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French Riviera around New Years - Book in Advance???

My family of 6 will be vacationing around the French Riviera (Nice, Antibes, Monaco, Marseille, other?) in the December 29 - January 2 time frame. We don't have a firm itinerary and I'd like to stay flexible if possible. Will it be easy to find accommodations "day to day", or is that too risky? Our hotel preferences are: Simple, clean, economical ($100 - $150 / nite, for a 3 person room?). We'll be driving a rental car, so we won't be dependent on bus/train routes and schedules.

Can we "wing it" as far as lodging goes? Or do we risk being shut out, or spending hours finding a place?


Posted by
81 posts

Hi Michael,

you shoud absolutely book in advance! That's the time when all the Parisians and Scandinavians flock to the south after Christmas.

For bookings, you should use European sites like or that give you a very flexible cancellation policy. In most cases you can book without any down payment and you can cancel until 24 hours before check in. That should give you peace of mind that you have a place to stay and also flexibility to change. For tours and activities also has a very flexible policy with 0 cancellation fees up to 7 days before.


Posted by
13 posts

Hi Michael,
I would definitely recommend booking in advance. I am flying into Nice on 1/2 and vacationing in the French Riviera until 1/6/2010. I noticed a couple of weeks ago that hotel availability was scarce and rates were high.

As far as economics go, have you thought of getting a vacation rental for 6 people? That would reduce the per/person cost and get you a nice place as well. Good luck!