I'm looking for some travel experiences in the south of France. We'll be heading there in July on our Honeymoon, so may be looking to splurge, if the place is worth it. My main focus will be wine and food, but good beach and hotel recommendations are welcome too. We're thinking about Avignon and Nice as spots to base ourselves in.
Posted on Jan 04, 2011
I really loved Nimes. A gorgeous little town with a great ampitheater. I thought it was less touristy and more charming than Arles. Also, from Avignon we drove out to Pont du Gard - very beautiful. Nimes has a great garden park - Jardin de la Fontaine and their les halles (food) is to die for.
For wine; you are close to the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region. Definitely worth a visit.
Posted Jan 04, 2011Add a comment
I lived in the Principality of Monaco for 4 years (and Paris for 8 before that), but it's difficult to answer without knowing more about your personal tastes. Do you enjoy ultra-deluxe, but somewhat formal, resorts (e.g. La Réserve de Beaulieu)? If so, there are some great ones. However, I'd rent a car and drive to Saint Tropez...even though it will be overly crowded in July. There are several really fine hotels just out of the town (or, the Byblos in town) and for me there is nothing as nice as driving to one of the beach clubs on the Plage de Pampalonne, where you can spend the day, including a fine lunch (grilled loup de mer) with a fine bottle of white wine (Sancerre) or, for a local wine, a nice rose from domaine Otte.
If you DO want to stay in Nice, the finest hotel remains the Negresco, but the beach is rocky and, honestly, I would not recommend it, preferring Cannes.
Posted Jan 17, 2011Add a comment
Arles is nice too. There's an amazing Roman stadium there. From there you can explore the Camargue National Park and a small coastal town called Saintes Marie de la Mer. It's great to rent a bike and bike around the area, if you like nature and small coastal town - type environments. Do some research on this area and see if there's any interesting wine/food places near there.
Posted Jan 16, 2011Add a comment
Eze is lovely and the views are spectacular. There is a castle/hotel there (name escapes me) that is gorgeous. The South of France can be crushed with tourists in July, but if you find a nice bungalow, hotel, or B&B you can avoid the chaos. One thing you may want to try is renting a fully staffed boat in Cannes. It is traditionally SUPER expensive, but the crummy economy forced some yacht owners to lower their prices last year...
Posted Jan 08, 2011Add a comment
There's a lovely place called Le Mas des Herbes Blanches in Joucas. It would also be hard to go wrong with the Four Seasons at Terre Blanche.
Nice and Avignon are both lovely towns, but you'd probably find it more romantic to base yourself at a hotel somewhere between the two.
Posted Jan 05, 2011Add a comment
My favorite places in the south of France include Arles (old Roman city, great base for exploring the Camargue region), Aix-en-Provence. The calanques outside of Cassis are very fun, and I love the Poquerolles (islands) but I have never been there in July, the beaches will be really-really crowded in July. Ile du Levante, a favorite destination, but again, perhaps not in July.
You should elope in June or wait until September and THEN you will have the luxury of having the south of France to yourselves (and better weather, too.)
Posted Jan 05, 2011Add a comment
I would recommend Le Saint Paul in St Paul de Vence, about a 20 min drive from Nice up on a hill in a walled town dating back to the 14th century. The hotel is lovely and the staff incredibly friendly. Part of the Relais and Chateux group of hotels for which the restaurant is key to acceptance to the group, you can visit the restaurant (make reservationsf) and enjoy the town and view without staying at the hotel. I have sent several couples to Le Saint Paul and all have loved their stay.
Posted Jan 07, 2011Add a comment
Nice is an incredible city, and a good base for regional trips. Grasse, Vence (and St. Paul de Vence) are all nearby, along with Antibes, Villefranche, and Menton for beautiful seaside towns. The Musée Océanographique in Monaco is worth the trip alone!
Posted Mar 21, 2011Add a comment
10 years ago I took a canal barge cruise on Canal du Midi which is in the Languedoc region. It was a small barge - 3 staterooms and we took the whole thing for a week. It was one of the best vacations ever. We cruised through endless vineyards, wineries, past little french villages, ruins and so on. The owners had a van that they used to take us on excursions. Pricey but I would do it again in a heartbeat. The wonderful thing about it was that the owners were a husband and wife pair that cooked fantastic meals and treated us like their best friends.
About the weather. Avoid July and August - it gets way hot there. I would recommend late May, early June.
Posted Aug 27, 2011Add a comment
If you want to see Avignon (and I would) reserve NOW. It's Festival time and it will be crowded. Hotel de l'Horloge is a great location, but if you really want to splurge and want the experience, either La Mirande, or the Hotel d'Europe for Honeymooners.
Posted Apr 17, 2013Add a comment