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cruise or south of France?

We are taking our 3 children & 2 spouses (one child not married, all in their early 30's) to Europe for 7 days in Sept. 2008. We can't decide whether to take a Mediterrain cruise or renting a villa near Nice for a week. Our children are very active, bikers, triathletes and we are in our 60's will enjoy the scenery. My husband and I have taken a cruise, our kids have not, we have all been to Italy. The cruise, with 4 stops, is much more expensive than renting a villa. My question is will the kids be bored on a cruise. If we rent a villa which city would be best location for sightseeing, catching transportation( will have 2 cars), hiking etc... Antibes? We might spend one day at the beach. thank you for your help..Mom

Posted by
4125 posts

This is such a personal decision, don't you think? I'd be bored stiff on a cruise but many people love them. So if you personally are indifferent between the two choices, why not ask your children what they would prefer?

Posted by
10344 posts

It is not accurate to think that Provence offers about the same as Tuscany. Parts of it are, but much of Provence offers a distinctly different experience from Tuscany.

Posted by
10 posts

thank you for your responses. Where is their the most activity, hiking, biking, touring museums, etc.Riveria or Provence? We are not sunbathers, but would like to enjoy Mediterranean scenery/views. We have been to Tuscany/similiar to Provence? Which town in Riveria or Provence would you rent a villa..Nice is to large a city, prefer smaller city, but with train connections. Mary

Posted by
4125 posts

I think there is generally more to see and do in Provence than the Riviera. However, if "Mediterranean scenery/views" are a priority, you probably want the latter. (If a Mediterranean day trip or two would fit the bill, you might--from Provence--visit the Camargue or Casis.)

As to where to rent a villa near a train, I am stumped. Plenty of apartments within walking distance, I am sure, but for a house you will likely need to drive. (Is that so bad?) You might want to take your needs up with a rental agency.

Posted by
251 posts

The Riviera does not offer that much in the way of outdoor activity except maybe eating outside and watching the world go by. It will also be VERY CROWDED in September still (trafic doesn't move!) The beaches aren't very nice lots of jellyfish

I used to live in Antibes, because I worked there, I had a car and would escape everytime we could. I would look into the Alpes-Maritimes. There is easy acess to mountain hikes, river hikes, river rafting, not to mention just driving and picnicing around the area. Don't forge the Gorge de Verdon is in that area. I love the little villages that are up on a mountain the roads that go there.

Look at towns around Le Bar/Loup, Gourdon, or even Grasse

Look for Gites in the area not villas.

Another option is Isola 2000 a ski-timeshare it is virtually empty in the summer with miles and miles of easy trails through the alps (past old WWII bunkers etc...)

However, 7 days is very short time. It will take you 2 days to get to the south(from US

Posted by
11450 posts

A cruise in the Med is not going to bore anyone to death, it tends to exhaust them. LOL You see on the Med cruises you stop at a port EVERYDAY, so it is go go go , no sea days generally( unlike most Carribean cruises that have at least two or three for a 7 day cruise ) .the benefit is being able to have dinner each night together( with no one cooking or doing dishes) and being able to go to shows or lounges in evening, and being able to split up or stay together. If you rent a villa you must either being within walking distances of a nice area of town, for restaurants,groceries, and cafes etcs. or rent TWO cars to go out and about( 7 of you will not fit in one car) so figure that into costs.
I like the idea of renting a villa as a family group, but personally I think a week is TOO short, by the time you get the groceries purchased you are then cooking, yuck. It would be fun though if you stretched it to at least 10 days.
Lots to think about.

Posted by
6 posts

My bet would be to look to the Luberon area of Provence. When I win the lottery that's where you will find me. There are quite a few places to rent in the Lacoste/Menerbes/Apt area. Great hiking and biking, great scenery, good access to cutural highlights like Avignon, Arles,Nimes and Carpentras. The vendage will be on near that time so plan for heavy farm traffic at times but it will be worth it.

Posted by
1158 posts


I thing you are the one who knows better then us if your kids would get bored. Different kids like different things.