South of France

Old Jan 4th, 2017, 10:02 PM
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South of France

My husband and I, in our mid 50s plan to visit South of France in early May for about 10-14 days (flexible), travelling from Spain (and then to Italy).

We enjoy beautiful scenery / flowers / nature / architectures (less of museums/galleries)

We are travelling on budget by train/bus and plan to stay in 3 or 4 central areas and make day trips from there.

Please suggest where we should go; number of nights to stay / and a central place to stay in each region.

Thank you in advance Aileen
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Old Jan 4th, 2017, 10:33 PM
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What part of the south? It's a vast region. You'll need to do some reading in a good guidebook and then return with specific questions. I recommend the Michelin Green Guide to France as a good survey for the country over-all; then you can decide which regions in the south most appeal to you and get the guidebooks for those areas.

There's quite a lot to choose from: the Languedoc, western and eastern Provence (the latter known as the Côte d'Azur), northern Provence (the Drôme Provençale, off the beaten tourist track), the Rhône Valley, just for starters. Once you have a plan we can help with specific questions, but we're not really here to plan entire itineraries.
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Old Jan 4th, 2017, 10:54 PM
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Underhill has it right - in addition to his/her suggestions, get ahold of as many DVDs and videos and picture books as you can - raid the shelves of your local library and YouTube etc. etc. Then define just where you want to go.

Google the words "Lavender South of France" and borrow some ideas from the tour companies. See if you can figure out train transportation between some of those targets - www.sncf.fr

I'm not sure that going by public transportation will save you money. It will slow you down and prevent you from reaching many places where a car gets you in and out in a jiffy, out-of-the-way places where there may be no train and only one or two buses a day if there are buses at all.

Museums and galleries are in cities, but what you say you would like to see is out there, often hard or impossible to reach without a car.
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Old Jan 4th, 2017, 10:55 PM
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Annecy!
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Old Jan 5th, 2017, 01:47 AM
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Annecy, a small (in my eyes not too attractive) town close to Geneva has absolutely nothing to do with Southern France.

Barcelona - Genoa by train:
check stopovers at Nimes, Avignon, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Nice
Visit these places if you are interested in and make day or half day trips from there to
Arles, Le Grau du Roi, Pont du Gard, St.Rhémy/Glanum, prehistoric Chauvet caves, Cassis and the Calanques, Grasse, Train des Pignes, Vence, Monte Carlo, Parc des Merveilles.....
Google for these places and decide what you want to visit.
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Old Jan 5th, 2017, 02:57 AM
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Hello
I would select 2-3 locations and visit from there.
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Old Jan 5th, 2017, 09:31 AM
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You really need to do some research. People (mostly Americans) go ga-ga over "the South of France" without realizing it comprises a vast territory with many different regional variations.

Annecy is not part of any one of them.

Traveling by train/bus is going to be very limiting. In most of rural France buses and trains are designed to get local people to work/school/cities where they have business.
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Old Jan 5th, 2017, 10:02 AM
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For 10-14 days, given you start in Spain, I'd personally spend part of the time around Toulouse (use it as a base) and then move on to Avignon or some place around there for a base for Provence. If you really wanted, you could then move on to Nice for a few days and fly home from there.

I think that would be a great trip, and Toulouse, Avignon and Nice are easy to do with only public transportation (including nearby day trips). In fact, I've done them all that way (without a car). And it's easy to get between them by train.
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