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Help with 14-Day trip to Provence & French Riviera

Help with 14-Day trip to Provence & French Riviera

Old Feb 14th, 2020, 09:23 PM
  #1  
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Help with 14-Day trip to Provence & French Riviera

Hi All,

After listening to your suggestions here is how our 14-Day trip to Provence & French Riviera in September 2020. look like.

Day 1 - arriving in Paris and taking a train to Avignon renting a car and going to Menton or Juan Les Pins. We did not finalize that part yet. But I think Menton sounds better logistics wise.
5 nights in Menton
visiting - Menton and Monaco (our friends want to go there), Nice - not for long, we've been there before.
Vila Franche Su Mer, Villa Ephrussi and Villa Kerylos and Entrevaux-, VenceSt, Paul De Vence
Going to Saint Maxime for 2 nights. Half-day taking a ferry to St. Tropez.
Next day Exploring little villages around Saint Tropez.
Leaving for Saint Remy and staying there 5 nights.Places of interest - Saint Remy, Chateau des Baux de Provence, Orange, Uzes, Nimes & Pont du Gard, Aix-en Provence, Arles & Tarascon, village of Pernesles Fountains and Roussillon
Train to Paris. Overnight in the CDG area. Plain back to the US
It seems a lot. What do you think we should cut?
Thanks a lot in advance!
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 09:34 PM
  #2  
kja
 
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Do NOT rent a car until you have been in France for at least a day! After crossing multiple time zones (as you will, coming from the U.S.), you will be NO more safe as a driver than a drunk, and there is absolutely NOTHING you can do to avoid the risk to yourselves or to anyone else on the road. Caffeine won't help, sleeping on the plane won't help, previous success won't help, and NO distance is safe. Just don't do it!

Originally Posted by mila0229 View Post
It seems a lot. What do you think we should cut?
I agree! But NONE of us can tell you what to cut, as none of us share your exact interests. You need to think through your priorities and plan accordingly.

Good luck!
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 11:03 PM
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For the places you want to visit on the Cote d'Azur, staying in Menton does not really make much sense. St Paul de Vence will take an hour, Villefranche/Cap Ferrat 45 minutes. I know you said you have been to Nice, but it would make a much better base. Or stay just outside Nice, in Villefranche.
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 04:30 AM
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I agree with Tulips - why stay in Menton?

And why travel RT to/from Paris rather than open-jaw into Paris and out of Nice? That alone would lop off a day or more of backtracking.
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 04:42 AM
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If you don't plan on spending any time in Paris, fly into Nice. That way you avoid driving your first day.
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 06:48 AM
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I agree with Judy that if you aren't spending any time in Paris, then it doesn't make sense to fly in and out of Paris. Fly into Nice and fly home from Marseille. Also, your arrival day in Paris is a very, very long day of traveling. After you land at CDG, you take a 3 hour train ride to Avignon; pick up a rental car; and then drive almost 3 hours to Menton. You will be exhausted!

Even though you have been to Nice, staying in Nice makes the most sense. It is a good central location with lots of restaurants for dinner. Or you could stay in Villefranche-Sur-Mer, as Tulips suggests.

Regarding what locations to cut, that depends on your interests. I haven't been to Uzes, Nimes, Tarascon or Orange. I've heard that Orange is not very charming and it's only interesting site is the Roman Theater. Does that interest you enough to visit?

I love St. Remy, Aix, Rousillon, and les Baux, and the Pont Du Gard is very, very impressive. We only spent a few hours in Arles; I remember it's big and busy. In case you are interested, there are many other lovely small villages in the Luberon, such as Gordes, Lourmarin, Menerbes, etc.
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 09:41 AM
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kja
 
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Originally Posted by KarenWoo View Post
I've heard that Orange is not very charming and it's only interesting site is the Roman Theater.
Then I believe KarenWoo has been given misinformation. ;-)

Last edited by kja; Feb 15th, 2020 at 10:07 AM.
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 09:48 AM
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Well, I d wouldn't call Orange charming, but it certainly is interesting to visit.
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 11:25 AM
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That's the problem with "hearing" things.
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 12:08 PM
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I wasn't impressed with Orange. And both times we visited the ampitheater, it was covered with stage props.

