Flying Solo in France...
August 8, 2008 4:07 AM   Subscribe

Can I find a secluded get away in the South of France for 1?

I want to go away to decompress after a long year and, the south of france is idyllic.

I will be going alone for a period of 1 or 2 weeks at the end of October and seclusion is what I'm aiming for.

How do I find a place to stay that isn't too big or massively expensive where I can have the opportuniy to keep to myself or mingle with locals to practice my french, depending on my mood?
posted by moocheen to Travel & Transportation around France (13 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Collioure is magnificent, very compact and is served by train (4hrs from Paris) and several airports (Girona, Perpignan IIRC.) It's a small town with a beautiful old centre, the streets are so small that cars have to be left outside the town. It has served as a retreat for artists and writers past and present, you won't have a problem finding accomodation.
posted by fire&wings at 4:35 AM on August 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


i stayed here for a week in october last year and hardly saw anyone unless i ventured in to town - whichis beautiful and very french and very friendly. Vence has a couple of michelin starred restaurants and plenty of ones that arent, but are still fantastic. Its another artists retreat and the hilltop location is breathaking.

Fly to Nice and hire a car. Its about 20-30 min drive from the airport.

If you dont want to stay in that apartment there are plenty more on that site.

At that time of year, its hot enough to sunbathe, but not hot enough to get a tan. Its like a really weak 29/30C heat.
posted by daveyt at 4:42 AM on August 8, 2008


argh, wrong apartment, but you'll get the idea. The town is Vence. Its 'near' St Paul De Vence (a very prestigious neighbour) and by near i mean as the crow flies, but in reality you have to go down one little mountain to get up the next. You need a car here.
posted by daveyt at 4:44 AM on August 8, 2008


Pezanas and the surrounding smaller villages might suit you. The whole Herault region is pretty good in fact. Interesting streets to wander around, market days, the coast nearby, etc.
posted by rongorongo at 5:53 AM on August 8, 2008


These are all good points, I certainly like the look of these places.

To follow up, am I likely to be able to find a place that doesn't cost bukets of cash to rent? Most of these holiday vacation places seem to be for 4-8 or 3-4 people so, start in the 600-1000 Euro a week range..

daveyt - i'll have look around that site to see if there is something available that's a bit smaller than the one you linked to.
posted by moocheen at 6:06 AM on August 8, 2008


With the search term "languedoc vacation rentals" I turned up quite a few listings including this one in the (very charming, prosperous) town of Poilhès: La Croix Rousse, which seems economical enough.

Are you looking for "30 minutes' drive to civilization" solitude or "nap in the backyard" solitude? If you want to be on the Mediterranean, the towns of Gruissan and Portiragnes-Plage (and seconding Collioure) offer a bunch of holiday rentals. If you can give some idea of what you would like within walking distance then it will be easier to whittle down the number of lovely little towns.
posted by jet_silver at 6:40 AM on August 8, 2008


Here are some in Collioure for 1/2 people. Holiday Lettings is a great site if you want to search around, used it many times without a problem.
posted by fire&wings at 6:51 AM on August 8, 2008


The smallest size of rental boat on the Canal du Midi - like this one - might be an option. By the time you get to October the level of tourist traffic has become acceptable. The boats of this size are pretty easy to drive and consume relatively little fuel. You can spend nights in some tranquil backwater or moored up at a village with a bunch of other boats. There are a number of operators and bookings in October will be tailing off - so you may be able to negotiate a deal by talking directly with one of them.
posted by rongorongo at 7:00 AM on August 8, 2008


Saint Maximin la Sainte Baume, $45 to $55 a night.

France Discount Hotels

Hotel Paradis - Bormes-les-Mimosas. Double room from € 55 (Tax included)

Hotel Espadon - Le Lavandou Bormes-les-Mimosas. €64.25 per room per night

MedHotels is an excellent discount hotel site. Its specialty is budget hotels in Greece, Cyprus, Mainland Spain, The Canary Islands, Balearics, Mainland Portugal, Madeira, Malta, Italy, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Egypt, Bulgaria, Croatia and the Caribbean. In France it's harder to find budget places. Here're links to places outside/around Marseilles, Nice, Arles.
posted by nickyskye at 11:47 AM on August 8, 2008


I used to work in Avignon at a hotel on an island on the Rhone. The place is an old farmhouse with a pool and tennis court and really lovely owners. The island is pretty rural but you can ride a bike into the town of Avignon. The place is called Ferme Jamet and it's located on Ile de la Barthelasse. Email me if you want more details.
posted by kenzi23 at 2:30 PM on August 8, 2008


ooh kenzi23, that Ferme Jamet has a charming studio, Manguin, for 450 euros a week.
posted by nickyskye at 2:57 PM on August 8, 2008


Being near the sea by the end of october isn't necessarily great (it can get quite cold and grey). What kind of place would you like ? City, small town, country, near footpaths, do you want to rent a car, to use public transportation..? Would you like to read, sleep, contemplate, think, go to night-clubs ? How much do you want to pay / week for the accomodation itself ?
posted by nicolin at 1:31 PM on August 9, 2008


I think that Manguin is about perfect for my needs. Thanks for the responses there team!
posted by moocheen at 3:44 AM on August 15, 2008


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