Help planning trip in Cote D'Azur

Jan 21st, 2019, 09:39 AM
  #1  
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Help planning trip in Cote D'Azur

My husband and I will be coming from Geneva in the beginning of Sept.We want to explore the cities on the Riviera to see the art museums of some of the greats, explore towns, eat good food. The towns we are most interested in are Nice, Cannes Eze, St. Paul de Vance, Antibes and any other suggestions. We have a week to spend. Should we stay in one town as our base ? It seems like the best way to get around is by car. If so where ,since we don't want to be driving much at night. Any suggestions would be well appreciated . Thank you. Jill
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Jan 21st, 2019, 10:45 AM
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If you'll be there a week, stay in Nice & don't rent a car for the first 3-4 days. Visit the coastal towns by train. Then rent a car & visit St Paul, take the Loup Valley "loop" & visit Tourrettes sur Loup, Gourdon, & Bar. Then head deeper into the Nice Hinterlnd & visit Entrevaux, the Gorges du Cians & Daluis, St Martin Vesubie, the Gorges de la Vesubie, and other remote villages in the region.


My wife & I have vacationed for 21 weeks along the Cote d'Azur. I developed a 35 page itinerary for the Cote d'Azur that describes our favorite sites, villages, scenic drives, restaurants, markets, etc. I've sent it to over 3,000 people on Fodors. If you would like a copy, e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attach one to the reply e-mail. Specify that you want the Cote d'Azur itinerary - I have others.


Stu Dudley
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Jan 21st, 2019, 11:53 AM
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I'd suggest taking trains and buses that go to so many neat places - that time of year is still super busy and driving can be a hassle along the coast and parking hard in places like St Paul de Vence - public transit can take you to all those cities along the coast by frequent trains. so, consider buses and trains - for lots on trains check www.oui.go (French Railways site); www.seat61.com; BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com. Coastal commuter trains have no reservations possible so just hop on next train. If wanting to visit places in the hinterland as stu suggests rent a car but IMO there is a lot along the coast to occupy a week.
PalenQ is online now  
Jan 21st, 2019, 12:16 PM
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StuDudley's suggestions are excellent. Rail from Nice is great, and bus service also works well for some locations. We have been several times and always base ourselves in the Nice old town. Some of our favorite towns are nearby: Villefranche, Beaulieu-sur-Mer and St. Jean-Cap Ferrat. If you like to walk, there are a few trails to and on Cap Ferrat, all of them breathtaking.
whitehall is online now  
Jan 21st, 2019, 01:23 PM
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We've never had problems parking at St Paul. That's because we always arrive before 9AM (before the horads arrive), and we park in the large parking garage. We've done this perhaps 10-12 times over the past 35 years in June or Sept. Did this in 2015.



Stu Dudley
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Jan 21st, 2019, 02:37 PM
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The towns we are most interested in are Nice, Cannes Eze, St. Paul de Vance, Antibes and any other suggestions.>

I suggested trains because all of OP's destinations are easily done by train or bus. But if wanting to do more inland things like stu suggests yes a car is Nice.
PalenQ is online now  
Feb 6th, 2019, 04:10 PM
  #7  
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Thank you. I now have my flight reservations and will be there for 8 nights. I am not interested really in the inland towns. All the towns you mentioned are the ones I am interested. If I stay in Nice can I manage all of them with out a car? Thank you. Jill
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Feb 6th, 2019, 04:11 PM
  #8  
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So for a week I am fine without a car to do those towns ? Yes, we love walking. Any recommendations on how to find those trails? Thank you. Jill
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Feb 6th, 2019, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jilleinlev153 View Post
My husband and I will be coming from Geneva in the beginning of Sept.We want to explore the cities on the Riviera to see the art museums of some of the greats, explore towns, eat good food. The towns we are most interested in are Nice, Cannes Eze, St. Paul de Vance, Antibes and any other suggestions. We have a week to spend. Should we stay in one town as our base ? It seems like the best way to get around is by car. If so where ,since we don't want to be driving much at night. Any suggestions would be well appreciated . Thank you. Jill
You might want to take a look at my trip report from last summer. We took the route des grandes Alpes from Chamonix to Menton, something that you might want to do if you like mountain scenery and driving on narrow mountain roads. Click on my name and look at the trip reports to find last summer's report.
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Feb 6th, 2019, 04:46 PM
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I would recommend Villa Ephrussi and Villa Kerylos, an easy bus ride from Nice into St Jean Cap Ferrat. The gardens are lovely, and you can have lunch right at Villa E. We couldn’t do the walk around the Cap peninsula because of flooding.

I think you’ll have no trouble without a car. The trains are easy, and there’s tons of info about coastal walks.

We only had four days, but it would have been easy to fill a week, both in Nice, and travelling up and down the coast by train or bus.
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Feb 6th, 2019, 09:18 PM
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You will not need a car for any of the towns mentioned in your original list. You can take the bus or the train. You only really need a car for the remote towns like Gourdon, and even then you could rent for a day or two, versus being saddled with a car. By September, the new tram line from the airport to the center will be open, btw. There are cases where towns like Cagnes sur Mer (Renoir Musee) or Biot (Leger Museum, glass workshop) might involve a bus transfer, but Uber also works well in the region.
gooster is offline  
Feb 7th, 2019, 02:34 AM
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I would do as Stu suggests and rent a car for a day or 2. My experience is also that parking is easy as long as you arrive early in St Paul de Vence. Other places have plenty of parking too.
We are usually there in early July, and it's fine then for parking and driving.
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Feb 7th, 2019, 03:28 AM
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As others have said, you can easily see all the places you want with public transportation.

We walk more than most when there, even from Nice to Villefranche and Beaulieu-sur-Mer, France (although bus is easiest and cheapest).

There are three breathtaking hikes to and from Cap Ferrat, which you can take going between the two villas mentioned. Here is a link for those trails:
https://www.routesandtrips.com/walki...rench-riviera/

Also, don’t forget to climb Castle Hill (there is also an elevator) for the best views of Nice, its old town and beach and boulevard. There is an unusual cemetery on one side (which you can easily reach from the old town) and castle ruins and waterfall on the main side.

The colorful fresh market in the old town is the main reason we always book an apartment there. The produce and fresh flower market is open every day except Monday when it is replaced by an antiques market. Even if you don’t want to cook the delicious veggies, the old town has many prepared food options that make eating at home a desirable option.
whitehall is online now  
Feb 7th, 2019, 03:33 AM
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Just chiming in to applaud the train & bus service on the coast. We based ourselves in the Nice Port area for a week and traveled to Menton, Villefranche, Cagnes-sur-Mer, Antibes by train or bus. As others have mentioned, you might want a car for a day or 2 for some mountain towns. Although you can even get to St. Agnes (our base for a previous trip) by bus!
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Feb 10th, 2019, 03:35 PM
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Do you have any recommendations on where to stay? Appreciate your feedback. Jill
jilleinlev153 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2019, 03:48 PM
  #16  
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Any suggestions on where to stay ? Thank you. Jill
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Feb 10th, 2019, 07:58 PM
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Did you settle in on a city/town? Will you have a car? Budget? Hotel or apartment? In Nice, you'll want to look in the Old Town, the Carre d'Or and the few blocks around Place Massena (these latter two are roughly the area bound by the Promenade des Anglais, Boulevard Gambetta, Boulevard Victor Hugo, Rue Alberti and the Promenade du Paillon. Some people also like the Port area.
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