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-   -   Paris and Provence - 2020 (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/paris-and-provence-2020-a-1674546/)

pgtraveler Nov 28th, 2019 03:53 PM

Paris and Provence - 2020
 
Having just returned from my first international solo trip to Paris in October, I am already dreaming of returning to France next year. So, I thought I would ask here what you all thought of what I have so far. I would describe my style as slow travel. I will have a car for the Provence portion, I am really into photography, not at all a foodie or wine drinker. I prefer apartments, and stays of two or more nights. I am thinking of 2-3 weeks in either September or October. Also, if anyone knows of any festivals or other special events during that time, I love that kind of thing.

Fly to Paris - 5 nights
Train to Avignon, pick up car
Somewhere in the Luberon - 5-7 nights (I have found places I like in L'Isle sur la Sorgue, Robion, Cabrieres D'Avignon (sp?), Lacoste, Roussillion, Cucuron) not sure which is the most convenient place to base myself.
Uzes - 3 (I know it is not in Provence, but I have heard good things about it)
Arles - 3
Not sure if I will fly home from Marseille or Paris. I would prefer Marseille, but any flights to where I live in Western Canada involve a long layover, but still deciding about this.


starrs Nov 28th, 2019 04:20 PM

It sounds wonderful! I'm also a fan of solo Paris trips and really enjoyed my first trip to France (not solo). After Paris, we took the TGV to Avignon and after staying within the walls of the city, picked up a rental car and wandered Provence. Flew out of Nice. LOVED that trip but want more time in Provence. This is where I'm thinking of using as a base for my return trip -
https://www.fodors.com/community/eur...vence-1673625/

pgtraveler Nov 28th, 2019 04:43 PM

Thanks starrs, I will have a look at Eygalieres.

starrs Nov 28th, 2019 04:52 PM

I'm not saying it's the "best" option. It intrigued me as we drove past several times. I told myself that I would return one day. All of the villages you've listed would be wonderful. But this one is calling me...

kja Nov 28th, 2019 07:23 PM

If you haven't already seen it, you might find some useful information in my trip report, even though my style of travel is quite different than yours.
https://www.fodors.com/community/eur...rance-1669406/

StuDudley Nov 28th, 2019 07:45 PM

2 Attachment(s)
We've vacationed for 22 weeks in Provence.

See attached

Stu Dudley

StCirq Nov 29th, 2019 12:23 AM

For information on festivals, expositions, and any events anywhere in France, the simplest thing to do is browse the official website of the city/town/village. All the information is there, even for small villages with tiny populations.

isabel Nov 29th, 2019 03:27 AM

If you want to have fewer 'bases' you could stay in St Remy which is within easy day trip of Avignon, Arles, Uzes, and many of the small villages you mention.

Here's my trip report from my most recent trip to that area - https://www.fodors.com/community/eur...s-alps-990300/

Photos are now at: https://andiamo.zenfolio.com/f667172952

KarenWoo Nov 29th, 2019 07:38 AM

I can recommend either St. Remy or Eygalieres.

pgtraveler Jan 4th, 2020 10:02 AM

So the planning continues and I pretty much have the rest of the trip planned. I have decided to take the month of October off work and I added Antibes to my original itinerary. (Paris, Uzes, Maussane les Alpilles, Luberon & Antibes), but I am torn between Goult and Cucuron for a base for a week in the Luberon. I am dreaming of a smallish (dare I say charming?), walkable village with at least one café and one bakery. I can get whatever else I need in markets and larger towns.

I have found apartments I like in both villages, and have looked at photos of them and they both look good. I would like to be able to drive leisurely around the Luberon area and visit a few of the markets, stop in cafes, wander the towns … the usual tourist stuff. I am also thinking of perhaps driving up towards Vaison la Romaine one day.

As far as the actual apartments, the one in Cucuron is a bit bigger. The one in Goult is just a studio, but has a lovely terrace with nice views. Both have parking. The one in Cucuron has a washer, which is good since I will be on the road for a month.

This is the Cucuron apartment https://www.theluberon.com/rentals/l...ron/3/le-gayet

And this is the Goult apartment https://www.vrbo.com/en-ca/cottage-r...1&noDates=true

If you had to choose, which would you choose?
Merci!

StuDudley Jan 4th, 2020 10:42 AM

We've spent 6 weeks vacationing in the upper Luberon Valley - 4 weeks near Gordes & 2 weeks in Goult. We have spent 16 weeks vacationing elsewhere in Provence, & 21 weeks on the Cote d'Azur.

We much prefer the lusher northern Luberon near Goult over the more arid southern Luberon near Cucuron. There are 2 very nice restaurants in Goult (see my attached itinerary above for details), and about 4-6 other restaurants in Goult that we have not tried - but looked passable. There are fresh croissants/etc in the grocery store in town, and a small weekly morning farmer's market. If you there on a Sunday, there is a corner bar/cafe which spreads out onto the street for a popular "typical" French lunch thing. Get a walking itinerary for Goult at the tourist office.

