Provence - base for 2 nights?

Jun 25th, 2013, 02:23 PM
  #1  
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Provence - base for 2 nights?

For all you Fodors' regulars, I know I've posted questions on this trip before, but my itinerary is finally developing. At this point, we're driving from Bordeaux to Valloire, in the Alps, in the 3rd week of July. We (2 empty nesters) have decided to spend 2 night in one spot in Provence and we've never been to the region before. I know we can't do it justice, but that's OK. The only "must do" for my engineer husband is Pont du Gard. Otherwise we can do some museum/history stuff, but really just want to relax, walk around a nice town or village, maybe do a wine tour or some other culinary experience, lavender fields??? Unfortunately, I don't have much time to do research. So...I'm looking on suggestions on where to stay and one or two things to see/do. It looks like we could follow A7 north to Valence and Grenoble OR go to Aix-en-Provence and then follow A51 north to Briancon. I know there will be traffic, mountain roads, etc. We have been to the Alps before. A friend suggested staying in Avignon, but I'm wondering if it is too much of a city. We really enjoy villages and B&B's where you get to know the proprietors and other guests. After 30 years together you run out of things to talk about! LOL! Suggestions? We enjoy wine but aren't experts, and prefer local food to 4-star famous restaurants. Thanks so much to everyone!
cindyj is offline  
Jun 25th, 2013, 02:41 PM
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Oh dear...it's a bit late to get accommodations in Provence for July, when many thousands of Europeans (and Americans) will be in the region.

With the Pont du Gard on the top of the list--a good idea--you could check on the Uzès area, which would put you near what you want to see. Otherwise try Paradou, Maussanne-les-Alpilles, and just about anything between Uzés and Nîmes. Good luck!
Underhill is offline  
Jun 25th, 2013, 02:48 PM
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I think you're right. Avignon, while lacking a huge population itself, spreads out a lot, with annoying suburbs. Since you're know you want to go to Pont-du-Gard, you could stay in Uzes, a cute little town nearby. Or maybe Villeneuve-les-Avignon, across the Rhone from Avignon. And Orange is right on your route north.

When will you be in Provence? The lavender blooms into early August. Maybe some Fodorite in the area can tell you if the lavender is early or late this year. Here's a map for lavender field areas in France: http://www.beyond.fr/map/lav_map.html
Mimar is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 03:52 AM
  #4  
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Thanks! I will check out these towns. Mimar - thanks for the map. We will be there the 3rd week in July, so hopefully we'll enjoy the fields in bloom. Underhill: I know it isn't the ideal time to visit, but sometimes we have to take what we can get and hopefully we'll return to the region at another,quieter, time after an initial introduction!

More suggestions welcome for things to do. Is visiting a lavender distillery worth it?
cindyj is offline  
Jun 27th, 2013, 10:32 AM
  #5  
 
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I do have the perfect place for you, I've stayed there a couple times and love it. It is a hotel but in the country, so you might find some people to talk to around the pool or on the terrace where they serve breakfast. but don't count on that to relieve your tedium, it just is possible. It's not a B&B (which I don't care for), but is a very good cental location for Provence, you could even easily go up north more to see Nyons, Vaison la Romaine, that area where there aren't quite as many tourists (and plenty of lavender). It is in-between Carpentras and Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. You don't need to go to the big cities, it's on a major road. It's just outside a small town which is actually somewhat interesting in a few sights to see, although not many tourists are there (Pernes-les-Fontaines). There is a great restaurant in it, also.

here's the hotel
http://www.hotel-lhermitage.com/

They actually have some availability, which surprised me, at least for July 21st. They are popular and a great deal, so if you want this, book it ASAP. Some hotels in that area will not allow you to book only 2 nights, either (in season), and that place will.

YOu aren't going to get to know people in villages, etc., in 2 days no matter what.
Christina is online now  
Jun 27th, 2013, 01:57 PM
  #6  
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Thank you, Christina. I know we aren't going to get to know people, but I was just trying to describe some preferences. I just checked and there isn't any availability. We are now thinking of centering in St. Remy de Provence so I'm exploring options there.
cindyj is offline  
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