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Proposed Itinerary

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Apex, North Carolina
posts: 28
reviews: 1
Proposed Itinerary

Alright you travel experts... let me know your thoughts on our itinerary. We are a family of 4 (daughter age 12 and son age 14) and this is our first trip to France. I know you all say not to go to Monaco, but being first timers, we need to do it once. Trying to round out our visit with photography for hubby; shopping for daughter; excitement for son; and dining for me. Everything is flexible so suggest! Thank you.

13 July - Arrival Nice and travel to Vence where we are staying in a friend's house.

14 July - Rest/Explore Vence/grocery shop, etc - any Bastille Day happenings nearby?

15 July - St. Paul de Vence and Tourettes sur loup (somewhere else?)

16 July - Nice

17 July - Monaco and Eze

18 July - San Remo and bike ride on Pistal Crucible

19 July - Canyoning Trip

20 July - Aix

21 July - Porquerolles for snorkeling (but maybe Antibes instead?)

22 July - recommendation?

23 July - train to Paris (3 days) and depart

Louisville, Kentucky
Destination Expert
for French Riviera - Cote d'Azur
posts: 5,021
reviews: 26
1. Re: Proposed Itinerary

You might want to consider combining a day trip to Antibes and Cannes. These are very close together, and ending the day at sunset in one of Cannes' beach level restaurants might be something you'd enjoy. There is also good shopping on Rue d'Antibes for your daughter and your son, especially, might enjoy a trip to the Iles des Lerins (St. Marguerite) where the "Man in the Iron Mask" was allegedly imprisoned. Also, visit Rue Meynadier for some wonderful "take back" cheeses, breads and charcuterie. The eclectic shopping street starts on the harbor end of where Rue d'Antibes ends.

Here's is a link where you can view the boat trip:

http://www.trans-cote-azur.com/

There are lots of restaurants besides those on the beach level, but I find those a "treat." Here is a link to Miramar Plage, one that I've particularly enjoyed:

http://www.miramar-plage.fr/

It's kind of a fun website.

BTW, I get your "need to it" about Monaco. It is a bit "city" concrete and high rises for my usual taste, but I've been glad that I gone there and have done so on several trips. You don't want to go wishing you had visited this destination if it's something you really want to do.

I think you are putting together an excellent trip with the just the right blend of sport, family time and sightseeing. Have a great trip!

New York City, New...
posts: 2,756
reviews: 182
2. Re: Proposed Itinerary

This looks great and its good that you're not cramming too much in.

You are missing Villefranche sur Mer-which is one of the most charming villages in the area. It's a beach/fishing village near Nice. You can do it on an open day or add it to the Eze day.

Louisville, Kentucky
Destination Expert
for French Riviera - Cote d'Azur
posts: 5,021
reviews: 26
3. Re: Proposed Itinerary

Doby47 is right...I missed that you are missing Villefranche! As she suggests, a really lovely combo is Villefranche, Eze and Monte Carlo. You can do this in this order or in reverse, but keep Eze in the middle The walk between Villefranche and the 83 bus stop in Beaulieu sur Mer is lovely (30 - 45 minutes), and here is how my daughter and I did this, starting in Villefranche.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187216-i137-k5935…

This is only one way to do this combo, but it's the one I've especially enjoyed. Given your itinerary, I'm thinking you are going to have car, but this trip is easy and quite nice on public transportation. At least, we enjoyed it. From Vence, your train station is Cagnes sur Mer and the 400 bus will take you between Vence and the train station. If this sounds like something you might want to do and in whatever order you should choose, I would train it between Cagnes sur Mer, VF, and Monte Carlo (at the beginning and end of your day), and bus it on the other legs of the trip.

BTW, the photo op from the top of the stairs at the end of of the Villefranche beach is stunning and you'll pass the gold and black gates to the Villa Nellcote where the Rolling Stones recorded "Exile on Main Street!" That was one of our photo ops!

Nice
Destination Expert
for Nice, French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, Antibes
posts: 12,652
reviews: 52
4. Re: Proposed Itinerary

hire car or public transport?

day trip to aix ?

porquerolles day trip?

Edited: 2:59 pm, June 24, 2013
Apex, North Carolina
posts: 28
reviews: 1
5. Re: Proposed Itinerary

Thanks for the tips everyone!

Selkie... we will probably get a car - husband wants one, but I'd be willing to be adventurous and take bus and train. I think we need one at least to get to Aix and Porquerolles, right? So maybe we could do a rental for part of the time... need to think about that. We do plan to spend the day at Aix and Porquerolles - are you saying that is too much time? My son wants to do snorkeling and we thought we'd do the underwater trail at Port Cros (not Porquerolles), but maybe that's too much with the drive and then ferry?

Troggs - love the dinner by the beach idea in Cannes - so maybe Antibes & Cannes instead of Porquerolles.

Doby 47 - thanks for suggesting VF... it's been on and off my list a couple times... if it were up to me, we'd see EVERY charming seaside village, but I have to balance with my kids.

For our open day, I was also thinking of trying to do part of the Gorges du Verdon... maybe the route from Castellane to Moustiers and home via A8? I had my heart set on seeing lavender at the Senanque Abbey but I hear it's not planted in the field anymore... so maybe a tour through the gorge and Valensole will suffice?

So many things to see... so little time!

Nice
Destination Expert
for Nice, French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, Antibes
posts: 12,652
reviews: 52
6. Re: Proposed Itinerary

personally i would not go as far as porquerolles when the iles de Lerins are closer and IMo just as nice

aix can be done by bus or train [or car]

tourettes sur loup is not as nice as st jeannet, haut de cagnes, villeneuve loubet village or many others etc etc but is more accesible with a car

It can be done by bus but its not really worth the effort when there are nicer places with better views easier to access

7. Re: Proposed Itinerary

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California
Destination Expert
for Grasse
posts: 7,369
reviews: 37
8. Re: Proposed Itinerary

The drive from Nice to the Gorges du Verdon would take a full day, and some of the travel is not relaxing. I really recommend spending the time in and around Nice instead--one day for that beautiful city is just not enough, and besides Villefranche-sur-Mer you could visit the very scenic peninsula of St-Jean-Cap-Farrat.

Count me as part of the non-fan-club where Monaco is concerned, unless you are big fans of high rises. The best way to see Monaco is from the road high above, from which you can see the entire principality.

I suggest taking the train from Nice to Aix instead of driving. As for the lavender, this spring has been cool and the flowers haven't begun to bloom in many locations.

Antibes, France
posts: 5,651
9. Re: Proposed Itinerary

Your itinerary is certainly comprehensive and ... exhausting. You would be covering a lot of ground - Aix, Porquerolles, Grand Canyon du Verdon, Gorges du Loup, San Remo.... as day trips. You will need a holiday after that. I looked at my very old Michelin Green guide and they give a 2/3 day itinerary with overnights for Aix /Nice alone - doing the extremely scenic coastal route. And you may be underestimating speed achievable on mountain roads - where not actually scary ( Grand Canyon) they certainly demand you keep 2 eyes on the road - let alone take in the scenery.

BTW instead of turning left at Vence for Tourettes I would turn right on the D2210 towards St Jeannet (as selkie suggests) and then Gattieres and Le Broc.

Ed

California
Destination Expert
for Grasse
posts: 7,369
reviews: 37
10. Re: Proposed Itinerary

Those old Michelin guides are the best. I cherish mine.