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Thread: France - tips and info

  1. #21
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    Default Re: France - tips and info

    If you are going to Avignon, Orange, Arles region, Marseille will be a good stop...

    If you are going to Cannes, St Paul de Vence, Monaco region, Nice will be a good stop...

    Note that Marseille and Nice are 2 hours apart by train... I guess it's roughly the same time by car or a bit longer... Marseille to Nice has one of the most scenic drive in France, along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea... So, if you decide to spend 3 days in the Marseille area and 3 days in the Nice area... it is still possible..

    I would think that if your flight is 11am from CDG, you have to check in at 9 plus latest... i suggest spending the final night in Paris just to be safe.. You dont want to miss your flight... Haa.. Moreover, can still party the night away in Paris on the last night...

  2. #22
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    Default Re: France - tips and info

    Oh.. Nice and the surrounding cities will be packed with people during the summer.. where almost the whole of France come to sunbath... So, if you want more peace, Avignon and the surrounding will be relatively more peaceful...

  3. #23

    Default Re: France - tips and info

    Thanks, I am aiming for Provence mainly, and the sites where they filmed Love Actually, so Marseille?


    And my mistake:


    SQ333
    CDG 12:25
    SIN 06:55 +1Day


    So I am aiming for a 7 30 am Easyjet flight back into CDG....

    Not into crowds so I actually dislike Paris...
    Quote Originally Posted by hongwen37 View Post
    Oh.. Nice and the surrounding cities will be packed with people during the summer.. where almost the whole of France come to sunbath... So, if you want more peace, Avignon and the surrounding will be relatively more peaceful...
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  4. #24

    Default Re: France - tips and info

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadpoet View Post
    if you are going to end in Nice, I suggest you fly into Marseille , pick up car there, drop off in Nice. Try www.autoeurope.com. i used them for my last cannot remember how many trips to Europe.

    Btw, after over 20 trips to France, i still cannot speak French. it's ok, as long as you are no in Paris. people are very friendly, outside of Paris.

    Hi DP,

    thanx for your headsup..

    As for car rental, Europcar has some promo thing going on with easyjet, and i booked that a few weeks ago already.

    so here's more or less the helicopter plan of what i'll be doing.

    - 1st July from Berlin Schoenfeld airport (grumbles.....slightly out of the way, but yipeee, Berlin again!!!) to Nice airport, where we'll pick up the car form the airport.....and drive to our hotel next to the beach. so first evening/night in Nice with wife. any particular sights at night along this stretch?

    - 2nd July evening, drive towards Marseille, (where my brother and his gf will land), pick them up, possibly go for dinner and go out at night.... (again, whats there to do at night?!?!)

    - 3rd July morning, explore parts of Marseille and of course have DP's favourite bouillabaise.....

    - 3rd July evening (when the sun finally starts to set more), drive towards Provence.

    - 3rd july night, arrive in Provence and wander around...

    - 4th morning to late evening, explore provence towards Avignon

    - 4th night, arrive Avignon and explore nighttime.

    - 5th afternoon to 7th night - Cannes, Nice, Monaco

    - 8th morning, brother and gf train to Milan and from there fly back to Sil*ypore while me and wife wander around till 2pm, to fly from Nice to Berlin and then train back to Goettingen


    so now i've to factor in the points mentioned by you into our above schedule and find out the coordinates or at least the address to key into the GPS set that my boss lent to me....
    Last edited by plsoong; 17th June 2009 at 10:35 PM.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: France - tips and info

    If you need some ideas about places to go and visit in Provence, you'll find somes photos here : http://www.web-provence.com/ or on section "Alpes Maritimes" of http://www.france-voyage.com/en/ (english version available on both websites)

    If you are by Nice, you can visit the Old Nice downtown http://www.nicerendezvous.com/car/la...e/accueil.html http://www.google.com/translate?u=ht...&hl=fr&ie=UTF8 ; near this city, you will find Eze which is a very nice provencial village http://www.eze-riviera.com/emotions/ang/welcome.html or Saint Paul de Vence known to painters' village.

    If you wish to visit others parts of France, visit the following thread http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=518843
    Last edited by YoungPictoraider; 18th June 2009 at 04:01 AM.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: France - tips and info

    Hey PLSoong,

    I think you meant Aix-en-Provence when you mentioned Provence right.. Cos the whole Southern area is refered to as Provence which includes Avignon, Arles, Orange, Marseille, etc etc...

