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Dennis Jan 20th, 2001 05:52 AM

Help with planning trip to Provence
I am planning an 8 day trip to Provence. Would like some suggestions on a base city/town, and specific places to stay. My wife and I enjoy general touring, food and wine, and browsing. Also, please comment on whether a few days at the end of the trip should be devoted to either the French or even Italian Riviera. Thanks in advance for any advice.

jhm Jan 20th, 2001 07:03 AM

When are you thinking of going? That would affect my suggestions. Thanks.

mj Jan 21st, 2001 11:04 AM

Dennis, I would definitely base myself in Arles. It's mid-size city, very beautiful, with wonderful Roman ruins and a well-preserved Roman arena. The hotels and food are wonderful (especiallly the Hotel Calendal and a charming restaurant called Le Criquet). From Arles you can explore Avignon, Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Gordes, Rousillon, Les Baux-de-Provence, all with wonderful shops filled with Provence fabrics. Don't miss the Saturday morning market in Arles! If you have time, and it depends on how leisurely you like to be, go to the Cinque Terre near the Italian Riviera. Personally I think 8 days in Provence is just right.

Rex Jan 21st, 2001 11:18 AM

I agree that the month matters, but as much as anything it depends on what you mean by "Provence" - - to the French, PACA is one large region - - [P]rovence-[A]lpes Maritimes-[C]ote d'[A]zur - - but to a lot of "etrangers" (foreigners), Provence is only the Western end - - which includes Arles, Avignon, Orange, Les Baux, etc. <BR>Aix-en-Provence is a sort of a dividing point between this part and the more eastern "Riviera" portion of PACA. <BR> <BR>Arles makes a good base for the western portion, as do the hundreds of rental properties in the Luberon (of Peter Msyle "A Year in Provence" fame). Our own famous Dr. Betty spent some time there in the past year. <BR> <BR>The "up"lands of the Rivera is a similar but still very different world from either the coastal part (the "Riviera" or Cote d'Azur per se) or the western portion of Provence. Much to like there also. <BR> <BR>And an overall itinerary depends on how and where you can best (most economically? most conveniently?) enter and leave the south of France. <BR> <BR>Tell us more, Dennis! <BR> <BR>Best wishes, <BR> <BR>Rex <BR>

wendy Jan 22nd, 2001 05:51 PM

MJ could not have suggested any better places! GREAT suggestions! <BR>However, I stay in Uzes (45 minutes West of Avignon)several times a year...and I DO love shopping the outdoor markets in Uzes to go picnicing and kayaking at the Pont Du Gard, Tavel vineyards, antiques in La Sorgue, the Roman ruins in Arles/Nimes, but I get stir crazy and end up driving to the coast, Les Baux, Bagnol, etc...I think it is a nice balance of beach, village and country. <BR>Bon Voyage! It sounds fabulous... <BR>Wendy

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