1 night on the Côte d'Azur

Jul 11th, 2014, 02:47 PM
  #1  
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1 night on the Côte d'Azur

Our family (2 adults, 2 children; ages 10 & 8) will spend a week in Provence based in Saint-Rémy. After the week, we will be flying out of Nice to our next destination. We are currently discussing shortening the Saint-Rémy stay by one night in order to experience a little taste of the Côte d'Azur. If we do this, we would be interested in spending some time at a family friendly beach, swimming in the Mediterranean and possibly a small amount of exploring of a typical seaside town. We will have a car, and our plan would be to leave Saint-Rémy early Monday. Our flight from Nice departs at 6pm Tuesday. Any suggestions as to an itinerary to accomplish the above including suggestions for a place to spend Monday night? We do not need luxury, and I am willing to spend up to 220 Euro ($300 USD) for lodging for the night. We will have all of our luggage with us, so I am also concerned about what to do with it if we leave our car prior to stopping at a hotel). Another option could be to stay the extra night in Saint-Rémy and do the beach trip in a single day. (Leave Saint-Rémy early Tuesday hit the beach / explore before flying out of Nice that evening). Even though we will be traveling during the week, it will be in early August, so traffic and crowds need to be factored in.

Thanks.
edg1 is offline  
Jul 11th, 2014, 03:20 PM
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It's 2 1/2 hrs from St Remy to Nice in August, and you'll consume about 3/4 of an hour navigating the Nice airport area, getting lost once, and returning the car. You should get to the airport 2 hrs before the flight if your final destination is non-EU. That's about 5 to 5 1/2 hrs of lost time. If you try to do all your traveling & beach stuff on Tuesday, you have virtually no time for the beach. That has a little "overhead" & complications too. We just got back from 2 weeks in Nice & 2 weeks in Provence. We've spent 40 weeks total in these regions.

A one-nighter on the Cote has some complications also - parking, traffic, difficulty getting reservations, getting to Nice if you visit somewhere outside of Nice.

If this was my trip, I would visit Cassis as a day-trip from St Remy.

Stu Dudley
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Jul 11th, 2014, 06:56 PM
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Thanks Stu. Your points make sense. Is Cassis a nice family oriented beach town to spend a day and get a flavor for the Mediterranean? We live at the beach, so it is not as much about having to spend a full day of beach time as much as wanting to experience the difference from back home.

We are flying within the EU which buys us a little more time before needing to arrive at the airport, but I agree trying to do it in a single day leaving from Saint-Rémy appears to be a little tight. I do see some hotel availability along the Cote in Antibes (Juan-les-Pines) as well as some other towns. If we decide to spend a night, is there an area along the Cote that is better suited for families than other areas?

Thanks
edg1 is offline  
Jul 11th, 2014, 09:18 PM
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Cassis is a good choice. I'm not sure what "family oriented" is - no topless???? There are "families" everywhere in August. Juan les Pins is nice - but I would just do a day-trip to Cassis sometime during your last few days in St Remy - if you wake up in the morning, the weather is nice, and you feel like going to the beach. Cassis is pretty "typical" - nice port with restaurants, sandy beach, shopping. The Riviera can get VERY congested in August. We've spent about 5-6 weeks in Nice and 5 weeks in St Tropez in June & Sept and even then - there was bumper-to-bumper traffic at times getting to the beaches. Parking is difficult in Nice. We parked in an underground garage for a full week when we were there the first two weeks in June this year. The garage was about 5-6 blocks from the beach - and there really weren't many/any places closer that you could just park the car.

I've lived within 30-40 minute/or directly on the beach (Laguna Beach) in Calif for all of my 67 years.

Stu Dudley
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Jul 12th, 2014, 08:27 AM
  #5  
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By family oriented, I mean are there readily available facilities (bathrooms), kid-friendly eating options, safe swimming areas, etc.? It sounds like Cassis might provide what we are looking for.

We are also in California, just a little bit up the coast (South Bay - LA).

Thanks again for the advice.
edg1 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2014, 09:26 AM
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I was raised in San Gabriel, and lived in Laguna Beach after I got married. Now we're up just south of San Francisco.

Cassis has what you need - so does Juan les Pins. However, Cassis is only 1 1/2 hrs away from St Remy - so you don't have to revise any hotel stuff.

I just made revisions to my Provence/Cote d'Azur itinerary. See the post I did on Fodors about 15 mins ago.

Stu Dudley
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Jul 12th, 2014, 09:28 AM
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I was raised in San Gabriel, and lived in Laguna Beach after I got married. Now we're up just south of San Francisco.

Cassis has what you need - so does Juan les Pins. However, Cassis is only 1 1/2 hrs away from St Remy - so you don't have to revise any hotel stuff.

I just made revisions to my Provence/Cote d'Azur itinerary. See the post I did on Fodors about 15 mins ago.

Stu Dudley
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Jul 12th, 2014, 09:30 AM
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I would recommend Nice as the place to go. Once you are there, the local commuter train line and the coastal bus line can get you anywhere else on the Côte d'Azur rapidly.
kerouac is online now  
Jul 12th, 2014, 10:08 AM
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If this were me, I would want to be in Nice, very close to the airport.

You may have time to visit one or two medieval villages on travel day to Nice.

Turn the car in in Nice proper and take public transportation to the airport.

Next day, view the old town in the early morning and spend some time on the beach.

Leave for the airport perhaps at 2:30pm.

You can look for family rooms on this site. booking.com/nice

P.S. Yes, I have asked Stu to send me an updated copy for next year.
iris1745 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2014, 10:53 AM
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Southern Calif has all sandy beaches. The beach at Nice has stones - about 2 1/2" X 2" & about 5/8" flat. I have one in front of me right now.

Here is something I wrote for my 31 page itinerary:

A Day at the Beach in Nice
Nice's beach is much maligned because it has flat/smooth rocks instead of soft while sand. In addition to Nice, we've spent "time on the beach" in Cannes, Juan les Pins, and Pampelonne near St Tropez - all of these latter places have sandy beaches. Except for Pampelonne, I prefer Nice's beach over the others. The huge Baie des Anges in Nice has a mix of private and public sections of the long beach. Starting at the eastern end, there is usually 100 meters of public section , followed by 75 meters of private section, followed by 100 meters of public, followed by 75 meters of private, etc. The private beach sections diminish as you get farther west. I would never consider throwing my towel over the rocks at one of the public beaches and spending the day there - but the private beaches are "something else" - quite decadent. When you are on the Blvd des Anglais and walk by a private beach, there is a "marquis" that indicates the name of the beach (Ruhl Plage, Blue Beach, Beau Rivage, etc), the "rating" of the private beach section (3-5 stars - just like hotels), the prices of various "amenities", and the menu for lunch or dinner. We always seem to end up at Blue Beach. The price of entrance (in '14) and a matelas (chaise lounge) with side table is 16E for all or part of a day. An optional parasol is 5E, and if you need a towel it's 4E. The "sunning" area is covered by grass matting or wooden boards that you walk on. There is a shaded restaurant in back of the sunning area where you can have drinks or a nice lunch. Tucked back underneath the sidewalk there is a bar, kitchen, changing rooms, showers, toilets, etc. Waiters stroll around in the sunning area and will bring you drinks or lunch. I usually arrive at Blue Beach around 10 (early for most guests) and walk down the stairs, pay for my matelas & parasol, and make a reservation for lunch at 12:00 (early for France beach lunches). A waiter will then escort me to my chaise lounge - but I sometimes redirect him if I don't like the location. Lunch is usually pink wine, salad for a first course, and some kind of fish. After lunch it's a snooze on the chaise lounge.


Stu Dudley
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Jul 12th, 2014, 11:07 AM
  #11  
 
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And that's why the bus can be taken to a real beach in just a few minutes.
kerouac is online now  
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