Best places to see in South of France?

Jan 28th, 2005, 07:21 AM
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Best places to see in South of France?

My husband and I will be travelling to Nice in May, staying only 4 days. We would love to experience a few of some really beautiful towns in the area. Can anyone suggest some towns to see, that we could get to by train? Would it be too far to visit St.Remy as a day trip, if we rented a car?
fille26 is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 07:39 AM
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I'm pretty sure Cannes is a short train ride away, and I remember taking a bus to Monte Carlo for a lovely day trip.
deli116 is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 07:58 AM
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No need to leave the Cote d'Azur if you will only be there for 4 days. There are plenty of small cute villages and very scenic drives in the Nice Hinterland, and also west around Fayence & Cotignac. Also, several nice villages near St Tropez - Ramatuelle, Gassin, Bormes.

E-mail me at [email protected] & I'll send you my 20+ page itinerary that describes scenic routes to take to tour all these villages.

You will need a car. Trains will get you to the big cities, but not the small cute villages. For only 4 days, you don't want your schedule to be dictated by train or bus schedules if you wnat to see a lot of stuff. If you only want to lay on the beach & visit Cannes, Monte Carlo, etc then trains are fine.

Stu Dudley
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Jan 28th, 2005, 08:05 AM
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St Remy is not, logistically, too far - but practically, it is. As Stu says, better to stay in the area.
I don't know when in May you are going, but beware that the Monaco F1 Grand Prix takes place in Monte Carlo on the weekend of May 22nd. The area will be very full. If your dates do clash, why not go along and have an experience of a lifetime?
AR is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 08:11 AM
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A scenic day trip is on the Train des Pignes, from Nice to Digne les Bains. We found Digne a good town to walk around, have lunch at a cafè and return to Nice.
mr_milione_miglia is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 08:29 AM
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Thanks for everyone's suggestions. We will be there May 21-25th..and were trying to decide if we should go to Monaco for the Grand Prix to experience it..or just avoid it all together? We definitely want to hit Cannes on the 22 for the last day of the film festival. Any recommendations re: grand prix?
fille26 is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 10:24 AM
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fille26:We will be there then as well, my husband is fervently hoping for a glimpse of Ashley Judd at the Grand Prix. It's totally a coincidence since we don't follow car racing, it should be great people watching since the Cannes film festival will have just ended as well. I have found Stu's travelogue to be very helpful in planning day trips. Good luck!
suehoff is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 10:30 AM
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Since you will be down in Nice on the Cote D'Azur, I would recommend taking a bus from the Place Massena up the hill to La Turbie. It is an old, charming town overlooking the French Riviera (you can see the Italian coastline!) with Julius Caesar's huge trophy ("turbie) monument built by his armies to commemorate his victories over the Gauls and Ligurian area tribes. Dante, Napoleon, and others have passed through this town as well. I totally loved it and stayed there 2 days!

If you are venturing as far north as St. Remy, you might want to extend it to see Orange (where William and Mary and the 'House of Orange' originated)and also Vaison-la-Romaine (town has both a Medieval and Roman side, with an ancient Roman bridge connecting the two areas of the town). Both are wonderful places with lots of history and charm. I accessed the towns from Avignon and Arles, via train and bus options. However, if you are going to rent a car to go to St. Remy, you might add a day or two to include seeing those other towns.
Huitres is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 10:40 AM
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I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned Eze, just outside of France. Take the bus to Eze Village, rather than the train which lets you off below the very high perched village above, unless you love to climb. Also you can get a bus to beautiful St. Paul/Vence.
Trains are quick and easy to Antibes, Cannes, and Monte Carlo.
Patrick is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 12:37 PM
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Let me suggest Nimes, lots of wonderful Roman ruins including the famous Pont du Gard aquaduct, the Maison Carree, and the Arene (arena). Fine coloseum, too, in Arles.
USNR is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 08:37 PM
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If you enjoy art, drive up to St.Paul de Vence as there is a wonderful art museum there(Maeght Foundation) and the town square is lovely with shops, restaurants and people playing boule.
Also, Chagall's chapel in Vence is special, also. We loved visiting the Picasso Museum in Antibes and enjoyed an outdoor market there. Mougins is another small charming town. You will enjoy this special area of France. Have fun!
elyse is offline  
Jan 29th, 2005, 12:30 AM
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Suehoff - Sorry, but you shouldn't expect to see Ashley Judd at the Monaco F1 GP? She's married to Scotsman Dario Franchitti who races Indy in the US and not F1!
Fille26 - There are plenty of websites that offer tickets to the GP. As you're already staying in the area (which is the difficult part for people wanting to go to the GP) then just go for the day on Sunday. Try websites such as
The Monaco GP is different to every other event on the calendar because it takes place on the Thurs/Sat/Sun and not the Friday. I believe that this was to allow the drivers to recover from the Thursday night party in the old days (and when you consider drivers like Moss and Hawthorn, you know why!!).
AR is offline  
Jan 29th, 2005, 04:06 AM
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Vence is one of my favorite towns anywhere and it's very close to Nice. I had a car but I know people do the trip easily by bus (I don't think the train goes there).
isabel is offline  

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