and the fare between Avignon airport and the city should be around 25-32 €uros. There is a list of taxi numbers on the Avignon airport website, and you can also pre-book a holiday taxi to or from Avignon airport here.
Avignon airport also offers a VIP limousine service by prior reservation. Tel: (+33) 6 83 76 01 70.