where to go/stay in south of france around xmas time

Hi all, Heading to france for roughly 6 nights after a few days in amsterdam / bruges all right around christmas. Expecting to spend the last 4 nights in paris and maybe the first 2 in the south of france traveling back and forth via TGV. Have heard good things about Aix En Provence, Avignon, Gordes, Minerbes, Eze etc hoping to get your suggestions for where might be the best places to stay and/or visit in this region given that we might be spending the days driving to the different towns/villages. Ideally looking for quaint areas with great food and scenery (mindful of course of the cold weather, we're thinking that in the south it won't be as cold?) All thoughts and ideas much appreciated! Robyn

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17796 posts

robyn, Nice would be a great "home base" for that area. The "old town" area is great, there are some good Museums (not sure about winter operating hours though), and you could take day trips to Eze, Villefranche, Monaco & Monte Carlo. I've never been in that area in the winter, but presumably there would still be lots to see. Happy travels!

Posted by Adam
Boston
2634 posts

The south is generally warmer than the north, however there is still a risk of inclement weather (google "mistral" for one). Remember that even the south of France is pretty far north. There's not a lot of daylight in the winter, and many things are closed. Given all that, cities can be a better bet than small towns. On that score Nice is not a bad choice, however it is not really in the part of Provence you are interested in (except for Eze) and is an extra 3 hours from Paris by rail. You might prefer Avignon, Arles, or Nimes. Beyond Marseilles, which is 3 hours from Paris, the TGV runs on "slow" tracks and it's another 3 hours to Nice. It would take you at least 10 hours to get to Nice from Amsterdam by rail, 7 to Avignon, so you might investigate flying.