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Bordeaux to Valloire-Provence?

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Jun 17th, 2013, 05:10 AM
  #1
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Bordeaux to Valloire-Provence?

Despite attempts by StuDudley to re-plan our itenerary on another post, we will be driving from near Bordeaux to Valloire, in the Alps, in late July. Our destinations on both ends are fixed, so please don't try to change our plans or recommend that we take the train. I know this would be preferable, but we are renting a car for 2 weeks for other reasons.

This looks to be a 6 to 8 hour drive, and we know that there will be summer holiday traffic. We plan to do it in two days and are looking for suggestions as to where to spend the night. We have not been to southern France before and know that we can not do it justice on this trip, but it would be nice to spend a half day and evening in a nice village, get a good meal, etc. It appears that we could take a northern route through Brive-la-Gaillards, Clermont-Ferrand, Lyon and Chambery OR a southern route through Toulouse, Montpellier and Valence. The southern route is longer. Is it worth it? Suggestions much appreciated.
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Jun 17th, 2013, 07:32 AM
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We have a house near Bordeaux and my brother-in-law lives near Chambery, so we know both routes well. In late July the big difference will be tourists.

I think the southern route is worth it for the extra "hour" total it takes if you don't mind the holiday traffic. A couple nice smaller places come to mind, namely L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue or Uzès, both of which fit the cute nice village description.

For me the northern route attraction is the chance to eat in Lyon but that definitely doesn't fit the village designation

The Pont de Gard is nearby which is a lovely stop if you have a car.
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Jun 17th, 2013, 08:37 AM
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Thanks, jpie. I mentioned "village" because I think that we may be overwhelmed in a big place and will be unable to decide what to decide what to do or where to eat. We don't mind traffic and would hope to leave Bordeaux early and arrive early afternoon to maybe visit one 'attraction' (garden, museum, etc.) and maybe stay in an inn that offers a table d'hote or similar casual dining.
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Jun 17th, 2013, 08:43 AM
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If using viamichelin for route planning, it's Vers-Pont-du-Gard.
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Jun 17th, 2013, 10:36 AM
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Yes then I think the southern route might suit. Neither of the places I mentioned are "classical Provence" more on the edge-really more Langedoc.

As a dedicated foodie here, I also might just troll around and find the best point of destination restaurant on either the souther or northern route and go there for just one night
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Jun 17th, 2013, 01:01 PM
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Recommendations from the 'dedicated foodie"?
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Jun 17th, 2013, 01:25 PM
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In late July with all the traffic, I would avoid the southern route and make a detour to Roanne to have dinner at Troisgros.
http://www.troisgros.fr/english/index.php
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Jun 18th, 2013, 11:12 AM
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Well Pvoyageuse definitely has a great idea! They have a hotel too-the issue will be availability. But it is definitely once in a lifetime kind of place.


Another amazing choice might be: http://www.pic-valence.com/
Maison Pic-the only 3 star Michelin female chef in France. They also have a hotel

Both of these are very expensive but will be a memory in and of itself of the trip. Here is a good link showing you where all the 3 star restaurants are in France are on a map:

http://eater.com/archives/2012/02/28...-of-france.php


If you decide and the southern route and don't want such a "big deal" meal but just a lovely hotel restaurant, we loved Le Mas d'Aigret in Lex Baux

http://www.masdaigret.com/uk/index.php#restaurant.php

Again if you are talking this July-they are likely to be booked since they are small
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