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10 days in Provence : Nimes versus Aix as a base?

Boston...
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10 days in Provence : Nimes versus Aix as a base?

We are returning to Provence in August and we are deciding between Nimes and Aix as a base for traveling the area. Thoughts? Nimes was our favorite, but Aix was a close second. We will have a car and our one year old daughter. Comments on restaurants, tourists, and things to see would be helpful.

Paris, France
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1. Re: 10 days in Provence : Nimes versus Aix as a base?

Nîmes is actually in Languedoc, not Provence so the determining factor should be what it is specifically what you want to do and see.

Aix is probably better if you want to visit Marseille, Cassis, and points east, Nîmes is better if you want to visit Uzes, Pont du Gard, Vaison la Romaine, the Cévannes or the Camargue.

Boston...
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2. Re: 10 days in Provence : Nimes versus Aix as a base?

We are really most interested in which city would be most enjoyable in terms of restaurants etc. we plan to do a lot day trips and would want to visit areas around both nimes and aix, but spend our evenings wherever we decide to base.

New York
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3. Re: 10 days in Provence : Nimes versus Aix as a base?

Suggest you check out Avignon, a delightful town in Provence with a wonderful selection of interesting restaurants, patisseries, and town attractions. We spent a week in Avignon and used our car to day trip to nearby hilltowns, each of which had an open-air market. Aix and Nimes are within easy reach. Then come home to a great meal in Avignon!

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4. Re: 10 days in Provence : Nimes versus Aix as a base?

As Sarastro says, Nmes is in the Languedoc, but then so are many places which people visit when holidaying in Provence - the Pont du Gard, Uzès etc.

However, I would suggest either Avignon or Uzès might be a better place for you. Paricularly Uzès, which is a small lovely town with more of a village feel, and which families enjoy wandering around with their pushchair whether during the day or in the evenings.

What are your interests?

Boston...
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5. Re: 10 days in Provence : Nimes versus Aix as a base?

Thank you so far for the input so far. We are actually looking to do a home exchange and have offers in either Nimes or Aix. That is why we are trying to choose. As mentioned, we have done a trip to Provence before and we stayed in Cassis, Roussillon, Avignon and Vaison-la-Romaine. We loved our time there but it was several years ago and we while we remember loving both Nimes and Aix we are struggling to recall which would suit us best now.

We took in the major sights on our last visit so there is not an emphasis on Roman ruins or medieval towns as much this time around, although we still enjoy those sights. We love good food and wine and with our daughter (she'll be 20 months when we go) we were thinking that a pedestrian friendly city would be a good base to take strolls with her out to eat or shop. We will have a car so were certainly planning on doing some day trips as well with potential trips to the Camargue, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Gordes, and Baumes-de-Venise, places we either didn't get to or wanted a return visit to. Thanks again for all your help.

Columbus, Ohio
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6. Re: 10 days in Provence : Nimes versus Aix as a base?

The center of Aix seems more pedestrian friendly to me, especially in the evening. Nimes has busier traffic. We noticed that the main avenue in Aix, Cours Mirabeau, is packed with people strolling during the day, but much quieter in the evening.

Bedoin, France
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7. Re: 10 days in Provence : Nimes versus Aix as a base?

Since you are considering a House Exchange, I think either French town would be okay. Though I would ask EXACTLY where those homes are located and come back to ask about the specific addresses. Both towns have areas that are not particularly attractive.

You can get around for day trips from either place. Distances to some of the towns you mentioned wanting to see are not all the different from Nîmes or Aix. Aix to Beaumes is around 1h20 each way, Nîmes to Beaumes is around 1h10. Nîmes to Isle is around 1h25 and Aix to Isle is around 1h10. Add at least 25% to these times for any travel in the month of August.

If I had to choose between a home exchange in Nîmes or Aix, I would base it on the quality / location of the actual homes. That may take a little bit more research for the true answer. If, in the end, you feel both homes offer the same safety, quality and ideal type of location, then you'd likely be fine with either.

8. Re: 10 days in Provence : Nimes versus Aix as a base?

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