    Anyway, for an evening in Nice, you can just have a relaxing stroll along the Promenade des Anglaise.. Very nice place to see sunset and watch people go about their activities... Things to check out (and take photos of course) along the way are the Hotel Negressco (with its dome roof designed by Gustave Eiffel, said to be in accordance to the bust of some famous lady...), the Palaise de la Mediterranee, & Place Massena... After that, you can go up to the Chateau Hill (Colline du Chateau) via a lift to the top to enjoy the panoramic view of the city...

    As for Marseille for the evening.. Maybe a nice stroll along the Port area (There are numerous people going about their trades and activities here, not forgetting the many yatch here which i can only own photographs of them) and have some beer or wine in one of the many restaurants facing the port? If not, you can enagage in some shopping near the port too, along Rue de Rome & rue Paradis...

  7. #27

    Default Re: France - tips and info

    Sigh.... boss asked me to come back earlier...
    So now I only have THREE nights in France...

    My plan:

    Train to Marseille
    Stay there all 3 nights, find a cottage for myself and 2 other colleagues - stay in Aix-en-Provence ?
    Drive about the Provence region

    - can anyone recommend good places to visit in these places and to eat too
    - I heard there is a Loccitane factory? My lady colleagues will be rather happy
    - any specific sights I should look out for?
    - lastly, I might buy some wine back, any recommendations?

    Cheers!

    Edit: found this cottage:
    http://www.clossaintesteve.fr/domaine_en.php
    Last edited by petetherock; 18th June 2009 at 07:31 PM.
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  8. #28

    Default Re: France - tips and info

    Quote Originally Posted by hongwen37 View Post
    Hey PLSoong,

    I think you meant Aix-en-Provence when you mentioned Provence right.. Cos the whole Southern area is refered to as Provence which includes Avignon, Arles, Orange, Marseille, etc etc...

    Anyway, for an evening in Nice, you can just have a relaxing stroll along the Promenade des Anglaise.. Very nice place to see sunset and watch people go about their activities... Things to check out (and take photos of course) along the way are the Hotel Negressco (with its dome roof designed by Gustave Eiffel, said to be in accordance to the bust of some famous lady...), the Palaise de la Mediterranee, & Place Massena... After that, you can go up to the Chateau Hill (Colline du Chateau) via a lift to the top to enjoy the panoramic view of the city...

    As for Marseille for the evening.. Maybe a nice stroll along the Port area (There are numerous people going about their trades and activities here, not forgetting the many yatch here which i can only own photographs of them) and have some beer or wine in one of the many restaurants facing the port? If not, you can enagage in some shopping near the port too, along Rue de Rome & rue Paradis...
    hey HW.........thanx for the tips.... and yesh....Aix-en-Provence....

    wah looks like u like to stroll here stroll there hor.....must be stroll with your ah ger then ah ger say bery nice thats y recommend i oso stroll

    anyway, okay, i'm going to key in the coords into the Garmin....

    BTW hor...... south got cheese to recommend boh?

    I read that there's this wine called Bett (or some spelling) which is supposed to be one of the strongest wine?

    Of course Chateauneuf du Pape will be on our itiniery.....

    so if u look at the plan i posted, maybe u got somemore recommendations for sights? (its kinda rushed i feel...but LPPL, blarder got very short trip time with us.....he oredi travelling from Italy up to Swiss and then to Paris.....)

    BTW, check your PM

  9. #29
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    Default Re: France - tips and info

    Hey Petetherock,

    3 nights only? Poor you!.. Around Avignon, I would recommend Avignon (with her St Benezet Bridge & Palais du Papes & walled city), Arles (with her Roman ruins & van Gogh link).. If you have car, Pont du Gard (a giant Roman aqueduct) is a good half day trip, can combine with Orange (with her giant antique theatre, one of the 3 theatres in the world with the back wall still surviving)... I have not been to Aix-en-Provence, but guess it must be a nice place to be too...

    As for Marseille, it is a modern city like any other...

    Plsoong, the above recommendations are for you too... I personally like Pont du Gard alot, 45mins bus ride from Avignon (sorry, my gf dont like to drive so i dont want to be the only driver and its too ex for just 2 people... car should be faster than bus bah)... hahaha... can play Big2 (chor dai dee) or "Bridge" under the impressive bridge (pun).. haha...
    This is the official website.. http://www.pontdugard.fr/index.php?langue=GB

    Good thing is you have car.. so you can go to those vine routes... and visit their vineyards... which is often out of the way for us without cars...

    I see your itinery.. Too little time in the Aix-en-Provence-Avignon-Arles-Marseille region huh... but it's always a torn between there and the French Riveria (Nice-Monaco-Cannes)...

    Nice has all the nice (pun again) museums... and this Russian Orthodox Cathedral.. Other than that, its the usual "the sun, the sand and the sea".. and the naked woman.. I saw a few even in winter time!!!

