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Anyone been to Languedoc? Carmargue? Sete?

(7 Posts)
northernrefugee39 Wed 13-Aug-08 15:37:05

We're staying one week just north west of Nimes, and another quite near Sete on the coast.
Any recommendations- places to see, beaches etc?
Thanks

OrangeCrush Wed 13-Aug-08 16:38:10

Oooooo! one of my favourite areas of France. Nay,the world! envy

I assume you have access to a car while you are there? Nimes itself is great, although quite confusing to drive around, the first time we went drove round in circles for ages til we figured it out...then lots of hidden squares to sit at a cafe and people watch in between sightseeing.

Orange is a nice town just north of Nimes with a great roman amphitheatre worth a daytrip, and it sometimes has plays and things going on. Avignon is definitely worth a visit - lots of papal history (check out the Pope's Palace) and lovely shops views etc and the home of Chateaux Neuf du Pape - a reason to visit in itself (...unless you are t-total hmm)

Just above Orange off the A7/E15 is a place called Pierrelatte which has a cool crocodile farm which is heated by the nearby nuclear power plant. Sounds scarier than it is from both respects.

Directly north of Nimes is a lovely small town called Uzes - nice restaurants under the arches in the main square.

Not far from Nimes is the *Pont du Gard* a roman viaduct - v. impressive, and if you are into camping, some great sites near here. Great drives up the Gard valley too.

Also Arles, towards the coast is nice with losts of spanish influences - they do great Paella and have an active bull ring and lots of festivals during the summer months.

If you are prepared to travel a bit further north of Aix-en-Provence up the E712 is a small market town called Forcalquier near to Manosque. Lovely place - I think Monday or Wednesday(?)is market day and well worth a trip to get your typical french produce, and some colouful tatt on the side, but get there early as gets REALLY busy. Also great restaurants and souvenir shops if you miss market day.

Hopefully the Lavender fields will still be in full bloom while you are there as really spectacular.

Hope you have a brilliant holiday

northernrefugee39 Wed 13-Aug-08 17:10:34

Oh wow! Thankyou so much!
Yes- we have a car. Our eldest is 13 and mad about reptiles- so the crocodile farm is a fantastic recommendation.
The small towns with squares are just up my street, while the cafe au lait and people watching will suit dh.
Yes- Arles sounds lovely. I like the idea of those Spanish colours- Matisse painted around there I think.
What about gruisson? Is that worth a visit?
Thanks so much Orange- exactly the sort of stuff we needed to know.
Hope you can get back there someday soonish?

pointydog Wed 13-Aug-08 17:40:25

I had a holiday in Sete years ago. Hazy out-of-date memory. It was very pretty, though. Went on a little boat trip around the coast. And I think the beach was quite nice. Went to Carcassonne which is beautiful. Aigues Mortes is a gorgeous village.

I found the Camargue odd - think it's a love or hate thing. Lots of cowboy types in Ste Marie de la Mer, prob due to all teh wild horses and bulls.

Quite a few nudist beaches in that neck of the woods from what I remember.

Would second Aix and Avignon. There used to lots of good Vietnamese restaurants in Aix but might have changed.

I went pre-children so this is all a bit adulty.

northernrefugee39 Thu 14-Aug-08 08:41:03

Thanks Pointy.
I know what you mean about the Camargue- those lagoony boggy plains can give a strange atmosphere.... my Mum said" Don't go there on your own" ! hmm
My dh will get very excited at vietmanese food.
We were teasing the children about the naturist beaches last night- they don't belive us, and are mortified at the prospect that their parents might strip..( we wouldn't- i wouldn't be so cruel. But I do enjoy a nude bathe i have to admit! Nothing like it)wink

OrangeCrush Thu 14-Aug-08 10:19:30

No idea about Gruisson - never found the coastline near there much to our taste, mainly because a day trip to Marseille (or was it Monpellier?) wasn't that inspiring, so just spent our time inland.

Last year did have a few days at Menton, and did Monaco etc, but more to say we'd been more than anything - it is soooo expensive round there! after that quickly retreated to Annecy/Chamonix for the remains of the holiday to escape the heat. We don't really do toasting on a beach, and as all previous trips have been child free have been fairly spur of the moment itinaries rather than having set accommodation and planning to entertain kids all day with sandcastles etc! How life is about to change hmm

Hopefully we will be back to france next year, as wine stocks are at an all time low but depends on whether DC1 is well behaved enough to cope with the drive. Or should that be if we could cope with the drive with a 6mth old??!! grin

pointydog Thu 14-Aug-08 10:33:13

Agde is a big nudist beach, is it not? yeuch yeuch

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