Provence Itinerary Help

Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 08:06 AM
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Provence Itinerary Help

We are just starting to plan a week itinerary in Provence next June.

I have done some initial research and am having trouble gauging the distancing between the areas in Provence. We are celebrating a big anniversary, so while wanting to see Provence, we would also like to stay at unique upscale hotels or inns. We will be renting a car and driving it in this area.

My initial impressions are to have three bases.....staying in St. Remy de Provence at the Chateau des Alpilles, another couple of days at the Crillon le Brave and finishing at the Bastide des Moustiers. I want to make sure that we are being practical with our itinerary and do not want to sacrifice seeing the area because I want to stay at certain inns or hotels.

Any opinions would be appreciated.

Thanks.
glsebs is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 09:23 AM
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We based in St. Remy for several days when exploring Provence and loved it - a perfect base, not just because it is a lovely town, but it is also less than an hour from just about anywhere in Provence we wanted to visit (Nimes, Pont du Gard, Arles, Avignon, Les Baux, etc.) Your itinerary sounds really interesting, because it seems that you are moving far enough between each stay that you will still have a reasonable radius for day tripping (no more than an hour to farthest destination is our rule of thumb - reasonable for being able to visit two or three destinations in one day trip, and not be fighting sleepy-eyed exhaustion on the drive home in the afternoon or evening). Have fun!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 09:26 AM
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another thought though... I had not clued in to the fact that you are planning a one-week trip. My best advice would be to eliminate at least one of your hotels - otherwise you will never get the chance to really unpack and settle in to any of them. If you decide to just stay in one (I love basing in one location for a week and day tripping, but that is just me), I would recommend St. Remy because it is more central to the "must see" parts of Provence. If you cut it down to 2 locations, I would probably opt for the two that are farthest apart and eliminate Crillon le Brave.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 03:51 PM
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We were booked at Chateau des Alpilles in 2006 for 4 nights. When we arrived our room reeked of smoke and the carpet was very stained. We had arranged to have adjoining rooms with another couple, however our room had plumbing problems so we were moved to this room. We were VERY unhappy and returned to Maison Sur la Sorgue for the remainder of our stay. Look on trip advisor reviews because someone had the same experience. You can do so much better than Chateau des Alpilles.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 05:26 PM
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I agree with tejana about staying in only 2 locations - but I would stay at the Crillon la Brave area instead of near Moustiers. I think there is a LOT more to do & see around Crillon la Brave than around Moustiers. I'm not a big fan of the Gorge du Verdun (compared to the Grand Canyon in the US, Gorge du Tarn in France and the Gorge de l'Ardeche in "upper" Provence). Moustiers is a 1-2 hr visit at best, IMO. Also, if you stay in Crillon la Brave you'll be closer to the lavender fields around Sault, which I think are more scenic than the fields on the Valensole plane (near Moustiers).

If you have a week, you won't come close to running out of places to visit in the St Remy/Crillon regions.

The hotel at Crillon la Brave is quite nice with great views - but I had one of my most disappointing birthday dinners in France when we stayed very near there for 4 weeks in '07.

Do you have my 27 page Provence & Cote d'Azur itinerary? We've vacationed in these regions for 32 weeks. e-mail me at [email protected] if you want a copy - and I'll attach it to the reply e-mail.

Stu Dudley
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Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 05:56 PM
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I have stayed several times at the Crillon, and happily so, each time they have expanded taking over the whole(almost )
tiny village. The views from the terraces are spectacular.
The Bastide des Moustiers We liked alot but my meal was the worst fatty piece of meat I was ever served but I don't judge a place by one bad meal. My late husband found his selection, very much to his liking. The bath products are exceptional, I had to buy some to take home.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 11:48 AM
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Glsebs, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Chateau des Alphilles in April/May of this year and would highly recommend it. The evening dinners were wonderful, as were the breakfasts. The staff were helpful in every way. We do not smoke and could not detect odour.
If we were returning to the St. Remy area we would again stay at Chateau des Alphilles.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 03:46 PM
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Thank you all for your great suggestions. I ordered the Michelin map today for the area, and it will be a lot easier to make definite plans with the map as a guide

Stu, I received your Provence itinerary and it is wonderful. I plan to use it as a great reference for our trip. I think we will split our week between St. Remy and Crillon Le Brave as you suggested.

Also, as for the Chateau des Alpilles, I appreciate your opinions, and it sounds like it will be a good choice for us. Celticmoon, thanks for your review of your recent stay. Plufmud, lets hope that since your stay in 2006 they have resolved those issues. I have done some research and it garners mostly great reviews.

I think we will start our holiday in Paris for three nights, then take the train to Avignon and either go to one area or the other. They are both rather close to Avignon. I am thinking of splitting our time to 3 nights each and perhaps spend one night in Lorgues at the Chateau de Berne on our way back to either Marseilles or Nice to fly back to Paris and then home. We have been to the Cote D'Azur on a previous trip and spent four nights in Beaulieu taking in Cannes, Monaco, St. Paul de Vence and Nice. I thought it would be fun to break up the drive down there by staying somewhere we have never been.....Lorgues....or any other suggestions??

Thanks again for all the help.
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