Luberon or Les Apilles

Feb 3rd, 2005, 09:58 PM
  #1  
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Luberon or Les Apilles

We are trying to pick a home base for an extended stay in Provence this spring. It's come down to either renting a house in Les Apilles region just outside Eygalieres or renting a house in Luberon area near wither Lourmarin or Gordes. I know we can drive around the whole region from either location, but any recommendations on where to be based? Anyone have tips on the towns of Vaugines or Eygalieres? Thanks in advance.
lisadoug is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 10:38 PM
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Lisadoug -

Tough choice. They are both very pretty villages. Surrounded by stunning scenery. Vaugines is really tiny. Not even sure if there are any restaurants, though you will find plenty in Lourmarin and Cucuron. Also, for sightseeing around the region, you'd be better off in either Eygalieres or Gordes.

If you do end up in Vaugines, a pilgrimage to L'Art Glacier between Ansuis and La Tour d'Aigue is highly recommended.

-Kevin
kevin_widrow is offline  
Feb 4th, 2005, 02:56 AM
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Eygalieres has stunning scenery but it is a bit remote -- you are, as the name would suggest, up on a high, empty plateau.

Gordes is perched on the side of a long, open valley dotted with picturesque villages. From the road down the valley's centre you can dart off to Oppede, Memerbes, Bonnieux, Rousillon, St Saturnin etc etc...

That is the difference.
tedgale is offline  
Feb 4th, 2005, 04:12 AM
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We rented a house just outside Eygalieres for a month two years ago and we absolutely loved the location. We found the village charming ... we spent a lot of happy hours sitting in the local cafe watching village life go by. We were less than a 15 minute drive from St-Remy which is great for shops and restaurants ... and a wonderful market on Fridays. We took short jaunts for lunches to many of the nearby villages including Lourmarin, Bonnieux, Les Baux, Arles, and lots more. We did day trips to Cassis and Aix. A couple of highlights among many for us were thr Roman ruins at Glanum and the Sunday antiques market in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. We are going to France again for a month this spring and we were really tempted to go back to Eygalieres, but decided on the Vence area this time, mostly because we were there about 10 years ago and there are some places we want to revisit. No matter where you decide to base, it will be marvellous, because it is Provence!
Smudge is offline  
Feb 4th, 2005, 04:35 AM
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The big market day at St.Remy is Wednesday not Friday.

Larry J
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Feb 4th, 2005, 04:49 AM
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LarryJ ... you're right ... my mistake ... Wednesday market for St-Remy. Friday is Eygalieres' market day.
Smudge is offline  
Feb 4th, 2005, 07:20 AM
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We've stayed in both areas for at least two weeks at a stretch (4 wks in Gordes). I think the Luberon is much prettier. Click on my name & try to find a past post where I attempted to contrast the two regions. Lourmarin is not that centrally located, so I would not want to stay there myself.

IMHO, from the Alpilles, west of Tarascon is not that interesting. North starts to get into the Avignon sprawl. South is pretty, and east as far as the N7 is OK.

From the Luberon, west & north are fabulous. The drive south to Lourmarin is picturesque & the area south of the Luberon Mts is pretty too, but a little more arid. The western Luberon - the Carpentras/Cavaillon corridor is not that scenic - too much commerce (east of the N100 in this corridor is fine).

I think the "perfect Provence" (lavender fields, small/un-touristy villages, mountains, vineyards) is closer to the Luberon than the Alpilles. Some of the "major" sites, (Avignon, Arles, Pont du Gard, les Baux) are closer to the Alpilles. When we've visited both regions, we spent a lot more time just wandering around in the car or on foot in the Luberon, than we did in the Alpilles.

Except for Bernard Mathys in the Luberon, perhaps better restaurants (mid range) in the Alpilles.

Stu Dudley
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Feb 4th, 2005, 07:41 AM
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lisadoug, as Kevin points out, it's a tough choice, but I don't think you'd be disappointed in any of the three areas.

We did consider renting a house in the Lourmarin area (it wasn't in Vaugines), but finally concluded that we wanted to be based on the north side of the Luberon Mountains. You can, of course, drive north from Lourmarin to places like Bonnieux, Lacoste, Goult, Ménerbes, Oppède, Roussillon, and Gordes, but the most direct route is D943 through the Combe de Lourmarin, the very narrow defile of the Aigue Brun river. It is a very scenic drive, but the road is extremely twisty and narrow. (I know, Provence is full of narrow, twisty, and hilly roads--that's just part of the charm--but I've found D943 less fun each time I've driven it.)

Assuming all of the houses you're looking at are of equal appeal, I'd choose Gordes, Eygalières, and Vaugines, in that order.

Anselm
AnselmAdorne is online now  
Feb 4th, 2005, 03:26 PM
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Thank you so much for your help, everyone. It's amazing how generous you all are to take the time to help. I got lots of helpful information and browsed comments you all have made in other strings as well to get even more. I'm going to share the advice with my family and make a decision. One follow up, though. I'm feeling like I might perfer to be based in the Luberon, but My concern with Gordes was that it might feel incredibly touristy and I thought I might rather be walking distance from Eygalieres, which seemed like a smaller village. We've had great times in Tuscany staying next to little villages that were not the "hotspots." Any thoughts?
lisadoug is offline  
Feb 4th, 2005, 03:43 PM
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>>>I'm feeling like I might perfer to be based in the Luberon, but My concern with Gordes was that it might feel incredibly touristy and I thought I might rather be walking distance from Eygalieres, which seemed like a smaller village. We've had great times in Tuscany staying next to little villages that were not the "hotspots." Any thoughts?<<

Good point. Check out Goult, which is close to Gordes (perhaps a better location even). It is less touristy. Better restaurants there also.

Stu Dudley
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Feb 4th, 2005, 04:15 PM
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I love Eygalieres. We have stayed in several places there and the local café owners always remembers us.
A few excellant restaurants.
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