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Barcelona to French Riviera

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Toronto, Canada
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Barcelona to French Riviera

Hi. I'm just starting to do some research for a trip my husband and i are planning for next June. We will be flying to Barcelona and staying for probably 3 days. Afterwards we will be driving to Nice. We will have 2 weeks in total for our vacation. This is where I'm stuck. We would like to see Monaco, Cannes??, Eze, Antibes, Marseilles, Aix, Arles, Cassis, Avignon, Nimes and St. Paul de Vence. Would you recommend we stay in Nice the entire time and do day trips perhaps taking in a few villages per day and if so, which ones would make sense to see the same day? Or would you recommend we stay in Nice and visit certain villages and then maybe stay in Avignon or Marseilles and visit the rest that are closer to this region? We love beaches but also architecture, quaint villages, historical sights and the countryside - especially if filled with lavender fields! Any help would be very much appreciated. We will have a car for the entire 2 weeks. Also where is the best place to fly back to Toronto from? Do we have to drive back to Paris? We have already been so we hadn't planned on going again on this trip but if this is our only option, then we're ok with it. Thanks so much!

Le Bugue, France
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1. Re: Barcelona to French Riviera

Is this a rental car? If so, it will cost you a king's ransom to pick it up in Spain and drop it off in France.

No, you don't have to drive back to Paris. You can fly or take the TGV. Or you can fly back home out of Provence and do an open-jaw trip.

Edited: 23 June 2014, 03:30
New York City, New...
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2. Re: Barcelona to French Riviera

I strongly recommend you visit Cadaques in Spain after leaving Barcelona. It's near the French border. White cubist houses with blue doors. Very charming Mediteranean village.

With 2 weeks, I would split 1 week in western Provence (Aix or Avignon etc) and 1 week in the cote d'azure near Nice (or Antibes Cannes ,,,)

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Barcelona to French Riviera

Yep.....Originating a car rental in Spain and dropping it in France will generate a massive one-way drop fee......hundreds of euros.

Think about this:

Fly from Barcelona to Nice....Veuling does the route

Spend a few days along the Cote d'Azur...you don't need / want a car there public transport is excellent.

VIsit the towns / villages that you have mentioned in that area.

Pick up a rental car when you leave the Cote d'Azur and head to Western Provence. Base somewhere around Avignon....explore the towns villages you want in that area.

Drop your car at the Avignon TGV station and take the 2.75 hour TGV to Paris to catch an AC flight back to TO.

Penticton, Canada
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4. Re: Barcelona to French Riviera

hi

From Toronto look at Air Transat as they fly into Barcelona and out of southern France in June. If you book early you can get the double seats at the rear of the plane for a small premium that is totally worth it.

for car rental you are better off taking the train to Perpignan and then backtracking to see Figures if you want to see the Dali museum as this will avoid major drop off fees. https://goo.gl/maps/ENU9U for train travel have a look at www.seat61.com You really do not want a car in Barcelona.

then use www.viamichelin.com and google maps and plot out distances to places you want to visit - you will quickly find out that distances/times are quite long for day trips from only one location. I suggest a min of 2 locations and these will vary depending on the towns you want to visit. If le pont Milau is on the list, maybe staying closer to Montpellier to see the east side could make sense then relocating to the west side near Nice if you want to fly back to TO from there.

There are many other options if you make it 3 places such as Montpellier-Aix en Provence - Nice.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Barcelona to French Riviera

Thank you all so very much for this great information. It's definitely helpful. I'm sure I will be back with more questions once I get further into my planning. Do hotels in Nice get booked up fairly quickly? Since we want to go in June, I'm assuming we should book this month...thnx again.

Winnipeg, Canada
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6. Re: Barcelona to French Riviera

We're doing a similar trip, but reverse. We'll also be flying through Toronto as no direct flights from Winnipeg. We fly into Nice, spending just under a week in the area and then are flying to Barcelona on Vueling airlines for under $100 Canadian each, with a checked bag. We will then fly home from Barcelona. I booked the one way flight from Barcelona to Nice directly on the Vueling website - very easy..

For our main flights from North America, we ended up booking on KLM - it really just depends on who has the best sales at the time. I used flight hub to keep checking the various options but booked directly with the airline.

Edited: 23 June 2014, 18:02
Fort McMurray, AB
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7. Re: Barcelona to French Riviera

This trip sounds like the one we are taking in September - we fly into Barcelona through Toronto and then fly out of Turin. We plan on stopping in several spots along the way and use train travel to get from place to place. I was hoping to see if I should rent a car or train, but I think I will stick to train travel.

Antibes, France
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8. Re: Barcelona to French Riviera

Given your wide interests the 2 location bases are the best idea - but I would place western Provence first then Nice and fly out of there. Use Avignon, or my own first choice Arles, rather than Marseilles as a base.

The coastal route from Barcelona to Marseilles is tedious and largely bereft of interest ( unlike the world class Marseilles-Nice-Monaco-Menton sector) altho there are some historical towns off the main road - Carcassone, Montpellier and Narbonne. If you can, fly Barcelona to Marseille and pick up the car there, thus avoiding a long drive, saving that one way drop off charge and being closer to the main sites of western Provence.

Nearly all the places you mention near Nice - Cannes, Antibes, Monaco etc only minutes apart by regular cheap commuter style trains and you may want to consider this as an alternative to driving around looking for parking on the Riviera coast.

Ed

Fort McMurray, AB
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9. Re: Barcelona to French Riviera

Thank you Ed. That is what I was hoping for. I think we'll mostly stick to train travel and rent a car for day trips.

Aubrey, Texas
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10. Re: Barcelona to French Riviera

Take the train Barcelona-Perpignan to hire the car there. You can drop it in Nice, Marseilles or wherever without the big drop fee as has been stated. The Languedoc is full of interesting places along the coast or a short drive from it. And Western Provence offers far more than the "world class Marseilles-Nice-Monaco-Menton sector" whatever that means. If you limit yourself to using the train along the coast you'll miss a lot like Aigues-Mortes, the Camargue, Pont du Gard, and the Luberon to name a few places.

Languedoc - Gard

www.francethisway.com/regions/gard-france.php

Avignon

http://avignonfrance.ca

Provence - Vaucluse

www.francethisway.com/regions/vaucluse.php

Provence - Bouches-du-Rhone

francethisway.com/regions/bouches-du-rhone.p…

Provence - Luberon

www.francethisway.com/regions/luberon.php

Provence

tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g187208-Provence-Vac…