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Ellie asked in TravelFranceOther - France · 7 years ago

Ideas for places to go in Mid-South France?

We've only ever been to northern france for long weekends but are considering taking a 2 week holiday and driving down to southern France in August.

Therefore, we would really appreciate if anyone can give us some ideas of towns that we can look into staying in (we will be privately renting). We have heard not even to bother heading to the Cote D-Azur in August because of the crowds so are looking for somewhere less touristy but still with enough to do.

We are happy to look anywhere from mid to all the way down to the Spanish border, as long as its going to be hot and also we don't mind if it is inland or by the coast. We are just looking for traditional towns with some sort of nightlife but not crazy just nice bars and restaurants that are more local prices than tourist prices! If we could drive to a beach in under an hour that would be good but if it is really inland we would try and rent a place with a pool.

We look forward to hearing from anyone with some ideas! Thanks!

7 Answers

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  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    One of the most breath taking regions in the area you are researching is the Dordogne /Périgord which has everything one could wish for, from over one thousand castles to pre-historic caves with frescoes of animals or dazzling stalagmites, abbeys such as Rocamadour clinging all the way down to a rock face or Moissac in a nice little town, eagle's nest villages like Cordes-sur-ciel, boating underground in a chasm 325 feet at Padirac, driving through the gorges of the Aveyron. It is a paradise for people who enjoy canoeing, horse riding, cycling, walking, swimming etc..I had some of my life's most extraordinary and memorable experiences in the medieval town of Sarlat, with its absolutely stunning market, and small artisan and artist shops, and at the castle of Hautefort which featured in the film "Ever After". To the north of the region there are the stunning towns of Brantome and Périgueux and to the south Toulouse and Albi, the area with ruined Cathar forteresses described by Dan Brown in the Da Vinci Code. With car and a fortnight at your disposition you can explore to your heart's content.

    I am not an expert on villa renting with a pool because I have either stayed in hotels at La Treyne, Brantome, Cordes, Champagnac, or in the holiday house of friends near Martel but wherever you go there are nice little restaurants and the food of the region is renown world-wide for its freshness and wonderful ingredients. Martel certainly fits the bill.

    I am afraid that at that time of the year you cannot avoid tourists as it is holiday time in all the schools in Europe.

    Here are a few sites to look at:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dordogne

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C3%A9rigord

    http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/martel/

    http://www.simply-perigord.com/

    http://www.best-of-perigord.tm.fr/basics/anglais/a...

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  • 7 years ago

    You have left it a bit late to find anything now but, nevertheless, I can offer some ideas. (I don't think I can compete with "Wise Old Owl" as he lives there! However, I have visited almost all areas of France over the past 40+ years and would certainly go along with NOY going to the Riviera - it's crowded and very expensive.

    A few years ago my wife and I took off for France with 2 cases of clothes, an atlas and the AA Guide to Bed and Breakfast in France and we had a brilliant time, our holiday journey determined by where we could find a B&B room for the night. (In France it's called "chamber d'hote" - the host's bedroom.)

    We crossed from Dover to Calais and went vaguely south via Lyon to Provence and if you have never been to Provence I heartily recommend it. In August it will be very warm (hot) but if you can find a gite (privately rented house) around the Luberon area (written about in the book "AYear in Provence") you will not be short of things to do and places to visit. We stayed in a B&B called "la Pyramide" in a tiny hillside village called Saignon and used that as a base to tour the area, Eventually we wound up in Avignon but could not find an available B&B so had to stay in an Ibis Hotel (similar to Travelodge) right in the centre of town and Avignon is brilliant. And it's not too far to drive to Arles and/or Nimes and to the Rhone estuary to see the flamingos and wild bulls (the latter very touristy!) from a paddleship.

    Whatever you do avoid travelling on any weekend in France in the second half of July and in August. The worst weekends are the first, middle and last weekends when the French head to the coast or return and the main roads and autoroutes become the "rivers of steel."

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  • Cabal
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    I regularly go to the town of Gruissan. It is a 10 mn drive from the bigger city of Narbonne, near Spain, and is less 'tourist factory' than other towns further south. There's also a few other small towns near it, Narbonne plage, etc which are nice but without the added pleasure of the old village. The beach is a dream, a kilometres long one with the warm waters of the Mediterranée. Plenty of things to see inland as well, from good wine to old places to the Cathare castles in the Pyrénées.

    Here is the link:

    http://www.gruissan-mediterranee.com/

    Source(s): French
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  • 7 years ago

    We spent a couple of weeks near Figiac, which is a lovely town but the whole area around it is really lovely. There are some wonderful villages to explore like St Cirq lapopie, Autoire, St Cere and Rocamadour off the top off my head but the whole area has wonderful scenic villages.

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  • Peter
    Lv 6
    7 years ago

    maybe Carcasonne, very historic place, to the east you have lots of beaches eg, Narbonne , about 30 mins by car, to the west the city of Toulouse 1 hour away.

    maybe search the site www.leboncoin.com, it translates into english, and you might find somewhere there if you search for holiday lets. August can be sometimes unbearably hot there you know !

    Source(s): lived in that area
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  • read
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    better to ask your tour operator

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