Toulon to Nice

Old Apr 13th, 2017, 04:38 PM
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Toulon to Nice

Hello, thanks for all the informative posts on this site. I would love the advice of the "experts" on my proposed trip.

I am flying into Toulon, renting a car and driving to St. Tropez for 3 days. My flight is quite late in the afternoon, will the drive be difficult after dark? I plan to do the beach at St. Tropez by day and dine near the port by night, probably by taxi as I think driving will be more trouble than it is worth.

Next I am on to St. Raphael for a few days, also driving as I assume that is the easiest way to get there, and gives me the option of stopping off on the way for lunch - any suggestions?? Any must-do activities there?

Finally, I am flying out of Nice and have three days after St. Raphael to do any of the following: 1) drop car in Nice and base myself there for day trips to Monaco, Eze, etc.; 2) drive only as far as Juan des Pins and explore there for a few days, including seeing Antibes, dropping car in Nice immediately before my flight.

What do you think? I am a single 50something woman traveling solo and love beaches/food/wine/authentic experiences.

I appreciate your advice in advance!
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Old Apr 13th, 2017, 08:47 PM
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My suspicions it that you could use bus and train transportation to go from one venue to the next and forget about renting a car. Public transportation along the Côte d'Azur is good.
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Old Apr 13th, 2017, 08:49 PM
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The "famous" beaches in St Tropez are not in St Tropez - but about a 15-20 min. drive from the center of St Tropez. Best to have a car there.

Do you have my 32 page Cote d'Azur & Provence itinerary?? We've vacationed for 40 weeks in this region & the itinerary describes our favorite villages, beaches, scenic drives, restaurants, etc. I've sent this itinerary to over 3,000 people on Fodors. If you would like a copy, e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attach one to the reply e-mail.

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 14th, 2017, 01:19 AM
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Contrary to Michael I find public transportation sucks in cote d azur

So you land in Hyeres actually the good news is that it is 20 min east of Toulon. Bad news : no public transportation. A shuttle bus that goes several times a day to st trop by road taking twice the time.

The road is very easy in the first half 3 lanes mostly than a little bit windy. Consider one hour from airport.

I would keep the car to just before taking the flight.

I spent 100 weeks in côté d azur and recommend the Michelin green guide. Sold to millions.
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Old Apr 14th, 2017, 01:22 AM
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If you like jazz eat at la voûte in Antibes they have groups playing several times a week and the food is above average.

In st trop la ponche is great. You can also splurge at l'escale but you pay for the location : at the port.
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Old Apr 14th, 2017, 01:23 AM
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You didn't say when you come. If between 14 July and 15 august the road along the sea (559?) is saturated. Double or triple driving time unless going early or late but avoid beach time.
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Old Apr 14th, 2017, 01:54 AM
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Woin is correct about when you are coming being important as the roads in and out of St Tropez are a nightmare during French school summer holidays.

I drove the coast road between Sanary, just east of Toulon, to Frejus then back to Nice at the beginning of March this year.

I enjoyed stopping at Bormes Les Mimosas and La Lavandou, which are not so far from the airport of Toulon. In addition I would recommend the old part of Frejus as well as the port area, which is a new development of apartments and restaurants.

I would drop the car in Nice and use public transport for your three days there. You could still visit Antibes and Juan les Pins by train for the day but it would mean not having the stress of driving around the area, public transport being very good from Nice - both bus and train.
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Old Apr 14th, 2017, 12:18 PM
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thank you all! I did forget to include my timing, I will be there at the end of June, first few days of July.

You all would recommend a base in Nice over a base in Juan des Pines for my final three days? Monaco is another option, but previous posts have led me to believe it would be much changed and not as attractive as I remember when I visited as a child (what has stayed the same over 40 years!)

Thanks again for all your help!
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Old Apr 14th, 2017, 12:33 PM
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There are many more things to do & see in Nice than in Juan les Pins - so I would base in Nice. Better public transportation from Nice also.

If you like concrete, congestion, noise, and glitz - then visit Monaco. I usually advise people to take the bus from Nice to Menton. It passes through Monaco. If Monaco appeals to you - get off the bus for a visit.

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 14th, 2017, 02:29 PM
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St. Raphael is now my only question - worth a few days? Or go straight on to Nice as a base and take the train back for a visit?
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Old Apr 14th, 2017, 03:23 PM
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Train back to maxime. I recommend having lunch in the covert market - we had great oysters there.

Ps don't say Juan les pines. Or Google what pine means in French ;-)
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Old Apr 14th, 2017, 03:51 PM
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We've driven past St Raphael many, many times and found no reason to stop & explore. I think your time will be better spent around Nice & visiting Menton, Antibes, St Paul, Rothchilds home & garden, Vence, Tourrettes sur Loup, and the red-brick canyons inland from Nice. Or just enjoy lazy days & long lunches with a bottle of rose wine on the beach in Nice (I like Blue Beach). See the itinerary I sent you about the Tourrettes loop.

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 14th, 2017, 11:10 PM
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Oops. You wrote St Raph and i read Maxime.
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Old Apr 15th, 2017, 12:37 AM
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Don't worry about driving in the dark; if you arrive late afternoon - it doesn't get dark until 10 pm or so.

Keep the car in St Tropez if you want to go to the beach. Most have valet parking. Book for lunch at the popular beaches.
Drive to St Raphael - it's a beach town, not much to do as far as I know. But the drive is beautiful until you get to Cannes. I would rather stay in Cannes than in St Raphael, much more to do.
Or stay in Nice, as Stu recommends. Lots to do and see. Make sure your hotel has parking. I would keep the car to see Cap Ferrat, perhaps drive to Eze.

I like Juan les Pins, but as a beach destination. Not much to do apart from beach/restaurants/boutiques. Depends on what else you want to see. Driving from Juan les Pins to Nice, and to the places east of Nice, takes some time. You either drive to the motorway A8 first, or you take the road along the coast. Both options are busy.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 05:12 PM
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thank you all again for your thoughts!
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