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Five weeks in Provence Spring 2006 with a 5 yr old--general itinerary help, please!!!

Five weeks in Provence Spring 2006 with a 5 yr old--general itinerary help, please!!!

Nov 25th, 2005, 01:47 PM
  #1  
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Five weeks in Provence Spring 2006 with a 5 yr old--general itinerary help, please!!!

My husband, 5 yr old daughter & I are spending 5 weeks in Provence & Paris this Spring . . .so far, I feel like our itinerary has fallen into place well, but now i'm stuck!!!

This is the plan so far. We fly into Nice, rent car, spend 5 nights at the Villa St. Maxime (near St.Paul de Vence). Second week is open. Third week we rented a villa near Gordes and are meeting a family there. Fourth week is open. At end of fourth week, we will drop the car somewhere in Provence and TGV back to Paris. Fifth week, I rented a small apt in Paris. Fly home.

I would love any suggestions on where to spend weeks two and four. Our highest priority is designing a trip that will be enjoyable/realistic for our daughter too. General ideas of what we are looking for: Week long stays in one place, lodging with at least one separate bedroom, central location to interesting sites to minimize driving, ideally near small villages, but not too isolated, and activities nearby that will interest our daughter (pool? horses? other families? etc. . .). While we do want to see many of the interesting sites/cities/etc . . . in Provence, our main goal is to "live" in each place and experience life in Provence.

I've considered basing near St. Remy for one of the weeks and near Aix for one, but i'm finding it harder to find a flat/small villa within our budget (approx. $1000/wk) in those areas. Have found lots of places that would suit us well in the Luberon, but do you think it would be a mistake to spend all of our time in the Luberon (Gordes/Menerbes/Bonnieux) area? I guess I'm struggling with "perfect" location vs. "perfect" accommodation. I'd also appreciate any other thoughts/suggestions you have about plans so far.

One other question, I believe as plans sit right now, we'll be driving from Nice to the general vicinity of St. Remy (depending on where we stay week 2) a day before Easter . . . I don't know how to avoid this, but are we in for terrible traffic??

Thanks so much!
Laura
tootruetwo is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 02:10 PM
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Check out listings in the Fréjus area. It's very popular with French families, has a good beach, and is within easy driving distanc of activities that would appeal to a child.
Underhill is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 02:53 PM
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We've done the same thing you are doing - minus the child. However, we've stayed in the Cote/Provence region for over 20 weeks. All of our stays have been in Gites/houses

The Luberon is probably our favorite area - we've stayed there for 4 weeks on 2 trips. After that, we like the Vaison/Dentelles/Mt Ventoux region. Third is the Uzes area, followed by the Alpilles/St Remy area. Many people prefer the Alpilles because of it's proximity to St Remy, Arles, Les Baux, etc. We prefer the other areas beacause we think the countryside is prettier and there is a little less not-so-nice commerce there.

If you want a new venue for 2 additional stays, I would choose someplace near Bedoin for 1 week (Dentelles/Vaison region), and then near St Remy for the next. I don't think the region around Aix is nearly as pretty as those that I've mentioned. Perhaps stay in a hotel near Aix one night, then off to "central" Provence.

I have a 20+ page itinerary that I've e-mailed to over 300 people on this message board & the aol board. E-mail me at [email protected] if you want a copy.

Stu Dudley
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Nov 25th, 2005, 03:23 PM
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thank you Underhill & Stu for your responses--i've read lots of your posts on this website and they have been very helpful. Stu--you suggested the Vaison/Dentelles/Mt Ventoux region. Would you suggest that general venue over Orange/Chateauneuf/Tavel? My husband is the one asking this question actually, as he just told me his highest priority is wine
tootruetwo is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 03:23 PM
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We stayed for a week at the Hostellerie Le Crillon le Brave, in the village of the same name, about 35 km north-east of Avignon, south of Mt.Ventoux. The hotel is part of the Relais group. It actually is part of the village, with several buildings converted into hotel rooms and suites. It's a well run hotel with great views of the surrounding countryside.

While we were there, there was one Britsh couple with a girl a little youngerthan your daughter. They had been there before, so children did not seem to be a problem.

From there we took day trips to Roussillion and other towns and villages of the area. The highlight of every day was the ample breakfast on the terrace overlooking Mt. M.

The hotel has a web site.
treplow is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 03:30 PM
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>>>Would you suggest that general venue over Orange/Chateauneuf/Tavel? My husband is the one asking this question actually, as he just told me his highest priority is wine<<

Think Gigondas !!!!!

The Dentelles is much prettier than the Tavel/Chateauneuf/Orange area, IMHO. My wife is a big "pink" fan, so when we go to Provence, we always have to stop in Tavel & pick up at least 1 case of Rose. My favorite restaurant in the region is actually in Gigondas - a couple of doors down from the place where you can taste most of the tops wines in the region. You can get to Beaucastel quite easily from the Bedoin/Vaison area.

Stu Dudley
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Nov 26th, 2005, 09:16 AM
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After having slept on it, I really like the idea of one week in the following places: Nice, St. Remy, Gordes, Bedoin, Paris. We'll day trip in the Uzes direction and down to Cassis/Aix area. My only lingering hesitation is that we'll probably miss a large part of the Coast (and in-land areas) between Nice and Marseille.

I guess even with 5 weeks, there's always more to see. Next trip, right?Do you think given our interests/needs, we have a solid itinerary in spite of the things we'll miss? Thanks for the fabulous suggestions.
tootruetwo is offline  
Nov 26th, 2005, 10:18 AM
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>>Do you think given our interests/needs, we have a solid itinerary in spite of the things we'll miss? Thanks for the fabulous suggestions.<<

Looks great. If you stay near Nice & take a trip on some of the prettier coastal roads around there, maybe visit Cannes, and then while in St Remy visit the Cassis & surrounding area - you will see lots of coast. Much of the Riveria between Nice & Marseille is not scenic - except around St Tropez (west a little, actually), and also St Raphael to La Napoule.

Stu Dudley

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