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planning trip to south of france next year

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planning trip to south of france next year

We are an american couple (youthful 50's) planning a trip to south of france next year and we were trying to choose the best time of year. Beaches and sun are definitely priorities but we would like to avoid peak congestion on beaches and in general if possible. Also, would like to be based in a location that would serve as a base from which we could do one or two day trips into country, villages or coastline destinations. Any insights into best seasons, climate or locations?

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1. Re: planning trip to south of france next year

Late July and August is the peak season.

Early September is usually an ideal time to visit as the weather is still good but without the crowds.

That said the weather in the south is not that good at the moment and this would also usually be a good time to go.

As to where to base yourself I would suggest Cannes or Nice - to my mind Cannes has the better sandy beaches as the main one in Nice is stoney.

Both will allow for trips into the country to e.g. St Paul de Vence, Monacco, St Tropez etc.

have fun planning.

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2. Re: planning trip to south of france next year

I agree with the above post.

June and September usually offer the best combination of good weather without peak congestion. Prices are lower than in high season too.

Cannes would be a good location for your base if you want nice beaches and good public transport links- trains, buses and boats to nearby places.

Just one caveat about June make sure your trip doesn't coincide with the annual Lions conference (usually round the 3rd week).

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3. Re: planning trip to south of france next year

I would go in the first half of June, don't know how long your trip is? The days are longest then and everything is still green. the Med can be a bit desiccated in September.

IMO the western side of Provence is much nicer than the riviera. My favourite towns by the sea are Cassis and Hyeres, especially Porqerolles, the island off the coast of Hyeres, which has stunning beaches. But inland is gorgeous: I've just spent a week in St Remy and I'd recommend it to anyone. Places like les Baux, Arles, the Pont du Gard the Luberon villages, Apt, l'Isle sur la Sorgue and Aix are complete unmissables for me. Lots of people get hung up on the Nice area and while it's lovely there, the less densely populated areas to the west are much more beautiful and characterful to me.

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4. Re: planning trip to south of france next year

For seasons, late spring and early fall are (usually) still warm, less crowded than summer and with long days to enjoy the sites.

As ChicChantal says, Provence really has a great deal of variety. The eastern side (Côte d'Azur) isn't much like the Lubéron, which has little to do with Camargue, or with the Verdon etc... Even within the Côte d'Azur, there are multiple areas (western/Var is not all that much like eastern/Alpes Maritimes part of French Riviera). None is better than the other - they have different scenery and style. So it depends what you're after.

If you're limited in time (say, 1 week), I suggest you pick one general region. From there, the forum for that region can give you specific recommendations on sites to see etc.

For the Côte d'Azur specifically (this forum), I personally love the islands of Porquerolles (see pics on my site), the beaches by Gigaro, the St Tropez peninsula, the villages inside the Maures Mountains. For the eastern side of the Côte d'Azur, I recommend Nice as a central local from where you can easily access all good sites to see.


5. Re: planning trip to south of france next year

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