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Off to South of France in 12 days - recommendations of places to visit?

(30 Posts)
Hulababy Wed 08-Jun-05 21:33:45

Eceryone was great with advise and tips last time I went away, thought I'd give it another go.

DH, me and 3yo DD are off on holiday a week on Monday, for two weeks.

We are flying to Nice and picking up a car. We then drive to a camp site place near Frejus (with Vacansoliel) - staying in a static home thing (for first time) - for 7 nights.

We then drive to Grenoble for 2 nights, then to a Chateau near Dijon for 1 night before ending up at DLP, Davy Crocket Ranch for 4 nights. We fly home from paris, having dropped car off at airport.

We won't really be spending much time in the camp site during the day - more of a base. Have the car and intend to use it to explore lots.

Evenings will be sepent, once DD is asleep, drinking wine and chatting and reading.

So, what to see and do, espcially in South of France and/or Grenoble? What do you all recommened seeing and doing?

Thnk you!

Orinoco Wed 08-Jun-05 21:59:57

Message withdrawn

ButtonMoon Wed 08-Jun-05 22:05:06

We flew to Nice, hired a car and stayed at campsite near Frejus...loved it. We visited St Tropez, Monaco, Monte Carlo, Cannes and all the famous sites associated with those places. Nice big market in Frejus on Sundays and Wednesdays (I think) but it gets manic. The beach at Frejus is lovely too, as is the harbour with the HUGE yachts, worth a relaxing stroll in the evening. Lots of bars and restaraunts in Frejus. St raphael is the next nearest town and is more for shopping. Have a fab time...I am very

PS just a tip about picking the car up at Nice airport. At busy times some of the places where you hire them from are VERY soon as you are off the plane one of you rush off to the car hire while the other gets luggage. We waited over an hour and that was shortened when one of the workers gave prioirty to those with babies and small children!!! So get DD to throw tantrum and make a fuss!!

ButtonMoon Wed 08-Jun-05 22:06:44

OOO yeah forgot about the traffic nightmare to get to St Tropez!!! And Grasse...personally wouldn't bother found it a bit dull.

Orinoco Wed 08-Jun-05 22:15:09

Message withdrawn

Hulababy Wed 08-Jun-05 22:20:20

Thanks for the replies.

Camp site does have a pool. Didn't notice anything about pool dress code in brochure or on website. DH defnitely doesn't have speedo type swimwear, eeek.

Buttonmoon - thanks for the airport tip; best start practising with DD

Orinioc - thanks for all that info! Going to save and print all the stuff off to take with me.

Hulababy Wed 08-Jun-05 22:22:45

All sounds fab Orinioco Feel a bit sad about St Tropez - had thought it'd be lovely.

Been to DLP before (when DD was 18 months) but not stayed in a Disney Hotel. DD is very excited. We went to Florida for 14 days of theme parks last summer - so this is a reminder for her. Fancied DCR so we can hae a bit more freedom than a hotel. Good to hear yu like it. The pool looks great - hope so.

ButtonMoon Thu 09-Jun-05 08:40:52

Is the campsite La Baume? If so all of the men were wearing shorts in the pool no problem.

Frenchy72 Thu 09-Jun-05 12:21:16

very much agree with onorico. St Tropez not worth. Sainte Maxime and Ramatuelle: gorgeous.
a dinner in Ramatuelle looking over the valley is great. There is a great international camping there (4 or 5 stars) a shame I can't remember the name, but I loved it.
Saint Paul de Vence is another nice place in the inland/back Nice. it has got a unique authentic landscape (old village) -But very expensive alas.
I don't know what activities you can do with the kids, other than the beach, I didn't have any children at that time (!!!!)
Have a great holiday!

Cherryblossom Thu 09-Jun-05 12:28:47

This has been a great thread to read, was going to ask the same question myself. We are staying at Cap Esterel nr St Raphael. Going on 18th June. Anyone else stayed there and how long from Nice airort? Thanks.

Hulababy Thu 09-Jun-05 13:34:32

buttommoon - camp site is La Pierre Verte I think.

OK, so looks like St Tropez is out, unless we get desperate or are passing by.

cherryblossom - hope you have a lovely time too. Have you tried looking on somewhere like for how far a drive it is. Nice to Frejus says about 40 minutes.

mogwai Fri 10-Jun-05 10:10:21

Agree St Paul de Vence is lovely. There's a town called Vence nearby - I'd suggest parking there and taking the bus to St Paul.

Nice worth a half day at least (the old town)

Wouldn't bother with Antibes (beach is tiny) or Cannes (what a let down!).

