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Provence or Corsica?!?

Old Jul 22nd, 2013, 07:40 AM
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Provence or Corsica?!?

My significant other has a conference in Paris for 4 days in late September. We find ourselves with 5 days vacation before hand. He has been to Cannes and a few other places in France. I have spent a good amount of vacation time in Paris. We are looking to get away and experience a new locale while relaxing, and friends have recommended Provence or Corsica.

With only 5 days, I feel like we would be rushing either, so I have been trying to figure out where would be *less* of a rush between the two. We will be flying from London and can fly into pretty much any airport from there (not just Paris) as our tickets haven't been booked yet. We are in our 30s. We both love food and wine. I'm a sucker for good scenery, open air markets, and love a good hike. He is more of a museum walker and sit by the beach and read guy, but can be up for something outdoorsy if it isn't too strenuous. Both of us have horrible, horrible French skills. We aren't trying to spend more than $1k a day for both of us for this trip, including everything.

Any advice for Provence versus Corsica and which areas are must sees? Thanks much!
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Old Jul 22nd, 2013, 08:41 AM
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I'm going to suggest a third alternative that is closer to Paris and therefore will cost you less time going to/from it for the conference.

The Alsace region just to the east of Paris has a lot to offer in terms of food, wine, scenery, hiking, urban attractions.

For example, Strasbourg (perhaps you could fly in to there and back from Paris. Strasbourg has all the 'commuters' to the European Parliament and so numerous flights per day.) has the Cathedral and old town to walk around in. A market http://strasbourg.angloinfo.com/info...pping/markets/ and of course the restaurants have regional food specialties.

With a car you can travel from there on the Route de Vins from one picturesque village to another, sampling wines as you go. Here is someone's description of a short trip.
http://www.independenttraveler.com/t...-route-de-vins

There's lots more to see and discover not in that description but it gives you an idea at least.
http://www.google.ca/search?q=alsace...iw=786&bih=645

Have you ever seen a stork nesting on top of a roof?
http://www.google.ca/search?q=alsace...w=1280&bih=687
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Old Jul 22nd, 2013, 09:28 AM
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I have not been to Corsica, but my impression is that the Provence would offer more in terms of cultural sites than Corsica.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2013, 10:10 AM
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Thanks for the recommendation Improviser. I think we are seeking something a little more Mediterranean, unless we just will not have the time at all. This is partially because I was promised a beach vacation in August and I am getting this instead... But Alsace looks beautiful!
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Old Jul 22nd, 2013, 10:38 AM
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I don't think you can beat Provence. It will be easy to get there by TGV and is a lovely destination. FIve days is not a lot but you can certainly enjoy the area in that time. Find a lovely inn with a pool and you won't miss your beach vacation at all.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2013, 10:47 AM
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For pure natural beauty, the reply is Corsica. However, if you enjoy interacting with the locals, Provence is more user-friendly.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2013, 11:16 AM
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Hard to choose - we love both. Below is a link to a recent post where I link to our Corsica blog with lots of pics.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...in-corsica.cfm
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Old Jul 22nd, 2013, 08:47 PM
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In that case newtraveller I think I would suggest Corsica. I've spent time in both Corsica and Provence, my choice is based on your having both spent time in France before. While Corsica is of course part of France (according to France), it is a different culture in many ways. As much Italian as French and of course politically there is a strong desire for independence.

You can fly directly to Ajaccio and have your beach holiday there. That would cost you the least time to/from and help maximize your time. I can't suggest a hotel, I visited the island several times but always on a sail boat.

I'll never forget being anchored in one small bay south of Ajaccio and the baker coming out to the boats in the early morning with fresh baked baguettes and croisants for sale.

It's a lovely island with lots to see and do but with only a few days, Ajaccio and perhaps a one day rental car day trip will be enough to keep you busy.

For a day trip I would consider driving to Bonifacio, my favourite town on the island. (132km/2 hours one way)The Citadel is well worth a visit but it is the harbour and it's entrance that sailors love. Unfortunately, you won't be able to enjoy that aspect.

If you sail to Bonifacio from France as you get closer to the island all you see is cliffs. Closer, closer, still just cliffs. Now you are starting to get nervous depending on which way the wind is blowing. Finally, when you are almost on top of it, you see a break in the cliffs. A narrow entrance to a spectacular natural harbour with the citadel above you on your right.

There are tour boats I think from Ajaccio to Bonifacio and the view from the sea is spectacular but it can be rough sailing. So any tendency to seasickness, forget that idea.

Provence, is just more of France to me, Corsica is another country.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2013, 08:50 PM
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Side note in case some sailor reads this. As a sailor you do not sail into Corsica with the French flag flying as your 'courtesy' flag. you fly the Corsican black and white flag. Flying the French flag just might get you some unwelcome attention and I ain't kidding.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2013, 05:23 AM
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Thanks! Corsica sounds wonderful. I guess either way, we are in for a beautiful vacation. I need to just stop being a wimp and pick!
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