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7 nights in early July French Riviera or Portugal?

7 nights in early July French Riviera or Portugal?

Feb 13th, 2010, 06:00 AM
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7 nights in early July French Riviera or Portugal?

Our 28 year old daughter who is currently living in Ireland asked us to visit Southern France or Portugal for our 1 week summer vacation which we always take over July 4th week. She plans on visiting us while we are there as her goal is to see as much of Europe as possible during her planned 2 year stay in Dublin. We don't know anything about either place but here is what we enjoy during our summer: Beaches and warm weather. Fine dining and wine. We don't mind spending money on a 4-5 star hotel as long as the pricing is not outrageous. We also enjoy learning the history of the places we visit. None of us speak a foreign language so it will be a challenge to stay anywhere where English is not spoken. Thank you for your help!
joanl is offline  
Feb 13th, 2010, 06:09 AM
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Both places attract large numbers of English-speaking tourists, language will not be a problem. The Riviera is likely to be rather full of English-speaking (and other) tourists in July, as is the Algarve, if you are going to Portugal for the southern beaches.

I would recommend borrowing some guide books from your library (or hanging out at your local Barnes and Noble with a cup of coffee) and reading up on both places to help you decide. You could start with the glossy guides with lots of picture - Insight and Eyewitness, for instance.
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 13th, 2010, 06:40 AM
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Thank you for the suggestion on the guide books. I think I'll take a drive to the bookstore today as we have had a few feet of snow this week and expect more on Monday! Dreaming about our next beach vacation will be a welcome treat.
joanl is offline  
Feb 17th, 2010, 03:37 AM
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If I had the option, I'd reflect during a half a second... and then chose French Riviera.
lobo_mau is offline  
Feb 17th, 2010, 04:45 AM
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Not fair- Lobo gets to spend the rest of the year in Portugal, so it isn't a real decision for him.

Both are great destinations. Portugal is less expensive. Food and cultures are very different.

No wrong answer here.
Nikki is online now  
Feb 17th, 2010, 05:54 AM
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Fair enough.
I spent one day in Grasse (capital city of parfume industry) with family and loved it.
Saint Tropez, Nice and Cannes have a cosmopolitan flavour Portugal can not match.
Not far is Monte Carlo (Monaco) and San Remo (Italy). Other parts of Italy (Piemonte) and Switzerland are within a few miles.
lobo_mau is offline  
Feb 17th, 2010, 06:13 AM
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Another vote for the Cote d'Azur - for me one of the most beautiful regions on earth.

Click on Miramar Beach Hotel (which is not in Cannes but in Théoule-sur-Mer):

Echnaton is offline  
Feb 17th, 2010, 06:24 AM
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You're looking for beaches, good food and wine and not interested in sightseeing? I'd vote for the French Riviera. I've only been to the central part of Portugal and the food there was wonderful but French food is better.

If headed to the French Riviera and you want sand beaches then choose your location carefully as not all towns have sand beaches; most have rock beaches although the rocks are worn smooth.

In the event you move off the beaches and want to do some sightseeing the FR has more to offer, the landscape is lusher, and the towns are prettier.
adrienne is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2010, 02:13 PM
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Sounds like French Riviera is the winner here. Our daughter is only staying a few days which leaves me and hubby alone for 3 nights. Does anyone think that is enough time to spend in Bordeaux and tour some wine country or should we stay put in Nice or Marseilles for the entire 7 nights?

Also thanks for the beach information. Which towns have the better beaches? Thanks!
joanl is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 10:07 AM
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Get A Karen Brown book on Portugal...we have done the Algarve several times, and you need to book ahead, but I like the beaches there so much better than France...and, if you have a car, you can take little side trips out into some of the cute little mountain towns about, and still be home by supper time. The Riveria is just too damged crowded and commercial, in my opinion. Also, lots of English spoken in Portugal...in France they wanna hear French...the very idea!!!
clarasong is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 03:05 PM
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In terms of value for money: Portugal
There is something about the welcoming nature of the Portuguese that is difficult to match & their food and wine should not be under-estimated.
algarve_holidayer is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 03:48 AM
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Nuno - this sounds like advertising to me, which isnt allowed. I will report this.
jamikins is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 04:24 AM
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I don't know Portugal at all, but have been to the French Riveria many times. I think what's great about the Riveria is that you can easily access many towns/cities along the coast and in Italy/Switzerland without needing a car. And that can be a real plus in July when the summer crowds arrive and parking becomes difficult and expensive.

I prefer Nice to Cannes because I find it more welcoming and less pretentious, but there's no doubt that Cannes has the better beach. An even nicer beach spot is Juan-les- Pins, a resort town that is very close to Cannes.
Weadles is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 05:40 AM
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Portugal is much cheaper but if money is no object go for the Riviera. This said, I would put the Languedoc area above both of them (my favourite part of France, thus far). If you go for Portugal I would choose Lagos.
Good luck.
stevelyon is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 06:44 AM
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I like Portugal and in fact we are going again in September but if it were just up to me I would go to the French Riviera every year.
Micheline is offline  
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