8 nights in Provence & the Cote d'Azur

Old Oct 28th, 2008, 06:48 AM
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8 nights in Provence & the Cote d'Azur

Hi,

I'm working on an itinerary of 08 nights in Provence & the Cote d'Azur. I won't count on a car but on trains and I was wondering if basing in Marseille in order to visit Arles, Aix-en-Provence and St. Remy is a good idea as well as basing in Nice in order to visit Monaco, St. Tropez and Cannes. By the way, how can you visit St. Tropez with public transportation from Nice?

I wish could base in just one place for the entire 08 nights in order to visit all of those places, but, considering I won't have a car, it seems kind of hard, doesn't it?

Thanks.
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 08:36 AM
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Too bad you won't have a car - visiting the scenic countryside and small villages in both Provence and "backcountry" on the Cote is difficult.

Don't base in Marseille - stay in Avignon instead. It is much more interesting than Marseille, IMO. I think there are more transportation options from Avignon than from Arles or Aix, and certainly more than St Remy.

I would base in Nice for the same reasons I would base in Avignon - more to do & see there & better transportation options. I've never tried it, but others have taken a train from Nice to Cannes, and from there a ferry to St Tropez.

Stu Dudley

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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 08:42 AM
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In Avignon, the buses and the train station are next to eachother(the TGV has another location) I used the buses and trains for day trips.
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 09:37 AM
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Hi again,

Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do about the car.

Nice certainly seems like the perfect base for the Cote d'Azur, but I still have my doubts in Provence. I wouldn't mind taking the bus seems trains don't seem to be good in that area in terms of day trips.

Aix, Arles and St. Remy along with Nice, St. Tropez and Monaco are my priorities.

Thanks again.
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 09:52 AM
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What are your doubts about Provence? Personally, I prefer Avignon to Arles - it's larger and has more "stuff". For 4 days without a car, I would want to stay in an area with the most attactions/cafes/restaurants so I'll have something to do while waiting for a bus or train, and in the evenings.

I think getting to the Sunday morning market in l'Isle sur la Sorgue by train is do-able from Avignon, but difficult from Arles.

Stu Dudley
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 10:53 AM
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there is the train from Avignon to get to La-Sorgue and next to the station there is a wonderful restaurant Jardin du Quai.
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 11:23 AM
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My doubts about Provence concern where to base. Avignon seems to be a good base, though. Are there any tour operators that offer day tours around Avignon?

I visited Nice in 2006 and visited Mougin, Valbonne, Grasse, Gourdon, Tourettes sur Loup and St. Paul de Vence in a day with a tour operator. I loved all of those places. However, I'd like to go back to Nice to visit other places I didn't have a chance to visit back then.
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 12:22 PM
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There was at one time the Leiutard(sp?) tour but they stopped unfortunstely unless their back in operation. I'll post if I find anything. They were great, everyday they took you to three places and left you off for an hour or so for lunch,
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 12:52 PM
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sorry, it looks like they are no longer operating in Avignon,
Les Cars Lieutard.
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 02:29 PM
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The thing is this: I'm planning to visit Barcelona, Provence and Cote d'Azur and finally Genoa.

I was checking train schedules on www.voyages-sncf.com and there's a service between Barcelona and Avignon, so I could spend 7 nights in Barcelona, 4 nights Avignon, 4 nights in Nice and 6 nights in Genoa.

How does that sound?
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 03:12 PM
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I've driven through Genoa a number of times & changed trains there once. But never found a reason to spend a lot of time there instead of time in Florence, Venice, Siena, Perugia, or Rome. I would stay on the train past Genoa and spend the time in Florence or Siena.

I think there is more stuff to do in the Nice area than in the Genoa region. From Nice you can take several train trips into the Alps for the day & visit cute & interesting villages along the way.

I think if you only spend 4 nights in Avignon & 4 in Nice without a car - you'll leave wishing you had stayed longer. I would also stay overnight in Aix on the way from Avignon to Nice. Just don't spend a Sun or Mon there when most shops will be closed.

Stu Dudley
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 03:46 PM
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I've already been to Turin, Milan, Lake Como, Lake Orta, Venice, Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, Perugia, Assisi, Rome, Naples, Capri, the Amalfi Coast and Sicily.

I'd like to visit Genoa, Portofino and Cinque Terre. My initial plan was to spenda week in Barcelona, a week in Nice and a week in Liguria, but I kept wondering about the area about Aix-en-Provence.

Somehow, I think that I should stick to that original Barcelona, Nice and Genoa plan and leave Aix-en-Provence & around for another trip. I gree with you, Stu when you say that 4 nights in each Avignon and Nice will leave me wanting more because when I visited Nice in 2006 I did leave feeling like that (I stayed for 03 nights). Perhaps, I should rethink where to base in Liguria. I'd thought of Portofino but is out of my budget. I'd been reading about Genoa and while it look like Rome, Florence and Venice in terms of beauty and sights, it seems to be interesting and out of the beaten path.

Would you do the Barcelona, Nice & Liguria plan?

Where would you base in Liguria?
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 04:42 PM
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Hi Castellanese,

Just a couple of comments--Stu has given you great advice. If I were doing your trip, I think I would base myself in Nice for the 8 nights and focus on Provence for a later trip.

You can range fairly far afield from Nice--along the coast in either direction on a good local train service and up to the hill towns by bus and I believe a small train, although I've not used it.

When you do go to Provence, either Avignon or Aix would be a good base due to transportation options without a car.
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 05:03 PM
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Why are you aprehensive about Provence?? My wife & I spend 2 months traveling in Europe every year (mainly France & Italy - we've been to Barcelona too), and we return to Provence the most - with a car, however. It may be the most popular destination in France (outside of Paris) along with the Cote, so there has got to be lots of public transportaton options to take you to the Luberon, St Remy & Les Baux, Pont du Gard & Uzes, Gorge de l'Ardeche, Vaison, Rhone winegrowing region, plus fast/easy train to Arles, Nimes, Montpellier (that's where the non-stop from Barcelona terminates), Orange, and even Lyon (only 1 hr away by TGV).

I think you would get bored with Potofino after about 3/4 of a day. I would just stick to Barcelona, Provence, and the Cote - departing from Nice.

Stu Dudley
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Old Oct 29th, 2008, 04:51 AM
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Thanks Stu, Cigale and Cathinjoe.

I'm leaning towards Barcelona, Nice & Liguria.

I agree that if I do Nice & Avignon along with Barcelona & Liguria, I'll leave wanting more and a bit exhausted from all the daytripping and moving. Besides, I want to take it easy and not move around that much.

I need to find a good place to base in Liguria, though. Perhaps, Santa Margherita Ligure or Camogli in order to visit Genoa, Portofino & Cinque Terre.

Thanks again for all your help!
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Old Oct 29th, 2008, 07:15 AM
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Sounds like a good plan but then I'm biased because I hate to move base a lot.

There's much to keep you occupied in Nice and environs. Did you say when you're leaving?
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Old Oct 29th, 2008, 11:08 AM
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I'm planning to do this trip next year's spring, so I still have a lot of time.
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Old Oct 29th, 2008, 04:49 PM
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