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Friday and Saturday in/around Arles & St. Remy

Friday and Saturday in/around Arles & St. Remy

Old Aug 29th, 2013, 01:56 PM
  #1  
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Friday and Saturday in/around Arles & St. Remy

My wife and I will be staying in St. Remy Fri 9/13 thru Sun 9/15 (between 3 days in the Luberon and 3 days in Nice) and I'm looking for a 'starting plan' for Friday afternoon and Saturday.

Option 1:
Friday afternoon - Carrieres de Lumieres and Chateau des Baux; Dinner in St.Remy
Saturday - Full day in Arles (Mkt early, Picnic lunch somwhere in Arles, explore/cafe afternoon) Dinner in either St. Remy or Arles

Option 2:
Friday afternoon - same as Option #1
Saturday - Morning in Arles; Picnic somewhere; late afternoon thru dinner in Uzes (or vice versa - Uzes in am, Arles in pm)

Option 3:
Friday afternoon - Explore/Dinner in Uzes
Saturday - Morning in Arles; Picnic somewhere; Carrieres de Lumieres and Chateau des Baux; Dinner in St. Remy

So my main questions are:
1) Would a full day (early market thru late afternoon or Dinner) in Arles be too much?
2) Do you have any picnic spot recommendations either in Arles or between Arles and Uzes? (planning to skip Pont du Gard)
3) Would it make a difference which day (Friday/Sat late afternoon) we go to Les Baux?

BTW, thanks to all contributors for the great info on this board!
mephibosheth is offline  
Old Aug 29th, 2013, 02:12 PM
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just a bit flummoxed why you would want to skip what is probably the best picnic spot between Arles and Uzes and IMO the most imposing site in Provence? Have you been there done that?

Arles IME could well be a half-day town or a full day but do not nearly need a full day there if time is short.
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Old Aug 29th, 2013, 02:13 PM
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YOu can easily spend a full day in Arles, why not. I did, but I like to view museums, ruins, etc. IF you have no interest in those things, then what were you going to do there -- just walk around a bit? A full day might be too much for that. I really liked the regional museum best, but it was closed for renovations recently, so check if open (the Arlatan). http://www.tourisme.ville-arles.fr/us/a2/a2f.php

I think Les Baux would be fine any day but places are always busier on weekends, as that is the time French people who work have to visit them with their kids. When I was there in summer (forget the day), crowds weren't any particular problem, though, although parking was a bit (I didn't get there early). It probably doesn't matter, if you had a choice, I guess I'd choose Friday.
Christina is online now  
Old Aug 29th, 2013, 04:58 PM
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PalenQ - I was thinking that PdG would be a zoo mid-day Saturday. True? Based on your feedback, sounds like I should reconsider.

Christina - We were originally planning to spend all day in Arles and would be quite happy to fully explore it. But if we are to make it to Uzes, we'd go with a ½ day in Arles.

Thx to both! Other thoughts?
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Old Aug 29th, 2013, 05:07 PM
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It is about a 1 hr drive from Uzes to St Remy. Are you sure you want to do that late at night in the dark after dinner????

We've never spent more than a half-day in Arles. More in Avignon and Aix, however.

Stu Dudley
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Old Aug 29th, 2013, 06:40 PM
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Also, one of your options has you in Uzes on Saturday morning. Sat AM is the big market day in Uzes (smaller market on Wed). It is a very colorful market with all the umbrellas, brightly colored baskets, etc. The beautiful Place aux Herbes will be packed with vendors. The Place is one of our favorite squares in Provence, with arcades on 4 sides, cafe tables set up on the Place, and my wife claims that the the Place & surrounding streets has among the highest percent of shops she likes in Provence. Unfortunately, IMO, the market really obscures your enjoyment of the Place Aux Herbes. You really can't see the arcades around the square, there will be no cafe tables set up, and the pretty store windows will be blocked from sight. We never go to a village to visit for the first time on their market day, and many other people have told me that they wished that they had not gone to Uzes (and St Remty too) on market day. Around 1PM the market will start to shut down & it becomes a "scramble" of the vendors taking down their stands, discarding any leftover/not wanted produce, and driving out of Uzes. Then around 2:30 street sweepers take over the Place. After that, the Place gets hosed down with water. Then around 3pm or so, the outdoor cafe tables get set up.

I would not visit Uzes on a Saturday (heavy traffic/no parking also). We've stayed in a gite just outside of Uzes for 2 weeks, and went to the market twice to shop for goods for dinner.

Stu Dudley
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Old Aug 30th, 2013, 09:08 AM
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Thanks Stu! Great advice! Planning on Uzes on Friday afternoon, then back to St. Remy for dinner. Saturday is Arles and Les Baux.
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Old Aug 30th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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PalenQ - I was thinking that PdG would be a zoo mid-day Saturday. True? Based on your feedback, sounds like I should reconsider.>

well I cannot say for sure but I think by mid-Sep much of the crowds have thinned out but though the actual aqueduct may have lots of folks it is a sprawling site - there is a river you can walk along and have some solitude with a view of the ancient aqueduct - anyway just popping by for a up close view of this thing would not take long - see the images for the river where you could easily have a nice picnic with a view and not be mobbed I would think.

Uzes being a regional town would more likely be mobbed on Saturday - a hectic shopping day all over France since most stores are forced to close on Sundays and working people often only have time to shop on Saturdays (shops catering to tourists can remain open on Sunday but many stores locals use are closed - giving towns a much different feeling on Sunday than Saturday - not sure about Uzes since it is such a big tourist town but the typical French town is a ghost town on Sundays since most stores by law have to close - and are very crowded IME on Saturdays.

But do pop by the Pont du Gard - it is a huge place so you do not have rewal mobs anywhere - I was last there in August and it was very tolerable.

https://www.google.com/search?q=pont...=1449&bih=1003
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Old Aug 30th, 2013, 09:42 AM
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http://www.pontdugard.fr/en/flash/interactive-map

This map from the Pont du Gard official site shows better how some picnic spots can be as appetizing as that French food.
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Old Aug 30th, 2013, 10:24 AM
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Is the parking fee still 18 Euros or has it gone up by now?
Underhill is online now  
Old Aug 30th, 2013, 10:30 AM
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I wouldn't skip Pont du Gard if the sole reason was that you think it would be a zoo. I thought you just weren't that interested in it. But if you were, I'd go. I don't remember crowds being any issue at all, I was there in mid afternoon, probably, in the summer.
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Old Aug 30th, 2013, 01:13 PM
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Crowds are probably less with the new parking arrangement and imposing fee of 18 euros! If stopping take a really good look - I loved clambering on top of the aqueduct - you can walk across it - safe as there are kind of walls - you walk through a trough.

But to me the finest Roman relic outside of Italy
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