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Itinerary in France - I need a little help, please.

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Oct 5th, 2012, 08:06 PM
  #1
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Itinerary in France - I need a little help, please.

My husband and I are going to france and italy in the spring for a few months. I'm a writer and will be finishing my book, I hope.

At any rate, we're going to spend a week on a river cruise to Normandy and then 5-7 additional days in Paris. (We've been in Paris before.)

From there, we'll be in Avignon for 5-7 days. I figure it's a good base for seeing Provence - Arles, Aix, Nimes, Orange, etc.

I'm lost as to where to stay next. . . Nice? Cannes? Menton? This is a 3-day stop before we head to Italy. Can anyone who knows the area weigh in, please?

Am I missing anything?

Merci!

Chris
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Oct 5th, 2012, 09:20 PM
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I recommend heading next to Nice, as from that lovely city you can easily do day trips to places of interest. That could include St-Paul-de-Vence and Vence, Antibes, Tourrettes-sur-Loup, Villefranche-sur-Mer, and the peninsula of St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. You would have more than enough for just 3 days, especially as Nice should get at least one day on its own. You probably don't need as much as 7 days in western Provence; think about spending 5 days in each region.
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Oct 5th, 2012, 11:02 PM
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We are presently spending 2 weeks in Provence at a beautiful cottage in Saint Saturnin les Apt. It is a perfect location to use as a base to see all the sites of the area. The village is small but has cafes, sa few shops, and 2 boulangeries. It is a quieter place, and you get a better sense of life in Provence.

Avignon is very busy, city like and is like a mini-Paris.

This is where we are staying.
http://www.accommodationinprovence.com/

The gites are fully stocked, the views are amazing and the owners are from Britain and you could not want betters hosts.
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Oct 6th, 2012, 12:13 AM
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I agree with Nice, gives you a chance to visit many other places. We visited Monaco and Eze sur Mer on one day, the bus was only 1 euro and enjoying the scenic drive along the water was priceless( and we could both enjoy the view since we weren't driving!)
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Oct 6th, 2012, 12:35 AM
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PS - the place where are staying also has a B & B if that better suits your needs.
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Oct 6th, 2012, 02:00 AM
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Will you be renting cars?
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Oct 6th, 2012, 02:46 AM
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If you have a car, Avignon centre is not the easiest to get in and out, the main parking in the walled city is a large underground car park in front of the Palais des Papes.

We spent a fun 2 days there, never moving the car. If you plan to do day trips, I would stay outside Avignon and "day-trip" in to Avignon, Les Baux, St. Remy, etc.
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Oct 6th, 2012, 05:58 AM
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>>>going to france and italy in the spring for a few months<<<

Bear in mind that your 'few months' is going to be just 90 days in Schengen countries like France and Italy....
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Oct 6th, 2012, 07:47 AM
  #9
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First, thanks to everyone for your answers. I'm a little lost on France, so I appreciate all your help.

@DebitNM - Thanks for the info. I'm looking at flats and B&Bs . . .not interested in hotels.

@Kerouac - No car. If we want to rent one for a day, we'll do so. We're going to train it from city-to-city.

@ParisAmsterdaym - I do know that. We're at 85 days so we are under the limit. I could apply for a visa in Italy, but I don't want the hassle.

Chris
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Oct 6th, 2012, 07:55 AM
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Chris:

We(a group of 9 persons) were in London and France last september.
Related to your questions; we were both in Avignon and Nice.Both proved to be ideal bases to visit other places.As you said Avignon(we really liked Avignon) is really close to Arles(which we visited and enjoyed) and Nimes, Orange,Gordes and many other places.
Nice is "the" place to stay and visit the Cote D'Azur from Cannes to Monaco and the inner villages.
I will say when in Nice don't forget to visit Villa Ephrussi in Cap Ferrat;most beautiful views and excelent lunch!
No doubt,you will enjoy all your trip!
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Oct 6th, 2012, 09:26 AM
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My link is not to a hotel. They have a B & B and gites, which are cottages, like renting a flat.

You will have to have a car IN Provence if you want to take day trip and visit villages etc, there is no public transit once you get here via train.
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Oct 6th, 2012, 09:37 AM
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Taking the train everywhere will definitely reduce the possibilities, but that is how I used to travel and I was quite happy going from city to city.

I definitely disagree with DebitNM about Avignon being a busy city. If you are inside the walls, I'm sure you will be enchanted by its nonchalance out of season. I go every July during the festival when it is packed with visitors, and I still love it -- out of season, I would love to settle there for a week or more (preferably in an apartment because the central market Les Halles always makes me drool with all of the food that I would like to buy and prepare).
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Oct 6th, 2012, 09:59 AM
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Well, to me, Avignon is too much of a city, especially if they are going to Paris and Nice. I don't want to see designer shops or other things that can be found in bigger cities, whether France or US.

To me, Provence is about hillside villages, local markets with food as drool-worthy as Les Halle's. It is walking amid locals, chatting about the weather, and enjoying the sites in a myriad of small centre villes.

But as always, to each his own....
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Oct 6th, 2012, 10:52 AM
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<>

Have you researched how you're actually going to get to these places without a car? I'm sure it's possible, but I'm also sure it will be a pain. And as you must know, just renting a car for a day or so on the spot will cost a bundle compared to arranging it ahead of time.
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Oct 6th, 2012, 02:48 PM
  #15
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@DebitNM - I apologize for the confusion. What I meant was the link was great because I'm looking for that kind of place to stay and not hotels.

@StCirq - Yes, I've looked into cars already. We think we'll rent one for 3-4 days while in Provence. I've also loked at train travel from one place to another. We can do Arles, Aix and Nimes by train. That said, a car will give us more flexibility, so that's a huge consideration.
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