Monaco worth a visit to look at the boats. If we'd had more time I'd have taken the scenic train from Nice up into the Alps (I think it runs north-east) but I was 26 weeks pg when we visited and couldn't face the thought of a whole day on a train.

However, we did climb up to the exotic garden at Eze, great views. Apparently you can see as far as Corsica on a clear day.

If I go back, I'm going to Villefranche-Sur-Mer (just east of Nice about 5 mins by train) because it looked beautiful from the train window!

Ameriscot2005 Fri 10-Jun-05 15:48:30


We have stayed at Cap Esterel and it was fab - one of the best places we've been. I would love to go back there.

It should take about an hour from Nice Airport, according to Via Michelin.

Ameriscot2005 Fri 10-Jun-05 15:53:15

St Tropez - I think it is worth a trip, despite the horrible traffic. Pampalonne beach has a fantastic atmosphere, especially if you go to one of the private beaches where you pay a small amount for your lounger and then have the services of a waiter and restaurant.

After a hard day at the beach, a stroll around St Tropez harbour is a must. The kids are happy as long as they get an ice cream.

Ramatuelle is a beautiful Provence town and well worth a visit on a market day.

Hulababy Fri 10-Jun-05 16:05:30

Oh no - so St Tropez maybe again then. Our guide book thing does recommend it. Is it just the traffic and cost of parking that put the others off? Confused again!

Looking forward to the mountains when we get to Grenoble - does look beautiful.

mogwai Fri 10-Jun-05 16:57:12

I'd also go to Annecy if I was driving in the Alps - not sure how close it is to Grenoble, though

Hulababy Fri 10-Jun-05 16:59:59

Thank you. Going to get my map out with all this and find out where everywhere is and make some plans

ButtonMoon Fri 10-Jun-05 22:31:54

St Tropez-good to see HUGE yachts and very rich peeps. We sat in a lovely cafe up a cobbled street-very nice. We went out of season in Sept and traffic wasnt too bad but there is only one single road in and out so could be chaotic. Suppose if you go early enough in the morning it would be okay ??

hi5 Fri 10-Jun-05 23:08:13

The traffic round St tropez won't be as bad as in August will it? If you set off early in the morning for St.T you can have a lovely long day out and do the Pampelone beach thing.
We went to Roquebrune (or is it Rochbrune?)for a meal - recommended by a Anglo/French local. There was an artisan market in the village - you have to climb up to the mkt place (don't drive, park at the bottom near this restaurant)the children enjoyed all the little streets and exploring.

Ameriscot2005 Sat 11-Jun-05 12:38:30

The traffic is bad in August - that's the traditional time for the French to take their holidays and most of them stay in France. There are lots of signs on the coastal road asking you not to drive between certain hours and warning you to expect severe delays.

If you need to drive, before 10am and after 6pm is a good idea.

I think it is worth it for one day in the St Tropez area, but not more than that.

Hulababy Sat 11-Jun-05 12:39:37

So, you reckon June (when we go - 9 days now ) won't be so bad traffic-wise?

Ameriscot2005 Sat 11-Jun-05 12:42:32

It should be OK, Hulababy. August is the worst by a long shot and July was bearable, IME.


Hulababy Sat 11-Jun-05 12:46:21

Cheers; really excited now!

Hulababy Sun 10-Jul-05 00:04:38

Thought I would update with my own recommendations, etc now I have been there.

Frejus - beautiful place. Sea front is great - very safe beach and sea. And it is a sandy beach too Lots of cafes and restuarants to choose from all along the front. Leads right into St Raphael. Above the big car parrk there is a lovely area with a children's playground - we used to go there with DD after dinner in an evening.

Cannes - great. Really liked it, went a couple of times. If you go behind the costal road (where the big name shops are) there are loads of more reasonably priced shops Most of beaches seemed to be private apart from a small area towards the Festival Hall place. Not too expensive to eat on front either - we had a couple of great meals here.

Noce - didn't like Nice TBH. Felt a bit - well, not as upmakret or nice as the otheer places. We didn't stay long - went back to cannes instead.

Monaco Liked here although very hilly - use the lifts! Harbour is nice to sit and have a drink overlooking it. Huge boats! Place de casino is very classy and loads of big posh cars there. Wasn't so impressed with shops in manaco though. Mind food and drink seemed a bit cheaper in Monaco which was a bonus.

*St Tropez* Yes, nightmare traffic aloomnng coastal road. But we really liked St Tropez and would recommend visiting. The harbour is lovely, although expensive to eat and drink round it. Half a litre of beer was over £8! Behind the harbour the old fashioned streets are very quaint, as is the big square. Lots of shops here!

All in all it was a lovely area and we will definitely go back.

DEE747 Sat 23-Jul-05 15:37:00

Have a look at

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