Help with Provence Itinerary

Old Mar 31st, 2008, 07:06 AM
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Help with Provence Itinerary

I'm planning a trip to Provence for a week in late July early August. I will arrive at the Avignon train station from Paris by train and rent a car. I intend to rent a gite or something in a town and use as a base for day trips. I know that there are several regions in Provence. What city or town would be a good base? What are the must see destinations within a comfortable drive from the base? I'm not that interested in the glitz of the Riviera.

Thank you,

Randy
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Old Mar 31st, 2008, 07:43 AM
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We were in Provence a few months ago, and visited Avignon as a day trip. Avignon is in the western part of Provence, which is fairly flat, and includes Arles, St. Remy, Pont du Gard, etc. Tarascon is an unknown gem of a small city near Arles with a great castle. When in this area, we stayed in a roadside motel just outside Arles - not much charm, but easy to get around from. Our favorite part of Provence was the Luberon, a mountainous rural area with beautiful hill towns. We chose Lourmarin as a base, and were very happy with it. Try and get a copy of Stu Dudley's report on Provence - extremely helpful in planning what you want to see and do.
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Old Mar 31st, 2008, 07:51 AM
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I LOVED Aix en Provence and it is definitely a worthy stop! also recommend holiday-rentals.com as a place to look for rentals.

I just finished reading "The Dream of Scipio", most of which is based in Avignon. Great read by Ian Pears!
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Old Mar 31st, 2008, 07:59 AM
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We based last year in Menerbes and while it was glorious in terms of staying in a peaceful and gorgeous village - it did not have a lot to offer in the way of restaurants, bakeries, pharmacies, etc. but it was a wonderful place to come to in the late afternoons after a full day of exploring surrounding villages. It was a great location for making day trips. We are going back this Fall and plan to base in Roussillon because it has a little more variety. I would also recommend Bonnieux and Gordes as bases. We were able to take day trips to places such as Vaison la Romaine, Isle sur la Sorgue, Aix en Provence, St. Remy, as well as many villages in between.
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Old Mar 31st, 2008, 08:29 AM
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If you're planning on renting a gite in late July or early August of this year - you had better reserve one NOW. It may be too late, in fact.

For a first time visitor, I would rent in the Luberon - like others have stated. However, the Luberon is perhaps the #1 most popular spot in Provence - so gites there get gobbled up fast.

Stu Dudley
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Old Mar 31st, 2008, 03:35 PM
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Thanks for all your suggestions.

Randy
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