Provence family itinerary - please help!

Apr 14th, 2017, 12:18 PM
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Provence family itinerary - please help!

Hi this is our first time in provence. Would love any input on our itinerary. We are a family of 6 (2 adults, 4 kids ages 2-6). We will be staying In Roussillon and will have a car. Happy to change completely!

Day 1
Apt market

Day 2
Isle sur sorgue market
Musee de la Lavande

Day 3
Aroma plantes destillery
Les agnels distillerie de lavande
La ferme aux lavandes

Day 4
Aix en Provence market
Vieil aix (old town) - take le petit train around
Pavilion de vendome
Foundation vasarely

I've seen a forum where someone said she went to
Orange / chanteauneuf de pape
St remy / les Baux
Pont dugard/ nimes

Are these near ? Far? Worth going to? Can I work in? Please. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Would love to do a photoshoot in the lavender fields. Which day do you think is good for this? Very confused. Thank you!
mbtadayyon is offline  
Apr 14th, 2017, 12:48 PM
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Where in Rousillon? Rousillon is not Provence, it's Rousillon. I think you're not at the advice stage yet. You're still at Planning which involves use of guidebooks,maps, web material, and perhaps even your local library.
Envierges is offline  
Apr 14th, 2017, 01:26 PM
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Sorry, my mistake, Roussillon in the Luberon/Vaucluse. I'm used to the Languedoc-Roussillon usage.
Envierges is offline  
Apr 14th, 2017, 01:59 PM
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I stayed in Roussillon in Provence, it's a nice town and a good base for that area. It's quite wellknown, actually, in the Luberon.

I'm not an expert on what you'd do with 4 kids that age in Provence, so will let others talk about that.

But have you looked up the market days? If so, I guess you are doing Apt on Saturday.

St Remy is south of Avignon and is about 60 km from Roussillon. YOu can get there in an hour's drive. Pont du Gard is just about due west of Avignon, not very far. Orange is north of Avignon and is about 70 km from Roussillon. I've been there and liked it but for reasons I don't think apply to toddlers (the ruins). It would sort of go with Isle sur la Sorgue but you plan the lavender museum that day which isn't on the way. In your case, I would plan on other things long before Orange.

I think you should look to add St Remy and Les Baux, I think you could do that. YOu could maybe add the lavender museum to your market day at Apt as it is west of Roussillon but not really that far (only about 15 km), so you could go to Apt, then head back and go to it, then go down the road by Gordes back to Roussillon. Then tht would free up time on the Isle sur la Sorgue day. That market is kind of a zoo IMO, but maybe you'll enjoy it. Apt is very popular also, but didn't seem as shoulder to shoulder to me. But yo uwon't be able to park close to it, there will be a walk unless you get there very early.
Christina is offline  
Apr 14th, 2017, 02:12 PM
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Your itinerary is OK.

Is day 1 a full day? - because the Apt market is only in the morning (almost all markets are in the morning).

There are many lavender fields in the Luberon - especially on the way to Bonnieux. Also the ones in front of Senanque Abbey - which is close to you & should be somewhere in your itinerary.

>>I've seen a forum where someone said she went to
Orange / chanteauneuf de pape
St remy / les Baux
Pont dugard/ nimes

Are these near ? Far? Worth going to? Can I work in? <<

St Remy & Les Baux would be about a 3/4 of a day visit. St Remy is a 1 hr drive from Roussillon and Les Baux is very close to St Remy. Lots of people like St Remy because it is a good place to stay for those who want lots of nearby cafes, restaurants, & shops and want to hear lots of English spoken. It is a good "central" location also. Personally, I prefer Uzes over St Remy to get the same "look & feel" as St Remy - but perhaps Uzes is a little nicer and more "authentic".

The Pont du Gard is unique - and if you want to visit a Roman site - it's the best in the area, IMO. Your kids may love playing in the river below the Pont. It's about a 1 1/2 drive from Roussillon. The Pont is also very near Uzes (see above).

The amphitheater in Orange has always been disappointing to me when I've visited it. There has always been scaffolding or some other "props" set up around the theater to "hide" it a bit.

No reason for your family to visit Chateauneuf du Pape, IMO. It's all about Wine - and little else, IMO.

