Help with South of France trip...

Nov 20th, 2007, 08:03 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 42
Help with South of France trip...

HI ,
I will be accompanying my husband to the South of France in a week. He is going there for work but it will be my vacation.
So I will be on my own for the day/afternoons and meet up with my husband in the evenings. We are staying in Cannes. I wont have a car but I heard that the bus service is easy to use and takes you anywhere. Here are my questions:
1- If you had a week and were mainly by yourself, what would you see/do? I am pretty open. I know that I want to take the perfume tours in Grasse. Also, visiting Monaco would be a must. Not sure about anything else though. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
2- Is there a restaurant that you just love for dinner? How about a exceptional seafood restaurant? Do we typically need reservations? Lunch recommendations??
3- Can you purchase Longchamp handbags near where I will be staying? Must buy one for my dear Mother...
4- What are souvenoirs know for this area? Are there markets where local sell their wares?? ie- pottery, jewelry, etc.. It is highly unlikely that I will ever go back to this part of France so I want to make sure I take it all in and enjoy myself.
scrappingbarbie is offline  
Nov 20th, 2007, 08:39 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 504
Go to Nice at least for one day. If you have two, use on of them to take the train from there to Entrevaux. It's a medieval village with an interesting fortress on top - if you're not a hiker, you won't make it to the top for the great views, however. The villages of St. Paul and Vence can also be done together in a day.
SemiMike is offline  
Nov 20th, 2007, 09:50 AM
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I haven't been to Cannes so can't comment on that directly. It's on the train line though, isn't it, so you aren't dependent on the bus. You do have to go to Grasse by bus, that's true.

I'd also really recommend going to Nice as there is a lot to do there. They have a wellknown daily market in the old town area, also (Cours Saleya), which it sounds like you'd like. It is every day, but is mainly food/flowers on all days but Monday, when it is a flea market.

It's easy to get between towns on the coast by train and doesn't take long. I'd also go to Antibes.
Christina is online now  
Nov 20th, 2007, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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There is now direct train service from Cannes to Grasse, making the trip very easy. Don't miss the perfume museum and the Provençal folk museum while you're there. There is a Longchamps shop on the street that goes east from the underground parking lot. I still regret not buying the handbag I saw there last year.

You can also take the train to Antibes, which has a pleasant old town as well as the Picasso museum and a good outdoor market.

In Cannes itself is a very large covered market; ask the concierge at your hotel for directions. It's worth at least an hour of wandering.

In Vieux Nice you'll find a number of shops selling local pottery. For fine seafood, head to the Café de Turin, a local favorite; our friends who live near Grasse introduced us to the restaurant.

If you can get a bus to St-Laurent-du-Var you'll find seafood restaurants all along the marina. And of course there are quite a few in Cannes, along with La Pizza, our very favorite restaurant in the area.

Underhill is offline  
Nov 20th, 2007, 12:44 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Don't miss "EZE". It's a hill town above Monte Carlo that is stunning. Beautiful shops and the views are outstanding, especially from the restaurants at Chateau Eza or Columb"d Or(sp).Also, when in Monte Carlo, make sure you go through the Palace. We didn't do that until our 3rd trip there, and now I would like to see it again.
Another beauty is the "Rothschild Mansion" in Cap Ferrat.

Shopping in Cannes,Nice, Antibes is exceptional--bring your platinum card! The French ceramics of the area are outstanding and hard to resist.
TPAYT is offline  
Nov 20th, 2007, 02:49 PM
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The Rothschild mansion is the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. You can get there by a combination of train and bus; the peninsula is quite beautiful, with many homes of the rich and famous hiding behind walls. But the views of the bays on either side of the peninsula are spectacular; plan to have lunch at the Villa's tea room for a fine view toward Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Since you're interested in pottery, look for the exquisite faïence made in Moustiers-Ste-Marie as well as the more every-day variety. One particularly good shop for checking out pottery is Terre et Provence, which stocks the beautiful yellow pottery of Dieulefit.
Underhill is offline  
Nov 20th, 2007, 04:54 PM
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" Can you purchase Longchamp handbags near where I will be staying"

in Cannes or Nice , you will find all the most famous names in luxury products.
danon is offline  
Nov 21st, 2007, 06:48 AM
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You must visit Mougins, an absolutely beautiful and very charming hill village just a few miles inland from Cannes. Well known for its superb restaurants you may want to dine there with your husband.

I have always gone by car but it is so close there must be easy bus service from Cannes.
lemidi is offline  
Nov 21st, 2007, 07:09 AM
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Just wanted to add that you could visit Grasse and Mougins in the same day because they are most likely on the same bus route.

For something a bit different and easy to do on your own, take the train from Cannes, West to St Raphael, a Cannes type beach town but without the glitz. What's so nice is the breathtaking scenery along the route. The train ride is pretty much along the coast most of the way. You are travelling above the sparkling blue sea on one side and the red, clay colored mountains on the other, passing over little bridges, through towns and coves. A beautiful ride and once in St Raphael hop off, walk to the waterfront, have luch or snack and hop the train back to Cannes. You could also continue West to Frejus a larger town with a well preserved Roman arena where they still have concerts and shows.

A thought regarding pottery. There is a very touristy town a few miles from Cannes called Vallauris that is known for it's pottery. Pottery, pottery everywhere lining the streets. Amidst the tourist junk there are many fine shops and galleries for some great gifts and souvenirs. Definitely worth a look.
lemidi is offline  
Nov 21st, 2007, 07:18 AM
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Every time I post I think of something lese for you.

To answer your souvenir question, this part of France is known for lavender products, honey, provencal fabrics, olive wood carvings (bowls, utensils etc...), a delicous confiserie called les calissons d'Aix (white diamond shaped sugary treat with an almond paste center, so good and easy to bring home for gifts), nougat and so much more...
lemidi is offline  
Nov 21st, 2007, 07:35 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,478

I can't help with any recommendations, but I have started planning a trip to Nice for October 2008 and the information on this thread is great.

Thanks to all for sharing!
LowCountryIslander is offline  
Nov 21st, 2007, 08:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 66
The Longchamps store is in the Gray D'Albion Hotel on the croisette.

I agree that you should go the restaurant La Pizza. Very good pizza and fun. It's near the old port. In November it will be filled with locals wearing furs.

I'm always amazed at the interest in Grasse but each of has different interests.

Have fun.
stanleys is offline  
Nov 21st, 2007, 09:06 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 42
Thanks everyone for the replys. I feel quite overwhelmed with all of the planning- especially since this trip just 'sprang' up on us. So I have less than a week to prepare for this trip. lol lol yikes...
Question- Is it safe to travel the streets of France alone? Thanks again and keep the tips coming....
scrappingbarbie is offline  
Nov 21st, 2007, 12:20 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,236
Travel on the streets of France is perfectly safe; just take the same care you would anywhere late at night.
Underhill is offline  

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