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Where to stay - 4 nights in Provence/French Riviera

Where to stay - 4 nights in Provence/French Riviera

Sep 19th, 2009, 08:20 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 69
Where to stay - 4 nights in Provence/French Riviera

Hi all -

Looking for any recommendations on a "base" town in Provence in which I can stay for 4 days in October.

We've been looking at Toulon as a "home base" to stay for a few days - and take day trips out to other areas. Is this a realistic option? Anywhere else you recommend we stay instead?

I'm hoping to visit a few places throughout Provence and the Riviera...any recommendations on towns we should definitely visit? How easy is it to get from town to town without a car?

Thanks in advance for the help!
LorRan is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 09:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,875
LorRAn, there are so many gorgeous towns in Provence you could use. Do some research as to what else/where else you want to go to and plot those on a map. Now look for somewhere central!!! I used Aix en Provence for four nights which worked well. It depends which area of Provence interests you the most. Uzes is also another gorgeous spot but further west than you may wish to be. Are you driving or using public transport? Driving certainly frees you up much more. I notice you ask how easy it is from town to town. There is a train service but only really to the main towns. I know there is a train station in Isle sur la Sorgue, but I don't know where it contects to. There is certainly a train line which runs along the coastline.you can get to Italy along this same route.

If it is the Luberon and perched villages that you most want to see consider Isle sur la Sorgue, or Gordes or Goult, Loumarin. They are all gorgeous. I found Avignon a bit "city" like, it looked better from the outside than in the inside. But maybe I didn't give it a long enough chance.

If you are only using public transport, that will probably be your deciding factor. So have a look at that first before you get locked into somewhere you cannot get around easily from.
Good luck,
schnauzer is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 11:05 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,505
Toulon is a Navy town which was heavily bombed during WW2. It is not very pretty. If you want to st ay on the coast, have a look at Sanary and Presqu'île de Giens.
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Sep 20th, 2009, 03:47 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 503
With just four days, I think it would be best to scale down your travel radius based on your interests. Although this region doesn't look big, the concentration of great things to see and do is very dense! For example, if you enjoy Roman ruins and Provencale towns (and markets) you could base yourself around St. Remy and visit Arles, Avignon, Uzes, Aix, Pont du Gard, and even Isle sur le Sorgue and parts of the Luberon. If you prefer contemporary art museums, hilltop towns, and stunning views of the sea (and markets!), you could find a base further east and see places such as St. Paul de Vence, Antibes, Nice, and Eze. A few years ago I had eight nights and tried to do both (staying in Arles and then near St. Remy, toodling through the Luberon and ending up in Antibes), and even with that many days I thought I spent too much time in transit (driving). Are you sure you want to do both Provence and the Riviera? Do you have particular interests that might help you focus?
abbydog is offline  
Sep 20th, 2009, 04:25 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,228
I think abbydog has a great point... I would pick either Provence or the Riviera. You will spend waaaaay too much time driving otherwise (this is assuming you are renting a car ?)

We like Hotel Welcome in Villefranche. We had a harborview room with a balcony. It was a wonderful way to start the day. I just wish it had been longer!
surfmom is offline  
Sep 20th, 2009, 01:54 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 69
Thank you all for the great advice. I was planning on doing train only...but after reading these remarks, I realize a car may be the better option.

That said - I'm now looking at traveling from Aix to Antibes (or Nice) over four days with a rental car.

Any advice on must-see spots along that route? I'm reading the Fodors Provence guide, and feeling a little overwhelmed.

any recommendations as i help build my itinerary would be fantastic!
LorRan is offline  

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