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french riviera

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Sep 21st, 2014, 05:44 AM
  #1
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french riviera

i am going with 2 girlfriends to the french riviera sept. of 2015 for 65th birthdays. i was there over 20 years ago with my husband and stayed in Cannes...we had a car. this trip, we do not have a car...might get a driver...but am debating whether to stay in Cannes or Nice. Have read pro and con.
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Sep 21st, 2014, 06:04 AM
  #2
 
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First of all, September is a good month. It is still warm and sunny, but the tourist hordes are gone by August 31. So, I would recommend to rent a car again. The Côte d'Azur has breathtakingly scenic drives to offer - both the Corniches to Monaco and the Corniche de l'Esterel to St. Raphael. Also, with a car you have the chance to drive into the hinterland and visit some picturesque mountain villages.

Where to stay?

- Nice is a quite big city. The beach is ugly. There are several good museums in town, but for many of them you need a car or a taxi. Within Nice, parking is expensive.

- Cannes is IMO an underrated city. The beach is beautiful and so is the row of traditional grand hotels. It is fun to walk along the beach, there is a yacht harbour and a nice old town. And you have a plethora of hotels to choose from. We like to go into the Majestic's bar and have a glass of champagne there (which is pricey, but comes with complimentary hors d'oevres). If you like such things, Cannes is the place to be.

- Antibes is strategically located between Nice and Cannes and may be a good alternative. It also has a port, an old town, the Picasso Museum (not one of the first rank art museums on the Côte) and several beaches. It is less posh than Cannes.

- My personal favourites are, however, the red rocks of the Esterel Coast. What about this one? http://miramar-beachspa.tiara-hotels.com/en/
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Sep 21st, 2014, 06:32 AM
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Traveller gave you a good summary. I prefer Nice but I am not a beach person. Nice's museums are reachable by city transport--we took the bus up to the Matisse museum, walked down to the Chagall museum then took a bus from there to near our hotel.

You do not really need a car, the bus and train links (very reasonable) take you along the coast and up to the hill towns. I'd certainly take a day trip to Cannes if you don't stay there, but you may also want to go to Vallauris (Picasso War and Peace mural), Vence (Matisse chapel), St. Paul de Vence, Grasse, Antibes, Eze, Monte Carlo (not my favorite)--many choices.

Whether you like beaches or not it's good fun to have lunch at one of the beach-level restaurants in Nice or Cannes, particularly Cannes.
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Sep 21st, 2014, 06:36 AM
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We have stayed in both Nice, at La Perouse, and also rented an apt. in Villefranche (about 15 min. east of Nice). Loved both.

Our first time in Nice we did not have a car, and walked everywhere in Nice. I did not find the beach ugly, loved the pedestrian areas, the museums, the Old Port, the ruins of Cimiez (about 20 min by bus). Nice has great train connections, so it would be pretty easy to visit other areas. Second time, we had a car, and an apt, so we drove further field...Monaco, Genoa, Antibes, Eze.

Haven't been to Cannes, so can't comment. Conicidentially, I'll be 65 next Sept. and am hoping for another trip to France.

Enjoy planning!
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Sep 21st, 2014, 08:22 AM
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Nice gets my vote. Have stayed there for the past three years. No need for a car, city transportation is easy and reliable. It is fun to visit the small hilltop villages without having to worry about parking or having wine at lunch. There is good bus service to Cannes and Antibes, both places you might enjoy visiting. You might consider a private tour for one day, I used this company this spring with two friends for a day trip and it was great.http://www.friend-in-france.com/home. Museums in Nice are wonderful, I love the Chagall in particular. Bus trips can be very scenic and just walking along the Promenade is a lot of fun. It is a relaxed city and people are very friendly and helpful.
Sharon
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Sep 21st, 2014, 08:26 AM
  #6
 
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Well I suppose it depends on what you want as far as Nice or Cannes. Cannes would be too chi-chi for me but maybe you would enjoy that. Look for hotels in both places and let that decide? And you are waaaay more adventurous than I am to rent a car at 65 (I'm 61 and have never wanted to drive overseas). Nice has a great bus system that can take you so many places along the coast or up into the hills for I think 1E. There are alot of train connections too but the bus system is so cheap and convenient - the main station is near the old town whereas the train station is further out.

Yes the beach is pebbly but the promenade is great for people watching or looking out to sea. The old town has many restaurants to choose from - from quite elegant to more casual - lots of outdoor dining.

I strongly suggest a visit to Villa Eurphrisi - delightful villa with fun audioguide and lovely lovely gardens! One of my very favorite European experiences!
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Sep 21st, 2014, 10:06 AM
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I favour Antibes over Nice or Cannes. All the suggestions of where to visit given above, are as easily reachable from Nice, Cannes or Antibes as well as anywhere else between Nice and Cannes. I might as well ask, why not Juan Les Pins?

Really, you have said nothing that would help anyone suggest which place would be best for YOU to stay in. That depends on what your interests are in terms of a place to stay.

I don't like bigger places which rules out Nice for me. Nor am I impressed by the name of a place which rules out Cannes if you get my point. There's nothing particularly wonderful about Cannes except the Film Festival and the attendant fame that has resulted in.

Antibes is smaller with a much different atmosphere but if someone is interested in saying, 'oh yes, we stayed in Cannes for our birthday celebration' then Antibes just isn't going to cut it for those Wednesday afternoon bridge club one-upmanship comments is it.
(Although I could suggest that I would say, 'Oh, we stayed in Antibes for our birthday celebration. The typical tourists stay in Nice or Cannes but of course those who are a bit more well travelled would never stay in either of them. They're so bourgeois.')

I'm not suggesting that is your motivation rednib but unless you say what your preferences in a place to stay are and why they are, I don't see how anyone can suggest which place might be best for YOU. All you will get is other people's personal preferences.
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