If you are going to visit Aix (our favorite large city in Provence) I would not then go to Nimes - another large city & 1 3/4 hrs away from Roussillon.

You might head into Lourmarin - I think your itinerary has some free time in it. You could visit it on the way back from Aix if there is time left in the day.

All & all I might cut back on one of your markets. Three markets in 4 days seems a little "much". You also have quite a bit of lavender destinations. The museums are OK - but that's just a "guy's" opinion (and my wife's opinion also).

I would advise you to;

Spend one day just visiting the hill villages, vineyards, & lavender fields in the Luberon. You could easily do this on Saturday afternoon after the Apt market for a half-day, and also Sunday afternoon after the l'Isle sur la Sorgue market for another half-day (shops in Gordes & Roussillon will be open on Sunday - but not in Bonnieux).

Wait until after you have visited the market in Apt, before you positively decide to visit the market in l'Isle sur la Sorgue. You may decide that Apt is "enough" market. The Tuesday market in Aix does not have to be visited by you if you are "marketed out" by then - there are plenty more things to do & see in Aix in addition to the market.

Leave day 4 "open". Decide on the morning of day 4 if you want to visit St Remy/les Baux, Pont du Gard/Uzes, or just hang out in the Luberon longer (I bet you'll choose the latter).

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Apr 15th, 2017, 02:57 AM
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Our kids (9 and 12 at the time) enjoyed Les Baux. The ticket office also offered a treasure hunt map for the kids (I'm not sure whether your children would be too young). It was extremely windy the day we were there and some areas are not well barricaded against drops so be careful with little ones. It was a while ago that we visited and that may have changed.

Our 9 year old had studied Van Gogh at school the prior year and got a buzz out of learning more about him at the ex-convent/hospital in St Remy. You might like to show some of his work to your kids before you leave on holidays, if you plan to go there, so they have a sense of recognition when they visit. It's not like there are his original works or anything but our daughter recognised his work from the prints displayed. Any thing which provides a connection has to be a good thing.
dreamon is offline  
Apr 15th, 2017, 08:53 AM
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These kids are age 2-6.
Christina is offline  
Apr 15th, 2017, 02:57 PM
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Maybe not the 2 year old but if an 8 year old can be shown pictures of art and recognise them later, why not a 6 year old? Anyway, it's just an idea and can be ignored if not relevant. The reality is that the kids are unlikely to remember anything of the trip long term, just as my daughter doesn't remember the trip much either. But I remember my pleasure at seeing her more able to engage in where we were visiting.
dreamon is offline  
Apr 16th, 2017, 04:15 AM
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WHEN are you traveling? It makes a difference, especially since you seem fixated on lavender, which is of course a plant that is in season for only a short time every year and dependent on the weather/climate. There is no reason to be "SO confused." It's either lavender season or it's not, and there are a zillion websites to guide you to the best days, plus you just wake up in the morning and decide "this is the day - the light conditions are right and the lavender is in bloom."

Seems like you need a map if you're wondering if things are near or far. A good map, and an understanding of its scale, should clear that all up immediately.
StCirq is offline  
Apr 16th, 2017, 09:25 AM
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This is the second time recently that I have seen someone posting about one part of Provence and also posting a second thread about another area of Provence, as if the second was not part of Provence.

You have posted about staying in Cannes mbtadayyon. Here is a map of Provence in it's entirety.

I really do wish people would learn a bit of geography before they travel somewhere. Imagine a tourist in Miami asking a local, 'how do I get to Florida?'
Dogeared is offline  
Apr 16th, 2017, 10:05 AM
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I've always considered that Provence & the Cote d'Azur are two separate areas. I have 2 Michelin Green Guides - one is titled "French Rivieria"/Cote d'Azur and the other one is titled "Provence". The region, as you stated in your other post, is called:

>>Here's a map of Provence-Alpes-Cote-D'Azur as it is properly named.

That's 3 different areas making up one region. Historically, it was all Provence. In about 1985, we were in Nice and they were celebrating the 150th (I think) anniversary of the Cote d'Azur. So I suspect that around 1835 someone named the Alpes Maritimes and the Var departments to be the Cote d'Azur, & what remained of Provence as "Provence". I know it is somewhat confusing, because the last time we drove into Menton from Italy on the A10/A8, there was a big sign stating "Welcome to Provence". We've stayed in a gite in Carces (Var) several times, and when we get off the A8 there is another sign stating "le Provence Vert".