    Cannes is shopping and more shopping.. Their beaches are mostly privates (have to pay money to use)...

    Monaco is special.. Haha... though its a very modern city, the attraction there are unique... The Exotic Garden, many unique little museums... and the impressive oceanogaphic museum... not forgeting the casino... very expensive place to be...

    I would recommend spending half day in Cannes and half day at St-Paul-de-Vence (half hour drive away).. A cosy little walled town, away from all the cities... http://www.saint-pauldevence.com/tourism_uk.html

  10. #30
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    Default Re: France - tips and info

    Hey..

    Just a question, curious.. If you guys are driving.. then let say in the city... do you park somewhere and explore the city by foot? or do you guys drive around in the city too, to the various sights in the city?

  11. #31

    Default Re: France - tips and info

    Thanks for the info.
    I will rent a car from the TGV station, then return it to the Marseille airport which seems the nearest.

    I prefer to walk in town, but if my colleagues who are much older want to hop around in a car, I will cater to them.

    These small towns may have free parking too.

    I think I will stick to your recommendations, and concentrate on the smaller region. I have been to Paris, Nice etc, so just one small place is fine.

    It is a pity I won't get to see any audio shops and try out French audio equipment...
    Quote Originally Posted by hongwen37 View Post
    Hey..

    Just a question, curious.. If you guys are driving.. then let say in the city... do you park somewhere and explore the city by foot? or do you guys drive around in the city too, to the various sights in the city?
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  12. #32

    Default Re: France - tips and info

    Quote Originally Posted by plsoong View Post
    Hi DP,

    thanx for your headsup..

    As for car rental, Europcar has some promo thing going on with easyjet, and i booked that a few weeks ago already.

    so here's more or less the helicopter plan of what i'll be doing.

    - 1st July from Berlin Schoenfeld airport (grumbles.....slightly out of the way, but yipeee, Berlin again!!!) to Nice airport, where we'll pick up the car form the airport.....and drive to our hotel next to the beach. so first evening/night in Nice with wife. any particular sights at night along this stretch?

    - 2nd July evening, drive towards Marseille, (where my brother and his gf will land), pick them up, possibly go for dinner and go out at night.... (again, whats there to do at night?!?!)

    - 3rd July morning, explore parts of Marseille and of course have DP's favourite bouillabaise.....

    - 3rd July evening (when the sun finally starts to set more), drive towards Provence.

    - 3rd july night, arrive in Provence and wander around...

    - 4th morning to late evening, explore provence towards Avignon

    - 4th night, arrive Avignon and explore nighttime.

    - 5th afternoon to 7th night - Cannes, Nice, Monaco

    - 8th morning, brother and gf train to Milan and from there fly back to Sil*ypore while me and wife wander around till 2pm, to fly from Nice to Berlin and then train back to Goettingen


    so now i've to factor in the points mentioned by you into our above schedule and find out the coordinates or at least the address to key into the GPS set that my boss lent to me....

    Nice ... jsut drive along the shore line, the sights are fantastic. There are 3 roads along the med. Lower - along the shore, mid -and then high - along the ridge. I will go low or high.

    Marseilles, try Chez Fon Fon. It is jsut 5 min drive outside of the Old Port. Msut consult map or gps. A bit tricky to get there, but the bouillabaisse there is second to none. The old port is fun to walk around. there is a small ferry that carries peds across the port, so you can walk from one end to ther other, take ferry back across.

    Avignon, Palais des Papes is a must see. It is also lit up at night, lots of picture opps.

    If you have time, try this restaurant - Auberge de Cassagne in Le Pontet, jsut outside of Avignon, the food there is exquisite.

    btw, you need reservation for most good restaurant. This is their busy season.
    deadpoet
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  13. #33

    Default Re: France - tips and info

    FYI
    Some info I was just emailed:

    Specific things to do in Avignon (less than half a day): Palais des Papes (where the popes lived for a while, an amazing historical 'palace'). If you just google the following few villages in Provence (around 30-40 min drive from B&B), you'll see how beautiful they are: Gordes (park your cark from a viewpoint across the valley to the village and walk from the bottom up on the cobblestone paths), Roussillon (the red village) take a walk around its beautiful red cliffs and buildings, Fontaine de Vaucluse (walk up to the source of the river and see amazing trees growing in the water), Abbaye de Senanque (near Gordes) a beautiful stone abbey (still functions as one) and you can take guided tours inside.
    The b&b I stayed at in Provence was brilliant and hospitable and had the most beautiful courtyard which you can have breakfast looking onto it, by the pool. The website is http://www.clossaintesteve.fr/domaine_en.php Do book early as July is high season in France. You can visit in Provence: Gordes, Roussillon, Fontaine de Vaucluse, Aix en Provence, Avignon, Lyon (2nd largest city in France but a good 4 hours drive from Provence, I know it very well as been there like 5 times to see one of my best friends who has now moved to Toulouse).. but I have to say Marseilles is a bit of a rough city so I wouldn't spend much (if any) time there.
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  14. #34
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    Default Re: France - tips and info

    Totally agree with the email...

