Is a car best in Cote d Azur?

Feb 25th, 2008, 05:18 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 121
Is a car best in Cote d Azur?

I will be in Nice for a week in June and would like to see Provence, and the surrounding a car the best method of transport there to see the small towns etc.? How is the driving compared to Ireland etc.? Thanks!
peterad is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 05:43 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
Yes, there are many scenic roads, the famous Corniches between Nice and Monaco and the Corniche de l'Esterel between Cannes and St. Raphael. There are also many picturesque small villages, most of them are accessible by car only.

There will be all kinds of roads: From 6-lane-autoroutes to narrow, winding mountain roads. Some roads are pretty congested, but fortunately, June will be early season before it gets crowded.
traveller1959 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 06:08 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,742
I agree with traveller

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 08:03 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 703
Absolutely rent a car!
caroltis is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 08:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,974
I have to say I don't think you need a car, unless you want one. We had a week in Nice at Christmas and got about wherever we wanted by bus or train. There are buses all along the coast and they are incredibly cheap - 1.30 euro per trip. I think you could visit just about everywhere by bus or train - St Paul de Vence, Vence, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Villefranche, Cannes, Eze, Antibes etc are all easy day trips. There is also a new tram system in Nice itself.
KayF is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 08:28 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,742
Here are a few very intereting places/villages you can't get to by bus (or difficult to get to)
St Agnes
Tourrettes sur Loup
Gorges des Vesbuie
Carros Village (not the modern Carros)
St Martin Vesubie
Villars sur Var
Gorges du Cains
Gorges de Daluis
Entrevaux (spectacular)
Touet sur Var

Visit the villages/cities along the coast by train. Then rent a car & visit the other sites where it is either time consuming to visit by bus, or it's impossible to visit by bus.

Stu Dudley

StuDudley is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 08:46 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,442
We have spent time in Nice and in Cannes several times -- usually we stay for a week. We've had a car and we've not had a car. The last time we had a car, we mainly left it parked in Nice and took buses and trains instead. It was a lot easier (and probably as cheap without paying for gas, tolls, and parking).

While StuDudley gives a great list of places to visit, if this is your first trip to the area and you only have a week -- I'd think there are a ton of places you'd probably want to see before those, however, which ARE accessible by train or by bus.

Or do as he says and rent a car for a day or two if you really want to get off the beaten track and do some major exploring.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 13,406
"Provence and the surrounding area"
is a big place - in one week you can see the coast near Nice ; car is convenient but the bus and train service is very good.
Train will get you to Aix and some other places in Provence , but with only a week you will have to be very
danon is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
I will put it like this:

For the average traveller, who is mainly interested in big cities, public transport will be sufficient. Also for people who have been there several times before and who have a very good knowledge which bus stop and how steep the way from the train station etc. (it's tricky at Cote d'Azur)

You will reach the limits of public transport as soon as

- you want go to one of the nicer beaches (usually to be found in secluded bays),

- you want to see some of the landscape and enjoy scenic drives,

- you want to see some of the smaller villages and less frequented sites,

- you have to transport some swimming and snorkeling gear, picnic supplies etc.,

- it gets hot.
traveller1959 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 09:34 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Car is really the way to go. The main towns on the coast can be reached by train - but once you head up into the hills (with so many adorable, towns, museums and so much natural beauty) there are buses- which are often few and far between.

really car is the only convenient way to tour - otherwise you can find yourselves waiting for a bus that runs twice a day.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 01:31 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 152
I am afraid that if you wish to see Provence, Nice is not the proper airport to land in. Check Marseilles as it' much closer to Provence.
Assuming that you stay in Nice and visit the Côte d'Azur, yes you need a car to reach the small villages.
I am sure that if you stay let say in Nice and just visit by bus most of the destinations you can acces to, you will not have enough of your holiday week.
Trafic can be very slow here as there is normally along the coast a heavy traffic. Drivers are not as calm and careful as Irish drivers are, so be very careful.
Think of taking rest under the sun " à la méridionale" instead of spending your money in petrol !
Enjoy it anyway !
Eze is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 07:04 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,134
If you're interested in visiting the towns in the interior without a car, there's the Train des Pignes, which travels from Nice north. It stops at Entrevaux, Touet sur Var and Villars, among other places. Here's the link:

As I understand it, the Cote d'Azur is, strictly speaking, in Provence. But what most people think of when they say Provence, is farther inland: Arles, Aix, Avignon, the Luberon. Is this the area you want to visit?
Mimar is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 11:19 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 121
Yes sir!
peterad is offline  
Feb 29th, 2008, 01:42 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 152
No doubt that you should rethink your stay in the area. One week even with a fast car is far from enough to visit Provence as you define it. Just have a look to a map and think that, as written elsewhere, roads are very crowed and narrow and winding nothwistandin parking problems...
Either you stay north of Marseilles and visit Luberon, Aix en Provence, etc.. or you visit Var or Alpes Maritimes.
Enjoy anyway !
Eze is offline  
Mar 1st, 2008, 07:21 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,134
Well, we found the road trip from Avignon to Nice on the tollway fast, easy, and uncrowded in June 2005. It took about 2.5 hours.

So, while Nice isn't the ideal spot for Provence, it's not impossible. You could spend a day there at either end of your trip and rent a car for Provence. A car is really best for Provence, and 5 days will give you a nice sampling of the area. Now you have to decide what area of Provence you want to explore. We found St. Remy central and easy to day-trip from.
Mimar is offline  

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 -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:26 AM.