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Monaco, suggestions for filling out a week?

Monaco, suggestions for filling out a week?

Oct 6th, 2003, 06:44 PM
  #1  
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Monaco, suggestions for filling out a week?

We have booked a timeshare week at Residence le Castel in Monaco from 10 April 2004, as part of an 8-week trip to Europe. We will probably rent a car for the week, should we? Do people have suggestions as to where we could go for day trips from Monaco? Will we swim in April?
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Oct 7th, 2003, 02:30 AM
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ttt
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Oct 7th, 2003, 03:03 AM
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Jim, there are loads of places to go for daytrips and you can do some of them by train or rent a car. The train runs along the coast & stops at most towns.

Nice is just west of Monaco & is a big city with several museums, an old town, a market most days (food, flowers, antiques, depending on the day), a Galleries Lafayette dept store and lots of charm. Cap Ferrat, also just west, is beautiful & has the former Rothschild estate, villa Ephrussi (www.ephrussi-villa.com), now a museum with fabulous gardens. The town of St Jean Cap Ferrat has some nice outdoor restaurants down at the marina. In the neighborhing town of Beaulieu is Villa Kerylos, also now a museum. Antibes, further west nearer Cannes has a Picasso museum. Then there are some beautiful towns up in the hills. These would be better seen by car. Eze & St Paul de Vence are 2 popular favorites for touring. Biot has a glassworks factory where you can watch them blow glass and another charming old hill town beyond. The website provencebeyond.com is a good place to see info on the area. There's also more info here if you do a text search using any of the town names I mentioned or type day trips AND Nice.

East of Monaco is Menton and then Italy! I've not been that far but many people say Menton is charming & has some beautiful views.

The decision on the car is really up to you. I'm not sure exactly where your time share is so a car may come in handy for shopping. You could rent it for the full time or perhaps just for a few days to make visiting the hill towns a bit easier.

Be aware though that there was a train tunnel collapse to the east of Monaco which may or may not be repaired by then. So going to Menton or into Italy might be better by car. The train provides bus service to get you past the closed tunnel & then you'd get back on the train.

If you do rent a car, try not to get one that's too big. The roads in the smaller hill villages are very narrow & large cars just can't sqeeze through.

Not sure about temps for swimming.

I'd really suggest getting a guide book for the area so you can see what's available.
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Oct 7th, 2003, 03:33 AM
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Jim01
Monaco itself has some nice sites, The Oceanographic museum, The Bothanical Gardens, The Casino and the rock with the castle.
From there you can drive along the basse corniche to Nice, enjoying the luxorious houses and a stop in Eze and Villefrance. Another day Grasse, capital of the perfums and Nice.
If you have a Sunday you can go to the market in San Remo and stay in town for lunch.
Another very interesting visit is Cannes combined with Biot(Glass factories) and Saint Paul de Vence, Mougins.
Swiming: April will be cold for swimming
but there is a beatiful indoor swimming pool in Hotel hermitage, at the time I was there it was open to non gest of the hotel,you will have to check this one.
If you want to have a very special dinner (and expensive) go to La Chevre D'Or in Eze Village.
If you manage with some French buy the Nice-Matin the local newspaper and you will find local events like special markets(handicraf).
There are plenty of museums in the area but you can check them in any guide or internet site. www.nice-coteazur.org
My favorite one is the Fondation Maeght(modern art) in Vence.
Have fun and drive carefully.
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Oct 7th, 2003, 03:53 AM
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The Fondation Maeght is in ST PAUL de Vence not Vence. In Vence there is a chapel designed by Matisse.
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Oct 7th, 2003, 04:41 AM
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A guidebook of Provence, even more specifically the Cote d'Azur will have details of all the sights going East to Italy and West to St. Tropez.

While the train works well to most big town centers, others you have to walk a bit, or a short inexpensive taxi ride. But for the hilltowns, it's best to have a car and driving is relatively easy.

Once you've gone thru a guidebook or two, break out your days by concentrating on one area at a time - eight days gives you plenty of time to take in alot and you won't have to rush. If really adventurous, you can get as far as Aix in Provence (about 3-hrs from Cannes). Do rent a car but check whether your timeshare has parking facilities, as street parking is iffy, and garages can be expensive for overnight.
 
Oct 7th, 2003, 05:05 AM
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Thank you for your useful ideas. I can see how the week can be used up, but a couple of further questions please. What are the most interesting hill towns not too far from Monte Carlo? What are the significant historical aspects of the area? Are there any guided walking or other tours in any towns or cities nearby. Best wishes.
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Oct 7th, 2003, 07:00 AM
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It depends on what you call "interesting". Eze is probably closest & very pretty with tropical gardens & is considered to be a "typical" hill village. It also has the famous Chateau D'Eze with the restaurant Chevre D'Or.

St Paul de Vence, which is further away but still an easy trip, is surrounded by ramparts and has the Fondation Maeght, a museum of modern art, so I think has more to see than Eze. Vence, just beyond St Paul is a market town. Biot & Vallauris are known for glass, pottery & ceramics.

Significant history? The whole area has changed hands so many times. In fact, the reason for the hill villages were as a precaution against invaders. In more recent history, the area was occupied by the Germans during the war.

Look at provencebeyond.com for walking tours. A Michelin Guide would be a good investment as it provides tours you can do on your own.
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