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South of France, base for short stay?

Fredericton, Canada
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South of France, base for short stay?

We plan to be in the south of France at the end of September to spend just 3-4 days before heading to Italy. What is a good spot to base ourselves and which areas are a "must" to explore in those few days?

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Liverpool
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1. Re: South of France, base for short stay?

No-one can advise you on this unless you give us an idea of the types of places you like visiting and the things you like doing.

Fredericton, Canada
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2. Re: South of France, base for short stay?

We are interested in a relaxing few days, and hope to enjoy sightseeing in the countryside and ancient villages...Looking forward to getting our first taste of the beauty and history in that part of the world. Considering Luberon region...and checking out Oppede le Vieux, and seeing a coastal town as well...

New York City, New...
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3. Re: South of France, base for short stay?

Hi, I've been writing to you regarding Italy, BUT BUT didn't realize you were going to the South of France. I just did the exact same trip in June. Let me tell you, it's Luberon the WHOLE WAY. Are you renting a car? You must. Stay in Gordes, Saignon or Bonnieux and go to the little Luberon towns. My boyfriend and I were only supposed to stay there for 3 nights, but we cancelled Nice and stayed for over a week. To me, it's heaven on earth. Better than cinque terre (just different) and now my new favorite place in the world. We stayed in Saignon at the Auberge du Presbytere - amazing. You must eat at Auberge de la Loube. It's an incredible area. Hit the daily market in different towns, enjoy the goats and the lavender. It's amazing.

Edited: 19 July 2010, 01:00
Fredericton, Canada
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4. Re: South of France, base for short stay?

Oh, that is so neat that you did the same trip! Also...I had pretty much already decided on the Luberon, and booked earlier this week a place in Jonquerette. I will have to see how close that is to the places you suggested. I am hoping to see Oppede le Vieux, but don't have any other concrete plans so will definitely take your advice in planning. Yes, we will pick up a car upon arrival at Avignon (from our 2 nights in Paris-first stop!) Now after reading your post I am afraid I may have arranged our itinerary "wrong"! (If there is such a thing) We only have 4 nights in the area, and am planning to head to Villefranche sur Mer for the 5th night before going to Cinque Terre (2 nights) and onto Lucca for 6 nights. (From there we head to Venice for our last 2 nights before flying out) I have a feeling we like the same sorts of things, since what you describe about the things you love in South France are just what I am hoping to find on this trip (my FIRST to Europe).

New York City, New...
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5. Re: South of France, base for short stay?

Your trip sounds perfect. 4 nights is ideal! We just loved lingering for longer, but our 3 nights would have been fine. I think 2 nights in Cinque Terre, and then going to Lucca is ideal. In this month's "Travel and Leisure" magazine, they spotlight Lucca, so take a look at that magazine if you have a chance.

We went from Paris to Avignon by train, rented a car and drove. Your town, Jonquerette, is only 40 minutes to Gordes and the other little towns. It's so easy. I think your trip sounds amazing. You can find the days of the markets online...i recommend doing that and I recommend eating in Buoux at the restaurant I mentioned. Have an amazing time :). Are you taking a train from Villefranche to Cinque Terre?

Fredericton, Canada
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6. Re: South of France, base for short stay?

I am taking the train to Cinque Terre..have not booked yet. After researching it, I still have a lot of questions...but basically I guess we will leave fairly early in the morning to arrive by afternoon. What was your experience? (maybe we need msn lol)

New York City, New...
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7. Re: South of France, base for short stay?

:) We do.

Basically, my boyfriend and I got a little restless and took the car to Italy instead of returning it Nice, like we were supposed to, and taking a train. I think the train is the best way and I've heard it's really not that hard. I think it goes from Nice to Monaco, then you switch twice, but it's along the sea and quite beautiful.

We hiked a lot, brought our suits on the hike, and swam when we were overheated.

Houston TX
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8. Re: South of France, base for short stay?

My husband and I are planning a similar trip as well and would appreciate any advice. Right now my plan is to stay two days in Paris, 3 in Provence, then 3 days somewhere in italy (Cinque Terre or Lucca or both?) then 2 days in Rome before flying out. Our travel dates are Oct. 5 - Oct. 16. All I have arranged thus far is our airfare. I expect we will take a train out of Paris and maybe rent a car but could use advice/suggestions on figuring it all out. Any ideas?

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for Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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9. Re: South of France, base for short stay?

Please be advised that the drop-off charges are HUGE!!! , if you rent a car in one country, and drop it off in another country. You will be better off if you rent in France( 5 nights), drive around, and return that car at the French border.

Pick up another car in Italy, for the duratrion of your stay (8 nights) there.

Ohio, USA
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10. Re: South of France, base for short stay?

Avignon to the CT will take you anywhere from 10.5 to 12 hours or longer by train with a minimum of four changes en route.

The 10 day Paris, Provence, CT, Rome itinerary strikes me as more than a little over-ambitious when one takes travel time into account. Basically you would have one full day in Paris where a week is a short visit, two full days in Provence, two full days in the CT or Lucca and one full day in Rome. I assume you are flying home from Rome. That being the case I would suggest 5-6 days in Paris with perhaps a day trip to somewhere close by and 4-5 days in Rome with a low-cost flight between the two. If you wanted to add a third destination Florence would be a good choice in which case flying from Paris to Pisa with easyJet would work. Remember too that by mid-October days are getting quite short.

Edited: 19 July 2010, 23:56