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South of France & North of Italy in 10days

South of France & North of Italy in 10days

Jan 11th, 2015, 06:03 AM
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South of France & North of Italy in 10days

Hi, we plan to fly to Paris and then take a train or a flight to Montpellier. After that, we plan to rent a car and drive around. Any suggestion about where we should go around the area?

Next, we plan to go to Tuscany. Can you recommend the mode of transportation? We understand that if we rent a car from France, it will be costly if we drop it off in Italy.
joemalai is offline  
Jan 11th, 2015, 06:20 AM
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Use skyscanner.com to find low cost flights from Paris to either Nice or Montpellier or Marseille to for the Provence part of trip. The train is good too, but takes 3 -4 hours. A flight is much faster and often not that much more expensive. Then use skyscanner to find flights to Florence for the Tuscany part of trip.

Also, depending on where you are flying from [I am guessing USA] you can fly to Nice or Marseille without having to go to Paris first. It may cost a bit more, but will save the second leg of trip - whether flying or train- to get to south of France.

I assume you will be doing open jaw ticket, meaning you will fly home from Italy??

We spent 4 nights in Montpellier and it was nice but we had already spent 5 days in Nice and 14 days in St Saturnin les Apt [The Luberon region of Provence]. Unless you have specific reasons to go to Montpellier, I would go elsewhere . With 10 days [does that count the time flying to and from France?] you really only have time for 1 stop in France and one in Italy.

What are your interests as far as what you would like to see or do? Hard to suggest things otherwise.


DebitNM is offline  
Jan 11th, 2015, 06:31 AM
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Agree that in 10 days (and is that really 10 days - not counting arrival and departure days) or do you only have 8 nights on the ground.

Agree to limit yourself to 2 stops to avoid spending a large part of your very limited time in transit - one in France and one in Italy. And would look for open jaws flights - into Nice and out of Pisa - or Milan or Venice if better for your home destination.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 11th, 2015, 06:39 AM
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If you're spending time in Paris before moving on to Montpellier, the net time for the train journey might be the same as flying, what with getting out to the airport, waiting for the flight, then getting into town when you arrive at Montpellier. Our Parisian relatives like Montpellier; there must be something there.

A car is best for Tuscany. Just rent a second car that you pick up in Italy. You'll have to buy insurance (required in Italy) as is an International Drivers Permit to go along with your local license. The IDP is a translation of your license, easily and cheaply available in North America at your local AAA/CAA office.
Mimar is offline  
Jan 11th, 2015, 07:22 AM
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You could take the train from Nice to Ventemiglia or Bordighera and then rent a car there to continue to Tuscany.

I agree, if spending time in Paris, train is easier and if you book far enough ahead, you can get 19 euro fare. I did not get impression that OP was spending time in Paris.

Also, I agree that there are things to see and do in Montpellier and it is worth a couple of days but IF this is OP's first trip to south France, there may be other options but again, that depends on where OPs interest lie.
DebitNM is offline  
Jan 11th, 2015, 07:28 AM
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In only 10 days you cannot do any justice to what is really two trips---see France or Italy but not both.

Paris---3 nights
Train to Avignon--get car
See Provence--4 nights
Drive to Nice--2 nights
Fly home from Nice
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 11th, 2015, 07:31 AM
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At this point, we are all speculating and need feedback from OP. This is his first post and it may take him some time to provide it.

The 10 days could be AFTER they spend time in Paris; they may not want to see Paris [crazy, I know but...] etc.
DebitNM is offline  
Jan 11th, 2015, 07:42 AM
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I suppose you don't want to visit Paris (which would occupy you during the first 4 days). If you don't want to visit all the must sees of Provence/Languedoc-Roussilon, you may drop off your car at Marseille airport and fly to Rome (ryanair, vueling, easyjet, etc; fares start at 50 EUR), rent there another car and drive through Southern Tuscany.
neckervd is offline  
Jan 11th, 2015, 09:26 AM
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I'd add a day to Paris, after Provence spend the last night in St Paul de Vence, 20 minutes to the airport.
RonZ is offline  
Jan 13th, 2015, 08:03 AM
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Thank you very much for all your responses.

We will fly from Bangkok, Thailand to Paris and will catch a flight to either Marseille or Montpillerer, without wondering around Paris. We plan to spend 5 days in Provence area and another 5 days in Tuscany.

If we rent a car to travel around Provance area, where should we rent and return the car? We understand that if we rent a car in France and use it for the entire trip and return it in Italy, it will be very costly.

