Provence Itinerary Help

Jun 27th, 2010, 11:11 AM
  #1  
DBW
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 23
Provence Itinerary Help

My husband and I are in our early thirties. We would like to spend 7-10 days in Provence around mid-September. We want to see the major sites, but we don't want to be constantly travelling from place to place. We like to tour the local markets, see the lavender fields, visit the local shops. We definitely want to go to Aix en Provence and Cassis. We would like to see the Luberon, but need guidance on which towns to see.

We appreciate all your help
DBW is offline  
Jun 27th, 2010, 12:02 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 770
You might like to look at my trip report. Click on my name and search back to July 07. We were in Provence for about two weeks. Also, Stu Dudley has a great "itinerary" you might like to have. He may be gone on a trip now though. I loved Provence. Happy travels!!!
mimipam is offline  
Jun 27th, 2010, 12:07 PM
  #3  
 
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In September the lavender will be past it's bloom, which is late June to mid July. Likely the same for sunflowers too. But mid September is a great time to visit since the crush of tourist season is over. I assume you will be renting a car. I assume also that you've never been here before.

The fjords of the Calangues are near Cassis and you could visit Cassis and tour the coast for a day.

The major villages in the Luberon are Gordes, Roussilon, Bonnieux, Oppede and a few others. Get lost around here and see a few villages others might miss because they weren't told to go see them.

The major small cities are Nimes, Arles and Avignon and Aix-en-Provence and all merit a visit if you feel like a city day. There are major Roman ruins at Nimes and Arles.

Visit the Roman aquaduct of Pont du Gard and the nearby town of Uzes, which is lovely. Rent a canoe and the Gard river and float under the aquaduct. Canoes can be rented at Collias and here's a link. http://www.canoe-collias.com/
You could rent a bike for a day as well.

Vaison la Romaine is northeast of Avignon and has an old town as well as a large collection of Roman ruins and is in some lovely countryside.

Visit Les Baux de provence, an ancient hilltop village with a castle ruin and spectacular views in a gorgeous countryside. See the nearby town of St. Remy de Provence.

South of Arles is the Camarague region which is noted for its unique salt water marsh vegetation as well as the culture of the Gardian, basically French cowboys, who ride on white horses rounding up the black bulls of the Camargue. There is a lovely sandy beach called Plage de Piemanson in the area. Around the bay are two towns that are worth a visit. if you want to experience some gypsy culture and music you can go around the bay from the beach and visit Saintes Maries de la Mer, which is where the Gypsy Kings hail from. Near there is the walled medieval city of Aigues Mortes.

Get Michelin maps of the region and get familiar with where things are. The maps have icons for all kinds of features such as chateaux, caves, scenic viewpoints and a host of historic and touriostic sites. The roads highlighted in green are designated scenic roads and these are usually nice to just drive on and see what you find along the way. Use viamichelin.com to plan driving routes and estimate deistances, time, toll and fuel costs. The tourist offices in any town will tell you when market days are (most have websites with English versions). There is a famous market in Isle sur la Sorgue.

So this is a start on the major sites but there's lots more you'll find out if you do a bit more research. Guidebooks are helpful, such as Michelin Green Guide.
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
Jun 27th, 2010, 04:07 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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yes, the Lavender fields will be not in flower. The harvesting ending in late August. . Since you are only interest in Aix and Cassis rather than my preferred areas, Aix is a good place or area to settle in. You can vizit Marseilles and taste the Bouillebasse, visit cassis when the sea urchins are in season, or go the other direction to visit Arles(and the wonderful museum about Provence life started by Mistral and sp many wonderful villages to see like the perche Les Baux, Gordes and others.
cigalechanta is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 03:01 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,141
Hi DBW
We spent 2 weeks in Provence last Sept/Oct and had a wonderful time. We visited little villages, great markets, Roman ruins and had a day trip to Cassis.

If you click on my name you will see my trip report which may give you some suggestions. We truely had a fantastic time and I'm sure you will too.
aussie_10 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 06:21 AM
  #6  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,318
Hi DB,

Have you looked up Provence under "Destinations"?

You might get some ideas from my trip report.
Ira Returns From 22 Loverly Days in Europe - Sep, 2009
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-in-europe.cfm

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 02:27 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 515
For a visual look at some of the places mentioned, you can check the phototravelogue in my trip report at http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...n-provence.cfm
SemiMike is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 05:26 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,013
You need to be in Provence right now to see Lavender! Even late July, when we were there, was somewhat past prime.

My photos are posted here, I haven't written the trip report part of it yet:


http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...summertime.cfm
flygirl is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 07:32 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 110
Timely thread for me. Bookmarked. Thanks.

DaveMM
DaveMM is offline  
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