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Gordes & Roussillon Parking Advice

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From Aix, I plan to visit Roussillon & Gordes on a Friday morning in July. Afterwards we will head south and work our way back to Aix, possibly stopping at Oppede le Viex, Goult, Menerbes, or Bonnieux.

I have a series of questions relating to this proposal:

1) Better to visit early in the moring - Gordes or Roussillon? I know both suffer from high amounts of mid-day tourist traffic, so I would like to strategize as best as possible.

2) Better options for a cafe creme and simple breakfast - Gordes or Roussillon? Draw?

Now the stressful driving questions:

3) Can someone please describe the best parking options for Roussillon (coming from Aix)?

4) What are my best parking options in Gordes, if I am driving from Roussillon? I understand there are a few large parking lots & overfill lots, however if someone could provide specif details & tips that would be great.

5) Are there a list of roads in the Aix/Luberon region that SHOULD BE AVOIDED? I've never driven in Europe before so I am a little nervous - tolls & traffic especially.

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    >>1) Better to visit early in the moring - Gordes or Roussillon? I know both suffer from high amounts of mid-day tourist traffic, so I would like to strategize as best as possible.<<

    I would visit Gordes first - around 8:30. It gets pretty infested with tourists as the day drags on.

    >>2) Better options for a cafe creme and simple breakfast - Gordes or Roussillon? Draw?<<

    Have a cafe creme at the first village that you visit. Both villages have nice places to sit & relax & have a morning fix.

    >>Now the stressful driving questions:<<

    I've never experienced stressful riving in the Luberon.

    3) Can someone please describe the best parking options for Roussillon (coming from Aix)?<<

    In the parking lot just outside of town.

    4>>) What are my best parking options in Gordes, if I am driving from Roussillon? I understand there are a few large parking lots & overfill lots, however if someone could provide specif details & tips that would be great.<<

    In the parking lot on the les Imberts side - just past "the view" and before you ascent into the village.

    >>5) Are there a list of roads in the Aix/Luberon region that SHOULD BE AVOIDED? I've never driven in Europe before so I am a little nervous - tolls & traffic especially.<<

    Not that I can think of

    Stu Dudley
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    I stayed in ROussillon for several days and parking there is a lot easier than in Gordes. First, you can actually drive through town. There are various public lots which you will see depending where you come from. I suppose the one at the top right in the center must get full, I never parked there as I was staying in a hotel at the bottom of the hill with a lot right across from it, but that was on the north side of town and you'd be coming from the south side, I suppose. I know there is a lot over towards the SE entrance of the town, you will see signs to it.

    My advice is not to worry about this, these places are small, you can't miss the lots and if you pass one, you'll find out and drive around a little. Believe me, these places are full of tourists who manage to find them. I can give you directions to the one I used, drive north on the D105 towards Roussillon, but pass it a little until you hit D169 and then go west as it comes up the back side of Roussillon and you'll find a public lot just inside town. You can walk from there up to the top in about 5 minutes.

    If you come from Gordes, just drive east on the D2, then south on D102 until you hit D169, take it east into Roussillon and that is the back side of it.

    If you go to Gordes from Roussillon, do that in reverse. You really don't have to worry about finding a place to park in Gordes, you will have no choice but the lot you see at the edge of town, you can't drive into it.

    If you are worried about tolls, you would have to avoid all the major toll roads. The big A ones (autoroutes) are all toll as far as I know, they have blue signs to them (ie, A8, A51) but not the D roads (or N roads if they still name them with N). I think N100 running E-W across the bottom of these places (between Apt and Isles-sur-la-Sorgue) is now D900. The only other places that are a problem might be ones on mountains if you are uneasy about being on the edge of a cliff, so to speak (I am myself). Don't go up into the mountains then (like Ventoux) and there are a few other places I wasn't comfortable. Traffic isn't a big issue to me, nothing you can do about it, anyway, though, but it slows you down.

    Have you not driven very much in heavy traffic or on major highways? If not, it might be a problem. just stay to the right on the roads

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    Great posts - thank you both Stu & Christina. That was exactly the type of response I was hoping to receive. It is good to know that the early visit pay-off benefits Gordes more so than Roussillon. And it also sounds like parking and driving isn't too difficult.

    My concerns are put to rest. Thank you.

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