Base in Arles or St. Remy

Old Feb 28th, 2005, 03:33 PM
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Base in Arles or St. Remy

Hi. Fine tuning our Provence itinerary and undecided whether we should base ourselves for 3 nights in Arles or in St. Remy? Both look very nice. Opinions?
Will have car.

Thanks.
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Old Feb 28th, 2005, 04:21 PM
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your choice is either a large city or a small town. there is much to do in arles, and a stay of 3 days would allow you to make day trips to other areas in the region. but the same is true of st-rémy's general location. so it all depends on whether you prefer big-city or small-town ambience.
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Old Feb 28th, 2005, 05:24 PM
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I don't think of Arles as a "big city" like Avignon or Aix. Arles is 50,000 while Avignon is 86,000 with a sprawl that includes a total of 250,000. Aix is 134,000. St Remy is 10,000.

I think St Remy is a little more centrally located, and it's easier to get in & out. I even think there are better restaurants in St Remy. The only restaurant in my Michelin guide not associated with a hotel in St Remy, is not in the historic center of town, and I did not like my meal there nor the ambience.

Stu Dudley
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 05:13 AM
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I too agree that St. Remy is more centrally located and easy to tour with roads to/fr the town in each direction - N,E,W,S. But while St. Remy was ideal for us, if visiting here during July and August, it is very very crowded.
 
Old Mar 1st, 2005, 05:38 AM
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I'm dealing with a similar dilemma! I won't have a car, so while I'd love to base in a small town like St. Remy, I'm a little worried about transportation connections. Is Arles the best bet, in that case? Or will I be fine with trains and buses in St. Remy?
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 05:40 AM
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If you are restricting your choices to St-Rémy and Arles, I'd recommend St-Rémy. It's easier to get in and out of.

Anselm
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 05:43 AM
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St. Remy is smaller, easier to get in and out of and to park, more charming and very convenient to the other places you will want to see. If you stay in St. Remy, be sure to visit the Arles market - one of the best we have ever seen.
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 05:47 AM
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In the past couple of years Arles has become a royal pain to get in and out of, especially on Saturday when the market is held, and on feria and other festival days. I'd choose St-Rémy.
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 05:51 AM
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ashields, I just looked up bus services in and out of St-Rémy. It looks like you can get to Avignon, Tarascon, Nîmes, Uzès, and Les Baux from St-Rémy:

http://www.saintremy-de-provence.com...is/rrendre.htm

If you want to find local bus routes and timetables for other towns, try googling the name of the town and look for either their tourism or municipal site. There's usually a schedule or a link to the bus operator's site.

Bonne chance.

Anselm
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 06:06 AM
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St. Remy. And it does have nice restaurants like Gousse d'Ail and La Source. These are not Michelin-level restaurants but very satisfactory. Both are in town.

Bus service is limited. You really need a car to see Provence properly.

In my opinion, St. Remy's market on Wednesday is better tha Arles on Saturday. I agree with St.Cirq about Saturday trafic problems in Arles, a town we do not really care for.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 08:48 AM
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>>>>>>The only restaurant in my Michelin guide not associated with a hotel in St Remy, is not in the historic center of town, and I did not like my meal there nor the ambience.<<<

Oops - big mistake. I knew I shouldn't have written this after a glass of wine. I meant that Arles (not St Remy) has only 1 restaurant in the Michelin Guide - and I did not like it. St Remy has four, and I have been to all of them several times, except Jardin de Frederic. All are quite nice - I like the garden at Source.

Stu Dudley
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 11:43 AM
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St Remy is the best bet unless you are on the outskirts of Arles. We stayed twice in hotels by the forum and it was a hassle getting out on some days.
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 12:16 PM
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Ihopp,

You may want to consider hotel options. Arles has many reasonable hotel choices - Hotel le Calendal for one. If you stay within the old walled section, where most hotels are, it is a very manageable and enjoyable base. We spent eight days there two years ago. The hotel arranged parking in the municipal garage a few blocks away. We generally left for day trips returning later in the afternoon. Then drove to nearby towns like St. Remy, Fontveielle, or Maussane for dinner. We loved coming back to Arles. There was always something to do. Just walking around through the narrow streets and along the Rhone was fun. We stayed right next to the arena and across from the amphitheatre. We enjoyed watching the schoolchildren come and go each day. We never had a problem driving in and out of town. There was always something to do.

St. Remy is beautiful town, smaller, with many fine restaurants as mentioned. Hotels and B&B's will be pricier.

Either way you will have a great time.

We leave on Friday and will spend six nights at le Moulin de Greoux on the outskirts of Maussane. I can already taste the olive oil!

JoeG
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 12:22 PM
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Joe have a wonderful time. We stayed a few nights there. I'm still raving about those beautiful antique stoves.
If you are buying the oil at the Barres, also try the olive confiture. Fantastic on chevre and dark bread.
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 12:48 PM
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JoeG:

I trust you know that the olive oil from Mas des Barres, just a short walk from the Moulin de Gréoux, was awarded a prize for best olive oil in the world in 2004? I forget who gives out the award (the confrérie des huiles d'olive?), but I still have almost a liter left, and it is GOOD!
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 01:00 PM
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In Pays de Provence. it's listed as, they also like.. There were 14 top ones mentioned. Another favorite of mine is also in Maussane, from the moulin Jean Corneille.
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 01:01 PM
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StCirq,
It is the best olive oil IMHO! We've brought some back and also ordered on line from France. Recently I found a place in the US where it can be oredered on line - Chef.Shop.com located in Seattle. It's very expensive but freight is cheap and it comes in less than one week!
JoeG
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 01:05 PM
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Mimi,
We also have the Jean Corneille and it is also available from CefShp.com,
JoeG
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 01:12 PM
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Yes, but the Price!! I can buy 3 bottle that come in that carrying case for the price of one on line.
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 01:22 PM
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>Yes, but the price<

It came to slightly less than what I paid ordering from France with the freight differential. Plus it took 4 or 5 weeks. We call it "Liquid Gold"

Of course we will be bringing back a suitcase full!!!
JoeG
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