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Advice on staying in Provence

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Sep 9th, 2011, 10:36 PM
  #1
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Advice on staying in Provence

We are planning 6 weeks in France in June-July 2011. My husband and I are meeting my sister in Nice and want to base ourselves in Provence for at least a week. I've looked at places in the Huate Provence - Village of Buis-Les-Baronnies and Venasque but wondering if we should look in the more central area of the Luberon. I read an old thread about this topic and one poster suggeted that Venasque was not a good choice for a first time visit to Provence. Just wondering if someone might provide some comments around this topic to help me decide. Other places I've been finding in my search are a village cottage in Vers Pont du Gard (La Tonellerie) and some options around St Remy, which was a village mentioned in the thread from 2010 that addressed staying in Provence.

I have other questions about other areas on the way to the Dordogne but I'll start a new topic for that. For now I'm interested in pinning down a spot in Provence.
RonMic
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Sep 10th, 2011, 05:54 AM
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Of the choices you mention, St. Remy is the most central and convenient to visiting areas of Provence. The Pont du Gard is easy to visit from St. Remy but is too far west for easy access to the rest of Provence. St. Remy has good restaurants and it is easy to drive in and out of for day trips.

Many on this board favor the Luberon. You might look for places in that area.
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Sep 10th, 2011, 06:20 AM
  #3
ira
 
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Hi RM

Staying in Venasque will require an additional 25 min drive to get to what you want to see.

Come down to Gordes, St. Remy, les Baux or Graveson.

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Sep 10th, 2011, 07:05 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. What about Menerbes or Bonnieux or I'Isle Sur Sorge? I've read some threads on travel forums recommending these as suitable locations. Would it be worth considering a week in the Luberon and then a week closer to the Pont du Gard? We are tossing up - 2 weeks in Provence, or 1 week in Provence, a week in The Lot and a week in Dordogne. We'll have 3 weeks in the Southern area of France between Provence and Dordogne.
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Sep 10th, 2011, 07:53 AM
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We found Les Baux (just south of St. Remy) and found it to be a great central location from which to explore Provence.

www.benvengudo.com
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Sep 10th, 2011, 10:16 AM
  #6
 
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We stayed in Venasque on our first Provence visit 2 years ago, and loved it! We'll in fact be back there tomorrow in the same spot Of course, we do not mind a little driving, and like to be somewhere at night outside the tourist mainstream - and YMMV.
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Sep 10th, 2011, 01:35 PM
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As mentioned, St-Rémy is probably the best location for getting around to what most people want to see in the region; however, it's not a village, it's a town.

If you want to mix it up a little, a week in the Lubéron, then a week in a place like St-Rémy or Uzès would pretty well cover all the bases.
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Sep 10th, 2011, 05:46 PM
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St Remy and Avignon seem to be popular on travel forums. We chose to stay near Mazan in the Vaucluse and found it well placed to visit up to Vaison and the lovely villages in between [ e.g. Bedoin, Crillon, le Barroux, Seguret, Gigondas], as well as down to L'Isle sur Sorgue, Gordes, Roussillon, Venasque and across to Orange.

It probably depends what you want to see in Provence. We wanted to visit the small villages and countryside. If it is the larger towns, then perhaps St remy would fit .For us, what we wanted to see on a first trip to Provence was all to the right of the D31 between Carpentras and Cavaillon, so it made sense to stay there. Work out what you want to see and stay accordingly. In fact, we have already decided we would probably return to the same area when we visit again [not next trip]. Venasque, by the way is lovely and would suit us. It is no further than St Remy to Gordes for example. Everyone is different in what they want to see. For some it is larger places- Avignon, Aix, Arles, Nimes[I know that is not Provence].

Good luck.
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Sep 10th, 2011, 11:43 PM
  #9
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Thanks everyone for your perspectives and thoughts. We would rather something smaller than a town but not so small that there are no bakeries etc. We want to visit the villages and the countryside as the last person on this thread. We'd be happy with a gite in a large estate (maybe a pool would be a good thing or is early June not swimming weather?) if it was within walking distance to a village or a town. We plan on having at least one more country estate experience somewhere in France and village experiences - mix it up a bit. If the weather is to be very warm then it would be quite nice to be on a green estate with gardens to walk around and a terrace to enjoy. I'll keep researching. It is most helpful to hear from experienced travellers. We've travelled for 6 weeks in Europe back in 2008 but are far from seasoned travellers in Europe.
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Sep 11th, 2011, 07:23 AM
  #10
ira
 
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Hi RM,

>Menerbes or Bonnieux or I'Isle Sur Sorge?
Those are some of the places you will want to visit. You could stay in them or the ones I mentioned.

>Would it be worth considering a week in the Luberon and then a week closer to the Pont du Gard?

Yes, or you could stay in Graveson, St. Remy, Les Baux and do both.

>We are tossing up - 2 weeks in Provence, or 1 week in Provence, a week in The Lot and a week in Dordogne.<

Oh my. That is tough.

Having been to all three, my suggestion is to visit each one for 3 weeks on separate visits.

That is a viable plan.
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Sep 11th, 2011, 08:02 PM
  #11
 
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We stayed in Roussillon and loved it. We spent a week there visiting all of the Luberon villages and then 4 nights in St Remy to cover that area. I would recommend splitting part of your stay in each area. We had also considered Bonnieux or Lourmarin. Venasque is charming but very quiet, not many restaurants a little far for some day trips. You can click my name to see our trip reports to both Provence in 2010 and Dordogne this past June.

We loved Dordogne region. I would suggest 2 weeks in Provence and 2 weeks in Dordogne.
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Sep 12th, 2011, 05:13 AM
  #12
ira
 
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Hi RM

I meant to say
> 1 week in Provence, a week in The Lot and a week in Dordogne.<

That is a viable plan.

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Sep 12th, 2011, 05:36 AM
  #13
 
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sunfrance.com

www.lecalendal.com Arles my fav good train connexions

right mix of Catalan Roman Provence

eat where Van Gogh cut off his ear and

painted Starry Night amazing place great vibe history

carcasonne-tourisme.com if time stay in the old castle

not the new town Canal Du Midi fun if time.
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