    If you guys are short of time... can give Marseille a miss... However, it's the only city around that area with airports that flights will fly in... Lyon is really nice... But too far...

    I really wanted to go to Abbaye de Senanque for my trip in March this year... But due to time constraint, I did not go... It seems very nice...

  15. #35

    Default Re: France - tips and info

    Quote Originally Posted by hongwen37 View Post
    Ok.. This is the website you need to check for rail... www.raileurope.com.sg

    I just checked.. they have TGV from Paris CDG direct to Marseille (around 4 hours) or even Nice (around 6hr 30min)... You can check out the timing that suits you at that website.

    If travelling by train, the TGV will take you all the way to the train centre right in the middle of the city and from there, it might be a short walk or just a metro ride away.. Much more convenient... That is what i feel...

    Price wise, the TGV might not be cheaper than the budget airline though... have to compare and see...
    Don't book French rail through 'raileurope', they don't have the discount fares.
    You can book domestic trips direct with SNCF if you find you can get a discount 'print at home 'prems' for the trip.
    For tickets that need posting, SNCF won't do online sales to countries that Raileurope service, meaning you get 'ripped off' on the discount fares. But if there is a 'prems' available, tell the SNCF site you are in the UK, and download the PDF ticket.

    There are TGV services south from CDG, but not many. Paris is the hub, so nearly all trains arrive/depart from a Paris station. But you could get a RER train across Paris to Gare de Lyon where most of the south trains depart from. Depends on how well you think you can cart your luggage around on a suburban train.

  16. #36

    Default Re: France - tips and info

    Sigh worse news, been emailing many B n B joints in Avignon, and all of them are booked out...
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  17. #37
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    Default Re: France - tips and info

    Quote Originally Posted by petetherock View Post
    Sigh worse news, been emailing many B n B joints in Avignon, and all of them are booked out...

    There is the Avignon festival soon. http://www.festival-avignon.com/index.php?lg=en All hotels in town and large surroundings are mainly booked the year before. I'm afraid you have to change your plan and not visit Avignon if you need to sleep at this place.

    There will be also a very famous and popular photo festival in Arles too, with the same problem for hosting.

    The (peoples & nature) photo festival of La Gacilly in South Brittany is cool. http://www.festivalphoto-lagacilly.c...-grand-fo.html

  18. #38

    Default Re: France - tips and info

    Found a cheap motel: http://www.booking.com/city/fr/avign...FRUwpAodLjoL4A

    Hotel Acotel Express - Le Pontet Avignon at 55 euros a room split amongst 3 people, it does not look like much, but it will have to do....




    Zac Fontvert
    2 Chemin Des Petits Rougiers, 84130 Le Pontet, France
    +33 4 90 03 39 61

    DISTANCES
    From Avignon railway station: a 10 minute drive.
    From Avignon Caumont Airport: 10 km/6.2 miles.
    From Marseilles Marignane International Airport: 60 km/37.2 miles.
    From the Mediterranean Sea: 80 km/49.7 miles.

    I will take the TGV from CDG to Avignon, rent a car and drive about, take the train back and stay at the airport area before flying the next day!
    Last edited by petetherock; 29th June 2009 at 01:18 AM.
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  19. #39

    Default Re: France - tips and info

    Quote Originally Posted by YoungPictoraider View Post
    There is the Avignon festival soon. http://www.festival-avignon.com/index.php?lg=en All hotels in town and large surroundings are mainly booked the year before. I'm afraid you have to change your plan and not visit Avignon if you need to sleep at this place.

    There will be also a very famous and popular photo festival in Arles too, with the same problem for hosting.

    The (peoples & nature) photo festival of La Gacilly in South Brittany is cool. http://www.festivalphoto-lagacilly.c...-grand-fo.html
    when is this photo festival?

  20. #40
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    Default Re: France - tips and info

    Mr Soong,

    The photo festival starts from 7 July... Here's the website. http://provence-hideaway.com/news/?p=56

    It is an international annual photo festival... very famous... but looking at your schedule, you are gonna miss it by a few days... haa.. maybe can consider shifting around the itinery?

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