If we rent and return a car in France and would like to cross to Italy to rent a car for our Tuscany trip, which city you recommend us to return the car in France and how we should get to Italy, and which city? I think flying to Rome maybe a detour...
joemalai is offline  
Jan 13th, 2015, 08:41 AM
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Provence is a very big area, from the coast to the mountains. Can you zero in on where you want to go/ what you want to do in Provence? That will help determine which city to go to from Paris. With 5 days in Provence that really means the sea or the mountains in my opinion. So you need to pick. Nice is another option as arrival city from Paris; easy to fly to.

Next, you have to decide how you want to get to Italy - train or fly. Again, that helps decide where you drop off car.

You have a lot of folks willing to help, but you have to provide more info as to what you want to see or do and how you wish to travel to Italy.
DebitNM is offline  
Jan 14th, 2015, 07:04 PM
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Hi....honestly, we have no solid idea at the moment where to go in Provence, thinking about to drive along the coast then drop off the car in Nice(?) and catch the train to Italy and pick up the new car and drive and stop by till reach Tuscany...thanks so much if you have any better idea or plan to share with us
joemalai is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 09:01 AM
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Most people here when they say Provence, mean inland Provence: Avignon, the Luberon, Aix-en-Provence, the wine area around Orange, etc. The coastal part of Provence, the stretch eastward from Marseilles, is the Côte d'Azur or French Riviera. Famous towns there are Nice, Cannes, Antibes, St. Tropez, etc. as well as Monaco (an independent country).

Both these areas are very scenic and interesting to visit. You can do the coast with public transportation but inland Provence is better seen by car. Time to do some research. Look at photos of these places, read a guidebook or two. There's lots of information online. You can start at Fodor's Destinations on at the upper left of this page in the orange box.

BTW Nice has an airport too. You could fly there from CDG.
Mimar is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 10:14 AM
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If you can afford it, drop off your car in Nice and take a flight to Rome and pick up a car there at the airport to drive to scenic Tuscany.
sandralist is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 11:43 AM
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Most of the drive along the Cote d'Azur from St Tropez to Nice is not very scenic - except for a short stretch along the Cote d' Esterel.

When we went from Tuscany to Nice a few years ago, we drove to La Spezia, returned the Italian car, took the train to Nice (long trip), and then rented a French car in Nice. A few decades ago, we drove the Italian car to Monaco, picked up a French Car, drove both cars back to San Remo, and dropped off the Italian car before returning to Nice. You could do the same in reverse.

However, French cars are usually less expensive to rent than Italian cars. Do the math, and determine if the drop off fees plus a 10 day rental are more or less that two 5 day rentals plus train costs.

My wife & I have vacationed for 40 weeks in Provence & Cote d'Azur. We've also vacationed for 10 weeks in Tuscany. I put together an itinerary for Provence/Cote d'Azur plus another for Italy/Tuscany. I've sent them to over 5,000 people on Fodors (really). If you would like a copy, e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attach one to the reply e-mail. Identify which itineraries you want in the e-mail. I get about 4-7 requests daily & sometimes people request "the itinerary" and I have no idea which one they want (I have several others).

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Jan 16th, 2015, 07:39 AM
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Thanks all, seem we have to do some more reasearch and reading more to see what we want to go.

Our initial plan is to rent a car from city in south of France and drive along the coast and/or pass by some Inland Provence area until we reach Tuscany and fly back home from Florenze. Again we dont know if this a good idea trip after got some replies from all of you.

-Is the coast area in south of France is interesting to drive? will we enjoy seafood dinning trip?

-Is Inland Provence is better than coast area of south?

-Wondering is In land Provence the same mode/scene with Tuscany? too many wine yard scene to be visited?

Thanks Stu for your itineraries offer but now we have no exact idea which itineraries we will go....
joemalai is offline  
Jan 16th, 2015, 07:58 AM
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>>-Is the coast area in south of France is interesting to drive?<<

From St Tropez to Nice there is very little of it that is interesting

>>>will we enjoy seafood dinning trip?


>>-Is Inland Provence is better than coast area of south?<<

Yes - inland is beautiful. If you get my itinerary, I describe several scenic inland drives.

>>Wondering is In land Provence the same mode/scene with Tuscany?<<

Yes - but I think Tuscany (especially the Val d'Orcia) is more scenic than Provence - except for the lavender. Again - if you get my Italy itinerary, there are several pages that describe scenic drives in Tuscany.

>>too many wine yard scene to be visited?<<

how many is "too many"?

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Jan 16th, 2015, 08:33 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 171
It seems you have very good desires but no real plans. Both the South of France and Tuscany can easily tke your full 10 days each for each one. To see if what you want to do is right for you, pick the places you want to stop at and see, estimate the time for each place, add on the travel time between places and see if you can make a sensible daily schedule to fit your interests.

I suspect you will realize that between travel times and the mechanics of checking into and out of hotels and eating nice meals, you will discover that you can only do one of the regions. Decide which one (we are here to help!), and you can then get set.

Happy planning!
Caliban is offline  
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