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abynrml2106 Sep 8th, 2015 06:54 AM

Not to be missed one night in. . ?
My husband and I are spending 13 nights in Provence and on the Cote D'Azur in small towns, driving a rental car. We go from Nice to St. Remy, to Vaison la Romaine before heading to St. Paul (du Vence) for four nights. I have one night unplanned. What area stands out as a special town to give a brief "look see?" I know this is vague but sometimes Fodorites have amazing suggestions that turn out to be exactly what I was looking for! Crossing my fingers. and thanks for any help

PalenQ Sep 8th, 2015 07:23 AM

Grand Canyon de Verdun - take a boat ride - canoe or kayak and chill:

StuDudley Sep 8th, 2015 07:30 AM

Entrevaux and the brick-colored canyons & cute villages around that area. There may not be a hotel in Entrevaux, but Annot close-by has one and it is an interesting village too. We spent a week in a gite in Entrevaux a few years ago. Just 1 hr north of Nice.

Stu Dudley

pariswat Sep 8th, 2015 10:48 AM

Nice recommendation PalenQ, but it is les gorges du Verdon (Aiguines, Ampus..). Verdun is a killing field of WW1 up in the north east. You can do some kayak or 'pedalo' or simply electrical boat on the entry of les gorges du verdon and/or follow the scenic road on the crest.

We love Tourtour and Lorgues - was a 'hype' of the jetset some time ago, maybe still is ?

StuDudley Sep 8th, 2015 11:23 AM

Tourtour/Lorgues/Cotignac is a nice area (we've spent 4 weeks in a Gite there), but it is somewhat similar to what you'll find in Provence & the St Paul area. Gorges du Verdon and the Entrevaux/Gorges du Cains/Gorges de Daluis areas are something different.

This is from my Provence/Cote d'Azur itinerary. If you would like to have the entire itinerary, e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attach one to the reply e-mail. Do so soon - we leave for the Verdun area one week from today.

The stars (**) indicate the Michelin Green Guide rating.

In early July of ’07, we stayed in a Gite just outside of the old town of Entrevaux*, and explored the beautiful canyons, mountains, and small villages in the area quite thoroughly. Entrevaux is only 1 hr from Nice along the Var River. The town of Entrevaux is quite remarkable. Look up Entrevaux in the Michelin Green Guide for the French Alps and you’ll see a picture of the town. However, it’s more dramatic than the picture shows. There is a huge rock spur that sticks up along the northern bank of the Var River. A Citadel sits on top of the spur, with a fortified zig zag wall (built by Vauban) running down to the medieval village below – it’s quite a sight to see. For the best view of Entrevaux and the surrounding area, drive into the large parking lot (looks like a strip mall) that’s opposite the drawbridge entrance to medieval Entrevaux – on the opposite side of the N202. The entrance to the lot is at the extreme west end of the lot. Immediately to your right as you enter, there is a restaurant/café and then a very steep road heading uphill just after the restaurant. Follow this road up & up – admiring the views of Entrevaux as you climb. There are several areas to pull out & take a picture – which you’ll want to do. Keep going till you can’t see Entrevaux anymore and then return to the “strip mall”, park the car, & walk over the drawbridge into the medieval village. There are a few cafes for lunch there, but there are better ones just east in the town of Puget Theniers (village not worth exploring). You can take a scenic train from Nice to Entrevaux, but you can’t explore the canyons without a car.

Next, drive through the very scenic gorges in the area. We made several drives along these gorges – taking advantage of the sunlight at various times of the day. These gorges are quite spectacular and different from the gorges closer to Nice. The sheer walls are red slate – a very dark red-rust colored rock. From Entrevaux, take the N202 west then head north on the D902 (which changes to the D2202 when it crosses into the Alps Maritimes dept) through the Gorges de Daluis**. The views are better going north than south. As you exit the gorge at Guillaumes, head east on the D28 to Valberg, then on to Beuil. Drive south through the Gorges du Cains*** on the D28. Visit the cute village of Riguald near the south end of the Gorge. When the D28 hits the N202, take the N202 east to Touet sur Var*. You will see Touet perched up above the road, but you’ll have to drive past the town to find the access to the town. Drive up to Touet & explore this picturesque village. Continue east on the N202 & then take the D26 to Villars sur Var. This town has some very interesting passageways. After visiting Villars, continue north on the D26 and visit the cute town of Bairols, and then the town of Clans. These are all miniscule villages, and you’ll be surprised that they are even inhabited today – we enjoyed visiting them. Continue north on the D2205, then east to St Martin-Vesubie* (see “Deeper” above), and then return to Nice.

Other villages that we’ve visited & enjoyed in the area are Annot*, Roubion*, Meailles* (more picturesque from the outside than inside), and especially Colmars* (old town** plus fort),. Castellane* is a popular town and a center for exploring the Gorge du Verdon. It has good “bones” but is very touristy. The main street through town has some of the tackiest stuff that I’ve seen this side of Mt St Michel. Villages that were mentioned in various guide books, but we didn’t find that interesting were St Sauveur sur Tinee, & Roure.

Stu Dudley

abynrml2106 Sep 9th, 2015 11:09 AM

PalenQ: Those pictures made me drool. I'd love to see this. Thank you so much.
Stu: I have your guide so I am rereading this section.
We will be coming from Vaison to Entrevaux. Any suggestions on the best way to drive there?
We are not into kayaking but a scenic boat trip could work. How do I get to the place to buy tickets?
Again, this is perfect.

StuDudley Sep 9th, 2015 12:00 PM

>> Vaison to Entrevaux. Any suggestions on the best way to drive there?<<

I would just drive to Nice, then the D6202 north. Once you get past the Nice sprawl, the drive to Entrevaux is extremely scenic.

Not sure there are "Gabare" type boats on the Verdon - mainly kayaks and Castellane seems to be the center for boat rentals.

Stu Dudley

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