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Calanques or Nice Corniche?

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Nov 19th, 2013, 11:13 AM
  #1
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Calanques or Nice Corniche?

I am planning a trip to France, including Provence. I'm staying a couple of nights in Cassis and plan to do a boat ride of the Calanques. I was also considering adding a couple of days in Nice. I'm not a big city fan, but I've always seen photos of the views from the Grand Corniche that look spectacular. So my question is: are the Calanques just as spectacular from a scenery point of view? In that case, I would probably skip Nice.
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Nov 19th, 2013, 11:46 AM
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They aren't the same thing at all, so you can't really compare. Calanques are white (due to limestone, I believe) steep valleys in the inlets or small coves. This is a calanque http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Calanques2.jpg

The Grande Corniche is a road along the sea, high up, so the view is of the sea, the opposite of the view of the calanques (which you'd be in a boat looking at the limestone valley or small coves).

So I just don't think they have much to do with each other and you can't compare them any more than comparing a view of the ocean to a view of a mountain.
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Nov 19th, 2013, 12:10 PM
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You are not a big city fan. Are you outdoor type? Fit enough to hike? Then try hiking on calanques starting at Cassis. Port-Pins and En-Vaux.
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Nov 19th, 2013, 12:51 PM
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Oh yes, I plan to hike as well as do the boat, although I have read that at that time the trails could be closed due to fire risk (going end of June).
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Nov 19th, 2013, 02:35 PM
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Having been to both Nice and Cassis...I think you could find everything you are seeking in and near Cassis. The scenery is stunning...the town very charming and hopefully a bit low key still in June. Nice and surrounding area is beautiful too but quite a distance from Cassis. You don't indicate where else you are going but if including Paris or other bigger cities I think you will welcome the calm and very manageable Cassis.
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Nov 19th, 2013, 02:45 PM
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We're starting in Paris for 3 or 4 days (I know, I know, not enough), then train-ing to Avignon, getting a car and 4 or 5 days around the Luberon. I wanted to finish on the coast, so my husband the artist could see the light and the water.
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Nov 19th, 2013, 03:53 PM
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nattyrk

We are planning a trip not too different from yours. I'm also wondering about the coastal portions, but we have an interest in seeing art itself. I think we'll end up closer to Nice due to the amount of museums and galleries in the area.

Are you going to stay in Avignon at all? I think we will train right from CDG to Avignon. That's as much of the plan that we are sure of. We will end in Paris.
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Nov 20th, 2013, 10:52 AM
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We are going to Paris first and get rid of jet lag there, before doing the driving part of the trip. Don't know if you are coming from outside Europe, but if so, you might appreciate a first night's rest in Avignon before driving. We are not staying in Avignon, but might stay one night in Arles, mostly to follow in Van Gogh's footsteps.
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Nov 20th, 2013, 03:06 PM
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That is the plan: to rest in Avignon for a couple of nights before driving.

I thought of maybe doing a daytrip from Avignon to Arles, which seems pretty easy by train.

I have heard of doing the footsteps of Van Gogh thing, and considered it, but with not enough time to do everything I think we will be concentrating on the historic sites around Avignon, Arles and Pont du Gard then moving into the Luberon, then the Cote d'Azur. We will probably take the TGV from Nice to Paris in order to end the trip there. I wish we could squeeze out a couple of extra nights in Paris, but we may be limited to two.

We have been several times in the past 10 years, and now I'm pushing us so that we can see more of France. We have certainly liked the places we've been.
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Nov 20th, 2013, 05:26 PM
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The Upper Corniche is a fabulous drive, but it leads from Nice over to Monte Carlo with a must-see stop in the tiny village/hamlet of Eze. You then continue through La Turbie before winding down to Monaco. Easy day trip from Nice. We were only as far west as St. Tropez and up to Fragonard-- someday to explore Provence.....
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Nov 21st, 2013, 06:01 AM
  #11
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Is there much traffic on the Grand Corniche (in June)? If I do that drive, I'd like to be able to enjoy it.
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Nov 21st, 2013, 07:13 AM
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June is still fairly low season. But I have driven there in July, and that was not a problem either.
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Nov 21st, 2013, 10:42 AM
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> although I have read that at that time the trails could be closed due to fire risk (going end of June)

I have walked to En-Vaux in summer so I don't think it closes completely. June should still be mostly open, it is really July and August.

Check the following site:
http://jet.sms.sfr-sh.fr/cdt13/CDT13info.html
Today : all orange = you can walk all day
Red : you can enter before 11h00
Black: closed all day

In dry and hot summer day (jul & Aug) it can often be Red. When it's too windy and too dry, can be black.

One summer I was once stopped at the gate for Port-Pin & En-Vaux when I got there in the afternoon ( red day ). So I went back a bit earlier next day.
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Nov 21st, 2013, 05:44 PM
  #14
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Thanks for all the tips!
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