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Best base with kids in provence this summer

Best base with kids in provence this summer

Old Feb 6th, 2009, 01:50 PM
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Best base with kids in provence this summer

We will have about 11 days in provence and have heard back from some gites and homes in various places around Provence and the Luberon. We will likely need to spend one week in a base rental and then another 3-4 nights in a B and B. Most of the homes we are considering are outside of villages like St Remy, Menerbes, Roussillon, Carpentras, Velleron, Gordes, or Goult and Bonnieux. We are hoping for a base for the week so we can take the kids to explore some great ruins, caves, rivers, hopefully the mediterranean, possibly the bulls in Arles, and at some point the Verdon Gorge. I realize that many of those are very far apart, but maybe we can have a base within driving distance of several and then stay a couple of nights elsewhere to hit the other destinations. I hope this isn't oo much to ask. Can anyone be of any help? Thanks in advance!
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Old Feb 6th, 2009, 02:11 PM
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Menerbes, Roussillon, Goult, Bonnieux, and Gordes are all close to each other. Goult is a little less toursty, if that makes any difference. I personally think this is the best area for a first timer who wants to experience Provence. St Remy itself is a nice village with lots of good restaurants, shops, cafes, etc - but I don't think the area immediatly north, northwest, & norteast is as pretty as the Luberon. We have returnted to a gite northeast of Carpentras several times - so we obviously like that region - but again, I think a first timer would enjoy the Luberon more.

I would choose the other locations over Velleron. The immediate area is not as scneic as the others, and there is a tad too much ugly commerce close by. Good central location, however.

I would rent a Gite in the Luberon & do the B&B near St Remy.

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 6th, 2009, 02:17 PM
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I fully agree with Stu Dudley. Go spend most of your time in the Luberon. Good luck.
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Old Feb 6th, 2009, 02:22 PM
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It sounds like a good plan, but I'm not sure of the question, which one of those are best? They aren't that far apart, but Carpentras isn't a village, in case you didn't know. It's a small city or town (population somewhere between 25 and 50K, I think). Now I stayed in a place on the road between there and Isle sur la Sorgue (Pernes les Fontaines, which is a village), so that's why I know Carpentras is not a village. Also, Velleron isn't too far from there, and just a warning, that part of the country where it is may be hotter than some other parts of Provence in summer, it's flatter and not as near the mountains.

what do you mean about the bulls at Arles? I was actually there one year for the rice festival when they have the running of the bulls, and wondered if you meant that. It was quite a day, but the bulls trotted around town looking a little bored, I thought. At least no one got gored. It was quite festive there that day, but crowded. That was in September, as I recall, or early October, though, not in the summer. I guess they do have bullfights there, I wouldn't go to one, but you must mean that. You can get the kind without the killing BTW.

I don't know about caves in that area, hadn't heard of them, but if you really want the Mediterranean, farther south than Carpentras would probably work much better. I actually like the Vaucluse better myself, around Mont Ventoux, Vaison-la-Romaine, Grignan, etc. But you will want to see the main things you've heard of, I'm sure (Arles, Luberon, etc.). The gorge is kind of far from some of those places, I think.

I think maybe Bonnieux is about in the center of the stuff you name, maybe St Remy would work, as you won't want to go to the gorge more than once, I suppose. Given what you say, I'd probably not choose Velleron or Carpentras or up that way.
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Old Feb 6th, 2009, 04:21 PM
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Most of the bullfights in Arles are the non-killing kind, where young men chase after the bulls and try to grab a rosette from the horns.

In the areas you mention you'll certainly find excellent ruins--primarily Roman--but not many caves. However, the vast Aven d'Orgnac, up by the Ardêche river, is terrific to visit, and you could do it as a part-of-one-day trip and see the river's gorge as well.
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Old Feb 6th, 2009, 04:27 PM
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In Arles we went with our kids to see the Cocarde d'argent at the roman arena. Is this what you mean by the bulls in Arles? If so, we really enjoyed it. Les grottes demoiselles also.


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