please revew provence agenda

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May 24th, 2016, 10:23 AM
  #1
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please revew provence agenda

Hi. We are renting a gite in Goult for the week of July 2-9. This will be the last leg of our 3 week France trip (Paris, Dordogne and now Provence). Travelling with husband and teens, 12 and 14. A week seems like a long time but there is so much to see and do and our gite has a lovey pool so we want to spend some time there too.

These are the things we'd like to do. Would love some help organizing our days:

Sat - late day arrival after drive from Dordogne and will grocery shop

Sun-are most shops closed? On our last trip to area, DH and I did Isle sur la Sorgue but not sure kids will like this. maybe just explore Goult and have lunch at Café du Poste. How far is Colorado Provencal? Could this be a good Sunday activity?

Monday-are most shops closed? Bedoin Market in am. Abbaye de Senaque for 10 am tour

Tues-Roussillon, Bonnieux, Apt, Oppede De Viuex, Mernerbes, Saignon, Simiane La Rotonde, Sault , Lourmarin, Saignon and drive by for Gordes view.

Wed-Sablet, Vaison, Crestet, Gigondas, Seguret, Mont Ventoux

Thurs-Goult market in am, lavender route

Friday-Fontaine de Vacluse

Would like to fit in Fort Boux as we enjoyed hiking it last time. Think we will avoid St Remy and Les Baux unless you can convince me otherwise. Considering Uzes and Pont du Gard.

Appreciate any and all help.
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May 24th, 2016, 01:02 PM
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ok-have worked this out a bit

sunday-Stu's lavender route

Monday-bedoin market in am and then vaison/dentilles drive

tues-luberon villages of bonnieux, gordes, oppede le vieux, menerbes, fort de buoux for a hike, saignon, Roussillon

wed-Colorado provencal hike in the am.

thurs.goult market in am, remaining luberon villages

fri. open

Afraid St Remy and Fontaine de Vacluse will be way too crowded. We were there late May last trip and everything was very manageable.

comments? I can't do drives every day or my son will go nuts so trying to add a few good hikes in.
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May 24th, 2016, 02:16 PM
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Much too much on Tuesday--you have to allow travel time between sights/sites and getting to and from some of the perched villages from a lower parking lot (such as Oppède-le-Vieux). What you have is a drive-by or a run-through.
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May 24th, 2016, 09:38 PM
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I agree with Underhill. And I don't think your kids will thank you for that itinerary! If they are like my kids, the tolerance for village pottering is pretty low! Having explored Provence twice with young teens in tow, I have to tell you, the things they like the best were, in this order: the pool at the house, the markets so they could buy junk, Vincent Van Gogh's hospital room in St Remy, the Carrieres de Lumieres near Les Baux, and the Roman ruins at Arles (arena and thermal baths). I know you're trying to avoid those two villages, but maybe you could visit them on Wed AM, while everyone else is at the St Remy market?
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May 25th, 2016, 01:52 AM
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What about kayaking down the river under the Pont du Gard?

http://www.canoe-collias.com/en/Home-en.html

I can't imagine teens being interested in pottering around small villages.
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May 25th, 2016, 04:02 AM
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Hi. I know there is too much Tues so will add in whichever villages we did not see on Thurs. We will have already gone canoeing down the Dordogne. I am trying to throw in hikes, which my kids love, to break up the villages.

This is just tentative. On our first day in Costa Rica last year we spent the whole day in the pool! I will go with the flow but want them to get an idea of the area.

I may throw in a few more markets too. thanks all.
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May 25th, 2016, 05:09 AM
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We were in Lourmarin for a week 2 years ago. We loved everywhere we went but 8 of us agreed that we should have left more time for just enjoying the pool and villa.

On your day including Gigondas, try to be there at lunchtime. L'Oustalet, on the square, was our best meal in Provence
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May 25th, 2016, 06:28 AM
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Judy, thanks for the dining rec. I am sure we will be tired given that this is our last leg of the trip. I will see how interested they are in the villages.

