"Base town" for Provence

Old Aug 28th, 2000, 11:13 AM
  #1  
Michael
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"Base town" for Provence

We will have 3-4 days to explore Provence. We prefer to stay in one place drive around on 1 day trips. What is the best base for it. We are thinking about Aix-en-Provence
 
Old Aug 28th, 2000, 11:58 AM
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Al
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You've named a good base. You also might check out Nimes. Good rail and highway transportation, amazing Roman ruins, easy access by bus to Arles, Avignon, etc. Personally, we found it much more to our liking than fancier places such as Cannes, Nice, or others along the coast.
 
Old Aug 28th, 2000, 11:58 AM
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Patty
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Dear Michael, My husband and I leave for Provence this Monday can't wait!! We are spending two nights in Aix and then driving to Avignon for four nights. While in Aix we are planning to drive to Cassis but that is about it. When we arrive in Avignon, that is really when we are going to start exploring. One day - St. Remy, Les Baux and Arles, another day the hill villages, another day Pont du Gard, Nimes and Aigues-Mortes (sp?). I think most of these towns are too far from Aix. How about St. Remy or Avignon?

Patty
 
Old Aug 28th, 2000, 12:42 PM
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Ross
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Hi Michael!

I too agree that Aix is a good as a home-base while exploring Provence. Though not many tourists visit Marseille, I found it to be wonderful, a taste of true France. A bit like what Miami USED to be like, but with a North African influence. Montpellier is a WONDERFUL city near Nime. Absolutely FANTASTIC. Don't miss it!!!

Have Fun!!!
Ross.
 
Old Aug 28th, 2000, 12:59 PM
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karen
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We used Aix as a base and it was great. The town, itself, is wonderful and lively and there are many places to go on day trips. A drive east around Mt. Ste. Victoire and back to Aix is lovely. The hilltowns of the Luberon (Bonnieux, Lacoste, Gordes, the Abbey de Senanque) are great places to explore. The countryside just north of Aix (Puyricard, Lourmarin, etc., leads you thru Provencal vineyards on its way toward the Luberon). We made daytrips to Avignon (that's approx an hour ride), and another to Pont du Gard/Orange, and then St. Remy/Glanum etc., as well; however, they were a bit of a drive -- but we were in an apartment for a couple of weeks so we could recover the next day and relax in Aix. Feel free to email me with any questions.
 
Old Aug 28th, 2000, 07:29 PM
  #6  
michael
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Patty,
I thought about Avignon as a base for Provence, but got a feeling that the city is too large to get easily out of. St. remy sounds good, but impressions about Aix (on this board and elsewhere) are so exciting, that I am tempted to go there. We actually plan to move to Avignon at the last day or two and from there go back to Paris.
Hope you have a great trip!! Will try to reach you after you get back.

Michael
 
Old Aug 29th, 2000, 05:09 AM
  #7  
Jen
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Pick a smaller town like St. Remy - you'll waste precious time getting in and out of Aix and Avignon - there is traffic believe it or not. Also - the smaller towns have more charm.

St. Remy is a good location and has plenty of restaurants to keep you busy at night. That would be my choice.
 
Old Aug 29th, 2000, 08:38 AM
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Jbering
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Was in the Provence region for a week. I used Aix-en-Pce as my base, stayed at Hotel Manor. Day 1 - explored Aix. Day 2 was spent driving around the Luberon Region (visited Gordes, Apt, several castles, and saw some flowered fields). Since it was a cloudy day, we opted to drive around this beautiful region. Day 3 - Avignon, St. Remy, Les Baux-de-Pce. Must take a tour of the Pope's Palace, visit St. Remy to see where Van Gogh spent some of his time painting, and drive up to the charming town of Les Baux. Day 4- Arles (visit the ruins and areas where Van Gogh painted). I was able to see most of Provence in 4 days. This is a very beautiful region..Enjoy!
 
Old Aug 29th, 2000, 02:16 PM
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Kristi
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Last November, we did 5 days in Provence and used Avignon as the base. While the city is bigger than some that have been mentioned, the "old" part, behind the walls, is what you'd want to see and is totally walkable. We stayed at a converted monastery, which is actually a Clarion hotel now, and found it just about perfect. The traffic wasn't bad, other cities were a quick jaunt away, no map was even needed -- we just followed the signs to our next destination! plus Avignon had plenty of restaurants and streets to wander on our return. Have a great time! [FYI -- don't know when you're going, but it was freezing when we were there. Beware that temps can vary a lot from the norm!]
 
Old Aug 30th, 2000, 06:06 AM
  #10  
topper
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Old Aug 30th, 2000, 06:25 AM
  #11  
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