I'm facing a bit of a conundrum and I feel like the seasoned travellers on fodors might have an obvious solution for me.
The big picture is, we'll be in France & Italy for 8 weeks with summer with my 2 kids, ages 7 and 9 - 4 weeks in France, then 4 in Italy. We're starting in Paris for a little under a week (we have booked that apartment with much fodorite help!) and then moving to the Provencal countryside & the coast for the remaining 3 weeks. We have not booked accomodations for the remaining 3 weeks. My ideal would be about 10 nights in the country and 10 on the coast but as we're renting houses or apartments, it's difficult to do anything other than Saturday to Saturday stays.
My husband is an avid bicycle fan and we HAVE to see part of the Tour de France while we are there. The Tour will be starting in Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux on Saturday, July 14th, which is also Bastille Day, and also likely the day we have to check out of our Provence rental. We are looking around Saint-Remy for our first rental. We have visited Saint Remy on a daytrip (last trip without kids stayed in Avignon, Arles & Aix) and we liked its vibe. Our next destination is the coast, somewhere between Saint-Tropez and Antibes maybe (last trip without kids stayed in Villefranche-sur-Mer and loved it but thought we would try a different area). Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux is about an hour north of Saint-Remy according to google maps. It is also about 3 hours from either Antibes or Saint-Tropez.
Does anyone know what time the Tour typically starts from a location? It's not on the Tour website yet and I'm not finding the answer by googling. I'm sure my husband would like to see the leaders but I don't know how spread out the rest of the riders are. How long should I expect to stay in Saint-Paul-T-C? Add to this that we'd love to see some fireworks, which I thought we could do in Avignon.
Would it be crazy to expect to be able to check out of our rental, drive an hour to S-P-T-C, then I don't even know what! I'd be willing to check into a hotel in Avignon for 1 night, but that could cause problems with our coastal rental, if we have to check in on Saturday. I really don't want to do a lot of moving around.
I guess another solution is to stay in Saint-Remy for 2 weeks and the coast for 1 week. That would solve our Saturday problem, but I'm really looking forward to time on the coast.
I'm sorry, I feel like this post is vague and maybe it's not even clear what my question is. I'm sort of trying to think out loud. Does anyone have any suggestions for me?
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Saturday check out, Tour de France & Bastille Day; near Saint-Remy