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7 Days in Provence

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Feb 29th, 2016, 12:23 AM
  #1
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7 Days in Provence

Hi - i will be travelling in Provence for 7 days in May/June. Unfortunately i wont have a car, so all travel will be done by bus/train. I am in my mid 20s.

At the moment i am thinking of staying in Aix for 2 - 3 days and then make my way to Luberon by bus. What is the best village to base myself in? I prefer staying a a little away from too many touristy things (i know thats hard in provence). I have been looking at the below towns.

Goult, Bonnieux to base myself in. However would like to see Gordes, Roussillon, Saignon.

Any recommendations on villages and transport would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Eliza
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Feb 29th, 2016, 01:30 AM
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>>I prefer staying a a little away from too many touristy things (i know thats hard in provence)<<

It is not hard at all. In 95% of the villages and towns you find not tourists at all. But you find them in Goult, Bonnieux, Gordes, Roussillon, Saignon.

However, we usually travel to Provence as tourists and to do touristy things, like sightseeing.

If you want to travel without a car, it will be quite hard to visit small villages in the countryside. You find the public bus lines here:

http://www.vaucluse.fr/deplacements/...transvaucluse/

You can either click on "lignes" and see the bus connections or you can click on PACA and rechercher to find connections between two places.

In any case, you will find out that it will be quite difficult to move in the Luberon without a car.

So think twice where to base yourself.

If you select not a village but a town or a city as a base,

- you can do more things directly at your base simply by walking,
- you have better public transport connections, especially to other towns and cities,
- you will see more of authentic, non-touristy life than in a picturesque small village which is overrun by excursion buses.

In my experience, visiting the villages of the Luberon requires a car. Without a car, I would rather recommend exploring western Provence with those magnificent Roman archeology and medieval palaces in towns like Arles, Orange, Nîmes, Avignon which are better connected by public transport.
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Feb 29th, 2016, 01:32 AM
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hello, I think it will be difficult to go around via public transportation (limited to school buses).
You can try this one
http://www.tourisme-en-luberon.com/i...pdf/aptaix.pdf
Also nice places (not in Luberon)around St Remy de Provence (les Baux, chapelle Sainte Sixte).
Completely different but gorgeous (maybe easier to reach) is Cassis and les Calanques
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Feb 29th, 2016, 03:33 AM
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rouelan: Your link is to the bus route 9.1 which is just one of the routes of the TransVaucluse lines. These buses are used both as school buses and as regular buses ("transport scolaire et non-scolaire entre les villes").
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Feb 29th, 2016, 04:44 AM
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What I wanted to say is pay attention to school holidays as bus services are usually reduced during thos time
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Mar 1st, 2016, 03:08 AM
  #6
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Hi - thank you so much for your replies. While i don't want to be in touristy areas (with lots of buses etc.) i do still want to experience the quintessential provence. I understand that its not the easiest by public transport in luberon - but is it possible?

If i choose to not base myself in luberon but visit villages for 1 day or so, what town/village is the most authentic to do so?

Thanks again!
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Mar 1st, 2016, 04:27 AM
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There is no village or town that is more "authentic" than any other. They are all real places, with real people living and working in them, and so all authentic. Your romanticized notion of the quintessential Provence doesn't exist any more, except in places you can't get to on public transport. It's very hard to believe, though, that you wouldn't find your own notion of quintessential Provence in places like St-Rémy or Ile-sur-la-Sorgue. Thousands and thousands of tourists seem to find them "quintessential" every year.
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Mar 1st, 2016, 12:23 PM
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Thanks StCirq - i understand that all the villages are 'real'. I just wanted to see if its still possible to avoid the massive bus loads of tourists. I have heard that St Remy is very touristy and same with Ile-sur-la-Sorgue - i will choose not to stay in these towns.

Are there recommendations for towns/villages other than Arles, Orange, Nîmes, Avignon.

Thanks
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Mar 1st, 2016, 01:14 PM
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All four of those places are heavily touristed, especially Avignon and Arles (including tour buses. Orange is probably the least crowded. But all four are considerably larger than St-Rémy and Ile-sir-la-Sorgue, so the tourist presence is more obvious. Maybe you should consider Uzès, which is a bit of a tourist magnet, but not so much as the others. Don't know about public transportation to/from it, though. The good thing is, no place is truly going to be overrun in May or even early June.
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Mar 1st, 2016, 01:17 PM
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There are not mass busloads of tourists in Goult. We were there for 2 weeks in late June '14. Actually, Goult is less touristy than you might think. I'm not sure that there are even any hotels there - but there are gites & B&Bs. It's a very interesting town. At least 4 restaurants (we dined at 2 of them - excellent) plus a very popular bar/restaurant that is "loaded up" with locals on Sunday for lunch. Even a small weekly market.

St Saturnin les Apt is also less touristy than other places in the Luberon. Consider this spot - which is within walking distance from St Saturnin.

http://www.accommodationinprovence.c...tems/le-chene/

Stu Dudley
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Mar 1st, 2016, 01:38 PM
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I can recommend Uzès, mentioned by StCirq above, accessible by bus from several towns around it but closest, I think, from Avignon and is how I got there. Avignon has train connections from larger towns. I stayed a week and enjoyed it very much. It's a smallish town, very pretty, plenty of accommodations for it's size and 2 markets a week, if I recall correctly.

The buses:
https://www.edgardtransport.fr/ftp/F...21115%20OK.pdf
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Mar 1st, 2016, 02:37 PM
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>>2 markets a week, if I recall correctly.<<

Yep - Wed, & larger market on Sat. We stayed there for 2 weeks. If you decide not to stay in the Luberon - Uzes would be my recommendation also.

Bicycling and bike-only paths are plentiful in the Luberon - but less so near Uzes.

Stu Dudley
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Mar 3rd, 2016, 08:15 PM
  #13
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Thank you everyone for your replies.

I think i will stay in Uzes for 2 days (looks beautiful), Avignon 1-2 days and then Aix for 3 days.

I would really like to do one of the villages in the luberon from Avignon. Ideally Gordes. Is this possible via bus? Any information on the best villages to do as a day trip from Avignon (public transport) would be appreciated.

If anyone has recommendations for Uzes and the surrounding area that would also be great.

Thanks again!
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Mar 4th, 2016, 12:22 AM
  #14
 
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Every town/village in France has a website. You can do your own research regarding access by going to the official website of a village/town and searching for "transport." The website will also usually have lots of information about what to do in the area.
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