Provence 2 locations which first?

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Mar 29th, 2005, 10:26 AM
  #1
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Provence 2 locations which first?

We are spending 7 full days in Provence and have 2 hotels booked. One in Arles, the other near Carpentras. We arrive late afternoon on a Tuesday and leave very late on the following Tuesday. I had thought to spent Wed. Thurs. Fri. around Arles, seeing Pont du Gard,La Camargue, Les Baux, St. Remy, Aigues- Mortes, Uzes.

Then move to Carpentras Friday pm.We want to visit the Luberon, Mont Ventoux, Cotes du Rhones and just meander

Will we end up not being able to see things on Sun and Mon because everything will be closed? I know that Sun. will be market days in several places but don't want to miss seeing something either because of crowds. Does one area lend itself better to Sun. and Mon. closures. I don't want to end up frustrated because of the timetable.

I would welcome help from all you experts
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Mar 29th, 2005, 12:13 PM
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Mar 29th, 2005, 12:31 PM
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>>Will we end up not being able to see things on Sun and Mon because everything will be closed? I know that Sun. will be market days in several places but don't want to miss seeing something either because of crowds. Does one area lend itself better to Sun. and Mon. closures. I don't want to end up frustrated because of the timetable.<<

Sunday morning is market day in l'Isle sur la Sorgue. It's probably the most popular market in Provence (get there by 9 to avoid the crowds). Also, most (if not all) shops will be open. After the market, go to Gordes - where most shops will be open also. Ditto with Roussillon. Not so with Bonnieux. Shops will be open in Fontaine de Vaucluse, but it's a zoo on Sunday. On Monday, take my "Lavender Route" that I've posted a few times here. This is mostly a drive in the beautiful countryside around Sault. You can end Monday with a visit to Vaison la Romaine - most shops open up Monday afternoon.

Many shops will be open on Sunday in St Remy, but many of the cuter ones will be closed on Monday. I've never visited to Les Baux on a Sun, but I'm guessing that it will be in full swing then.

Personally, I think l'Isle sur la Sorgue & the Luberon will be a nicer area to spend Sun & Mon - it's more amenable to just driving around looking at the pretty countryside, than the area around St Remy.

Don't get stuck on having to visit a "city" in Provence for your sightseeing - the countryside is what always brings me back.

Stu Dudley
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Mar 29th, 2005, 01:22 PM
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Our itinerary is very similiar, but we will be in Vaison la Romaine for 1 day and night, on a Sunday. Was also wondering will everything (i.e. shops, wineries, etc) be closed as well?
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Mar 29th, 2005, 02:08 PM
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>>Vaison la Romaine for 1 day and night, on a Sunday. Was also wondering will everything (i.e. shops, wineries, etc) be closed as well?<<

Most likely. Roman ruins should be open.

Stu Dudley

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Mar 29th, 2005, 02:32 PM
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Just a small point about the Roman ruins in Vaison-la-Romaine. You can buy a four-part ticket that will give you access to the Quartier de Puymin and the Théâtre Romain, the Musée Archéologique Théo-Desplans, the Quartier de la Villasse, and the cloisters of the Romanesque Ancienne Cathédrale Notre-Dame de-Nazareth.

When we were last there in October, 2003, we found that all four sites were closed over the lunch period. I can't recollect the exact hours, and I'm not sure if this is a year-round pattern, but you may need to plan around it if you decide to visit any of these four sites.

Anselm
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Mar 29th, 2005, 02:39 PM
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Get a map of the area and plan your days accordingly. The way you write "Arles, Pont du Gard, Camargue, Les Baux, St. Remy, Aigues-Mortes, Uzes" you're jumping around, which I hope was just the way the names came into your head.

You can do the Camargue and Aigues-Mortes in a day; Uzes, Nimes work well together; Avignon and Pont du-Gard; Les Baux and St. Remy - just suggestions. There are plenty of other towns in-between these you've listed. As to Les Baux, it is a madhouse on Sunday... seems like everyone in this part of Provence is visiting - entire families, multi-generational, and the family pets; trying to get parking is difficult as it is the most visited city/town in the area. Try for another day.

We had done the L'Isle sur la Sorgue on Sunday morning then Les Baux in the afternoon - a full day, but we lucked out with parking, so for us it was worth it. But I'd suggest you try for other then Sunday for visiting here.

If you can't find the information online, stop into your local bookstore and pick up a guidebook which will list which sites are open, when, hours, cost - depending on time of year. The hours are longer from May - October and rarely close for lunch. While many shops/grocery stores are closed on Monday, there are just as many that are open... likewise for restaurants. We were not inhibited with anything during our Sundays and Mondays while in the area.
 
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Mar 29th, 2005, 02:41 PM
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Many museums close for lunch so check with guide book or tourist office. Many close on Mondays and Municipal ones on Tuesday.
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Mar 29th, 2005, 06:46 PM
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Thank you for all your helpful suggestions. Your feedback is so valuable and very much appreciated.
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