7 Days in Provence (base Lourmarin

Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 04:33 PM
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7 Days in Provence (base Lourmarin

My spouse and I have 7 days planned for experiencing Provence (previous 7 days will be spent in Paris)in late May of 2008. We are staying in Lourmarin, and hope to visit (each on separate days) Aix en Provence, Cassis, Marseille, Arles, and surrounding small towns including Bonnieiux. We have a rental car, and plan to leave early (7ish each morning). Are there any other areas (within driving distance) that we should consider? This is our first time to France, and although our experience in previous trips driving in Tuscany was to try and avoid driving long distances after dark, we are open to all suggestions, and we love to hear fellow fodorite experiences!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 06:06 AM
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There are many villages & towns to visit in that area. Roussillon is probably the most beautiful place I've seen. Gordes, L'Isle sur la Sorgue (fabulous market on Sunday morning - get there by 8-8:30 to get a good parking spot!), Menerbes, Goult, Oppede le Vieux, St. Remy, Pont du Gard, the wine route up to Vaison la Romaine (Gigondas, Seguret, Sablet, etc.), Pernes les Fontaines, Venasque, St. Didier, etc., etc.

Do a "google" search as to when sunrise/sunset will be in Provence (may have to pick a town/village?). You'll probably be pleasantly surprised to find that you will have a fairly long day!

Enjoy!!

joy/luvparee
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 06:11 AM
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I found the sunrise/sunset times for Paris for May 2008 and starting on May 19th, sunset is at 9:30 P.M., and then gradually gets later to 9:44 P.M. on May 31st. I'm sure the Luberon area, being farther south, may even have a later sunset.

joy/luvparee
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 06:29 AM
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Unless you have a reason to see Marseille, I'd drop it. Cassis is nice but quite distant from Lourmarin (more than an hour). Arles, while worth it, is an hour and a half away. The Pont du Gard is also too far from Lourmarin IMO. Be sure to include Les Baux.

Of the several dozen Provence villages we visited, these are our favs... Venasque, Joucas, Lacoste, Saignon, Seguret, Le Crestet and Brantes.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 06:31 AM
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BTW, sunset gets later in the day as you go northward, not farther south.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 06:38 AM
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I LOVED the Saturday St. Remy market. It is packed with people but so fun. St. Remy is wonderful. The market ends around noon to 1pm so you have to go early. We stayed an entire day there - market in the morning, local shops in the afternoon.

Also, I'd recommend Les Baux!

Cassis is okay. We went there just to say we'd gone to the Mediterranean! We accidentally ended up seeing Marseille as well because we took a wrong turn somewhere along the way and ended up there instead of Cassis!

I'm jealous. I want to go back!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 06:54 AM
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Have they changed the market day in St-Rémy? It's been Wednesday for as long as I can remember (and that's a long time).
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 07:45 AM
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If you don't have it already, you should definately get a copy of Bob and Sue Winn's book at provencebyways.com - they have a number of great driving itineraries (OK, I confess, I do not know how to spell that and am too lazy to look it up !!!) -

All of the places you mentioned are easily doable as day trips from Lourmarin.

To StCirq - having bravely dated yourself, I can confirm, at least to my knowledge, that St. Remy's market is still Wednesday.

-Kevin
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 08:40 AM
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Hi Jenn! We have a trip to France planned for around the same time. This will be my second trip since 02' to that area. At that time I travelled with my 2 sisters and our mom. Had a great time, but the pace was slower and we really couldn't get launched in the am's til' around 10 - 10:30. Getting up and going early, makes a HUGE difference to your day. Everyone has different travel style and really you could do day trips to all of the areas you mention. My DH and I will probably take a trip to the area/town you are staying in and we are staying for a week in Uzes, about 15 - 20 mins from the Pont du Gard. Just do a plan on Via Michelin and you can gage your time. You may not be able to do it all as sometimes the slow route is more interesting for an amble day, but for the days you just want to get to a town or area, the "A" roads are good for that. I think luvparee gave some good suggestions as well. You should also try to track down Stu Dudley on these forums. He and his wife have travelled extensively throught this area and I'm sure he would send you his itinerary. Good luck!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 08:54 AM
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If you want my 27 page Provence & Cote d'Azur itinerary, e-mail me at [email protected].

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 12:29 PM
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StCirq - You are correct - St Remy market is on a Wednesday!

I guess when I'm on vacation everyday is Saturday!
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Old Apr 12th, 2008, 11:30 AM
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Thanks for all the responses...there are so many great suggestions and we are in the middle of planning some more details. Once we have an itinerary we'll post it for sure!
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