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Trip advice - southrn France

Adelaide, South...
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Trip advice - southrn France

Hi All,

I plan to be travelling through France for the first 2 weeks of September next year and need a little advice on how how long to spend where...

I will have already been to Paris and am planning on doing a cycling tour through the Loire Valley and then onto Rennes and Rouen before making my way to the UK.

So , I have 1st-12th to fill. Seeing as though I need to be in Blois on the 13th train travel seems to make it easier for me to stay in Tours or Beaugency the night before.

I was thinking of (as I'm coming from Italy) spending 3 nights in Nice, 3 nights in Marseille and Nimes to have day trips and stuff through Provence, Avignon and to Carcassonne and then 2 nights in Grenoble.

I'm wondering if I'm giving it too much time in some places, and not enough in others. I have a real interest in history and interesting places, but no interest in sitting on a beach and drinking wine for 3 hours during dinner (in fact, I don't drink at all) as I find such activities boring.

I'll be by myself am a fairly high energy person who's not interested in parties, but likes physical activities and being mentally stimulated, so I plan my days with purpose.

Can anyone offer advice?

Andrésy, France
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1. Re: Trip advice - southrn France

Cut out Grenoble - there isn't very much there. I would base myself in Avignon rather than Nîmes. You could stay there instead of Marseille. Carcasonne is quite far for a day trip.

Adelaide, South...
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2. Re: Trip advice - southrn France

Thanks for the insight :)

Do you think 8 days would be too much time for everything there? Should I stay in Nice longer?

Edited: 27 September 2013, 12:48
Montreal
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3. Re: Trip advice - southrn France

I agree that Carcassone is a bit out of the way for a day trip.

You can take the train from Avignon to Tours. So I would also probably forget Grenoble and split my time between Nice and Provence. Not sure I would stay In Marseille either. At least not as a base to explore.

Côte d'Azur as a lot to offer along the coast but also inland with nice perched villages and it's easy to move around with a good public transportation system so you could easily stay a few more nights.

Provence is another area that offers lots of things to see and do. I would choose Arles or Avignon as a base to explore Provence. More convenient and nicer IMO than Nîmes. Your 8 days will be easily filled.

4. Re: Trip advice - southrn France

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Montelimar, France
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5. Re: Trip advice - southrn France

IMO Nîmes is more upscale and nicer than Arles.Its roman monuments are better preserved too.Jardins de la Fontaine are far more interesting than Luxembourg Gardens in Paris.

Be aware that september is time for Férias for both Arles and Nîmes.Féria du Riz, first ,at the beginning of the month and Féria des Vendanges, in Nîmes ,the following WE.

That means you may not be able to find accommodation in one or the other during this 3 or 4 days period .It also means shorter visiting hours ( or none ) at the amphitheatre which is the place for bullfights.Both are very interesting festivals with lots of entertainment in the streets.

From Nîmes you'd find trains to Aigues Mortes.

Adelaide, South...
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6. Re: Trip advice - southrn France

Thanks to all of you so much for all your input.

I'll cross of Grenoble and forget about staying in Marsille.

I think I'll keep my stay in Nice the same, then base myself in Avignon, and use the public transport, rent a bike ect.

I knew about the Pope's palace, the ruins and Pont du guard.. but most of the info guides here and previous forum posts are about drinking wine and taking it easy (no disrespect intended) while driving through. Little info about public transport for those that want to do more. I guess that's the downside of a large tourism attraction..

Thanks for the links, Diz, the website showed a lot of things that interest me.. perhaps I'll spend some time hiking through the villages.

Montreal
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7. Re: Trip advice - southrn France

If you are looking for nice activities... kayaking on the river that goes Under the Pont du Gard might be of interest to you.

If you check carefully in the other threads you will also find a lot about getting around with public transportation as well. And I remember seeing a few about active things to do in the area. Even if they might not be the majority... you still can find some info. :-)

Adelaide, South...
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8. Re: Trip advice - southrn France

Kayaking sounds like a wonderful idea, thanks :)

Adelaide, South...
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9. Re: Trip advice - southrn France

Hmm.. i'm finding it really difficult to find a hostel in Nice now.

Perhaps I should do Avignon and another area? Bordeaux perhaps? Cathedrale St-Andre looks interesting..

LaRochelle seems quite maritime (not my thing). Any suggestions?

Nice
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10. Re: Trip advice - southrn France

There are loads of hostels in Nice but booking a year in advance is likely to be difficult as few places accept booking so far ahead