Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Help...which village in the south of France?

Help...which village in the south of France?

Jun 2nd, 2014, 07:29 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 464
Help...which village in the south of France?

I saw the preview for Woody Allen's, "Magic in the Moonlight" and it sparked something inside of me. It said I must go back to Paris and also see the south of France. I also love Woody Allen's, "Midnight in Paris". Yes, I will admit, I have a dream like vision of both!

DH and I have been to Paris in October 2008. It was a whirlwind week of the typical tourist sights. We have always said we would like to go back. I thought of this itinerary.

We would, first, fly into Amsterdam and stay for a whirlwind two days. Arriving in Amsterdam first to mainly visit the Anne Frank House. We would then take the train to Paris for 3-4 days then we would take the train to the south of France for 3 days before flying home from Paris.

I just want to pick one village perhaps two to experience the south of France. This is where you Fodorite's come in...what would you recommend for a picturesque charming south of France village?

Also, if you have been, what else would you do in Amsterdam?

Thanks in advance!
louistraveler5 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2014, 07:35 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,842
The south of France covers a vast swath of land within which are thousands of picturesque charming villages. Where, exactly, do you envision traveling (and how)? The Côte d'Azur? Western Provence? The Dordogne? The Pyrénées? The Midi-Pyrénées? Languedoc-Roussillon? Gascogne?

You might want to take a look at some of the excellent Michelin Green Guides to these areas to help you narrow it down.
StCirq is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2014, 07:51 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 464
I would say the Provence region or perhaps Languedoc. I don't know much about the south of France so I was hoping for guidance from Fodorites. We would take the train from Paris then rent a car. I also didn't mention that the trip would be during autumn, sometime in October.

Any ideas for picturesque autumn in the south of France?
louistraveler5 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2014, 08:42 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,585
The movie takes place in the Cote D'Azure. Most people probably are thinking of Provence or the Cote D'Azure when they say 'south of France'.

You could take the fast train from Paris to Avignon and base in St Remy (half an hour from there) and see quite a bit - though 3 or 4 days is barely scratching the surface. Having a car would be best in this area.

Or - you could fly to Nice and base there for a Cote D'Azure experience - lots of places to explore from there. A car is important if you want to explore some of the hill towns (Vence, St Paul, etc), but there are places accessible by train/bus if you prefer not to bother with a car.

Here are my photos of the area - see which areas say 'south of France' to you.
www.pbase.com/annforcier/france_-_provence
www.pbase.com/annforcier/france_-_cote_dazure
www.pbase.com/annforcier/france_-_dordogne
isabel is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2014, 09:09 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,275
What you need for starters is a guidebook for the south of France. I recommend the Michelin Green Guide to Provence and the one for the Côte d'Azur, both full of very useful information.
Underhill is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2014, 09:12 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,424
I would imagine Provence, also, not the Languedoc, to fulfill these fantasies. But the problem with these fantasies, is they won't be the same in Autumn, at least not the typical Provencal fantasies of sunflowers and lavender. I think most of the film fantasies are not set on the riviera, though, but smaller inland villages. Like that film with Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline (I love him but didn't like her in that film, but it had good music).

Word is that movie was filmed on the coast however, in Cap d'Antibes, Menton and Nice. You could visit Grasse and Menton, I suppose. I like Nice but it's no small town. That area would be a good experience. I wouldn't go to St Remy, and you can't do all this in 3 days, anyway. You can go to one place and maybe do a day trip.
Christina is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2014, 09:22 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 5,433
See 'to catch a thief' for lovely scenes of the Cote d'Azur in the 50s.

You have to decide if you want to be close to the coast, Cote d'Azur, or further inland in Provence. October could be lovely, but I've been in Cannes in October with torrential rain and flooding too. So whatever you decide, hope for good weather but don't count on it.
St Paul de Vence could be nice for 3 days. Or Antibes, if you want to be near the sea.

Can you not fly back home from Nice, to avoid backtracking to Paris?
Tulips is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2014, 09:25 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 464
I didn't think of flying home from Nice. Thanks for the suggestion!

Thanks Isabel for the pictures! I was thinking St Remy from the pictures but Christina says no to St Remy. Why not?

Lots to think about...thanks everyone!
louistraveler5 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2014, 09:33 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,475
Also, if you have been, what else would you do in Amsterdam?

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ite-things.cfm

IMO St-Remy is not at all a charming village but is a seductively charming small city - it can be crowded in season.

But in autumn it should be lovingly quiet - too quiet for some.

As for trains take the train, if wanting to do the Avignon/Arles area to Avignon-TGV station, two miles outside of town - rent a car there and it is an easy drive to St-Remy. For best fares book really early on either www.voyages-sncf.com or www.capitaine.com - but those tickets have restrictions on changing or refunds so be sure of your dates.

Ditto for Thalys trains Amsterdam to Paris - www.thalys.com has tickets as cheap as 39 euros - i recently booked my son one of those - regular fare is a$100 or more so book early to get the limited in number discounted ducats and again severe restrictions on changes or refunds I believe. For lots of great info on European trains check out these fine sites: www.seat61.com - great info on discounted tickets - www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.rickstves.com.

Most major car rentals should have a presence in or near the Avignon-TGV station but there is also a shuttle bus that takes passengers into Avignon's center from the TGV station.
PalenQ is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2014, 10:22 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,881
isabel wrote "You could take the fast train from Paris to Avignon and base in St Remy (half an hour from there) and see quite a bit - though 3 or 4 days is barely scratching the surface. Having a car would be best in this area."

What she said ... from St. Remy you can do day trips to Arles, Les Baux, Gordes and the Abbaye de Senanque, Roussillon, and more. We'll be there in a few weeks, half the time in St. Remy and the other half near Gordes.

Ignore this if you want to be by the sea, but you'll likely love the places mentioned.
Bill_H is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2014, 11:06 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,585
What I, and I think some of the other posters, are saying is don't try to do BOTH St Remy/"Provence" plus the coast/Cote D'Azure. Pick one or the other.

Depending on your perspective, St Remy is either a large village or small city. It really is quite small but some of the villages in both Provence and Cote d'Azure (e.g. Gordes or St Paul) are very tiny.

Many people, when they think of Provence, think of it the way it is in summer with lavender fields and sunflowers. It may still be very nice in October, but not quite the same. I think the Cote d'Azure will look more similar in both summer and autumn.

Depending on the flights you get to/from the US (if that is where you are coming from) you might consider flying from Amsterdam to Nice, then go to Paris and fly home from there.
isabel is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2014, 12:25 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,475
Depending on the flights you get to/from the US (if that is where you are coming from) you might consider flying from Amsterdam to Nice>

Or if aiming for Provence - the Avignon classic Provence area see if you can fly into nearby Lyon or Nimes - much closer than Nice - but if opting for Riviera then of course fly to Nice.

Cuts down travel time - good idea.
PalenQ is online now  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:55 AM.