Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Montpellier to Marseille to Nice Roadtrip

The journey between Montpellier and Nice is only a short one, but it’s very different to the forests and mountains further north, here you will pass many Étang or lakes, and you’ll also notice a difference in the temperature, cuisine, and the buildings. So, jump in and enjoy your motorhome rental or campervan hire trip between Montpellier to Nice

View of the "Petit Nice" on the Corniche, Marseille Photo by Jddmano (wikimedia commons)

Day 1.
Leave Montpellier heading west on the N113, after Vauvert you will start to notice the lakes start to come into view. If you need a quick stretch of your legs stop off at St-Gilles if you’re into architecture, or you’re a stonemason, you’ll enjoy the façade of the Church of St Giles an abbey dating back to the 12th Century, if not there are some nice patisseries where you can stock up!

The next major port of call will be the charming city of Arles with its Roman amphitheatre. The site dates back to the first century BC and was capable of seating 20,000 spectators who spent their Saturday afternoons watching chariot races and hand-to-hand combat. The next part of your route the N568 is long and straight, but a word of warning there are also speed cameras and the Gendarmerie get pretty cross if you speed. At the end of this very straight road are the Marseille Port Information Centre and the small village of Fos-sur-Mer with its 14th century castle and Romanesque church. Make a point of stopping off, as the views from the ramparts are beautiful. That’s it for the side roads, now you join the A55 towards Marseille.

The area around the coast is filled with places to park up a motorhome rental or campervan hire vehicle for the night and you’ll have plenty of choice between the city itself, or one of the nearby towns such as L’Estaque; popular with the artist Cezanne for its natural harbour and old village.

Day 2
You need at least a day to explore the sights of Marseille, more if you can spare it. European Capital of Culture for 2013, the city has some wonderful old sights such as the Viuex Port where you cross the harbour in an old wooden ferryboat, don’t worry it’s perfectly safe, and where you can buy fresh fish for your barbecue. Perhaps you would prefer a train trip, or a tour of the Notre Dame de la Gare which is the landmark of the city, but probably best of all is to just walk around the street and get hopelessly lost.

The Opera House, Marseille
Photo by Mrlopez2681 (wikimedia commons)

Day 3
Enough of getting lost, today you need to get to Nice. Take the A560 out of the city and you’ll soon be in the forest and higher ground with some excellent vistas. As soon as you see the signs for Frejus and Cannes, you know you’re getting close; you may even want to stop off for the night or have a look round at the extravagant marinas with all those yachts and fast cars. This route takes you on the Autoroute, but if you have all the time in the world the coastal route is a lovely option.

Of course once you reach Nice its not that much further to Monte-Carlo, did you pack your tuxedo?

1 comment:

  1. I booked this tour online through the recommendation of another group who also booked it.
    Gaetane and I corresponded regarding dates, times, prices and our limitations due to having to be back to the ship on time. Gaetane was very supportive and flexible with the tour itinerary, we came to a very easy agreement www.privatetoursinistanbul.com We had two vans totally 14 people. We visited two wineries, both set in beautiful countryside. The wine owners gave us a wonderful explanation of their production and grape growing and let us drink really good wine. Everyone had a terrifice and jovial time.
    We then had time in Aix-en-Provence to have lunch and look around on our own. We were then driven back to the ship arriving with lots of time to spare
    I highly recommend Gaetane and the Provence Wine Tours. We couldn't have had a more wonderful time.