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Southern France Itinerary (Yet another one)

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First of all, I've been to the South of France (pretty much all over) a number of times, sometimes spending as much as 6 to 8 weeks there. But my husband has never been there, and we are limited to just a little over two weeks. When we stayed in Siena for a week and explored Tuscany by car during the day, that was fine, but seemed we spent so much time driving every day, even though we enjoyed returning to the apartment near lots of restaurants every evening.

So here's the deal. We have our FF flights set -- PHL to Madrid to Nice, France and then a return from Barcelona to PHL 16 days (or rather 16 nights) later.

Here's the current plan. First four nights in Nice. We have free nights at the Hyatt Regency Palais de la Mediterranee. (Love the location and the project to turn the old Casino into this hotel fascinated me the last time I was in Nice) Plenty to do in Nice, with probably day trips by train to Monaco, maybe Cannes, Cap de Ferrat, perhaps Eze, etc. etc. Narrowing that all down will be a bit difficult.

On the day of departure from Nice, we'll pick up a car -- just a block from our hotel. We'll drive to Aix-en-Provence. Still deciding between the Aquabella and the Grand Hotel Roi Rene. Will probably stay three nights. Marseille as a day trip, Maybe do lunch at Saint Tropez on the way from Nice to Aix? Maybe St. Paul de Vence instead?

From there we're thinking of spending two nights in Gordes (Le Bastide de Gordes). From there we can spend the day between in Rousillon and Isle de Sorgue.

Next we'd spend two nights at Chateau des fines roches in the Chateuneuf du Pape area.
Seems like a nice relaxing place and we can spend the day doing wineries in the area. Perhaps we should spend much of the day between Gordes and the Chateau in Avignon?

Next we'd go to Lyon for three nights. Choosing between the Carlton Lyon and Hotel de Royal Lyon. Comments? While we will surely enjoy the countryside, we both really enjoy cities -- Lyon has always been a favorite of mine.

We will fly Easy Jet from Lyon to Barcelona where we'll spend our final two nights at Hotel 1898.

Our stays are really pretty close to each other. But we think that's good as we can explore places between them rather than always return to the same place each night. Stays at the Chateau and the Bastide des Gordes seem kind of luxurious for us -- and two nights would be plenty for either of them, but a nice break from more "commercial" hotels.

None of this (other than the flights, Nice, and Barcelona) are set in stone yet. Comoments? Suggestions?

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