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Mougins or Grasse for base in Cote d'Azur?

Mougins or Grasse for base in Cote d'Azur?

Jan 10th, 2004, 01:43 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 5,434
Wether it is busy or not will depend much on the holidays and Cannes Film Festival. April 11 and 12 is Easter; schools have a one or two week holiday in much of Europe. 1st of May is a public holiday, and so is 20th of May (Ascension day). Since this is a Thursday, lots of people will take Friday off too. 31st May is also a public holiday. Hope that helps!
Tulips is offline  
Jan 10th, 2004, 08:00 AM
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With May 1, May 20 and May 31st holidays, and May 12-24 Cannes Film Festival, and then May 20-24 Grand Prix, that leaves only May 2-11 for a 10-day spread, which is the length of our trip.

I am wondering if we would be better off in June. It seems the weather is same/better than May and prices are no higher. Can anyone tell me where to find a list of public holidays for France?
wanderer is offline  
Jan 10th, 2004, 08:09 AM
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WE spent 10 days in St, Paul in June. The weather was gorgeous, we didn't have one single rainy day. However, beware: on weekends, the traffic is much heavier on the main roads and highways. I strongly advise you to plan your day trips accordingly. Try to make it to St. Tropez, Antibes and Menton ( or the villages nearby) on week days, when the traffic is much better.
Surlok is offline  
Jan 10th, 2004, 08:56 AM
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Here's a site for holidays (they're called bank holidays in Europe) but I couldn't find 2005 listed, only up to 2004.


As to your original question, I've ironically stayed either in St Paul de Vence (4 times-3x September, 1x June) or at the Hotel Welcome in Villefranche in Feb. FYI-Sept. is my favorite time there. Still warm enough to swim but not so crowded & not so hot as the summer.

I think from what you describe you'd like, Villefranche although I agree, probably not the Hotel Welcome. It's not that it lacks charm-it actually has some charming Cocteau inspired murals in the rooms. It's just not as upscale as I think you'd like. Beaulieu or St Jean Cap Ferrat would all make good coastal bases but understand they're not that far from St Paul. I agree you'd get a different feel from St Paul, but if you're planning on going as far west as St Tropez and are doing this in May/June period, I'd suggest staying somewhere west, nearer St Tropez. St Tropez, IMO is NOT a comfortable daytrip from St Paul & would be even further from Villefranche etc.

Ramatuelle is an area just outside St Tropez that might offer a good solution. Here's a mention of a new hotel called Villa Marie in Ramatuelle that sounded interesting to me.


I also think Antibes would be another option, although still a "schlepp" to St Tropez.

If I were doing this trip, I'd either pick that 10 day period in May, mid-June or early September. I'd go to Ramatuelle first for maybe 2-3 nights, then St Paul for the rest OR St Paul for 4 nights & end with a night or 2 in Cap Ferrat.
mclaurie is offline  
Jan 10th, 2004, 10:23 AM
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Thanks Mclaurie. Villa Marie in Ramatuelle looks beautiful, if just a bit pricey. We may very well spend a few nights in St. Tropez or Ramatuelle, as I myself wonder if a day trip is feasible.

If we decide to stay on the coast, more east, we have "picked" 3 places that look good and have rates we can afford. We are set that if we stay on the coast we want a room with a sea view, and preferably a balcony to enjoy it.

Would love comments from anyone who has stayed at any of these places or what these towns have to offer -

1) La Perouse - Nice - $285 - Superior Sea View, $405 - Deluxe Sea View (I am not clear what the difference is between Superior and Deluxe - this is quite a big price difference)

2) Royal Riviera - St. Jean - $335 - Sea View - some book made note of this hotel being close to train tracks (??)

3) Vista Palace - Roquebrune - $224 - Sea View Cap Martin, $316 - Deluxe Sea View Cap Martin with Terrace.