Stu Dudley

kja Jan 4th, 2020 11:52 AM


Originally Posted by pgtraveler (Post 17039899)
I added Antibes to my original itinerary.

If you're interested in a short hike, the Cap d'Antibes sentier is a delight!

pgtraveler Jan 5th, 2020 07:18 AM

Thank you all for your help. I sent a booking request to the place in Goult.




pgtraveler Jan 5th, 2020 07:21 AM


Originally Posted by StuDudley (Post 17039914)
We've spent 6 weeks vacationing in the upper Luberon Valley - 4 weeks near Gordes & 2 weeks in Goult. We have spent 16 weeks vacationing elsewhere in Provence, & 21 weeks on the Cote d'Azur.

We much prefer the lusher northern Luberon near Goult over the more arid southern Luberon near Cucuron. There are 2 very nice restaurants in Goult (see my attached itinerary above for details), and about 4-6 other restaurants in Goult that we have not tried - but looked passable. There are fresh croissants/etc in the grocery store in town, and a small weekly morning farmer's market. If you there on a Sunday, there is a corner bar/cafe which spreads out onto the street for a popular "typical" French lunch thing. Get a walking itinerary for Goult at the tourist office.

Stu Dudley

Thanks Stu, I will definitely do that. It sounds great! I was thinking of going to L'Isle Sur la Sorgue on Sunday for the market, but maybe I could return to Goult for lunch.

I read your itinerary quite a while ago, but I need to go back and read it in more detail.


pgtraveler Jan 5th, 2020 07:22 AM


Originally Posted by kja (Post 17039959)
If you're interested in a short hike, the Cap d'Antibes sentier is a delight!

Thanks kja, I will definitely keep it in mind.


pgtraveler Jan 27th, 2020 06:15 PM

I have settled upon my itineray:

Paris - 5 nights
Uzes - 3 nights
Goult - 7 nights
Maussane les Alpilles - 4 nights
Antibes - 4 nights
Paris - 1 night before flying home

I tried to find a flight home from Nice, but the connections are terrible. I can get a direct flight home from Paris, so I just decided to do that.

I was thinking today about which location I am most looking forward to, and I couldn't decide. I am very excited about all of them.

Possible day trips from these locations: Vaison la Romaine, Luberon hill towns, Arles, Avignon, St Remy de Provence, Menton, Ville Franche sur Mer, Nice, Aix en Provence, L'Isle sur la Sorgue Sunday market, Les Baux. Any other suggestions for places not to miss?. I will also be spending a lot of time wandering around my home bases, taking photos and having a multitude of café cremes and croissants.

KathyfromtheCape Feb 13th, 2020 11:13 AM

starrs - or anyone else - in October, 2020 four of us will be taking the train from Paris to Avignon. We will be renting an apartment in Avignon, using it as a base for 5 days. Is there a car rental center near the Avignon train station? We have used Europcar in the past (Italy). Any rental companies you would recommend or caution us about?

KarenWoo Feb 13th, 2020 12:51 PM

pgtraveler, We are spending 5 nights in Nice the first week of May. We plan on visiting Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in St. Jean Cap Ferrat, and Villa Grecque Kerylos in Beaulieu Sur Mer. So you might consider these 2 places for a day trip from Nice.

KathyfromtheCape, I don't know if there is a car rental office near the Avignon train station. But we have rented cars many times in France, usually from the Marseille Airport. For our trip this April, we are renting from Dollar Company. In the past, we have rented from Europcar and Hertz in France. I use Kemwel/Auto Europe for our car reservations.

BTW, are you from Cape Cod? We live in Massachusetts and the Cape is one of our favorite places!

KathyfromtheCape Feb 13th, 2020 01:23 PM

KarenWoo, yes someone else had responded to a thread I started also mentioning AutoEurope and Kemwell. And there is apparently a large parking lot next to the TGV station in Avignon with rental cars.

Yes, we're from Cape Cod We've lived here since 1973. We do love it. :-)

Thanks for your reply!

jpie Feb 13th, 2020 03:03 PM


Originally Posted by KathyfromtheCape (Post 17063335)
Is there a car rental center near the Avignon train station? We have used Europcar in the past (Italy). Any rental companies you would recommend or caution us about?

We have picked up a car many times from the Avignon TGV station. It sounds like from reading this thread you are already aware that there are 2 train stations in Avignon-one in the city and the one that is called Avignon TGV which is 3 miles outside the city itself. Avignon TGV is really an ideal place to rent a car-it is set up with many rental agencies and since it is large it should give you a better choice of cars.

Europcar is actually one of my favorites agencies to use in France but in addition they have all the major companies-many US ones like Hertz Enterprise Alamo etc. You can even rent a couple of them via costco travel if you are a costco member-just make sure it says Avignon TGV.

Also if you do come into that station take a moment to look at the architecture-it is kind of a cool building :)

https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fod...d87c32c7fc.png



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