Driving through Southern France - specific questions
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Jul 24, 2012 11:11 PM Last Post By: regards
Jul 23, 2012 10:11 PM
Driving through Southern France - specific questionsHi!
My boyfriend and I will be in Europe for 16 days this September. We have figured most of the trip out (Porto, Barcelona - for a meeting, and finishing up in Vernazza, Cinque Terre for 4 nights). BUT we could really use some help on the bit between Barcelona and Vernazza:
We will receive a transfer to Pernignon, France to pick up a rent a car on Saturday. Then we are planning to drive to Aix and stay for two nights.
#1 First choice was to stay at La Petit Maison de Carla - http://www.la-petite-maison-de-carla.com/index.php/La-suite-Manuella-/suite-manuela.html , but it's fully booked. Do you have another recommendation for place to stay? We enjoy places that are walkable and have good energy. We like our wine, so want to make sure where we stay is walking or cabbing distance to plenty of lovely places to eat and drink. We like running and being active, and lots of wonderful shopping isn't that thrilling. Finally, we would love a patio or balcony too if possible.
#2 We would like to visit some of the nearby towns, and visit a few wine tasting rooms. We are aware the intent isn't to drink to get drunk during lunch or the tastings, but if we happen to enjoy one or two extra glasses/sips (hey, we're on vacation!) what do you recommend? Are there drivers for hire that might enhance a country side visit with their knowledge? Would renting a vespa be a good way to go (obviously being smart about alcohol consumption). What about a tour (ugh, I don't even like writing that, but would be silly to not consider it)
Next, we are planning to drive to Nice/Monaco/St. Tropez/....I am having trouble making any headway on a decision. Since we will be 'roughing it' in Vernazza for four days, we thought it might be nice to stay in a lux hotel and really 'live it up', but as you can see under the previous accomodation note, we typically don't do super flashy places but thought it would be fun for a night. We also love all types of water (lake, river, and sea), but since we'll be with a lot of water and sun in Vernazza that's not essential!
#1 Recommendations on a cool, fun, exciting, not just a 'check it off the bucket list' town. Typically budget isn't an issue ... but considering the location, we would like to stay under EUR 600 for the final night (assuming the other two nights are more reasonable - EUR 250 or less). We love people watching too, so that's where we thought it might be fun to check out any one of the above mentioned towns
#2 Place to stay in above recommended town - #1 is way more important because I can do some research, but figured it's always fun to get additional recommendations
Any input is appreciated.
Jul 24, 2012 12:37 AM
1to #1 - http://en.aixenprovencetourism.com/
to #2 - Why you need a driver if you rent a car? If it's for only wine tasting you can do it alone as you dont drink wine, you taste it. A Vespa is fine but dangerous as nobody takes care about you on the streets. More via Google but look here: http://en.aixenprovencetourism.com/aix-degustation.htm
...Nice/Monaco/St. Tropez/ - you dont need to drive what is very uncomfortable. Nice and Monaco easy to go by local busses or treins (TER). Also take the train to St. Raphael and the shuttle ship to St. Tropez. You win a lot of time.
For all kind of hotels try booking.com or the local tourism offices from the town of your choice. For 600€ the night even in September you will be fine in the upper class, 4* Hotels.
Jul 24, 2012 12:40 AM
2Make sure your hire car co includes breathalyser test kits + high vis vests (both are required in France - the latter for the autoroute).
Jul 24, 2012 1:54 AM
Jul 24, 2012 9:21 PM
4Hi guys - Yes, we had researched the breathalizer and were happy to note we were exempt until Nov. 1. I hadn't heard about the safety vests! We'll double check with the rental car company, but assume they'll have them in the car already.
Thanks regards for the site. I amazingly hadn't come across that one. We are driving, so we have more flexibility - if we want to stop every 50km, we can, or leave late or early, etc. We have never drove as part of any trip, so hoping for a small adventure. Do you have a recommendation re Nice/Monaco/St. Tropez...?
Jul 24, 2012 11:11 PM
5This trip Nice, Monaco, St. Tropez you cannot do in one day. By car Monaco make no sense as it is difficult to find a parking place in MC beside going in one of the public parkings and this is expensive. This town is small and if you walk from one side to the other, after one hour you passed by the whole country. There are busses from Nice, one way = one Euro and trains what will be the best as in 15 Minutes you are in the center. By car you need a minimum of 45 minutes.
Driving to St. Tropez - 120 km from Nice and under normal circumstances two hours. September is always high season and you need probably much more time. Two nice roads: Along the coast line after Cannes passing by the Esterel Massif to St. Rapheal/Frejus or on the National raod No. 7 in the middle of the massif with less traffic in both direction. In St. Tropez you will end at the big parking place and the rest is to walk. What to see there? Big privat yachts with people sitting on watching other people passing by on the harbor. And a lot of people passing by watching people sitting on the ships. A nice museum http://www.saint-tropez.tv/html/annonciade.html, 8km far from the center the beaches, a lot of restaurants, brasseries, bistros and coffee shops beside the usual shops for all kind of clothes.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$134.33 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$101.20 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$171.47 per night