We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Southern France trip ideas, 5 days (including Nice)

Paris, France
8 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Southern France trip ideas, 5 days (including Nice)

I will be traveling to Nice from Paris with a friend. We can only spend 4 nights (5 days) in Southern France. We need some ideas to make the most of my time down there. We definitely want to spend some time in Nice, but we want to stop by one or two towns before coming back to Paris. We like beautiful/scenic places (beaches, towns, etc.). We're more interested in exploring, rather than spending all our time on the beach. We're not too big on historical monuments though (so we crossed Nimes off of our list). Some of our contenders are Aix-en-Provence (with stops at Marseille or Cassis), St. Tropez (but I heard getting there may be a hassle), and Avignon. We would really appreciate your thoughts! And please recommend us other places as we may have overlooked! Thank you.

Mentioned in this post
Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
Marseille
Marseille
Bouches-du-Rhone, France
Cassis
Cassis
French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
13,969 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Southern France trip ideas, 5 days (including Nice)

Start out with...it's a 6 hour trip on the TGV each way (Paris /NIce). So 5 days is really 4.

You are really trying to do a lot in a very short period of time.

Eliminate St Tropez immediately.

I would do one day / night in Avignon and the rest in Nice / Cote d'Azur.

Mentioned in this post
Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
Destination Expert
for Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
Level Contributor
3,645 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Southern France trip ideas, 5 days (including Nice)

Sorry to have to disagree with datthecoast, but, I would recommend 1 day / night in Nice and the rest of your time using Avignon as a base for exploring an extraordinary region that is home to what are considered the best preserved Roman ruins in the world.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
13,969 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Southern France trip ideas, 5 days (including Nice)

No problem, A-Gal! :-) I love the Cote d'Azur (used to live there) as well as Provence.

Tough to make a good recommendation when Julie has so little time.

Julie said that she wasn't into "historical monuments" and the Cote d'Azur is pretty compact and is served very well by public transport. So, I thought that she might be able to see quite a bit more along the coast in her really short trip than she could in Western Provence.

Florida
Level Contributor
648 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Southern France trip ideas, 5 days (including Nice)

Nice has the Chagall, Matisse, Fine Arts, and Modern and Contemporary Art Museums, the 4 mile Promenade des Anglais, Old Nice, Castle Hill, etc. I have never lived there but I know many one-way rides cost only 1 euro regardless of length for up to 74 minutes of travel in one direction, including transfers. That includes bus 100 from Nice to Monaco taking 45 minutes--about 4 buses an hour Monday through Saturday and 3 an hour on Sundays. Last return bus to Nice is about 20:00. Unless it has changed recently bus 100 stops in the same area of bus 81, 200, and 400 near the corner of Rue Alberti and Blvd Jean Jaures. There is lots to see in Monaco like the Prince's Palace, Changing of the Guard, Napoleon Collection, Cathedral of Monaco, and the Cousteau Aquarium.

Returning to Nice you could take bus 112 with 7 buses a day from Monaco directly to Eze-le-Village but there are no buses on Sundays or take bus 114 with 5 to 6 buses a day from Monaco to La Turbie then return to Nice by bus from either of those places. Villefranche-sur-Mer with its Citadel and scenic walkway and its old town is only about 20 minutes from Nice on bus 100 with 3 or 4 an hour but I would avoid the days that a cruise ship is in port there. I really don't know anything about Antibes or Cannes on the other side of Nice on the coast or about St Paul or Vence above Nice but those are all places close to Nice that you could research here on Trip Advisor. I not only like to read people's comments but I like to look at the photos they have posted on Trip Advisor of those places.

Edited: 24 April 2013, 04:33
Mentioned in this post
Castle Hill
Castle Hill
8,098 Reviews
Nice, France
Monaco
Monaco
Europe
Villefranche-sur-Mer
Villefranche-sur-Mer
French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
Antibes
Antibes
French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
Cannes
Cannes
French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
Vence
Vence
French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
Florida
Level Contributor
648 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Southern France trip ideas, 5 days (including Nice)

tripadvisor.com/…49073974

See post 3 on the above thread about bus 100 to Monaco. The price will go up on May 3rd to 1euro50. Still a bargain for a bus ride of up to 74 minutes to Monaco or even further to Menton.

Mentioned in this post
Monaco
Monaco
Europe
Menton
Menton
French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
California
Destination Expert
for Grasse
Level Contributor
8,758 posts
68 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Southern France trip ideas, 5 days (including Nice)

I agree with the recommendation to spend your time in and around Nice. With 4 days you would be hard pressed to see much of western Provence in addition.

Antibes, France
Level Contributor
10,427 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Southern France trip ideas, 5 days (including Nice)

The (somewhat peculiar) 74 minutes of travel, including transfers, applies within Nice's local bus and tram system. Other towns have different limits e.g it is 60 minutes on the Envibus system in Antibes. That does not apply to the longer distance Ligne d'azur buses which go to Monaco, Menton, Antibes, Cannes, Grasse etc - but these are all 1.5 euro per ticket ( rising from 1 euro next month). Buses in Monaco cost 2 euro per trip - people there can afford it.

Ed

Mentioned in this post
Antibes
Antibes
French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
Monaco
Monaco
Europe
Menton
Menton
French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
Cannes
Cannes
French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
Grasse
Grasse
French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
Paris, France
8 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Southern France trip ideas, 5 days (including Nice)

Thanks so much for your comments! What's so attractive about Avignon? I know that a lot of people stop by when they're in Southern France, but I'm trying to see if it would be worth our time.

Yes, we are planning to make a short trip to Monaco, maybe just for an afternoon!

Also, I know this may be slightly off topic-- would it save us a lot of time to fly to Nice rather than to take the train? We're trying to weigh our options since we won't have much time . Thank you!

Edited: 26 April 2013, 23:06
Mentioned in this post
Monaco
Monaco
Europe
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
13,969 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Southern France trip ideas, 5 days (including Nice)

It's a 6 hour TGV trip or a 1.5 hour flight. But obviously add to the flight getting to and from airports, check- in, collect luggage etc. So....you might save an hour or two flying.

Avignon is an easy stop on the TGV line.

Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Destination Expert
for Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Level Contributor
2,151 posts
268 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Southern France trip ideas, 5 days (including Nice)

Buses in Monaco cost €1.50 if you buy from the ticket machines before boarding, WB... But a bit of a public relations disaster, nonetheless.

Mentioned in this post
Monaco
Monaco
Europe