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Planning 8 days in South of France

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Houston, Texas
posts: 2
reviews: 2
Planning 8 days in South of France


My husband and I are planning a trip to South of France Aug 27-Sept 3. We have have booked our flights into Nice and are having trouble figuring out an itinerary for all the cities. We want to see St Tropez, Cannes, Nice and Monte Carlo. Can anyone help with a suggested itinerary and amount of time we should spend in each place?


Destination Expert
for Grasse
posts: 7,352
reviews: 37
1. Re: Planning 8 days in South of France

From Nice it's easy to take the train, or bus, to Cannes and Monte Carlo. Getting to St-Tropez is rather more difficult.

What are your interests? It's hard to suggest an itinerary without knowing what appeals to you.

Houston, Texas
posts: 8
reviews: 9
2. Re: Planning 8 days in South of France

That's what I'm reading is that getting to St Tropez is difficult! I am leaning towards not going there, but my husband really wants to go and spend a couple nights. We get into Nice around 2:15 on Monday afternoon, 8.27.

We are most interested in relaxing at the beach, doing some shopping, eating good food and splurge a little in Monte Carlo. We're not into any "planned tours" or spending hours at historical sites.

We rather blend in with the locals, drink good wine and enjoy good food! :)

Antibes, France
posts: 5,563
3. Re: Planning 8 days in South of France

Monte Carlo may not be the best place to meet locals or enjoy a good beach.OK for spending money though. Nice will offer best opportunity for mingling with the natives and good food. Antibes is also a lived-in kind of place. Best beaches ( if best = sandy) at Villefranche, Antibes, Juan les Pins, Golfe Juan, Cannes.


Destination Expert
for Cannes
posts: 3,455
reviews: 13
4. Re: Planning 8 days in South of France

Given your preferred holiday style, IMO Cannes would be your best base without doubt.

Cannes has the best combination of good quality central accommodation within easy walking of the excellent sandy beaches, shops, great restaurants, bars, 2 ports , two lovely offshore islands for day trips ( 20 mins by ferry), a small old town, markets, plenty of locals and people watching too. The train station is right in the centre and there are direct coaches from the airport

Would your husband settle for a day excursion to St Tropez ?- from Cannes this is very easy - by boat from the harbour ( google transcoteazur for details), or you could take a train to St Raphael then a ferry boat to St Tropez (also a bus, but not advised because of traffic) .

If overnight in St Tropez is non negotiable, the train and ferry would be the best way to get there and back.

From Cannes you can take the 1 hour commuter train to Monte Carlo for a day (or less) and to Nice9 30 mins) for a visit.

Nice is a city and not really a beach destination or good base given that you are not particularly interested in historical sites.

If you really want to split the holiday, perhaps 4 nights in Cannes, 2 nights in St Tropez and 2 nights in Nice with a side trip to Monte Carlo from there would work best.

Hope this helps

posts: 1,838
reviews: 228
5. Re: Planning 8 days in South of France

I agree with comments about St Tropez (I'd rather stick a knitting needle in my eye than spend several nights there).

Did you consider Villefranche sur mer? Lovely horseshoe shaped bay just over the hill from Nice, nice beaches which are less crowded and manic than Nice, 5 mins from Nice by train, lovely Cap Ferrat across the bay, Monte Carlo 20 mins away by train - and a lovely old town with good restaurants plus option to dine at Cap Ferrat, nice, Cannes.

An itinerary San Tropez, Cannes, Nice, Monaco may look good, but if what you want is a nice, chic place to base yourself with nice beach etc then consider either cannes or (as they say, for those "in the knoiw") villefranche sur mer

Edited: 1:25 am, June 16, 2012
posts: 181
reviews: 13
6. Re: Planning 8 days in South of France

I essentially agree with everything that SOOOZ said. If I were doing the trip I would spend 3 days in St Tropez and the rest of the time in Cannes. Monaco could be a day trip (1/2 day would be enough for me).

Louisville, Kentucky
Destination Expert
for French Riviera - Cote d'Azur
posts: 5,008
reviews: 26
7. Re: Planning 8 days in South of France

You have been getting good advice here, and here are my notes after my trip to the Cote A'zur last fall. We have been traveling there on business since 2000, and these comments are about how I get from the train stations and bus stops to the parts of the towns I want to visit:


I'm on "Team Cannes" because that's where my husband attends a convention. After traveling with a friend who had spent several months in Provence and traveled with me on a separate trip, she appreciated the the convenience of the train and bus stops in Cannes, and I know that this has always worked for me. Nice has direct bus routes to Eze and St, Paul, but it's a bigger city and it sometimes means another mode of transportation to get to the regional routes. Wherever you stay, do a Google Maps Walking Maps search from where you are staying to "Gare (and what ever city). That will let you know how easy it is to get around on public transportation.

I've never missed traveling to St. Tropez and I have "do overs." IMO, it's Hollywood, celebrity and historic hype that I haven't missed. There's plenty to do in the Cote d'Azur without going there.

Last year, I convinced my husband to start our trip with an overnight in Villefranche, and this year, we're doing two nights. VF is different from the other resorts, and we like the contrast with the Cannes and the village-y character of VF. Restaurants are everywhere in Cannes and your selection will be along Le Croisette, on the beach, uphill in the old town and fronting the harbor. VF's options are wonderful, but sustaining a 8 day trip, we like that we can divide our time. If you stay in VF, these are my suggestions for hotels as they have easy access to the train station and face the harbor:



If you can get a booking, act on it. These are small, very popular hotels.

I've never been good at Monte Carlo and am learning more about Cap Farret. If you want me to share my notes and maps, let me know. To give you an idea about train travel along the coast, look at this website and follow the directions below the link:


Under the second option, "Search Online," select the "O4 Mandelieu-La Napoule...Ventimiglia" route. Click "Select Time Sheet." and an underlined link will appear below "Please Choose a Line." That will get you to the PDF.

Have a great trip!

San Francisco...
posts: 22
8. Re: Planning 8 days in South of France

Hi , is there a site in English for the link you posted? thanks

9. Re: Planning 8 days in South of France

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