Where are we ? How to get here.
GPS Co-ordinates; N 44°14.942' E 005°50.136'
We are situated in the Provence/Alpes/Cote d'Azur region of the South of France, PACA for short, just where the lavender fields of Provence meet the mountains of the Southern Alps. We are couple of kilometers from the village of Ribiers some 12kms to the north of the town of Sisteron, which is known as the "gateway to Provence", and some 8kms south of Laragne, a free flyers mecca. The area is generally unspoilt and retains much of its character being off the tourist track, though benefiting from many of the advantages particularly climatic of the busier areas further South. We are however only 12kms from the main A51 Auto route just 1 hr away from excellent winter skiing and 1.5 hrs from the mediterranean coast.
|By Car||By Air||By Train||By Bus||Car Hire|
When we were planning our move to France, we took great care in choosing an area with an excellent climate. We are on the South West side of the Alps, and enjoy sunshine hours very similar to or better than the south-east coast of France - the Cote d'Azur, although with slightly cooler temperatures. We are East enough to avoid the worst of the mistral and rain of the Rhone valley yet North enough to avoid the intense summer heat and sweltering nights of the coastal region. We consider the climate just about perfect. We generally have hot sunny summers, warm sunny springs and autumns, and cold sunny winters!. In July, we get an average of over 11 hours of sunshine each day and over 2700 hours of sunshine per year. Although we can't promise you perfect weather, we can say that it is very very likely to be good!
Getting here by Car
Driving from most of the cross channel ports (Calais, Caen etc) takes some 10 hours driving time, if you use the autoroutes (motorways). The quickest route is to follow the autoroutes to just south of Grenoble, (get on the ROCADE SUD bypass at Grenoble) after which you follow the main N75 road, signed Sisteron, over the Col de Croix Haute to Aspres and then Laragne (and NOT the N85 to Gap). From the rest of Northern Europe head for Geneva and then Grenoble and as above.
From the South follow the A51 autoroute from Aix en Provence or Marseille to Sisteron,
leave the A51 at the Sisteron Sud exit and head through Sisteron and thence
follow signs to Ribiers. We are approximately 1 hour from Aix en Provence.
From Nice either take the A8 motorway to Aix en Provence and then join the A51 or come cross country via Entrevaux, St Andre les Alpes and Digne les Bains on the N202 (the route via Grasse takes much longer so is best avoided).
A local map and local directions from Sisteron & Laragne can be found at the bottom of the page or click here for map .
Ferry fares in our experience are often considerably cheaper through agents or on the net rather than directly through the bigger companies.
The nearest airport is Marseille followed by Nimes, Toulon, Avignon Grenoble and Nice.
Marseille Provence airport (Marignane) is approximately one and a quarter hours drive away. Easyjet, BA and Ryanair have cheap regular flights, including Easyjet from Bristol and London and Ryanair from Scotland, London Dublin and Manchester, several other airlines fly from European destinations and of course there are regular links to French airports. Marseille airport is very easily accessible to train or bus services to Sisteron and Laragne with a regular (every 20 minutes) bus shuttle between the airport and the train station at Aix en Provence. There is also now a regular bus service direct from Marseille airport and the Aix en Provence TGV station to Gap via Sisteron leaving at 12.25, 14.55, 18.00 and 20.40 hrs (20 mins later from the TGV). See Marseille Airport website for details of other shuttle buses. There are 4 trains per day to Sisteron from Marseille, the last being at 1712 hrs see SNCF website, all of which call at Aix. There are also 5 buses a day to Sisteron from Aix en Provence and Marseille.
There are similarily buses running direct to the airport and TGV from Sisteron at 05.20, 7.50 11.05 13.55 and 16.55, journey time is about 2.5 hrs.
Nimes airport is just under 2 hours motorway drive away, and Ryanair often have some very cheap flights available.
Nice airport is just under three hours drive away. Either by Autoroute or through the mountains, Easyjet fly to Nice from several UK airports, whilst many other budget carriers (Flybe, JET2, EUJET, MAERSK, Thomsonfly, Transavia and German Wings) also fly there from various UK and European destinations. Prices can be very cheap if you book well in advance and out of peak season. There is a shuttle bus from the airport to Nice train station. From Nice there are trains to Sisteron changing at Aix or Marseille see SNCF Website. and buses to Sisteron direct from the airport. For those wishing to experience an interesting scenic train journey the Chemin-de-Feu de Provence train runs from Nice to Digne.
Other accessible airports include Avignon - 2hrs drive, Grenoble - 2.5 hrs(more on a summer Saturday) and Toulon - 2 hrs or even Montpellier - 2.5 hrs drive,. Lyon is a little further at 3 hrs.
Scheduled flights into all these airports are also available at very reasonable rates particularly from some of the smaller companies or if you manage to catch some of the special offers.
Car Hire is available at all the above airports, see the By Car section above for directions.
Now that the fast (a little over 3 hours) TGV link has been completed between Paris and Marseilles, coming by rail is a real possibility, especially when there are special offers available, Eurostar direct from London to Lille connects with the TGV's to Aix en Provence TGV station, from there the airport shuttles from Marseille airport all stop to ferry passengers into Aix en Provence (every 20 mins), and the direct bus service to Gap also calls (see above in Train section). There are SNCF train stations at both Sisteron and Laragne, with direct trains to Marseille and links to Gap, Grenoble and Lyon. Cyclists will appreciate the bike friendly French train services but book ahead. For details of trains and booking see SNCF Website. Eurostar also run some trains direct from the UK to Avignon in the summer.
At some times of year there are direct (no changing) services from London to Avignon (Eurostar) and from Paris to Gap (SNCF), including a sleeper service on the Gap route.
Car Hire is available from most train stations or we can pick you up from Laragne or Sisteron stations.
French bus services are generally very good though, like British rail, the links between the different companies can be difficult and inter company communication and information is often non-existent. Buses are available from Geneva, Grenoble, Marseille, Nice, Avignon and Aix en Provence to Sisteron.
A 'navette' runs every 20 or 30 minutes from Marseille airport to either Aix en Provence bus station or Marseille train station. Details are available on the Marseille Airport website. Also see above for details of the regular bus from the airport to Sisteron.
Car hire costs vary greatly in France and often seem to depend on where you come from. We recommend using one of the internet booking agents or the airline special deals, they can often supply the same car direct from the bigger companies at a third of the cost of booking direct. Please note most companies do charge an after hours fee if collecting the car outside normal office opening times and car pick up times at stations can be quite limited - unlike airports.
From Laragne heading South turn right at the roundabout after the centre of town then turn left at Casino supermarket which puts you on the D948 towards Ribiers, we are about 2km after the turnoff to Chateauneuf de Chabre. There is usually a windsock at the end of the drive.
From Sisteron heading North, go through the town, through the tunnel, straight on at the Roundabout and left at the bottom of the hill before the river, signposted Ribiers. Pass through Ribiers village and Rebinelle is on the left after 2km (after the La Marmotte apple packing building we are the third road on the left) there is a sign for Rebinelle and usually a windsock at the end of the road.