Vista Palace seems the most reasonable, but I can't seem to find much on it.
wanderer is offline  
Jan 12th, 2004, 01:32 AM
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I've stayed at the Royal Riviera, and it's a lovely hotel. Restaurant has a beautiful terrace overlooking the gardens and sea. The train is not far away, but I have never heard it there. It's an easy walk from the hotel to Beaulieu. Some of the smaller rooms can be quite small at the Royal Riviera.
Tulips is offline  
Jan 12th, 2004, 08:34 AM
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Just tried doing a search for reviews of the Vista Palace for you. I did find one useful one on virtualtourist.com

The hotel sounds beautiful but it's described as 10-15 drive up in the mountains above Monte Carlo if that matters to you (ie not ON beach but they probably have beach facilities thta require a drive). I was also reminded, reading that it's east of Monte Carlo, you should know the train tunnel I think east of Monaco, has been closed for repair for some time & I don't think has reopened yet. This just means if you're traveling by train you have to get off the train and take a bus to get past the construction.
mclaurie is offline  
Jan 18th, 2004, 04:22 AM
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We were in the Cote d'Azure this past May/Jun 2004. We got a villa in Cannes and took day trips...We took day trips to both Mougin and Grasse...I would stay central near the coast. LIke you we went as farWest as ST Tropez and far East as Monte Carlo. LOVED LOVED LOVED our lunch at Bastide Saint Antoine. Incredible!!!! EXCELLEN service. I would definitley stay there - beautiful pastel yellow exterior with bright intense magenta bougainvia (sp?). But I would recommend staying at one place longer as I hate packing unpacking and then just take day trips...As for St. Tropez we did that in one day trip about 2.5 hrs from Cannes - definitely take the N98 along the coast through the Esterel Mountains with the orange/red clay mountains. Well worth the day trip...and we stopped in Frejuz for the market 3/4 way down to St. Trop and then lunch in St. Trop and wandered around and then checked out one of the beaches to say we had been there and then took the freeway (quick way) back. Excellent!!!
Gargiulo is offline  
Jan 18th, 2004, 04:26 AM
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Oh and you MUSt go to Eze and you must at least have drinks on the terrace at Le Chevre d'Or.... a must see very quaint romantic....they provide triple layer silver trays with appetizer when you order drinks.....This place is more expensive but well worth it..we also had dinner there but very expensive...completely worth it!!! Eze village lovely to then walk around and meander thru all the shops.....and then we drove to La Turbie about 10-15 min away and walked through the roman ruins.....Excellent day!!! St Paul de Vence a yes too, we had lunch our first day at "Le Saint Paul" very charming ....good food...and you MUST see the Maeght Museum.....and walk the grounds with all the art pieces to see....
Gargiulo is offline  
Jan 18th, 2004, 12:34 PM
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Gargiulo, you must do a more detailed trip report. I would love to hear how many days you were there, what other restaurants you liked, etc. Also, how did you find your villa in Cannes?

When people say Chevre d'Or is expensive for dinner, what $$ are we talking for 2? I would be a little worried driving that road at night though after a dinner! Especially if we had even one glass of wine.

Is that not the road that Grace Kelly was killed on?
wanderer is offline  
Jan 18th, 2004, 12:57 PM
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Expensive means well over $100 per person without wine. I think most people dining at the Chèvre d'Or are probably staying at the hotel, not driving off into the night.
Underhill is offline  
Jan 18th, 2004, 11:06 PM
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wanderer, we had lunch there, which perhaps allows you to enjoy the view more than in in evening. Can't remember the cost, but lunch is often less expensive than dinner. I found the road not that difficult. True that Grace Kelly died there, but accidents happen. Just drive carefully, and don't be rushed by road-maniacs coming up behind you.
Tulips is offline  
Jan 19th, 2004, 05:08 AM
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Mougins is a lovely village with a good number of good restaurants and fun art galleries. It's always full of tourists but since it's bigger than St Paul de Vence is doesn't seem to claustrophobic.
Les Muscadins is right in the old village and now it shares facilities with Le Mas Candille which can be a big extra. I stayed at Le Bastide Saint Antoine this past August and it was perfect. Even if you don't do go and have dinner at the restaurant - its a moveable feast! Service both at the hotel and restaurant are excellent.
The drive back and forth from Grasse to the coast is not bad at all. Grasse is an interesting village with an old sector as well.
bellefontaine is offline  

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