HELP! Cote d'Azur

Old Nov 11th, 2002, 05:28 PM
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HELP! Cote d'Azur

These boards have been so very helpful for some of my other trips, I was hoping to get some help on my next trip to the Cote d'Azur!<BR><BR>My Husband and I are planning to visit the South of France next year. We'll probably go for 10 days but have no idea where we should visit. We'll probably fly into Nice. <BR><BR>Some places I've read about: <BR>* Monaco/Monte Carlo<BR>* St-Tropez <BR>* Cannes<BR>* St-Raphael <BR><BR>We are planning to visit in early September. <BR> <BR>We are in our early 30's and like the beach, nice restaurants, shopping and nightlife!<BR><BR>Would love any advice you can provide!<BR><BR>
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 05:46 PM
vic noir
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Kasia,<BR> St Tropez is great. You can't get there by train. Last stop is St Raphael.<BR>You can take a bus from there or rent a car. Suggest hotel Sube if you like nightlife and shopping. My recommendation is to stay in Villefranche. I prefer Hotel Provencal because its inexpensive and a few blocks to the beach and overlooks the harbor. You can catch a train to Nice or Monaco and be there in minutes. Hotel Welcome is also a good bet in Villefranche. Have fun.<BR> Vic<BR>
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 08:01 PM
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Eze-sur-Mer is worth a visit. Go up to the Chateau de La Chevre D'Or for a dinner for two. The view of the ocean from 1200ft is worth it.
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 08:15 PM
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We went to this area this past September (2nd week) and it was great - most (but not all) of the crowds gone, but everything still open (winter season a lot of things shut down like day cruises) The mistrials (winds) also start up, we experienced one! We stayed at a campground right next to St Tropez on the ocean (they had small mobile homes for rent) and we had a two bedroom, with bathroom and kitchen and living room area, plus parking and awning outside with picnic area &amp; BBQ - we were one block from the beach! From there we did day trips, or just stayed on the beach --there was an hourly ferry to St Tropez, and ferries/cruises to Cannes, Monaco, Monte carlo, few islands (like the one where the man in the iron mask was imprisoned). We also drove out and saw Grasse, and a few other places. Enjoy! We will definitely go back, hopefully next sep too!
Old Nov 12th, 2002, 06:19 AM
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Kasia- You will have a ball! September is one of the nicest times to go as per above. I spent my honeymoon there one Sept. First look at the map. St. Tropez &amp; Ramatuelle, which is beautiful, are farther west than the other places you mentioned. You could split the trip and spend some time in St. Tropez and &amp; some in or around Nice. Or stay in Cannes which is more central. It depends on how much driving you want to do &amp; how much you want to pack in. You didn't mention budget or whether you prefer big hotels or small &amp; charming. I can't help with St. Tropez too much because I was only there for a day (drove from Villefranche and as I recall it was about a 2 hour drive each way.) I did see the camp grounds discussed above. Camping's not my thing so can't comment.<BR>You can stay down by the coast where there are big and small hotels or up in the hills for a bit more charm. I would definitely stay at a hotel with a pool, regardless. The beaches are pebbley (except Cannes or St. Tropez).<BR>For my honeymoon we stayed at La Colombe D'or (' is up in the hills in St. Paul de Vence northwest of Nice airport above a town called Cagnes Sur Mer. It is idyllic with a heated swimming pool that features a Calder mobile sculpture. It's expensive but worth a splurge. The place is filled with fabulous art. Most people go there just for a meal (their restaurant is famous and open to the public). If you stay there, you can tell them in the morning whether you will have dinner in or not. There's a special menu for hotel guests (no choices but fairly priced)each day or you can order from the regular menu. It's a reasonably good location from which to explore the area for day trips. You can go down to the beach which is about a 15-20 drive to Cagnes sur Mer. If you go at lunchtime, you can eat at one of the restaurants on the beach &amp; then rent a chaise from the restaurant for a half day. You will obviously need a car if you stay here.They have a car park at the hotel. By the way, if you rent a car get a small one. Many of the streets in the hill towns are narrow &amp; difficult to navigate.<BR>St. Paul de Vence is an unbelievable walled medieval town (the hotel is just outside the walls) and a big tourist stop, but inside the walls of the hotel, you're unaware of the bustle outside. Across from the hotel is a cafe where the locals also play boules., If you don't stay here, go for a meal and have a look at the town.<BR>The other alternative is to stay down by the water in Nice, an old charming city with both big &amp; small hotels. If you don't want to rent a car, there is a train that stops at most of the major places along the coast. (Took the train from Cagnes sur Mer to Monaco. The sights are awesome.)<BR>I've also stayed at the Hotel Welcome in Villefranche. It is reasonably priced &amp; on the water but no pool, no beach &amp; some rooms are very small. Would not be my choice for a first time trip in Sept. Cap Ferrat is the most elegant of the sea towns (filled with private villas). I believe a new luxury hotel has opened there. There is a magnificent Villa there that is open to the public (can't remember name) which is a must see both inside &amp; gardens outside.<BR>Places to visit-Biot, Mougins (famous restaurant here), Eze, Juan les Pins (good boutique shopping). Have a great trip!
