One location in Provence?

Old Mar 25th, 2023, 03:54 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One location in Provence?

Hi folks,

This forum is an amazing trove of information! And also really overwhelming for someone who has never been to France to learn all the location names and get a sense of where they actually are and how accessible they are without driving. Yikes my brain in swimming and my Google Maps tabs overwhelmed!

Iím hoping to find a good spot for a just a couple nights for a first time in Provence. Iím flying in and out of Marseille for a group trip in Cassis this summer. I added a couple extra days on each end of the trip to settle in from jet lag and be able to see another town or so solo. I donít really want to rent a car on my own and Iím not trying to hit all the sights. Just some decompression days and to get some Provence vibes.

I was initially thinking of just spending the 1.5 days before and 2.5 days after in Marseille, but it sounds like folks think that just being in Marseille might be a missed opportunity. Maybe it would make more sense to spend the first 1.5 day on my arrival in Marseille and I could find another city to go to on the back end before I leave? This is where I need help. From reading the posts, it sounds like Aix may be a good choice for a town to be *in* rather than base from (since in the 2.5 days at the end there I'll probably just be in whatever place I pick). If it helps, I'm not a huge museum person. I like old buildings and outdoor things and to wander cute little streets and eat good food.

The two major issues Iím running into here are 1) I realize now that my 2 main solo days at the end of the trip are Sunday and Monday and from what I read here it sounds like a lot will be closed then. (Drat!) and 2) Because itís only a couple days, I donít really see much gain in trying to move around or rent a car and spending more time in transport so it's really just picking one place to be for those last couple days.

With that being said, here is what I think my schedule is looking like now:

Friday - Arrive at Marseille airport late - Stay in Marseille
Saturday - Spend day in Marseille (1 day)
Sunday - Travel to Cassis (Via train?) Solo explore Cassis (1/2 day)
Monday - Friday: Group stay in Cassis | Outdoor excisions planned (5 days)
Saturday - Transfer via train to _________[TBD] (1/2 day)
Sunday - [TBD] (1 day)
Monday - [TBD] (1 day, probably same as above)
Tuesday - Transfer via train. Arrive Marseille airport 11 am to depart home.

Based on reading here it seemed like maybe Aix would be a good choice, but now Iím second guessing it since I only have Sunday & Monday. But is there any difference? Or if all the little towns will be mostly closed Sunday & Monday, maybe I just pick a cute one that I can look at the buildings of and is not too far from Marseille so I can get back to the airport?

Swimming in French town names I've never seen before and would love any tips. Are there any better places for me to spend that Sunday + Monday? Iíd love any suggestions. Thanks all!
Adalya is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2023, 08:24 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 888
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Aix is the simple and best choice for you. As a bonus, the Fondation Vasarely is open Sunday and Mondays. Even if you are not a museum person, it really is something to see as all the works are purpose built for this place, so it is thoroughly unique unto the world.

https://www.fondationvasarely.org/
shelemm is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2023, 05:54 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,467
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree with Shelemm that Aix is the easiest and best choice for you. Aix is larger than many of the other cities and villages so you can spend a lot of time wandering and exploring the pretty streets and plazas and admiring the gorgeous architecture. Because it is larger, I think there would be more restaurants open on Sunday and Monday. In fact, I did a quick search and there are some bistros and restaurants that are open every day. Aix also has markets every day although the larger ones are on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

The train from Aix does not go directly to the airport. Once you arrive at the Marseille train station, you would have to take a taxi to the airport.

A better option, I think, would be to take the bus from Aix directly to the airport. I think you can pick up the bus at the Aix TGV. Not sure what your budget is, but a taxi would cost around $50.
KarenWoo is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2023, 07:29 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 200
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Aix for sure. There is a daily market on Place Richelme and a Sunday flower market on Place des Precheurs. Atmosphere galore. And it is a great town for wandering. And for eating.

The shuttle bus to Marseille airport leaves regularly from the downtown bus station (gare routiŤre), stopping at Aix TGV on the way.
FTOttawa is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2023, 09:42 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 11,695
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Another shout out for Aix. It is one of my favorite places to visit. I would love to spend a couple of weeks or more there. The Moroccan foods are wonderful! Make sure you try the Tajines with Couscous. If you sketch or paint, take a little set of art supplies with you. It is a Mecca for artists. You might even find a class or workshop just for one of the days you are there.
There are some fabulous museums in Marseille, if you can tear yourself away from Aix for a day. It is, as I recall, only about a 30 minute bus ride between Aix and Marseille.
Sassafrass is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2023, 04:30 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you so much. I keep second guessing since I've never been and didn't want to choose poorly for such a limited time and my first time traveling a bit on my own.
KarenWoo & FTOttawa I'm so relived this sounds great! And thank you for the tip about the shuttle bus instead of the train
Sassafrass & shelemm I'll still have a full day 1.5 days in Marseille at the start of my trip, so I can check out those ideas there there too!

Thanks so much! I'm off to find a flat to stay!
Adalya is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2023, 06:19 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,928
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
For what it's worth (you didn't ask), we've stayed twice in Aix at the Best Western. Close to town center, good breakfast, near bus stop to center, or about a 10-15 minutes walk, reasonable.
We'd considered B&Bs there, but for our purposes (which included driving to other nearby towns), it worked out swell.
tomboy is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2023, 06:53 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,467
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Adalya, if you have the time when you are in Marseille, I highly recommend wandering through the Panier district, Marseille's oldest neighborhood which was settled by the Greeks. There is some amazing and very colorful street art/graffiti. This is where people live, and you will find homes, parks, and playgrounds. It's fascinating!
KarenWoo is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2023, 11:59 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh awesome! Thanks KarenWoo That's exactly my jam. I think I'm going to get an AirBnB by the water on the north side, so I'll be both by the water and in walking area of Panier district. Thanks so much!
Adalya is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2023, 02:38 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 11,695
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
https://www.planetware.com/tourist-a...e-f-az-aix.htm

I think this is a really, really good website.
Sassafrass is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Marsha
United States
5
Aug 1st, 2002 06:06 AM
Tim
United States
7
Jun 20th, 2002 08:30 PM

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 - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -