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where to spend 10days in Southern France?

where to spend 10days in Southern France?

Nov 6th, 2009, 03:59 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 5
where to spend 10days in Southern France?

I will arrive beginning December in Marseille, staying there a day or two then where else worth to go? First time in Southern part of France, reasons to pick is that there's direct flight from Frankfurt and weatherwise much warmer. Is it necessary to book room in advance or I can do it on the spot which makes the whole trip more flexible, should I rent a car or taking trains ? P.S. return flight depart from Marseille !!
Appreciate for any comment.
YCC is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 05:25 AM
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Posts: 74,118

Now is a good time to stop by the library and get a few guidebooks.

Also look up Marseille under "destinations".

If you will be visiting cities (Arles, Aix, Avignon) the trains will be fine.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 07:23 AM
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I would suggest to spend 5 days in the Provence (somewhere in the Nimes - Avignon - Arles - St. Remy area) and 5 days on the Cote d'Azur (Cannes - Antibes area).

And, yes, I would opt for a rental car. You are more flexible and you will enjoy breathtakingly scenic roads - especially on the Cote d'Azur.
traveller1959 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 07:50 AM
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I would stick with the larger towns/cities which offer more restaurant and sight seeing diversions in case the weather is rainy or too cold. You also will have access to more frequent public transportation in larger towns.

Agree with traveller1959 on splitting your trip between 2 locations.
adrienne is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 07:59 AM
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I've only gone to Provence in the months of June and July so I have no idea of the weather conditions in December. If you choose to visit Provence you can train to Avignon and stay there a few days without need of a car. You can daytrip to Il sur la Sorgue by bus and Arles by train from Avignon.

Pick up a rental car at the Avignon train station and chose a small town as a base for a couple of days (Uzes or St. Remy) and see the perched Luberon hill towns like Gordes, Roussillon and Bonniuex.

Return the car to Avignon train station and train to ? for the last couple days of your trip.
amwosu is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 08:03 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 466
We loved Nice this summer. We took a trip from Nice to Grasse, one Euro each way for each person. Can't drive it for that. Once in Nice, you can also use the train to go to several cities for day trips. the local bus can be an option also. Car can be used for smaller towns not served by train. There, you will find fewer tourists and get the feel for the area better.
jkbritt is offline  
Nov 7th, 2009, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 13
YCC, Expect the weather to be warmer than Frankfurt, but not necessarily warm!! It will probably be in the teens (Celcius).

Cassis is a fabulous port town right next to Marseille. I believe you can take a boat trip to see the Callanques even in the winter. It is a beautiful ride, but make sure to bundle up!!

Also, Hautes Cagnes is worth a visit just for the spectacular view of the coast.

RedBalloon is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 09:00 AM
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My suggestion is to rent a car and stay in an apartment based in Lourmarin for the 10 days, exploring the Luberon countryside and beautiful villages, and beyond.

Here are two great choices of places to stay-



The Provence Byways guide is an excellent resource for the area. Their website seems to be down right now, but here is the a snapshot of the information on the guide and how to order-

zoecat is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 02:58 PM
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We loved Provence and really enjoyed Avignon, St. Remy, Les Beaux and visiting some of the small towns in the Luberon - Gordes, Roussillon, etc. Uzes is also a cute town near the Pont du Gard. There is also the Cote du Rhone wine region north of Avignon...Lots to see in this area. As someone mentioned above, if you plan to see the cities in this region (Arles, Avignon, Aix), you can certainly take trains which are very easy...

I enjoyed staying in Avignon for a couple of nights - then renting a car and moving to a base in St. Remy and taking day trips from there. It's a beautiful region, great restaurants and markets.

In the amount of time you have, you could also visit some towns along the French Riviera - Nice, Villefranche, Monaco, Antibes, etc - though I don't know how they would be in winter. I'm sure still beautiful and worth the trip...

alldaytravel is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 01:19 AM
Join Date: May 2009
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I'd stay away from Eastern Provence and head to the western part - better weather and a more authentic experience. I also agree that Uzes is a fine place to stay - and why not combine it with a visit the Pont du Gard as part of a hiking trip?

I did a drive-hike tour last year with The Enlightened Traveller called Hiking Provence-Gard. See:


They also do an inn-to-inn tour on their sister site at:


Happy hiking!

NottinghamMilli is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 04:35 AM
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Just worth saying that hotels and restaurants are cheaper further East in Languedoc.

It is quieter, too.

mpprh is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 07:26 AM
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Posts: 3,357
I think all have forgotten the mistral winds! Also a great many places are closed in western Provence. I know my favorite places are closed that time of the year.

If flying in and out of Marseille, it is easy car rental there and an easy drive east to Villefranche-sur-Mer, for instance.

gracejoan3 is offline  

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