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Planning Trip to South of France

Los Angeles
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Planning Trip to South of France

My husband and I are planning a trip to Barcelona and South of France in early summer. I need help narrowing down the cities to visit and stay in. Here's a rough outline of cities that have been suggested, please help me determine which is worth a stop and which to miss:

1. Barcelona 2 days

2. Drive to Provence and visit for 3 days have to choose between this list:

Gordes

Montpellier

Saint Remy de Provence

Other Suggestions:

Cassis

fontaine de vaucluse in a canoe on Sprague river

Lunel

Vauvert

Arles

Carpentras

Avignon

Cavaillon

Aubagne

Fontaine de Vaucluse

3. Cannes and Cape D'Antibe 2 days

4. Monaco and Nice 2 days

I know it's way too much, I just don't really even know how to choose between all of these.

Our original idea was to drive from Barcelona into Provence, but I've heard that creates issues with rental cars, any suggestions on how to deal with that?

Any advice on structuring this trip would be most appreciated.

Thanks!

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Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Planning Trip to South of France

If you pick up a rental car in Spain and drop off in France, there will be a substantial one-way fee. Someone has to go to France and drive the car back to Spain.

There is now a daily train from Barcelona to Marseilles, and there will probably be two each day by summer. This would be faster and much more relaxing than driving. For the best prices, book when tickets go on sale, 3 months before travel, at www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/index.html

While you need a car to explore the Provencal countryside, a car would be nothing but a very expensive nuisance in Cannes, Nice and Monaco.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Planning Trip to South of France

You have posted this message 3 times.

Please delete 2 of your posts to avoid a bunch of confusion.

You can't originate a car rental in Spain and drop the car in France. The best solution would be to train into France and pick up your rental car there.

You are trying to do WAY too much.

Visiting all of the places that you have listed in Provence in 3 days is wildly un-realistic

Cannes is completely missable and Cap d'Antibes is a tiny residential community with a few hotels and really no other commerce to speak of.

NIce is a charming place and you need far more than a day to see it. Monaco is tiny and is chock a block with high rise apartment buildings. The whole place would fit comfortably fit inside NYC's Central Park. If you choose to go there you can see it all in 3or 4 hours.

I would suggest spending some time with a good guide book. The Michelin Green Guide to Provence is excellent. So is the Green Guide to the Cote d'Azur.

Two days in Barcelona is nowhere near enough.

Le Bugue, France
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3. Re: Planning Trip to South of France

How many days on the ground do you have for this adventure? Are you flying into Barcelona and out of France? Only 2 days in Barcelona? Not even worth going there IMO in that case.

Edited: 24 December 2013, 00:46
Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Planning Trip to South of France

>>You can't originate a car rental in Spain and drop the car in France.<<

Well, it is highly likely that you can, and that it would be very expensive.

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Planning Trip to South of France

I know that, NIck. BTW......the OP has already been told multiple times on several other threads that originating a rental in Spain and dropping it in France is going to generate a substantial one-way drop fee. Not sure why they keep asking the same question and expecting to get a different answer....

Paris, France
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6. Re: Planning Trip to South of France

I agree with the comments that you are trying to do way too much in such a short amount of time. Keep in mind that your arrival day in Barcelona will not be a full sight seeing day due to the lack of sleep from a long overnight flight as well as jet lag. At a minimum I would plan for 2 more full days in Barcelona.

Then as suggested take a train into France and rent your car there for exploring Provence. Here you would want another 3-4 night stay. Then head towards Nice, dropping the car there, and staying another 3-4 nights

Los Angeles
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7. Re: Planning Trip to South of France

I had a computer time out and it posted three times, I can't figure out how to delete my extra posts.

Thanks for your feedback on the cities listed. The idea was to fly into Barcelona and out of Nice. Perhaps that's trying to put two trips into one and we should either do Barcelona OR Provence? We don't have alot of opportunities to travel for long stretch so trying to make the most of this.

If we stay 3 days in Barcelona, and still have another week what would you suggest for that week from some of the ideas I've mentioned or others?

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Planning Trip to South of France

>>I can't figure out how to delete my extra posts.<<

Go to the posts, click on "Report inappropriate content", and then select "Remove my post".

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Planning Trip to South of France

You're still trying to do too much.

But if you want to go to Barcelona and somwhere in Southern France......Fly into Barcelona.....fly from there to Nice (it's an hour flight) and spend 7 days along the Cote d'Azur. Base yourself in Nice or Antibes. You don't need a car in either Barcelona or the Cote d'Azur. Fly home fom Nice.

Forget about Western Provence and the Luberon....do it another time.

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: Planning Trip to South of France

If you have 3 days in Provence then stay put in one centre and take day trips, preferably by car. You can visit a number of the towns you list in a day quite easily. Put them in maps.google.com using the add destination button for a map.

One like this allows you to see what groups together and what are real outliers, such as Arles.

http://goo.gl/maps/uhn98

It is the Sorgue River which rises from the spring in Fontain de Vaucluse. In spate, it can be a very fast river indeed at that end but there are less swift flowing reaches around L'Isle sur la Sorgue. You might prefer to kayak on the Gard river under the ancient Roman Pont du Gard which you really should see.

From Barcelona to Marseilles I believe there is now a fast train. Then change for Avignon and hire your car in Avignon.