Another Provence question

Jul 30th, 2008, 09:45 AM
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Another Provence question

We will be in Provence for 5 nights in early October, after having spent 6 nights in Paris.

Currently I have plans to stay 5 nights in one place, and I was thinking along the lines of Les Mas des Romarins in Gordes or a small B&B outside of Roussillon (being not quite sure just how I came to choose those places).

My husband has expressed a desire to break Provence up into a 2-night stay and a 3-night stay--but he'll go along with whatever I decide. (He's more than happy to have me do all the planning.)

So I was thinking St. Remy for 2 nights, then the Luberon for 3. But in looking for hotels in St. Remy, it is my impression that it is more expensive, has more traffic and is most likely more commercial. The hotels I have looked at there are either more expensive (and don't include breakfast) or look a bit more rundown and in more of a city setting.

Since neither of us has been to Provence, there aren't specific things we MUST see. We just want to have a nice trip and experience a few lovely places. We are looking to enjoy the culture, the scenery, the food and the wine, and neither of us has a problem with walking or hiking.

Any advice?

And one more question. When we leave Provence, we are planning on driving to Nice, dropping off the rental car and taking the train to Levanto. That looks doable to me--although it will be a long travel day. Am I nuts? Is there any reason to stay in St. Paul de Vence one night or something like that?
Kate101 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 09:58 AM
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I gather you are not planning any sightseeing in/around Nice?

To pick the Italian Riviera (Levanto?!) over the French Riviera sounds nutty.
Viajero2 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 10:04 AM
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If we were to sightsee around Nice, then I would have to eliminate part of Provence. I'm trying to keep it as simple as possible--but am open to all suggestions.

We are going to Levanto as a stop on our way to Tuscany, where we will spend a week and then fly out of Rome.
Kate101 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 10:23 AM
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OK, I got it. Well if anything a strong advice to one day go back and do the French Riviera. It is a spectacular area.
Viajero2 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 10:29 AM
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IMO the only reason to shift to the St-Rémy locale would be to more easily visit that town, Les Baux and Arles (especially Les Baux).

From Gordes or Roussillon, you're only about an hour from St-Rémy.

We stayed here, for €68 with breakfast...
TuckH is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 10:47 AM
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We enjoyed St. Remy and did not find it too commercial. More shops and places to eat than in some of the smaller places we visited. We stayed at Le Mas de Carassins which I would recommend, if its in your budget. It was an easy walk to the center of town, or if you are feeling lazy, there is plenty of free parking. As Tuck said, if you want to visit places to the south or west of St. Remy, its a better location. We enjoyed Arles a lot and Les Baux as well.

We trained in the opposite direction, from Santa Margherita to Nice (SML is maybe 20-30 minutes north of Levanto by train), then drove to Moustiers Ste Marie, arriving around 4pm (we left at 7:45am). You would lose pretty much the entire day, but if you are okay with that, its doable.
Ninkette is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 10:55 AM
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Yes, Ninkette, I figure we will lose most of the day, but I guess I'd rather have a full day the day before and not have to do a one-night stand. It's so hard to know in advance what I will prefer!
Kate101 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 12:00 PM
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We chose to stop and spend one night in Moustiers, which we really enjoyed, on our way to St. Remy, but ended up losing most of the day anyway. Nice really would have been the half way point. The reality is, it takes a day to travel that distance, so you just have to figure out the best thing for you guys. Generally we like to break it up, even if it means a one night stop, but sometimes its better to power through.
Ninkette is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 02:09 PM
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We stayed in St Remy as well and found it an excellent base for exploring Provence - its fairly central even for the Luberon, is big enough to have a decent selection of restaurants, and quaint enough to be interesting.
BikerScott is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 02:25 PM
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If you decide to split the visit, I would suggest you move slightly west of Provence and spend a couple of days in Uzès rather than the overly touristy St-Rémy.

It's a charming town, rather as I imagine St-Rémy used to be.
shellio is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 02:46 PM
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I wouldn't change hotels just for locations that close together myself. Now I am actually in favor of that idea and do it myself in Provence, but when I move hotels, it is to places farther apart or really different. For example, once I stayed in Aix for several nights and then moved to Vaucluse area. Another time I stayed over in Uzes and then moved to NE of Avignon, etc.

St Remy probably is more expensive, but it may also just be a function of the places you looked it. Gordes has very expensive places, also. I don't know Roussillon accommodations that well, but all of these places are jam-packed with tourists, so one is not more commercial than another. I'd view Gordes as the most touristy, I guess. I think St Remy is just slightly larger, but you know, that's where rich people like to hang out (ie, Caroline of Monaco), so it is expensive, and probalby a bit more wellknown or part of the main tourist track.

Actually, Gordes and Roussillon mainly seem to exist for tourists now, also, it's just they are smaller, so there can't be as many. Nothing really to do there, but I liked Roussillon better. St Remy is still a small town, which means there isn't even a train station (I think around 12K population). That isn't really a city, and I bet you're just looking at places in Gordes or Roussilon that are outside of the main center. You can't even drive into those two towns, you know, but you can drive into St Remy. So you will have to park a ways away and walk up the hills to get into the towns and do whatever you want to do there (eat, etc.). That doesn't really appeal to me that much as a place to stay on vacation, in terms of convenience.
Christina is offline  

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