Provence in Six Days

Old Jan 15th, 2013, 01:22 PM
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Provence in Six Days

Need some advice on the must-see sights, villages, etc. in Provence to get the true flavor of the region ... in six days. Thanks so much.
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Old Jan 15th, 2013, 02:03 PM
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Six days isn't a great deal of time to really explore the area. What time of year will you be there? Will you have a car?. Assuming you do, you could use Avignon as a base and visit Arles, and perhaps Aix en Provence. Can you provide more details as to when you are going?
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Old Jan 15th, 2013, 03:13 PM
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Thanks, Langcraft. We will be there the first week of May and have decided to rent a car for that portion of our trip. From what I've read NO amount of time is enough time for Provence ... it sounds like heaven on earth. So, I imagine we might decide to extend our stay to 10 days or so. Thanks again!
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Old Jan 15th, 2013, 03:46 PM
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But what part(s) of Provence? Les Alpilles? Lubéron? Côte d'Azur? A combination? Are you flying in? Arriving by train from Paris? We need more information. Getting "the true flavor of the region" isn't that much to go on, as the region is quite varied. Hill towns? Roman ruins? Markets? Port towns/beach? What draws you there, specifically?
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Old Jan 15th, 2013, 03:48 PM
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We've vacationed for 18 weeks in Provence. Do you have my 27 page itinerary for Provence & Cote d'Azur??? I've sent it to over 3,000 people on Fodors. E-mail me at [email protected] if you would like a copy & I'll attach one to the reply e-mail.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 15th, 2013, 03:55 PM
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Also - if you are going to be in Provence for 7 days or more, I would suggest that you rent a gite (house) so you can go to outdoor markets, buy stuff, and prepare a simple or complex meal at the Gite, & dine outside by the pool while looking over vineyards, lavender fields (not in May), or rolling/mountainous countryside. That was a long sentence..... Better do so soon - we already have a gite reserved for 2 weeks in June 2014 in the Luberon.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 12:51 AM
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If you do manage to extend your stay in the region for 10 days, which is advisable, I'd use Avignon as a base for 5 days. After spending 1 or 2 days in Avignon, you can visit Arles, Carpentras and St. Remy. On day 6, I'd head east and use the remaining time visit Gordes, Menerbes, Roussillon and finally head south to Aix en Provence.
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 09:30 AM
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In response to StCirq: This will be our first time in Provence and so we're not completely sure yet about the places we want to see in 8-9 days. But, overall, our goal is to experience the historic and culturally rich, laid-back, lounging-around-sidewalk-cafes lifestyle. And, to see how simple people live their lives in the quaint villages and countryside. As a photographer I long to capture just what it is that puts Provence at or near the top of so many people's bucket list. We don't have the big bucks to spend a month there, or to splurge on fancy rooms, food and wine. But somehow I have the feeling that deep pockets are not absolutely required? We know the atmosphere and scenery are free, but wonder about how much else we can see and do without breaking the bank? I would welcome all suggestions from those who've experienced a bit of the joie de vivre.
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 11:07 AM
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<<And, to see how simple people live their lives in the quaint villages and countryside.>>

I think you may be suffering from rose-colored glasses syndrome. With few exceptions, people who live in Provence, at least the Provence that most tourists visit, aren't "simple people," but rather folks with heavily silver-lined pockets, many of them not even French.

But again, it would be helpful to know which parts of Provence you are interested in visiting, for example, the Mediterranean or inland, or both? People don't want to start expounding on this region or that, or naming towns and sights, if you're headed in another direction. The "culturally rich, laid-back, lounging-around-sidewalk-cafés lifestyle" can be found absolutely anywhere, so unfortunately, that's not much to go on.

Do you have a map and a guidebook or two? Those would help you focus a bit. It's not that we aren't here to help, but you've got to give us some pointers.
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 02:42 PM
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The farther you get away from St Remy & the Luberon (and perhaps Vaison), the more "simple people" you'll run into.

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Old Jan 17th, 2013, 11:53 AM
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I did not mean "simple people" in a pejorative sense. My wife and I are interested in seeing, as much as can be seen, of the real and authentic everyday life of Provence, as opposed to simply following the tourists to the next tourist-stop. Since our time is limited I'm hoping someone can advise which 4-5 villages of inland Provence are the most "authentic," natural and picturesque, ie: less tourists, less commercialism, etc. I realize that I may be wearing rose-colored glasses. And I'm sure the constant onslaught of tourism over the years forever altered the lives of the locals long ago. Still ...
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Old Jan 17th, 2013, 12:08 PM
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- Cucuron
- Villages east of Apt along the N100
- Caromb
- Flassan
- Mazan
- Pernes is actually less touristy in spite of its great location. Perhaps because there are not many "cute little shops" there.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 18th, 2013, 07:12 AM
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Thanks, StuDudley. Appreciate the tips.
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Old Jan 18th, 2013, 09:57 AM
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Bedoin. The wine villages above Avignon: Beaumes de Venise, Vacqueras, Gigondas, and more. Paradou. Fontvieille.
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Old Jan 18th, 2013, 09:59 AM
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Farther north, the small town of Dieulefit is charming and not much frequented by tourists, despite the region's well known yellow pottery.

Nyons, a town south of Dieulefit known for its olives; a visit to the local cooperative is well worth while.
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Old Mar 24th, 2013, 05:17 AM
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