I'd appreciate help with planning our itinerary for 10 days arriving in Nice, and leaving from Marseilles. We live in Valencia, Spain, and I'll be traveling with my 10 year old son, primarily by train, but we'll have a car for the last few days. We want a good balance of the beaches/coast and some inland small towns. Museums and historical attractions are not that important for us, rather we want to experience the joie de vie of the French lifestyle. We're active and like hiking, swimming, etc, so hope to work some of that into our vacation too. Airbnb or smaller Inns and lodging suggestions welcome too.
Here's what I have so far:
Day 1 - VLC - Nice (n1/3) (ALPES MARITIMES)
arriving at lodging very late @23:00
?? Considering staying in Old Town/Vieux Nice. Open to other suggestions too.
Day 2 - Nice daytrips (n2/3)
+ Eze, Monaco, Cap d’Ail beach, Eze-sur-Mer, Cap-Ferrat, Villefrance-sur-Mer
?? My gut feeling is to skip Monaco, as I'm not interested in the Casino or shopping. But at the same time, it is so close and I wonder if I will regret skipping it.
Day 3 -Nice daytrips (n3/3)
+ Cap-Ferrat, Villefranche-sur-Mer, St Paul de Vence
+ Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, Cap-Ferrat?
Day 4 - Nice daytrips to Juan-Les-Pins (n1)
+ Nice - Juan-le-Pins train (d0:33)
+ Antibes, Cap d'Antibes, Les Bois des Lutins (tree park), Cannes
+ Hiking on the peninsula, swimming
?? Considering staying 2 nights in Juan-les-Pins, and if so, thinking of a day trip to Cannes by train.
Day 5 - Juan-Les-Pins daytrips to Fréjus/Le Muy ending in St Tropez (n1/2)
+ Juan-les-Pins 12:42 - 13:52 Fréjus train (d0:55)
+ Train stops at Cannes, Théoule-sur-Mer on way to Fréjus/Le Muy (ALPES MARITIMES - VAR)
+ Fréjus/Le Muy to St. Tropez in bus/taxi (d1:15)
?? Getting to St Tropez is difficult/impossible by train, as far as I can tell.
Day 6 - St. Tropez (n2/2)
+ relax/beach day
?? If we stay in Juan-les-Pins for an extra day, we'd either stay only one night in St Tropez, or stay one less day in Arles. For some reason, I have this idea that I will like St Tropez...
Day 7 - St. Tropez to Arles (n1/3) (VAR - BOUCHES-DU-RHONE)
+ Rent car, from St Tropez go to Bandol (d1:30), then to Cassis (d0:30), then to Aix en Provence (d0:45), on the way to Arles (d1:10)
+ Enjoy the drive to Cassis, Bandol and the coast between Marseilles and Cassis (fjords)
+ Drink Bandol wine
+ Snorkeling at Parc National des Calanques (calanques - narrow inlets framed by steep, limestone cliffs)?
Day 8 - Arles to daytrips (n1/3) (BOUCHES-DU-RHONE - GARD)
+ Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue
+ daytrip to Nimes (pronounced Neem)? https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/read/articles/finding-nemo-in-nimes
Day 9 - 10 Arles (n2/3)
+ Day trip to Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. from Arles (d1:20) for market morning.
The best of all market worlds may rest in the picturesque town of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, where, on Sunday mornings, a brilliant food marché tangles with an active flea market and a good selection of antiques. I like to sip a coffee at a sidewalk table at Café de France and enjoy the carnival-like scene.
Finish the day with 1-2 more of these options:
+ Isle-sur-la-Sorgue to Avignon (d0:42)
+ Isle-sur-la-Sorgue to Châteauneuf-du-Pape (d0:42)
+ Avignon to Châteauneuf-du-Pape (d0:30)
+ Avignon to Arles (d0:20)
+ Châteauneuf-du-Pape to Arles (d1:10) via Nimes
?? Ideas for what to do in this area?
Day 10 Arles (n3/3)
+ supplies for picnic for the canoe trip, bring dry clothes and towels
+ Day trip canoe/kayak on the Gardon River, Pont St Nicolas to Pont du Gard (€45)
+ Afternoon and dinner in Nimes? or...
+ Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue
+ Turn in rental car, or keep and turn in at airport the next day?
Day 11 - Arles to Marseilles
+ Arles to MRS airport by train (d1:11)
+ Arles to MRS airport by car (d0:55) + time to return rental car
I would love any feedback and suggestions!