My two sisters and I are traveling to provence for 10 days in late February. I’m looking for suggestions on what are the best places to visit, what to pack for clothes due to winter in Provence.
We are thinking of renting a car because we want to travel up and down the riviera, with our home site as Avignon. What is the driving like there, are the road signs readible to a non french speaking person.
We are a little nervous because I have heard more bad stories than good so far. Eating makes me nervous, but I have heard that it is "americanized" with fast food…is this true?
Are there any must see and don’t bothers that you could suggest.
3 Comments On Traveling help in Provence
You must go to Arles, Antibes, Mougins, lots to see along the Riveria, Monte Carlo is a must for a day as well. Don’t miss Grasse. There is so much that is beautiful. By all means feel good about driving. You can take the train up to Monte Carlo.
Be adventureous, the people are wonderful IF you are wonderful. The food is divine or simple. They will assist you with selections. We have been to France several times and going again in May.
Have a wonderful time.
Relax, as kaluda points out, if you "go with the flow" things will be fine. You will love France. The roads are logical and in excellent condition with the best of signage. Much to the dismay of the French, there are more fast food places appearing. Avoid them as you can get enough of that stuff in the US. Allow time for meals regardless of the expense – meals, preparation, presentation, and service is something very cultural with the French. At various marketplaces, pick up food for a noon picnic if you are driving. It works out quite well and is cheap. (relatively). Buy some Michilin maps (numbers 240 and 245 about $8.95 each) Have a great trip. Regards, Donerail
We always drive and even when we get lost, we find something beautiful or interesting. The roads are pretty well marked but signs tend to be just after the turns. Just remember to look ahead. Also remember the car will turn around and go back! The French are incredibly helpful so don’t worry about getting lost and you’ll never starve to death in France!!
We use the Michelin "France Tourist and Motoring Atlas" at 1:200,000. That has nearly every little road on it. (michelin.com or amazon.com)
The roads are paved and if you stay off the Autoroutes, not crowded at all. The Autoroutes are usually toll roads (except in Brittany). Roads are better in France than here in the U.S.
French restaurants are required to post menus outside their door so you can walk around and check the menus to see if they have anything you like or can afford. The French do it all the time, so don’t be shy about stopping at each place and checking the menu. Also, if you don’t know what to order, ask the waiter. If he doesn’t speak English, he’ll find someone who does. They always recommend what they think is good rather than the most expensive menu item. That’s because they are very proud of the food and also because they hope you’ll come back. Even the tiniest town will have a good restaurant and there are many inexpensive good restaurants.
Must see: That’s hard to say. Depends on your interests. My favorites in the Avignon area, besides Avignon itself, are the Pont du Gard, St. Remy, Arles, LOVE the Camargue but we’re bird watchers, Roussillon and the ochre quarries (the free ones, not the paid tour ones), Martigues, explore the Luberon. This could go on forever. It’s one of my favorite areas of France.
Antibes and the Riviera are a bit out of the way. You might want to make that a separate trip. Depends on how much time you want to spend driving.
What to wear: In late February, it could get very chilly. Solution might be to plan lots of layers. If it’s reasonably warm, wear only one or two layers. If it gets really chilly, pile on the layers. You can always peal something off later.
Don’t be afraid. The French are incredibly helpful people. Just explain you have a problem and ask for help and they will go out of the way to help you. They’re very proud of their ability to solve problems. The country is so beautiful that no matter where you go, it will be lovely and the food is nearly always good to excellent.
Have a grand time!