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Provence/Nice Suggestions and Help needed

Provence/Nice Suggestions and Help needed

Old Sep 13th, 2006, 12:36 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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Provence/Nice Suggestions and Help needed

hello
I am visiting provence the second week in October. This is a last minute trip and I have no clue where to start planning. I have 7 nights there. I am flying in/out of London so need to make my way back and forth from there. I will be flying rather than train and will rent a car....
What are some good towns/villages/cities to focus on for a first timer to the area? Avignon, St. Remy, Luberon area, Aix de Provence??? Just making some guesses by other posts I've read so far. I have read St. Remy is a good central location to stay in. We want to spend our last 2 nights in Nice and fly from there back to london. How far of a drive is it from St. Remy to Nice? Would a train to nice make more sense?

Sorry for all the questions but i am open to suggestions and really want to maximize my time. Figuring it would be better to fly into Avignon or Nimes and travel accordingly to make my way to Nice.

Thanks in advance for any advice you give!!
Dlap is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2006, 12:57 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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It's a 3-4 hour drive between Avignon and Nice. The train takes pretty much exactly the same amount of time, and it's a gorgeous ride between Marseille and Nice. You might consider getting the car just for the Provence part of your trip, and then giving it back in Avignon before heading off to Nice. That might be less of a hassle.

St-Remy would be a good place to base yourself. Drive around to visit Avignon, Nimes, Pont du Gard, Gordes, and Chateauneuf-du Pape for a day of wine tasting. These are all must-sees, as is the market in Ile-sur-la-Sorgue (just make sure you catch it on market day).

Do you absolutely need to go to Nice? There's enough to do in the Avignon area to fill up a week. However, if you do, Nice would be wonderful for your last two nights. Take the TVG from Avignon, spend a day at the Nice market and the old town, and do a little side trip to Eze, which should thankfully have many fewer tourists by then so you can have it all to yourself (fyi, it's better to take the bus from Nice to Eze rather than the train, because the bus takes you directly to the top of the cliff, whereas the train lets you off way down by the beach). It's really beautiful. Take summer clothes for those last two days, because it's noticably warmer in nice than in Avignon. I did a similar trip last November and was walking around in a teeshit and skirt in Nice (people were even swimming in the Mediterranean), but had to get out my winter coat for Avignon, which was cold and rainy.

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Old Sep 13th, 2006, 01:24 PM
  #3  
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Thanks so Much for the advice. I've been to Nice and loved but my husband has never been there so we wanted to include it. your information is very helpful.
Dlap is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2006, 01:27 PM
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Flying into Avignon is a good idea--you'll be close to St-Rémy.

Taking the train to Nice can be a slow process, as the tracks are not the high-speed sort. Driving would get you there quickest, about 2-1/2 hours from St-Rémy via the autoroute (according to the viamichelin.com web site).

If you take the coastal road from Marseille the going can be slow, as some of the roads are only 2 lanes, and you could easily spend 4 hours or more en route. You won't want/need a car in Nice unless you want to do local sightseeing; parking is scarce and expensive.

St-Rémy is a good location for sightseeing in western Provence--easy access to Les Baux, Arles, the Pont du Gard, Avignon, and the Lubéron.

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Old Sep 13th, 2006, 01:38 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Flying into Avignon or Marseille is a good idea. You can arrange to pick up your rental car at either location. Marseille is a larger airport, but very easy to navigate. The St. REmy/Les Baux area in the Alpilles is a great favorite area for me.

I think it would be a good choice...the drive to Nice is an easy 2 1/2 hr. drive if you use the auto route. I have previously rented a place in Villefranche-sur-Mer, which is the other side of Nice, and driven to Les Baux for a weekend stay at a very favorite spot of mine.

You can then drop your car at the Nice airport for your return flight..

enjoy your trip planning.......
gracejoan is offline  
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