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2 Weeks in France-From Provence to Where? Need Itinerary Help

2 Weeks in France-From Provence to Where? Need Itinerary Help

Jan 10th, 2011, 02:42 PM
  #1  
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2 Weeks in France-From Provence to Where? Need Itinerary Help

We are flying with our 3 kids to Nice in early June and from there heading to Provence. We will spend 4 nights in Provence, then we were thinking of two nights in Carcassonne, and then to Barcelona. The problem I've encountered is that coming back from Barcelona on the train takes close to 7 hours just to get to Nimes (vs. 3.5 hours by car to Nimes). Also, the Sunday we would be heading back into France is Pentecost Sunday and from my understanding, a lot of things are closed (would like to rent a car, but the only available car rentals seem to be available at the airports). Should we skip Carcassonne and Barcelona and head elsewhere? Where to? After our stay in Provence, we have 7 nights to stay elsewhere (leaving one night to stay in Nice before the flight home). Other ideas have included Provence to Paris or Provence to Geneva then Milan then Nice. Help!!!!
3llamamama is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 03:44 PM
  #2  
 
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When we make this trip we train from Barcelona to Perpignan, or vice versa. There are car rental offices at or near the Perpignan station (including Hertz and Avis), although I have no idea how the holiday may affect availability.

Your itinerary is confusing - perhaps you could end in Barcelona? It's no problem and not much more cost (sometimes less) to fly "open jaw" into one airport and out of another.
Alan_CT is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 03:47 PM
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Why on earth do you want to spend so much time in the car and on trains with 3 kids?????. Shrink your area of travel. Rent a gite (house) in Provence with a pool, and just stay there the entire time. If you feel that you must touch some other areas, try the French Alps north of Nice & east of Provence, or stay on the Cote d'Azur.

Stu Dudley
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Jan 10th, 2011, 04:44 PM
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I am with StuDudley- there's tons to explore in Provence and the Languedoc. Some don't misses on my list are: Les Baux, Isle sur la Sorgue (great market day, canals), St. Remy, Uzes (another great market town), the Pont du Gard, plus the beaches. Stay in France and have fun!
cegtook is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 05:34 PM
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Not a good plan. First, Nice is IN Provence, so not sure where you are planning to travel outside Nice - the Bouches-du-Rhône? Lubéron? Second, sounds hellish with 3 kids in tow - all that driving and time on trains. Third, two nights in Carcassonne is two too many.

I would divide the time between the Côte d'Azur and the Bouches-du-Rhône and rent apartments or gites in each.
StCirq is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 05:37 PM
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Get a gite, car and have a great holiday..Provence has it all..Roman ruins, bull rings, kayaking under Pont du Gard, Medieval villages (Carcassonne)find out when the festival is in Avignon(great fun for kids and adults) August I think..stone borries (sp)(ancient farmer houses) Oh so much... Try to get a multi city ticket and go to one spot and exit another. Barcelona, Provence, Geneva??? You failed to say how long you would have(need a month for what you mention, at least) and how old are the kids??? Cordes sur Ceil has a wonderful Medieval Festival in the summer and the kids can try their hand at activities that are availale.. BUT get your times arranged quickly. We rented a car at Marseille airport last spring and did the Plus Beau villages.. Oh to do it again...By the way there is are great sites to find what you need.
amer_can is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 05:40 PM
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Sorry, I missed the mention of June.. but Provence tourism will tell you what's going on.
amer_can is offline  
Jan 11th, 2011, 05:02 AM
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Ditto on more time in Provence. We spent a week with our daughter (I think she was about 8 then) and had a ball. Check out the Haribo candy factory, go canoeing on the river, the market in St. Remy (and don't miss the fabulous chocolates there). We took a day trip to Cassis which was great fun but if you are spending time in Nice that might be redundant.
lynnalan is offline  
Jan 11th, 2011, 01:56 PM
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Thank you for all the fantastic feedback. Our kids are actually quite patient in the car (we did a 20 hour road trip from Chicago to Texas this past summer, though I would not want to do that again!) They are 8,6,and 4. We took them to London & Wales a year and a half ago and they did just fine on the trains and driving.
We have rented a gite for 4 nights in Provence. We fly in and out of Nice. What about a night in Carcassonne and then some time in the Dordogne region? My final concern is that I don't speak French (Spanish and English only). Is this going to be a problem? Thanks for all your great advice!
3llamamama is offline  
Jan 11th, 2011, 03:39 PM
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Provence, Carcassonne (1 night & 1/4 day), then the Dordogne would be fine for 2 weeks.

Stu Dudley
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Jan 11th, 2011, 04:26 PM
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French would be very handy but you can get by with alot of gestures, common words and rather easily findiing someone who can get by in English as your level of getting by in French..
amer_can is offline  
Jan 11th, 2011, 04:46 PM
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Hi; What are your travel dates? It would be good if we knew where you have a gite rented and what four nights that includes. I think your kids would love a night in Carcassonne. As others have said, you could easily spend the whole vacation in Provence. But everyone could use a bit more specfic information. Here is a little information. www.beyond.fr http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/provence
iris1745 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2011, 05:07 PM
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Stay in Provence! So much to see and your kids will remember it more fondly than long drives from country to country.
flygirl is offline  
Jan 11th, 2011, 07:10 PM
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Either staying in Provence or the Provence-Dordogne combination sounds lovely. We have not returned to the Dordogne since our kids arrived, but I have always thought it would be a great area for a family vacation. I am among those who enjoyed Carcassonne as well, so I would not discourage a night there.
Barbara_in_FL is offline  
Jan 12th, 2011, 05:20 AM
  #15  
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So I have finally narrowed it down (thanks for all the recommendations to do so). In Provence we are staying near Avignon, so we will cover a lot in that area in 4 days. So the question is: Barcelona, Carcassonne, then back to Nice or explore the Dordogne area then back to Nice? If Dordogne, what is a good base for seeing Lascaux, Sarlat, Rocamadour, etc.? Thanks in advance!
3llamamama is offline  
Jan 12th, 2011, 06:55 AM
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If you want a castle, consider this one right in Provence near Avignon. http://www.chateau-baux-provence.com/en/baux/
laurie_ann is offline  
Jan 12th, 2011, 07:10 AM
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Can you change your tickets to fly out of Barcelona? That would cut the travel time a lot. Or if you decide on the Dordogne, fly out of Bordeaux.

I'm not quite clear on how much time you have? 11 days total? That's not much for all the areas you want to visit.

As for renting a car, which you will want in Provence and the Dordogne, you can rent them at many places other than an airport. Train stations and in town. Check out Autoeurope's website. AE is a broker so has access to many rental companies.
Mimar is offline  
Jan 12th, 2011, 07:18 AM
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>>So the question is: Barcelona, Carcassonne, then back to Nice or explore the Dordogne area then back to Nice?<<

Provence/Carcassonne/Rocamadour/Dordogne. Carcassonne and Rocamadour are directly or almost directly (Rocamadour) on the route between the Dordogne & Nice. Hit one on the way to the Dordogne, and the other one on the way back.

>> If Dordogne, what is a good base for seeing Lascaux, Sarlat, Rocamadour, etc.? Thanks in advance<<

Sarlat - if you like to stay in cities.

Stu Dudley
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