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Traffic and driving on Cote d azur

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Istanbul, Turkey
posts: 1
Traffic and driving on Cote d azur

Hi!

We are planning a trip of 5 days, arriving to and departing from Marseilles on August 2012.

Do you think it is possible to drive all the way from Marseille to Monte Carlo and return back to Marseille in a 5 day trip? We are planning to stay in a different city every night: Marseille, Toulon, Cannes and Nice

Also,

I see a lot of people mentioning heavy traffic. Anyone have examples of traffic? For example, how many hours will it take to drive from Marseille to Toulon(66 kilometer) or from Toulon to Cannes (about 150 kilometers) at the end of August?

Thanks everybody in advance!

Antibes, France
posts: 5,028
1. Re: Traffic and driving on Cote d azur

Traffic is not the majpr problem - altho if you want dramatic scenery you will need to take the slower coastal route all the way - the A8 motorway just offers you rear views of trucks from numerous nations. No, the real problem in August or summer is trying to park anywhere near the coast. For the Cote d'Azur think about dropping your car in Cannes and taking the train to Antibes, Nice, Villefranche, Monaco etc.

Ed

Newcastle, Australia
posts: 2,068
reviews: 69
2. Re: Traffic and driving on Cote d azur

Hi there

I love the freedom of a car - but yes it can can be a difficulty as Ed has said for parking. You can go online & try to book pre-paid parking which I've sometimes done but I'll be honest, not in some of these parts. I've used the big park space at Nice just around the corner from our hotel near the harbour - which wasn't that bad (in my opinion for price & convenience). As said though, we didn't really need it & as it was the end of our driving in France we actually dropped it off early - for the mere convenience of public transport & to be honest we at the time were hapless, we didn't know any better. But if you're exploring further and need the car look at deals you could possibly get online.

Kind Regards

Merran

New York, NY
posts: 274
reviews: 5
3. Re: Traffic and driving on Cote d azur

Merran,

How widespread are parking facilities where you can secure pre-paid parking? Is there one specific company that does this that manages various parking lots on the Cote? Or is there a website that lists these type of facilities?

I'll be in Hyeres in August and plan on visiting the various beaches about 30 minutes east and west of town, so if you know specific parking facilities in this area that do this, I'd appreciate you letting me know!

Newcastle, Australia
posts: 2,068
reviews: 69
4. Re: Traffic and driving on Cote d azur

Hi there

You could try parkopedia.

Kind Regards

Merran

Newcastle, Australia
posts: 2,068
reviews: 69
5. Re: Traffic and driving on Cote d azur

Hi there

Also, Interparking - France.

Kind Regards

Merran

Marseille
posts: 122
reviews: 17
6. Re: Traffic and driving on Cote d azur

Only one word of advice for this trip - beware of the traffic in Marseille which a recent report says is the second most congested city in Europe

businesswire.com/news/home/20120709006461/en…

Andrésy, France
posts: 2,167
reviews: 89
7. Re: Traffic and driving on Cote d azur

Do you really enjoy packing & unpacking that much ? Cannes & Nice are so close together that it isn't really justified to change hotels. Make one hotel your base in that area and take day trips - preferably by train or bus, unless driving round and round looking for parking spaces and paying hefty charges for the pleasure is something that you have at heart.

Finland
posts: 798
reviews: 141
8. Re: Traffic and driving on Cote d azur

Marseille to Nice is about 200 km the shortest route. The worst I can imagine would be several hours (say 5) on that very day "everyone" arrive for their vacation at the same time. Normally it is some 2h15 - 2h45 on motorways. Look at www.asf.fr you will find current traffic situation and an hourly forecast on any day forward. The fast route is A8 considerably more inland than the route passing Toulon. The coastal motorway route goes through Toulon at low or very low speed, which reduces the average speed considerably.

The bottle necks are driving out of Marseille to the motorway towards Toulon, maybe some of the toll stations and then driving into Toulon (very much dependent on the time of the day). If you come from Istanbul, I am sure you will find the traffic utmost relaxed :-) all the time.

The coastal road from Marseille towards east passing Cassis, La Ciotat, St Cyr, Sanary, Six Fours and La Seyne is an enjoyable ride if you have time: reserve some 3 hours + maybe lunch at some of these towns/villages. We just spent two weeks down there and got halted by traffic on just one morning, as there was a roundabout in Sanary blocked by the people obviously heading for the market. This was second half of June.

As you will continue from Toulon towards Nice, the traffic on the motorway gets often congested some before Cannes and then also continues that way until Nice. Warning: there may be some very sudden full stops during say 10-20 first kms east of Toulon, if the traffic is congested there. Warning especially closer to Nice the lorries and trucks tend to change from right lane to the middle lane without any warning.

We like Toulon and the surrounding area, and recommend staying around for a while. There are also many nice places accessible from Toulon, both east and west. Hyeres is also a nice smaller town with a big leisure port. The beaches between La Londe and Bormes are exceptional, but also very popular - if you go there, do that as early in the morning as possible.

The coastal road from Toulon until Bormes/Le Lavandou is OK but as you reach Gassin/Cogolin (close to St Tropez) the traffic in core season gets often more like parking Also the connecting road from Ste Maxime to Le Muy to reach the A8 motorway again is often congested, and generally not my favorite, even though the curvy road is a great drive. There is no good way to pass the congested area behind St Tropez other than driving along A8. You can always reserve enough time and enjoy the views on the coastal route. I often miss my automatic gearbox driving a manual rental car there :-) All the resorts Ste Maxime, Frejus and St Raphael + the off-agglomeration points such as Agay and Antheor, between Toulon and Cannes, are generally nice places to see.

As you arrive at Cannes/Nice pick either of them as a base, no point in staying in both of them. An alternative would be Antibes between them. In summer time the traffic makes you spend a lot of time in the car and public parking is in overload, as well. This is why I would also drop the car having arrived in the Nice area.

9. Re: Traffic and driving on Cote d azur

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