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2 week driving trip: Provence. Languedoc-Roussillon? Bordeaux?

2 week driving trip: Provence. Languedoc-Roussillon? Bordeaux?

Old Jul 27th, 2019, 01:32 PM
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2 week driving trip: Provence. Languedoc-Roussillon? Bordeaux?

This is a trip for June 2020, beginning plans only. We are a couple in our 50's and enjoy a driving trip. Wanting to focus on a smaller area of France, interest in Van Gogh sites, beautiful country, smaller towns, history, etc. Just looking to get to know an area, 2-4 nights in a location. Has been recommended to see "Provence, the Languedoc, the southern part of Midi-Pyrénées and the Aquitaine south of Bordeaux". Had considered tying in Normandy, but for this trip want to do Provence, so think I need to settle on a smaller area that will include Provence.

Not so interested in Monaco/Nice or "jet-set" type locations or bigger cities and have spent time in Paris. Will fly into Paris (meeting) and out of anywhere.

Love any trip reports or ideas you might have...thanks all.
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Old Jul 27th, 2019, 01:47 PM
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"Provence, the Languedoc, the southern part of Midi-Pyrénées and the Aquitaine south of Bordeaux"

Sounds like my list, which I would amend by saying "the Provence west of the Rhône", especially if you want to cover the northern part of the Midi-Pyrénées.*


The Michelin Freen Guides are very good for historical and picturesque sights. There is also a Michelin map of France for the plus beaux villages de France. You also might find Michael Busselle's Discovering the Villages of France useful.

Last edited by Michael; Jul 27th, 2019 at 01:51 PM.
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Old Jul 27th, 2019, 02:19 PM
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it is your list! and much appreciated!!
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Old Jul 27th, 2019, 03:25 PM
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My wife & I have vacationed for 22 weeks in Provence, 14 weeks in the Languedoc, 13 weeks in the Dordogne, 4 weeks in the Pays Basque, and 4 weeks in the Pyrenees in addition to the Pay Basque. I have itineraries for all these regions. 35 pager for Provence & Cote d'Azur, 30 for Languedoc, 25 pager for the Dordogne, & smaller for the Pays Basque and Pyrenees. I have sent them to over 6,000 people on Fodors. If you would like a copy - e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attach them to the reply e-mail. Specify which ones you want - as I have others too.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jul 27th, 2019, 03:39 PM
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<<Has been recommended to see "Provence, the Languedoc, the southern part of Midi-Pyrénées and the Aquitaine south of Bordeaux".>>

Each of those is a VERY large area and each one of them could keep you very busy for 2 weeks. I suggest you cut the wish list in half, at least. Searches here on Fodors will unearth many, many trip reports and relevant threads.
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Old Jul 27th, 2019, 05:56 PM
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To reduce the coverage or not depends on the travel style. I remember some posters saying that three days was more than enough for the Dordogne. Most people would disagree. We just spent 5 days in the Algarve this past May, and that was one day too much for two of the three travelers, and three weeks in Portugal was considered enough (I posted the pictures excluding our stay in Lisbon as photographic travel reports).
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Old Jul 27th, 2019, 05:56 PM
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I agree that the area you specify is very large relative to the time you have, and would encourage you to scale your plans down a bit. Of course, it depends on what you want to see and experience and the pace at which you prefer to travel!

If you haven't already seen it, I'm in the middle of posting a trip report about southeastern France that might give you some ideas:
A stellar month in southeastern France
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Old Jul 29th, 2019, 12:07 PM
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kea, Michael, St Cirq, I think you are right. if we spent the full 2 weeks in Provence it would be fine with me...hate to skip Nice/St. Tropez, but don't know that that is what we are interested in, maybe the Nice Hinterland? We aren't beach people, love the views but won't sit all afternoon on a beach. (and yes I know it is lovely but we must make some choices). Am thinking 3-4 nights in Luberon near Gordes (TY Stu) and 3 nights in St. Remy, 3-4 nights in Aix. We could find a night or so out of the prior mentioned areas to see a different area nearby. So 4 locations in the area, 2 to 4 nights each. Or keep it at 3 locations and stay longer in some.

Overwhelmed with all the information on this site, and trip reports! xoxo

Stu, wow, this is incredible information you sent. Sincerely appreciate it
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Old Jul 31st, 2019, 10:37 AM
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(lost my reply, grrr). ok, got my Michelin map and really need to pare this down.

Goals: 2 of us in late June/July, interest Van Gogh, roman ruins, markets, food and wine, views, never been to Provence, small towns vs. larger cities, good local food vs. Michelin stars, stay in a clean place but location and charm over stars. the farmhouse stay* interests us.

12 nights or so, train from Paris to Marseille, then
----
2 nights on the coast somewhere? Cassis is supposed to be nice, don't want to go to Monaco area / or just head into Provence. probably the latter.

4 nights Arles or St Remy (Van Gogh tour, as I am an artist and this area is a must see) inclined to stay 2 in each, but may be easier to just do all 4 in St. Remy, smaller town, and explore around there. or make this the week farmhouse stay*.

2 nights in a hill town in Luberon. Isle-sur-la- Sorgue? see Sunday market, Recommendation on lodging?

2 nights in a Côtes du Rhône village, Tuesday market in Vaison la Romaine. Recommendation on lodging?

drive to Lyon, 2 hours or so, turn in car, fly/train eventually USA

yes, that is 10 nights. where to expand or shrink, add or skip?

* interested in the farm house stay, forgot the word, I know they are generally a Saturday through Saturday stay, can do that and skip Cassis option, staying longer (I suppose) in the St. Remy area?? Any recommendation? rather not move much more than that, but appreciate any input.

Y'all are the best help! Trying to pay it forward in areas I know!! Texas, Italy, etc.
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Old Jul 31st, 2019, 03:23 PM
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I assume that by farm house stay you are talking about agriturismo? Here is a good place to start looking for those kind of places:

https://www.farmstayplanet.com/

I might be more inclined to take the TGV to Avignon TGV station rather than Marseilles simply because it is a station built out of the city and has a large rental car selection, so it makes it very easy to get out easily getting off the train.

If you decide on St Remy as one of your bases, we stayed here-it was super convenient with a car because it had free parking and is just outside the kind of noisy city center and only about a 5 minute walk into St Remy. Plus it had a pool and A/C which is nice in the summer. I booked it on booking.com. It is an apartment so we would just walk into town to the bakery in the morning.

Résidence Le Mas de Valrugues by Popinns

https://www.booking.com/hotel/fr/le-...lruges.fr.html

We prefer Uzès to Isle Sur La Sorgue simply because I think there are better restaurant to choose from etc. but that may take you too far west off your route-although not so much if you go to Arles
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Old Jul 31st, 2019, 04:55 PM
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>> I assume that by farm house stay you are talking about agriturismo? <<

I think that is an Italy thing. In France, houses to stay in are called gites. We've rented 74 of them in France through gites-de-france. https://www.gites-de-france.com/fr#

Stu Dudley
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Old Jul 31st, 2019, 05:08 PM
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If you decide to stay in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, you might consider Les Terrasses by David et Louisa. It's not fancy, but I thought it comfortable and well-located, and the staff were very nice. I also had a wonderful meal there.
https://lesterrassesbydavidetlouisa.com/
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Old Aug 1st, 2019, 08:59 AM
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Most gites do require a week's stay in France and many are self catered but you will see from the farmstayplanet that are some other types of options similar to agriturismo in the areas you will be traveling in France. We have only experienced eating dinner at a farm restaurant once in France but it was lovely so it would be interesting to see the other options for a "farmstay"
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