I am working on planning a trip this summer to the South of France and to Stiges, and thought I might try to get some advice. The current plan is to arrive in Nice, spend two nights, go to Aix en Provence for two nights, then 3 nights somewhere else, then 2 nights in Sitges.
I need help on the the other three nights. Somehow I need to get to Sitges after that stay, either by overnight train or by day train. I'd been considering Montpellier which is supposed to have a nice city and a high gay population.
So in summary.. any suggestions where to go? Any favorite things to do/visit in the south of france?
Jun 11, 02, 8:45 am
One of the best places to visit (I wrote this somewhere else on the FT forum previously) is the medieval city of Carcassonne. It is really great, and also a nice place to have a tasty outdoor dinner in a romantic setting for affordable prices!
Check out the http://www.sncf.com/ site for travel by train.
How about Nice, what are some suggestions that people have. We're going to be there for a day post-cruise. Thanks!!
Jul 8, 02, 1:02 pm
Personally, I LOVED Marseilles when I was there a few years back - it has that sexy atmosphere common to old port cities, and great food - seafood, especially. Also, I understand that there are day cruises to the Calanques, which are cliffs east of the city, semi-wild. Also, I believe there are several boats which go to Sitges from Marseilles.
Jul 8, 02, 1:55 pm
Wow. Good lead for me to work on the Marseille to Sitges, I was trying to figure out where to leave from after we are in Aix en Provence. I leave on this next friday, you'd think I better hurry up and finish planning it.
I'll post my itinerary when it gets done if anyone wants to see it. It was cool coming back from Ptown and seeing my SWISS flight take off in Boston.
Jul 8, 02, 2:04 pm
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by anonplz:
Personally, I LOVED Marseilles when I was there a few years back - it has that sexy atmosphere common to old port cities, and great food - seafood, especially. </font>
Couldn't agree more, for at least a day!
I would also recommend St. Paul de Vence, one of the most beautiful villages in Provence, in the hills above Nice. Have lunch at La Columbe d'Or - a hotel and restaurant filled with originals by Picasso, Bracque, Calder and others who, as poor artists, used to pay their bills with art. It is difficult to get a table, so stop in and tell them you'd like to have lunch later, then you'll have time to wander the village and return for a memorable lunch - ending with lavendar infused creme brulee. Incredible!
But, in truth, any place you wander in this area will be worthwhile.
[This message has been edited by ILuvParis (edited 07-08-2002).]
Jul 8, 02, 2:16 pm
I couldn't find anything on Marseille to Sitges? Does anyone have a link?
Also, any hotel recommendations in Marseille? Should I pick this over Montpellier which is supposed to be fun also?
Jul 8, 02, 3:17 pm
This is a link to a company which offers ferry services for the Mediterranean/Canary Islands/Barcelona - I think they also go to Marseilles - I am going to look for you tonight!
Jul 8, 02, 4:47 pm
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by ILuvParis:
I would also recommend St. Paul de Vence, one of the most beautiful villages in Provence, in the hills above Nice. Have lunch at La Columbe d'Or - a hotel and restaurant filled with originals by Picasso, Bracque, Calder and others who, as poor artists, used to pay their bills with art. It is difficult to get a table, so stop in and tell them you'd like to have lunch later, then you'll have time to wander the village and return for a memorable lunch.
I'll second that St Paul de Vence is really charming and I wish we had more time to spend there 2 years ago.
Jul 8, 02, 7:33 pm
You're going to Sitges but not to Barcelona?
You may not want to leave Aix-en-Provence once you're there. Provence itself is a beautiful place...
Try going to Avignon, Gordes, and Iles sur le Sorgue if you have the chance. Driving around this region is best. But to Spain, I'd stick with the train due to the rugged terrain.
Jul 8, 02, 9:48 pm
While you're in Sitges, stop by my friend Paco's new restaurant. It's called Plata de la something, right next to an Italian place in the Marina. It's new, I can't remember the rest of the name http://www.flyertalk.com/travel/fttravel_forum/smile.gif There are only a few restaurants in there so it won't be hard to find.
The food is spectacular, as is Paco. Try the calamares. And see if you can figure out if he's gay...I never can get up the nerve to ask!
-alan in seattle
Jul 9, 02, 5:43 am
wow Catwood. Great trip. I went to school in Aix en Provence for a year and practically went every other weekend to either Marseille for shopping (the closest Galeries Lafayette to Aix) or Nice. You should definately not miss Marseille, it's a wonderful city, very mediterranean with a North African flair. It's been 'cleaned up a bit' since I was there but it's a great place to stroll around. Start from St. Charles station down to La Cannabiere and stroll around all the shops and head down to Vieux Port to an outdoor restaurant. Take a boat to Chateau d'If or visit the lighthouse up on the hill. You can get to and from Aix via regular busses from Aix's Rotonde bus station or you can take the train, although it wasn't that frequent when I was last there. From Nice to Marseille you might consider just hopping off the train at some small French town on the sea and wander around. It's such an incredible area with towns filled with beautiful Roman architecture, tiny cobble stoned streets and that wonderful Mediterranean air.
Aix is a college town in a sense but also a rather wealthy town as well so you ll find lots of boutiques and restaurants etc. The main street is the Cours Mirabeau where you can sit at one of the many cafes lining the tree lined blvd such as La Grenouille or the beautiful "Les Deux Garcons".
I used to speak French with a bit of 'Marseillais' accent although it is now tinged with a Tahitian one due to my frequent travels to Polynesia.
Enjoy. I had an ex boyfriend break up with me while I was there (he was here in the US) so the town has a bit of sadness associated with it. Especially that one phone booth on Rue Marechal Foch!!!
ENJOY the south of France, how I miss it so. Geez, I should think about going there instead of returning to Tahiti for a month! Your post just gave me an idea.
Jul 9, 02, 9:15 pm
I'd have to second Axi22 where he says "From Nice to Marseille you might consider just hopping off the train at some small French town on the sea and wander around..." Check out Cassis, Sanary sur Mer, and Bormes Les Mimosas. My bf and I (and our parents!) rented a house for a week in Provence this past April ... I could spend a lifetime in the S. of France. Have a wonderful trip!
Jul 11, 02, 8:59 am
Just an update to this. It looks like I am staying in Avignon, my concierge guy is trying to get me and my friend at