My wife and I are going to be spending a week in the South of France coming from Barcelona in later April. We will then be going on to Paris. I would really like folks suggestions about our itinerary. We would like to stay in one place and then take day trips. There are so many great possibilites. I would like to know what other folks have done. Many thanks
Last summer we rented an apartment in old town Nice for a week and had a blast. Beach was right there and the old town is amazingly colorful and lively. We went there the first week of August and, no, it really wasn't too crowded. On another occassion, a couple of years ago, we rented a gite in the Var for 2 weeks. Believe it or not, we chose the village by flipping through a picture book to find what struck us as the prettiest village. Then we did a little research to confirm that it was a good choice. We basically settled into the village for 2 weeks, only taking occassional day trips. Had a lot of picnics within hiking distance and went through a lot of the local wine. Bought local ingrediants in the market and ate like kings. Still rates as one of my very favorite vacations. The gite was very inexpensive. The town was Cotignac.
The "South of France" is such a big place that you could not visit all of it from a single base. I would pick one region and stick to that. In your case, I suggest Provence centered around the Rhone, for two reasons: It is fabulousIt is convenient to your next stop, which is Paris. You do not say how your are traveling from Barcelona, but for a week or day trips a car is a very good idea. Rent it in France, either in Provence or once you cross the border. Take the train on to Paris. Depending on your interests, you could stop for lunch or a night along the way. For instance, visit pretty Collioure just north of the border, on the rail line so you could interrupt your trip here easily. Another interesting stop (maybe) is Carcassone, though that's a bit of a detour so probably best as an overnight if at all. Depending on your itinerary, you might want to rent a place to stay in Provence. Rentals typically run for a whole week weekend to weekend, so if you are arriving midweek that might not work for you. You want to know what other folks have done: We've done all of the above and loved it, though not in the exact order suggested. Have a great trip!
We're currently planning a fall trip to the South of France and I have spent (too many!) hours on VRBO, Homeaway and Homelidays looking for apartments. While it's true that many rent weekend-to-weekend with 7-day minimums, there are plenty that have flexible changeover dates and allow shorter stays. I think Adam's advice for choice of location is good.