If I had to pick half of the villages, which would you recommend? I am thinking Roussillon, Oppede le Vieux, Bonniuex and maybe the Fort de Buoux hike.
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May 25th, 2016, 07:22 AM
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Rosemaryoz, Carriers looks pretty cool so I will add that to our list. I am thinking of changing Wed to the St Remy market (I remember really enjoying it) in the am and then have lunch and go to the Carriers. Does this sound like a plan?
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May 25th, 2016, 08:04 AM
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>>St Remy market<< I'm not a big fan of the St Remy market for perhaps the same reasons you are for-going the market in l'Isle sur la Sorgue on Sunday (too crowded & too touristy). Plus 3 markets in 4 days seems a little "too much", although the one in Goult is small. My wife's favorite market is Bedoin.

Stu Dudley
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May 25th, 2016, 08:05 AM
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First, most hypermarchés are closed on Sundays, but open on Mondays. Small village grocery stores are often open on Sunday mornings, but then closed on Mondays (or the other way round).

Second, I get the feeling that you are going to overplan your trip. I just imagine how your family will react if you make them wake up each morning at seven, presenting the plan for the day, rushing them from sight to sight, screaming "get into the car, we must be in village XYZ on time!" and so on.

Provence is a region that cries for relaxing. Especially in the heat of July. But this is just a personal opinion. Everybody has her own travelling style.

Also, my feeling is that you have become victim of too many guidebooks if you want to see EVERY village in the region. To be honest, if you have seen one, you have seen them all.

My personal style would be balancing the different types of attractions:

1) picturesque villages and towns
2) Roman ruins
3) medieval stuff
4) nature
5) markets

Then select the best things from each of these categories, look on a map and work out itineraries around them.

1) Picturesque villages are Goult. Gordes and the villages you will pass through on scenic drives in your region.

2) One of the most impressive Roman ruin is certainly Pont du Gard. On the way to or from Pont du Gard you pass Orange which also has fine Roman ruins, also Arles. After you have visited Pont du Gard, certainly go swimming below the bridge. Or rent a canoe or kayak.

3) The best medieval site is the Papal Palace in Avignon. Senanque would be another site of different character, quick and easy to visit.

4) Nature: The Sentier des Ocres near Roussillion and the Colorado Provencal would be the obvious choices, close to Goult. Fontaine de Vaucluse is probably not overly impressive in July, except after an (unlikely) thunderstorm.

5) Markets: If you have seen one, you have seen them all. They have the same products, often even the same dealers.
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May 25th, 2016, 09:37 AM
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I am trying to come up with tentative plans but totally understand we may play games and swim in pool. I also want to be able to discuss tentative plans with family to see what interests them. Thanks all.
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May 25th, 2016, 02:51 PM
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We've been fortunate to travel all round the world with our kids who are now older teenagers. We were in Provence last summer. By far the most fun we all had was on a Saturday. We started at the Saturday market in Uzes, picked up lunch/picnic supplies, then kayaked on the River Gard to the Pont du Gard. kayaking on the river as the Pont comes into view is fantastic. And considering the summer heat, being able to just fall into the river at any point was wonderful. You can't help but love this experience and your kids will thank you for it.
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May 25th, 2016, 02:53 PM
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I should add, we were also in Dordogne, we canoed there as well but it was nothing near as fantastic as kayaking to the Pont du Gard.
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May 25th, 2016, 08:29 PM
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The Carrieres are certainly worth it for the whole family, I think, and only needs about an hour. But St Remy market day in July will be a crush! I honestly would use that time in the morning to visit the St Paul Sanitarium, just on the edge of St Remy, where Van Gogh painted some of his most celebrated pieces, and then you could walk down the road to the Glanum ruins for a picnic lunch. Then head to Les Carrieres in the afternoon (or vice versa).
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