My husband and I are ending a 2 week vacation in September with 6 nights in Nice, so really 4-1/2 days. I have been there once a decade ago, he has never been. We are very active and like to be on the move. We are contemplating going to Provence to see Pont du Guard, etc., but is that too much to try to do? How long does it take to get from Nice to Provence? We would be able to spend 2 nights in that area before returning to Nice for our flight home. Would you drive from Nice to Provence or take a train (I have driven in Europe, never used the rail system). Thanks!
I'd take a train, stay in Arles, and rent a car for a day to see the Pont du Gard and perhaps Les Beaux or one other sight.
Either way it's about 3 hours, so driving is certainly an option.
To minimize your running about, could you arrange to visit Provence before Nice? Then only one trip (Provence - Nice) required.
If you have any interest in going to Aix en Provence, I suggest that you book your reservations early...Aix is a university town that gets overrun during admissions (typically late September).
Betty.. I would stay 2 nights in Isle-sur la- Sorgue. Then you can visit the Luberon villages and the Cotes du Rhone villages.The Hotel Nevons is very nice. What days would you be there? Isle-sur -la -Sorgue has a huge Sunday market with lots of antiques.
Thank you for the suggestions - I realized I made a mistake, we only have 5 nights in Nice, just four full days. So my thought is to stay near Nice and enjoy that area and Antibes and then perhaps drive to the Pont du Gard as just a day trip. Are the sights/towns "better" near ArlesAvignon/Luberon, or re they just as nice near Antibes and Nice?
Thank you again for your answers - they are truly helping!
I can confirm that driving withIN Nice is a pain in the neck (though this is a busy time here, so maybe it will be better in Sept). Been here for a week now and it's awful to drive/park in the city. Great for day trips, but frankly I think the train would've been just as nice, if not better. The new Tramway here (1 Euro each ride) is fantastic for getting around the main part of the city.
Your plan is doable; I would ?definitely drive because the scenery is so impressive. Traffic will be light. Get a good map of Nice so you can drive the city and see the important sights.
Pont du Guard is worth going to see. Of all the Roman ?Aqueducts I have seen, it is the most breath-taking. Make it a day trip; leave early in the morning so you can return at a convenient time. If you are a photographer, be sure to get it from several angles.
I would definitely try to fit a trip to Provence in. Nice is tough to drive in, though we just dropped our car there and drove it as little as possible. It would be worth seeing if you could rent it at one of the smaller towns nearby. Driving in France is easy with a little preparation (copy Rick's driving symbols and essential phrases). Take the freeway -- it's worth the tolls for the difference in time (secondary roads are very slow). You can't get to pont du gard without a car very easily, so it's worth it. I would also stop in Arles and Aix, which are on the way. I didn't make it to Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, which is for another trip, but I think it might be hard to fit them all in. Another place that a car makes easier near Nice is Eze, though driving the corniches is a test of the nerves!
I can't tell you how helpful this is, thank you everyone! We decided we will stay in/near Nice and make Pont du Gard a day trip if it fits, otherwise there is always next year. So, with 5 nights in/near Nice, would you keep them all in Nice for convenience, or do 2 in Ville Franch sur Mer, 2 in Antibe and possibly the last night in Nice to be close to the airport?