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June - warmth and variety


Chris
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Hi all

Next June, my wife and I are planning a holiday with our two sons and their partners. None of us 'do' hectic; like to relax; and my wife and I (ok - me) love history and we all appreciate wine.

I believe most of France ticks those boxes, but I was thinking of Provence (too predictable?) or the Languedoc-Roussillon.

Flights from the south of England are a consideration, and Marseilles is a daily route.

Ideas welcome. I'll agree to a bottle of Corbières as a fee for your advice. Provided you supply the French tutoring!

Merci

Chris
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There are flights to Béziers from Luton and Bristol, and from Southampton with Flybee.

The town it self is rather dilapidated, but from the airport there are many nice places in striking distance, and you are in the heart  of a huge wine-producing area.

http://www.languedoc-france.info/index.htm

is full of fascinating pages on local history and language, plus a good list of places to visit

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Marseille is hectic - it is France's second city.

 

However outside of that then Aix en Provence and surrounding area is much more relaxed but will still have a lot of people around in the summer months - that is te price you pay in Provence.  But there is lots of history around that can be easily reached in a day trip:

 

Nîmes

Arles

Avignon

Remy en Provence

Cavaillon

The lavendar fields of Valensole (late June onwards)

 

If I win could I swap for a bottle of Cassis rosé please?[:)]

 

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What about Burgundy?

Very relaxed, very rural, warm to hot, but not ridiculously so.

Loads of history, from Roman and Gallic at Bibracte and Alesia, right up to recent

at the Resistance Museum in the Morvan forest.

Great scenery, rivers, lakes, forests, chateaux etc. Cycle

tracks along the canal de Bourgogne – which are flat of course – and around the

vineyards for the more energetic.

And as luck would have it, they do wine too!!

Personally I’d drive there – and often do. Taking in the Champagne

areas at either Reims/Epernay or Les Riceys,  further south, on the way. Then Chablis, and

down the “wine route” to Dijon, and Beaune, and on to the Beaujolais areas if

you feel inclined. ( look at any map and you’ll recognise the wine names of the

villages on the way). Or just spend time in one place and explore.

Once there,  the roads

are quiet – it’s the second least populated area in France if memory serves, so

easy to get around.

Avoid the Autoroutes, meander down the N roads, check out

the villages, markets, and wine caves for a “degustation,” and its stress free.

If you prefer to fly, then Dijon or Lyon offer options, but

you miss all the scenery. Eurostar to Paris then TGV on south is an alternative.

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  • 1 month later...
I like the sound of Burgundy - as far as I can see, a bit more off the beaten track?

As it's a family get-together, we've settled on Lacanau-Océan in the Médoc Océan, in late June.

It'll give the 'youngsters' (mid to late 20s plus girlfriends) plenty to do, methinks. It'll be the first time my wife and I have ventured out of Paris and although I gather it's not typically French, it'll be nice to visit France.
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Lacanau Ocean is a good choice. You've got the beach and sea, and there are lovely lakes close by for swimming/watersports. There's even a good cheap bookshop! You can easily get to Bordeaux for a 'big city/ history/ architecture' day, and also drive up to the Medoc/ Pauillac region to see the chateaux and even taste the wines. You can take a ferry across the Gironde from Lamarque to Blaye. Visit Arcachon and Cap Ferret, and the brilliant Friday market at Andernos-les-Bains. And Fort Medoc is worth a visit if you're into military history.
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  • 3 weeks later...
Back to the drawing board - Médoc Océan didn't work out, so we'll shortly be booking a villa in the Côte d’Azur near Opio near Grasse in June.

I realise it's a different type of area and any feedback or guidance would be welcome.

Many thanks.
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  • 2 months later...
Done deal. Villa booked in Cabris, Alpes-Maritimes, in late June, back early July. Flights booked also. It'll be our first jaunt outside of Paris. Suggestions welcome!!

Having been studying French at home every day for six months, I've also signed up for a weekly face-to-face tutorial, to get conversational practice in. Hopefully, I'll be able to manage some of the basics by the time the holiday arrives.
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Lacanau Océan sounds very nice - we had a couple of family holidays some years ago a bit further north on Les Landes and it was lovely. We went in high season and it was crowded too.

Google Earth seems to have sent its Streetview cars there in winter - looks like every other off-season resort! But compare with the users' photographs taken in summer.

Do make a point of going to see the Dune du Pyla just down the coast. There are some wonderful restaurants in Arcachon. And there's the "hydraviation" museum in Biscarosse too - pretty well unique. Biscarosse was where the French had the base for their transatlantic flying boat flights.

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  • 1 month later...
I can certainly vouch for its unreliability in terms of restaurants. It is very open to abuse, in that anyone, family or friends included can post under unverified pseudonyms, and conversely competitors can write unfounded criticisms.

There is no independent control.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi Chris,

In the past five years I have lived and travelled all over France so I have a few favourite destinations, one in particular being Lyon. The city is a real hidden gem, it has something for everyone and during June it is lovely and hot. During the summers people leave the city to go on their annual holiday so it is not too busy or crowded. Plus with the two rivers running through it there is plenty of riverside cafes, restaurants and bars and the atmosphere is great.

Also Eurostar is running a spring/summer direct service from London to Lyon this year. That's a big plus! I think instead of three hours it now takes two but I need to check that.

If you all like food and wine there is a three day break in Lyon with Flavours of France where you can visit the nearby Beaujolais vineyards for wine tastings and enjoy some local food. There is so much free time you won't feel like it's a "hectic" holiday. http://www.flavoursfrance.com/lyon/itinerary/

A final thing I would say about Lyon is that it has a wonderful history, it's worth going on a tour of the Old City and learning about their famous silk weaving industry and the Gallo-Roman museum is by far the best museum in Lyon.

Whatever you decide I hope you have a great holiday.

L

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[quote user="Larry"]Also Eurostar is running a spring/summer direct service from London to Lyon this year. That's a big plus! I think instead of three hours it now takes two but I need to check that. [/quote]

It'll be a bit more than that!  More like 4-5 hrs and nearer 5. 

Totally endorse your comments on Lyon though - really nice place which most just pass on their way south.  

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  • 2 months later...
Five weeks to go before our holiday in Alpes-Maritimes - we can't wait. One of our sons is hiring a car when he arrives a few days after us, so we'll be booking a taxi from Nice airport to Cabris (the flight arrives at 17h35).

This firm charges £75 for pre-booked transport x2 of us: http://www.shuttledirect.com/en/php/airport_shuttle_direct.php Has anyone heard good, bad, or indifferent re pre-booked firms, as opposed to turfing up at the taxi rank?

Thanks

Chris
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Good thing you waited until late June for your holiday, as in PACA we have had one of the worst six months of weather the locals can recall. Today the Cannes film festival is in full swing and the weather is more akin to what you would expect in northern UK, with heavy rain, high winds and cold to the point I have had to put the heating back on!

As for Nice taxis, you know you are going to be fleeced when you see a queue of new Mercs, BMW and Lexus taxis outside the airport. I think I am correct in saying that Nice taxis are notorious in France for being the most expensive in the country, a problem the Nice authorities have been trying to get to grips with for years. So you are doing the right thing in making alternative arrangements.
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Interesting to read comments about Trip Advisor on here. I've used TA over many years, and apart from the usual advice about checking past history of posters/reviewers I've found TA posters to be an extremely helpful crowd.

Chris, I saw your thread on TA - there seemed to be excellent advice from the usual helpful crowd on there.

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