Looking for that charming village where Chocolat (2001) was filmed with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. Anybody, have an idea or of similar villages?
"Chocolat" was filmed in the French town of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain which is northwest of Dijon in Burgundy. Another gorgeous village very nearby is Chateauneuf almost due west of Dijon and south of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain. Burgundy (and all of France) has beautiful little villages around every corner.
My husband and I will be visiting France in April. I would like to visit the south of France as everybody say it’s beautiful. Any advice for me?
Helena from HK
Helena, The south of France is quite large. What section do you want to visit? Most people think of Provence when they think of the south . . . or the Riviera which is technically part of Provence. The beaches in the Riviera section are pretty rocky so if you’re going for the beaches, you might be happier in the western part of the Mediterranean coast which is called the CÃ´te Vermeille. They have long sandy beaches there (with free parking!).
If you’ve read Peter Mayle’s books about Provence, that is north of the Riviera in an area called the Luberon. You have mountains instead of beaches. It’s absolutely beautiful and is what most people think of when you mention Provence.
If you want a taste of all of it, you might consider staying in the Luberon for a while and visiting some of the perched villages, spending a day visiting the Riviera towns and/or museums if that is an interest, spending a day in Arles visiting Roman ruins and museums and shopping, drive through the Camargue visiting either the Nature Reserve there or spending part of the day in Aigues-Mortes and the rest of the time near Stes. Maries de la Mer and the nice long sandy beach (with free parking). Then there are the wonderful southern cities of Aix en Provence and Avignon, both of which are worth a day.
Will you have a car or are you taking the train? It is easier to get around if you have a car, so if you’re taking the train, you might consider renting a car for at least a few days.
If you’ll post your interests, i.e. history, art, religion, sports, beaches, scenery, I’ll try to give you some suggestions and hopefully others will chip in also.
Thank you so much for the info.
Thanks very much for your advice. In fact, we have no idea where we should go in France. All we know is we have 2 weeks holiday and would like to spend the most of it. My husband doesn’t drive and we drive right in HK, so it is very difficult for me to drive in a strange place too. So most probably we’ll take the train. I am very greedy. My idea of the trip should include a vineyard visit, stay in a chateau hotel. My husand leaves his hand on me and I have too much pressure to make the holiday fantastic for him. So help me….
Thanks a lot,Helena
Are u a travel writer? How come you know so much about France? How amazing!
This is the first time my husband and I visit Europe alone and by ourselves (before either I travelled alone for business or with a tour with our parents). So I want to make a good plan and a romantic one for my husband. I think Provence should be a good choice for us. Do you think we can book hotel upon arrival or we should book in advance via internet? I don’t know which one is more economical.
No, I’m not a travel writer. I edit a music newsletter, but my husband and I really love France and enjoy visiting as often as possible. I know how you feel about planning the trip. It’s a lot of pressure. Just remember, everything can’t be perfect and sometimes the crazy things that go wrong make the trip more interesting. If your husband trusts you to plan the trip, he will undoubtedly be happy with what you plan.
Provence in April will be very romantic no matter where you go. If you don’t want to drive, you might want to fly to Paris and take the train to Avignon. You should rent a car in Avignon or you won’t see much of Provence. It’s not difficult to drive in the southern part of France unless you live in Britain and drive on the left. The French drive on the right like the U.S. (Does HK mean Hong Kong?)
If you really don’t want to drive at all, take the train to Avignon, visit the city there and then sign up for day tours to other places in the area. I’m sure any travel agency in Avignon can help you with tours of the area.
April won’t be very crowded, but you might be more comfortable if you reserve at least the first couple of days of your hotel so you don’t have to worry about looking for a place when you get there. You’ll be tired after your trip.
Another possibility is flying directly to Nice and staying there. It is absolutely beautiful, right on the Mediterranean with lots to see and do. You could take day tours from there up into the Luberon, down along the French Riviera or over to Aix en Provence. It will be perfect in April. Again, though, I would make hotel reservations.
You can click on the blue and red France.com above and then click on Hotels and Browse Hotels to search for hotels in the area. We’ve reserved through the France.com web site often and never had a problem.
If you decide not to make hotel reservations, go to the local tourist office when you land. I’ve been told they will make reservations for you. We’ve never tried it though!
I hope you enjoy your trip. We just got back from Rome. That was very interesting, but we decided we like France better.
Helena, You said you wanted to stay in a chateau. Try these two web sites.
These are web sites for chateau hotels. You might find just what you want there. Do try the France.com also because outside of Paris, they often feature chateaus.
Another good resource is franceguide.com. you can send for many great brochures, maps, etc. all for free. It takes about 2 weeks for the requested publications to arrive. Donerail
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