Provence in April 2015

Aug 14th, 2014, 06:54 PM
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Provence in April 2015

One of my daughters has become obsessed with running marathons and she (along with several members of her running group) decided to try to get in to the Paris Marathon next April. They all received bib numbers and have been making the necessary arrangements. At a family gathering a while ago, it was decided a few of us needed to go along and cheer for her – hey any excuse to go to Paris right?? So we have an apartment booked for April 4th through the 14th and we are all very excited to go.

I guess that was a long story to say we are locked in to Paris for those dates but my wife and I are thinking about extending for a while after the kids leave on the 14th and are wondering what Provence is like in mid-April. We have never been to Provence and are thinking of taking the TGV to Avignon, renting a car to see a few of the towns and sites for a few days and flying back to ATL from Marseilles.

I know we will miss lavender season (June and July) but I would think it should be pretty in mid-April and I think many of the little towns would be nice to visit. Is there any reason this would not be a good time to visit Provence? Thanks for any thoughts you may have on this.
john183 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2014, 07:16 PM
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We were in Provence in April this year. The weather was lovely. The wisteria and pink flowering trees and fruit trees were gorgeous. Here is the report I did on our trip. The first two weeks are the relevant ones for what we did. No restaurant suggestions I am afraid as we self cater, but heaps to choose from.
Bon voyage.
rhon is online now  
Aug 15th, 2014, 04:14 PM
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rhon - thanks for the info and for the link to your report - it's just what I was hoping to hear. As another poster here on fodors says about Provence, so many places so little time. I'm looking forward to our trip.
john183 is offline  
Aug 15th, 2014, 05:47 PM
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I am actually going there in 5 weeks. We are taking the train to Avignon and spending several nights there. We rented a car right at the train station. It's about a two hour train ride from Paris. It seems a good location to visit several great towns that are close . Les Baux de Provence, L'isle de la Sorgue, Gordes, Rousillon, St. Remy just to name a few. You can choose to stay even in one of the smaller towns should you choose as Avignon can be seen in a half of a day. It's where the Papas Palaise and gardens are. Marseilles is quite far south and if you only have a few days you are better off staying in the northern region and returning back to Paris from there. Otherwise too much driving for a few days.
01ritz is offline  
Aug 17th, 2014, 11:06 AM
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01ritz - thanks for the info. I've been following your posts and have learned quite a bit about the area from them. I'm trying to decide if it is best to fly home to ATL from Marseilles or take the train back to CDG from Avignon and fly home from there? Any thoughts?
john183 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2014, 11:16 AM
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We've flown home from Marseilles several times. It is very easy and you don't have to return to Paris a day early to make your flight from CDG. The airport is a little north of the city. Chances are, however, you will change planes in Paris.
Judy is offline  
Aug 17th, 2014, 02:24 PM
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The Marseilles airport is kind of between Marseilles and Aix and easy to get to from either one. It is a small, very easy to navigate, airport. I would certainly choose it over returning to Paris for a flight. You will probably stop in Paris though.

In Provence, we especially enjoyed Arles and the Camargue area, and liked Aix much more than Avignon. The old Roman remains in Arles, plus the Van Gogh connection are interesting. The town itself seemed a bit on the gritty side, but we found a great apartment and wonderful breads and pastries. The Camargue is so unique, we stayed longer than planned and would love to return. Aix is pretty and walkable and the great Plane trees create many shaded places to eat and relax - lovely.
Sassafrass is offline  
Aug 17th, 2014, 05:08 PM
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Judy - thanks for the info. That's what I was thinking.

Sassafrass - also thanks for the airport info and for the Camargue recommendation.

As I learn more about it, I can see that the phrase "so many places so little time" is very fitting for Provence - as it is for most places. It's going to be hard to not try to do too much.
john183 is offline  
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