Old Nov 13th, 2002, 01:22 AM
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If, as you say, you are mainly looking for beach, nice restaurants, shopping and nightlife, I would suggest Cannes.<BR><BR>Cannes is a very high end (albeit crowded) resort. There are several luxury hotels (the best being the Carlton, Majestic, and Martinez) with private beaches, as well as some of the better shopping in Europe. There are some great restaurants and very good nightlife as well. Cannes is also not far from the Cap d'Antibes, which is a bit more sedate, but equally as posh as the Cap du Ferrat. There are several good restaurants on the Cap d'Antibes, which is less than 30 minutes by taxi.<BR><BR>I also recommend St. Tropez, which is famous for its nightlife and also has a good selection of shopping. It has been revitalized as a hot spot in the last few years. <BR><BR>Avoid Nice at all costs as a tourist trap with only a small amount of character. Monaco is a nice place to visit for a few days, but is really not worth the expense or the time. A lot of tourists seem to think that because of its posh reputation, it is the place to see and be seen. Most people who go there don't want to be seen. Thus, although there are several good restaurants and fantastic shopping, the life is a bit more quiet there. It may be worth one or two days at the most.<BR><BR>Finally, places like Ferrat, Villefranche-sur-Mer, and other villages are very nice and quiet. There are some great luxury hotels in all of them. The Royal Riviera and Grand Hotel du Cap on Cap Ferrat are two of the nicer hotels in that area. However, you will have to travel to find a wide selection of restaurants, shopping, and nightlife if you choose to stay in one of the villages outside of a major metropolitan area. In my opinion, you are also limiting yourself to opportunities for a wide range of food and nightlife if you stay closer to Monaco and Nice and away from St. Tropez and Cannes.
Old Nov 13th, 2002, 07:57 AM
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If you are seeking four star accomodations, I can recommend the Hotel Metropole in Beaulieu sur Mer and the Chateau Valmer in La Croix Valmer, which is a little west of San Tropez. In St Paul de Vence we like the St Paul. September is the perfect month to be in the area.
Old Nov 13th, 2002, 08:21 AM
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Just got back from Monaco.<BR><BR>It's really dull. And the resataurants aren't as good as you'd think, either.<BR><BR>Columbus hotel is pretty good though - lovely bar.<BR><BR>So we ditched Monaco, and went to Nice - which I though was much better. More like a real town, and less like an old, rich person's ghetto. Nice is still plenty expensive, though.
Old Nov 13th, 2002, 08:22 AM
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Kasia,<BR><BR>We go to Nice nearly every summer, and very much enjoy it's central location and lovely old town which is bursting with wonderful seafood restaurants, an incredible flower market, small tea shops and galleries. Nice offers an excellent bus service which goes to: St. Paul de Vence, ( well worth visiting if only to have lunch at L'Columbe d'Or) or, in the other direction, to Villefranche, St. Jean Cap de Ferrat and Eze. Nice is more accessible moneywise to the masses, which is one of the things we most enjoy about it. You'll see people from all walks of life in Nice, and it seems less snobby and pretentious than other Riveria destinations. Have a great time!
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