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Shortening trip to Provence

I will be traveling to Paris (3 days) and Provence (probably 4 days) in August. From what I've read, the cities I am most interested in seeing in Provence are Avignon, Arles, Aix en Provence, and Nice. However, my trip is too short to allow for that many cities in Provence. One of my days will be dedicated to the Rencontres d'Arles Photography Festival, but besides Arles, is there another city you would recommend cutting from this list? I will be using trains and buses to travel so perhaps if one city was much more inconvenient for public transportation or if the main sites were far from the city center, that would be a city I should skip. Thanks!

Posted by
2779 posts

Amy, this might be just me but what you want to see of Nice is really just the waterside, the area around the Negresco hotel. Apart from that Nice is just like any other French city. Monaco is different, but Nice is really done in about an hour or so... They don't even have a nice city beach. It's all really rough pebbles there...

Posted by
2 posts

Just got back from 10 days: Nice (2 nights), Aiguines (1), Roussilon(1), Vaison la Romaine (3), Arles (2), Avignon (1).

As my wife and I kept saying to each other, "It's all good!"

Nice was great for our 2 days: Walking the waterfront, seeing the Chagall museum, and eating and exploring the Old city and Cours Selaya, then a side trip to the Rothchild gardens on Villefranche were great.

Bill
Columbia, MO

Posted by
153 posts

Nice is a pretty big city, and is not particularly close to the other towns you plan to visit, so I'd be tempted to cut it out.

Posted by
807 posts

without a car in provence you can't see much other than the cities like arles and avignon. trains between them are ok and you can do each in half a day quickly. To the see the real provence you need to get out there, but no train and by bus it's a pain (even just to get to Les Baux!).

You can see a lot around Nice by train though. You can stay in Antibes instead of nice, then just ride the train all the way to Monaco. there are many nice little towns on the water every stop along the way, and you can get off to explore them. there are also a couple of great hill towns by bus from Nice. so if you're not getting a car, then by train you'll see more in the nice neighborhood than arles/avignon...

Posted by
421 posts

same as the others I have not been yet but based on my extensive research with the time you have I say cut out Nice.
I would not have done Nice on this trip and would have put more time in Provence but my partner has always wanted to go to Nice, so I skimped on Provence.
you know give and take....

I don't know about cutting Arles....it is a nice center point to all the cities you mentioned.

Posted by
6 posts

Definitely cut Nice out. If you have any chance to get out to the Pont du Gard...do it! Amazing! Huge Roman Aquaduct still largely intact. Not very far from Avignon, maybe 30-40 minutes. Have fun and get to the Palace in Avignon as early as it opens!
Cheers