Cannes and Aix-en-Provence are both located within France’s scenic southeastern region of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur. Aix-en-Provence lies 80 miles (129 km) due west of Cannes, traveling inland from the French Riviera and crossing the wooded and mountainous countryside of Var to reach the historic Provençal capital.
Driving is the fastest way to make the journey, with a high-speed motorway linking the towns in under two hours. Private transfer is a more expensive choice but offers all of the speed of driving with none of the hassles.
Direct bus service is a quick and economical option, taking under two hours, but requires an extra walk or taxi-ride to reach Aix’s center. The train is the slowest way to make the trip, with high-speed and regional lines connecting the towns in two and a half to three hours.
Consider slowing down and exploring the area in-depth with our 7-day "Local's Tour" of Provence and the French Riviera, or an 11-day itinerary taking in the Highlights of Provence.
Duration: 2 hours, more with stops
Driving is the fastest way to make the journey and offers the most flexibility in terms of sightseeing and detours.
The most direct route is via the A8, a large multi-lane toll road that heads due west across the Provençal region of Var, reaching Aix-en-Provence in under 2 hours. While the highway itself is not particularly scenic, it passes some excellent opportunities for quick detours, including the medieval town of Brignoles, Maximin la Sainte Baume and its Gothic basilica, and countless wineries dotted throughout.
Another option for a scenic diversion adds about another hour to the trip and heads straight down the coast from Cannes to the D559/N98. This stretch of coast is known as the Corniche d'Or, a famously picturesque route that passes through many smaller Riviera resorts like Theoule Sur Mer, Antheor, La Dramont, and Saint Raphael. The winding two-lane road offers some of the most remarkable views on the Cote D’Azur and allows drivers to turn north at Frejus and connect with the high-speed A8 towards Aix.
Traffic in Cannes can by busy during high-season or weekends, but it’s relatively straightforward and quick to leave the center and reach the highway. Rental car agencies abound, but special requests like GPS or automatic transmissions should be booked well ahead.
Aix-en-Provence is a highly walkable and pedestrian-friendly town, so it’s easiest to park at the central train station, or one of the many park and ride lots on the outskirts, and explore further on foot.
By Private Transport
Duration: 2 hours, more with stops
Hiring a private driver is the most expensive option, but it provides the comfort and speed of car travel with none of the stress. Choose between direct door to door service or slower guided journeys, the latter being an excellent choice for those looking to incorporate the journey into a wider tour of the Riviera coast or Provençal wine country.
Duration: 2 hours
The bus is the most straightforward and economical way to make the journey, with non-stop service daily. FlixBus offers the fastest option at under 2 hours.
Buses leave from Le Cannet station, a 5-minute taxi ride or 30-minute walk north from Canne’s La Croisette. Arrivals are at Aix-en-Provence’s Krypton bus station, a 30-minute walk or 10-minute taxi ride south of La Rotonde at Aix’s center.
FlixBuses should be booked ahead online, and most are modern and well-equipped, with wifi and air-conditioning.
Duration: 3 hours
There are multiple high-speed rail connections between Cannes and Aix-en-Provence, but all require two steps to reach the center and take slightly longer than driving or by bus.
The fastest choice is the twice-daily direct high-speed TGV INOUI or OUIGO train, which takes 2.5 hours and arrives at the Gare d’Aix-en-Provence TGV. The station's location 10 miles (16 km) southwest of the city means this option requires a further 20-minute bus or taxi to the center.
An alternative is to catch one of the many regional and high-speed trains to Marseille—most take under 2:10— then change to a regional TER train, which reaches the central Gare d'Aix-en-Provence station in 50 minutes.
TGV was recently rebranded as INOUI (along with the budget line OUIGO) so timetables can refer to them by either name. TGV and high-speed trains should be booked ahead online, while regional TER tickets can be bought at the station.