I kinda go by what the Michelin Green Guide says. The Cote is the Var & Alpes Maritimes departments, and Provence is the Vaucluse and Bouches du Rhone.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Apr 16th, 2017, 10:22 AM
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This is an on-going issue. We have friends who live near Grasse, and they are quite determined that they live in Provence.
Underhill is offline  
Apr 16th, 2017, 12:10 PM
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Of course they live in Provence.
StCirq is offline  
Apr 17th, 2017, 09:29 AM
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I hear what you are saying StuDudley but it doesn't really change anything. That someone living in one part of Provence chooses to say they live on the Cote d'Azur or someone else wants to say they live in the Alpes Maritimes, doesn't mean a thing.

That Michelin chooses to provide separate guide books covering different parts of Provence means even less. They can print guidebooks covering any areas that they wish.

The point I am trying to make without intending to single out the OP here is that I have seen different people refer to staying somewhere in the Nice area and then write, 'then we plan to go to Provence from there.' That to me is not simply a case of someone choosing to refer to sub-regions of Provence separately, that is someone referring to Provence as a sub-region that does NOT EXIST. Even the Cote d'Azur does not exist as an administrative area, it is in the Alpes Maritimes area!

Provence is the sum of its parts.
The "Provence alpes Cote d'Azur" region is:
04 Alpes de Haute Provence
05 Hautes alpes
06 Alpes Maritimes
13 Bouches du Rhône
83 Var
84 Vaucluse
Historic Provence is also parts of 26 Drome and 30 Gard

Taken from here:

I have no problem with someone saying they plan to visit the Cote d'Azur area even though it has no real administrative boundaries. It is a commonly accepted name for a part of Provence along the coast that people recognize.

But there is no commonly accepted part of Provence called.......... Provence. For someone to write that they plan to go from Nice to Provence simply shows an ignorance of the geography of France. You can't go from somewhere in Provence to.....Provence.

It is no different than someone writing that they plan to go from somewhere in North Texas to Texas.

If someone wrote that in the USA sub-forum here, what do you suppose the reaction would be?
Dogeared is offline  
Apr 17th, 2017, 05:54 PM
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Hi there,

You may be interested in my trip report (see one of the last posts in my original thread) here:

We took our girls (then ages 9 and 11) to Provence. Highlights included the Chateau des Baux for the medieval demos on a weekend, hiking the Sentier des ochres in Roussillon (don't wear white!), paddling/swimming under the Pont du Gard and visiting the Haribo candy museum in nearby Uzes. We also enjoyed Arles and seeing the show in the arena (including the courses camarguaises).

jacolis is offline  
Apr 17th, 2017, 08:30 PM
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Dog you are incredibly arrogant.
And it seems you cannot be nice.
WoinParis is offline  
Apr 18th, 2017, 06:18 AM
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WoinParis, add boring to that.
Heimdall is offline  
Apr 18th, 2017, 07:46 AM
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WoinParis and Heimdall, do you see me insulting you personally anywhere? You are entitled to an opinion on anything at all but you are not entitled to voice it if it is against the forum's terms of use. Confine your remarks to the subject or ask the moderators to allow everyone to include insults, in which case, I will be more than happy to respond in kind.
Dogeared is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2017, 04:21 AM
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Thank you all for your advice. Started from the drawing board to incorporate a lot of your suggestions. We are staying at la coquillade, Rousillon.
Please let me know what you think. Eternally grateful to you all.

Saturday (july)
bonnieux, lourmarin, aix

Isle sur la sorgue market
Lunch in gordes
Afternoon at hotel

st remy
Les baux
5:30 Arles amphitheater

Senaque abbey
Lavender farm or museum ?
Afternoon at hotel
mbtadayyon is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2017, 07:21 AM
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Seems fine - but for some reason there are many shops that close in St Remy on Monday. Maybe swap Mon & Tuesday's events. St Remy is kinda "shop centric".

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  

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