Attached is mt Provence & Cote d'Azur itinerary

Stu Dudley
Attached Files
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 02:02 PM
  #11  
 
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Why don't you just take the train to Nice and spend one night there, and then pick up the car and head to your destination. The train also drops of in Antibes.

Are you prioritizing a beach town? Juan-les-Pins is a possibility with the long strip of sand, but consider also Antibes (as noted previuosly). Juan-les-Pins is more of a typical beach resort type of destination. Menton, as people mentioned, is at one end of the long strip of the Cote d'Azur so unless there is something specific you want to see, you might consider another location.

If you do stay in Menton, consider instead the drive up into the coastal hill villages rather than heading over to Entrevaux. Tende, Saorge, or lower, Peillon. Over the border, Dolceacqua. The attraction of Menton is also to see parts of Liguria.
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 04:49 PM
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Well, perhaps I should not have commented about Orange since I haven't been there. I do remember reading somewhere, and I honestly don't remember where, that Orange is not charming. The OP has too many places on her list, so I was just trying to help him/her narrow down his/her list.

Mila, have you purchased any good guidebooks? If not, I recommend Michelin Green Guides, Rough Guides, and/or Lonely Planet. Reading guidebooks is the first thing I do when planning a trip. I can't imagine not using guidebooks, but then again, maybe I am just old-fashioned!
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Old Feb 19th, 2020, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by KarenWoo View Post
Well, perhaps I should not have commented about Orange since I haven't been there. I do remember reading somewhere, and I honestly don't remember where, that Orange is not charming. The OP has too many places on her list, so I was just trying to help him/her narrow down his/her list.

Mila, have you purchased any good guidebooks? If not, I recommend Michelin Green Guides, Rough Guides, and/or Lonely Planet. Reading guidebooks is the first thing I do when planning a trip. I can't imagine not using guidebooks, but then again, maybe I am just old-fashioned!
Sue. I am reading Rick Steves and a lot of internet articles. I will get the ones you recommend. Thank you!
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Old Feb 19th, 2020, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by StuDudley View Post
I wasn't impressed with Orange. And both times we visited the ampitheater, it was covered with stage props.

Attached is mt Provence & Cote d'Azur itinerary

Stu Dudley
Thank you! I read your report a while ago and it is very impressive, to say the least. Thank you so much for sharing your experience!
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Old Feb 19th, 2020, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by gooster View Post
Why don't you just take the train to Nice and spend one night there, and then pick up the car and head to your destination. The train also drops of in Antibes.

Are you prioritizing a beach town? Juan-les-Pins is a possibility with the long strip of sand, but consider also Antibes (as noted previuosly). Juan-les-Pins is more of a typical beach resort type of destination. Menton, as people mentioned, is at one end of the long strip of the Cote d'Azur so unless there is something specific you want to see, you might consider another location.

If you do stay in Menton, consider instead the drive up into the coastal hill villages rather than heading over to Entrevaux. Tende, Saorge, or lower, Peillon. Over the border, Dolceacqua. The attraction of Menton is also to see parts of Liguria.

Thank you so much!
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Old Feb 19th, 2020, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by kja View Post
Do NOT rent a car until you have been in France for at least a day! After crossing multiple time zones (as you will, coming from the U.S.), you will be NO more safe as a driver than a drunk, and there is absolutely NOTHING you can do to avoid the risk to yourselves or to anyone else on the road. Caffeine won't help, sleeping on the plane won't help, previous success won't help, and NO distance is safe. Just don't do it!


I agree! But NONE of us can tell you what to cut, as none of us share your exact interests. You need to think through your priorities and plan accordingly.

Good luck!
You are right. Thank you! The train looks really convenient. And, yes, prioritizing is the key. But there is so much we'd like to see! We travel a lot and it is always a problem while we are preparing for the trip.
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Old Feb 19th, 2020, 07:32 PM
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Here's another vote for flying in and out of Nice. If you base just outside of Nice, most of the places you want to visit on the coast are a short drive away. You may find that Menton is too far east for most of the places you want to go. Love the St. Remy itinerary. Try to catch St. Remy during a market day.
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Old Feb 20th, 2020, 07:15 AM
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Our lure for Menton was being able to leave our car at the hotel and take the city bus into Monaco and farther down the shore. Other than that, not much. As stated elsewhere, there are more convenient places to stay for the other towns you want to visit. When planning it is always too easy to underestimate the value of convenience.
-Annie
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