Driving thru the South of France

Apr 14th, 2009, 10:26 AM
  #1  
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Driving thru the South of France

Hello Fodorites--i will be driving from Florence to Barcelona in mid June--the trip will take 4 days--any special sights--places to avoid- stops or warnings--are there plenty of roadside motels available-your tips and suggestions will be greatly appreciated--thank you very much
joewin is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 10:34 AM
  #2  
 
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For the Italy leg of your journey you can be in France in less than six hours on the autostrade, so if you don't want to stop in Italy, you don't have to.

If you do want to stop, be aware that if you are traveling on a weekend or holiday, and the weather is nice, you will find it almost impossible to get last-minute hotel reservations.

From Florence to beyond le Cinque Terre, you really should use the paid autostrade for traveling. However, once you reach Rapallo, if you want to take the coastal road to Nervi (before Genova) you can have lovely sea views -- but you should return to the autostrade at Nervi and avoid driving through Genova.

The seascape before reaching Genova is prettier than the seascape after Genova, but it is between Genova and the French border that you will find the most hotel rooms.

In Italy, it is always advisable to have a copy of the Michelin Red Guide to locate good places and sleep on the road. It is only in Italian, but you can figure out its symbols quickly.

Bear in mind that the Italian lunch hour is strict. You should leave the road by noon to find a lunch place, unless you are willing to eat at an AutoGrille, and they are not plentiful on the Italian Riviera.
zeppole is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 11:09 AM
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Instead of driving through, I would drive about half way to Barcelona, and spend 3 nights there. I'de stay in Provence - St Remy, Arles, Luberon, etc.

Stu Dudley
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Apr 14th, 2009, 01:36 PM
  #4  
ira
 
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Hi JW,

Good advice from Stu.

See the route at www.viamichelin.com.

You will be in Provence in about 6 hr.

ira is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 01:54 PM
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Europe doesn't have the kind of roadwide motels that we have in the U.S.; lodgings tend to be away from the main roads. In France, however, some of the large overcrossings on the autoroutes have small hotels, and there are occasional motel-style places as well. But don't count on it. You really do need to plan your overnight stops in advance, especially during the summer months. Try the viamichelin.com web site for recommendations and routes.
Underhill is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 02:10 PM
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>>large overcrossings on the autoroutes have small hotels<,

True, but neither Underhill nor I would advise that you "experience" France or Italy by staying in these freeway hotels.

Stu Dudley
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Apr 14th, 2009, 02:16 PM
  #7  
 
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Will this be in a rental car? If so, are you aware of the heft drop-off charges? Just something to consider if you haven't already.

I like the idea of doing the trip in just two legs, with a nice little stay in Provence along the way. I would also recommend that you stop in Collioure for a couple of hours at least, though it will be crowded that time of year - it's a very pretty town on the Med just north of the Spanish border.
StCirq is offline  
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