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Erik from London asked

South of France travel ideas?

We are thinking of a 1-2 week trip to the south of France this year, most likely renting a car.  Any suggestions on must see places and also great B&B or boutique hotels? We don't mind a bit of driving and are happy to go away from the normal tourist crowds.  We love food and relaxation.


3 Answers
top answer by
John from Carlsbad (California)

I like Les Baux-de-Provence as a good base for exploring Provence and there are several places to stay in the area.La Cabro D'Or is my first choice.  It has become more expensive, but it's still worth the money and they have a fine restaurant with a great terrace in the warm months.  Very nice and less expensive rooms are available at Mas de l Oulivie and Le Mas D'Aigret.  Nearby Maussane-les-Alpilles is also a good base with several less expensive hotels and a very good bistro called La Place, which is connected to La Cabro D'Or.  Lots of sites are easily reached from this area, including the Pont du Gard, which is well worth a visit.  The wine villages of Gigondas and Chateauneuf-du-Pape are easily reached if you are a wine-lover.

Arles is an interesting city with a well-preserved Roman amphitheater and a great small hotel, Grand Hotel Nord Pinus.

Aix-en-Provence is a strikingly beautiful city, which many French think is the ideal retirement location.  The university brings a youthful exuberance and the tree covered Cours Mirabeau is beautiful.

Villefranche-sur-Mer is our favorite place to stay on the Cote d'Azur.  It is adjacent to Nice, but somehow has not been ruined by tourists.  It's on a magnificent bay, where cruise ships pull anchor, but strangely all of the cruisers seem to disappear shortly after they arrive.  There is a very good beach and some good restaurants, and you can hop a train or bus to Nice and the rest of the places you might want to see in the area.  I think the Welcome Hotel is one of the great small hotels.  It's gotten more expensive, but the standard or comfort rooms are just fine.  You can also rent apartments in town or check out Trip Advisor for a less expensive place.  Being close to the port is very convenient.  

Last June, we stayed in La Cadiere-d'Azur at the Hostellerie Bérard & Spa, which we loved.  The two restaurants at the hotel are both excellent and there are several others in the village that looked good.  We were in the least expensive room, which was quite small, but comfortable and there was a terrace with a great view.  The village is low tourist, but in the heart of the Bandol region and just a short distance from Le Castellet, which has many shops and restaurants.

On the same trip, we stayed in the best B&B I have seen, Hotel de Vigniamont in PezenasIt's a very pleasant village in the Languedoc-Roussillon with some history and the B&B is first-rate.  Babette Brun is a charming hostess who has a wealth of knowledge about the town and surrounding area.  The breakfast is extensive.  Make sure you print out the directions to the B&B from their website because it is difficult to find the first time.

Comments (1)

Awesome answer!!!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Les Baux-de-Provence (city)
  2. La Cabro D'Or (restaurant)
  3. Mas de l Oulivie (restaurant)
  4. Le Mas D'Aigret (restaurant)
  5. Maussane-les-Alpilles (city)
  6. La Place (attraction)
  7. Pont du Gard (attraction)
  8. Gigondas (region)
  9. Chateauneuf-du-Pape (city)
  10. Arles (city)
  11. Grand Hotel Nord Pinus (hotel)
  12. Aix-en-Provence (city)
  13. Cours Mirabeau (attraction)
  14. Villefranche-sur-Mer (city)
  15. Nice (city)
  16. Welcome Hotel (hotel)
  17. La Cadiere-d'Azur (city)
  18. Hostellerie Bérard & Spa (restaurant)
  19. Le Castellet (city)
  20. Hotel de Vigniamont (hotel)
  21. Pezenas (city)
  22. Languedoc-Roussillon (region)
comments (1)
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answered first by
Courtney from Los Angeles

OMG, you're going to my favorite part of the world! So many great places to go, but here are a few of my favorites:

Aix-en-Provence - this place defines the South of France. Very cosmopolitan without feeling impersonal. So much to do there: markets, hikes, music events, etc. Love this place.

L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue - It's a town known for its antiques, but there is so much more to it. Gorgeous little village right on the river that has a festival going on every five minutes in the summer.

Moustiers-Sainte-Marie - this is a town that's known for a type of ceramic called faience--I actually hate faience, but this town is still a favorite of mine. Stunning little place with some great hikes that offer amazing views of the town. Le Castellet - funny little village up on a mountaintop that is home to many craftsmen and artists. If you go, have crepes at Le Roy d'Ys where you can look out over the wineries below.

Avignon - No one I know agrees with me that this is a great town, but I'm going to include it because it's just so lively and fun. Tons of outdoor cafes, people-watching, and more cultural events than you could ever get to.

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

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answered by
Anna from Athens

Oh I love this trip! Have been there twice! Must see places: Cannes

Nice Monaco Grasse Saint-Paul-de-Vence Saint-Tropez Port Grimaud (a hidden gem), Aix-en-Provence Marseille

I wish I had a boutique hotel to my trips I've stayed in Ibis downtown Cannes and a large hotel in La Bocca area (Cannes again) which I cannot recall!

Comments (1)

Plus one on all of those!!!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cannes (attraction)
  2. Nice (city)
  3. Monaco (country)
  4. Grasse (attraction)
  5. Saint-Paul-de-Vence (city)
  6. Saint-Tropez (city)
  7. Port Grimaud (attraction)
  8. Aix-en-Provence (city)
  9. Marseille (city)
comments (1)
likes (2) thanks

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