Provence Itinerary Thoughts

Old May 7th, 2013, 10:52 AM
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Provence Itinerary Thoughts

I’m planning five days in Provence in early July. We will be driving from the Dordogne region on Monday July 1. We are staying five nights in St Remy and need to be at the TGV station in Avignon on Saturday by 18:00.

Tuesday - Avignon
Wednesday – Pont du Gard, Uzes and Nimes
Thursday – Arles, Antigues Mortes
Friday – Luberon villages
Saturday – Les Baux, possibly Tarascon on the way to the train

How does this look? Would you rearrange anything? Drop or Add anything? Thanks for your advice.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 12:08 PM
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I don't think Tarascon is that exciting. I'm not a fan of Nimes either - especially since you plan on visiting Avignon, Arles, and Uzes. A little redundant, IMO.

No markets??

Stu Dudley
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Old May 7th, 2013, 02:26 PM
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Antigues Mortes could be done enroute from the Dordogne. It adds a half hour to your drive time. A one hour stop would enable a photo op, a tour of the fortifications and the 13th century streets.

Also on your Saturday, I would not want to go to Les Baux. Boarding a train after a hot, sweaty, crowded tour of Les Baux should be avoided.

Then you might plan:
Mon. Antigues Mortes
Tue. Les Baux, Arles
Wed. Pont du Gard, Uzes and, if time, Nimes
Thu. Luberon villages
Fri. If no Lavender yesterday, do Stu's route to Sault
Sat. Avignon
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Old May 7th, 2013, 02:30 PM
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I think, with your flair for photography and the time of year, you should look at a day doing Stu's lavender drive to Sault.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 03:15 PM
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I wouldn't put Nîmes high on my list, either. And you might spend a bit more time in the Camargues. There's more to see there than Aigues(not Antigues)-Mortes. I agree about the lavender drive.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 04:19 PM
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Is there a reason you are staying St.Remy when all of your sites to visit are some distance away? You will spend a lot time driving back and forth.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 05:16 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

It does seem that Nimes should not be a priority. So does it make sense to just plan a fairly quick stop on our way back from Uzes just to see the arena and the area around it? If Pond du Gard and Uzes take the entire day then we would skip it. How difficult is it to get into and park in Nimes?

Definitely plan to see some lavender. I have a photo I took of Senanque Abbey the last time I was in Provence and it's been hanging on a wall in my house for the past 13 years. I think my daughter would really like to see it in person. The rest of our "Luberon Day" is from Stu's notes. Sault looks to be ab out 45 min north of Gordes whereas most of the other villages we were planning on are south of Gordes. So not sure which we would enjoy more or how much we can realistically do in one day.

St Cirq - what else specifically do you think is most worthwhile in the Camargues?

We have Avignon on our first full day in the area because the Avignon Festival starts on the 5th (Friday) so we want to go there before that.

St Remy seems to be right in the middle of the all the places we plan to see. Of course we will spend some time there mornings and evenings. Wednesday is Market day in St Remy so that's a dilemma as I would think the day we go to Pond du Gard we'd want an early start. Maybe we'll switch Wed and Thursday so we can spend some time in the market before we leave for the day.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 05:46 PM
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Nimes is a difficult city to drive into & find parking. You'll see an arena in Arles.

Stu Dudley
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Old May 7th, 2013, 06:19 PM
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>

Driving around to see the flamingos, the cowboys, the red rice fields, the sand wine vineyards, the bulls, les St-Mairie-de-la-Mère, eating at La Telline...so much to do and see, and really, really different from anywhere else in France.

BUT there are a ton of things to do in Arles, too, so it might be hard to do them both in a single day.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 07:00 PM
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Bookmarking. How long by car does it take to get to the Camargues from St. Remy?
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Old May 7th, 2013, 07:03 PM
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How long by car does it take to get to the Camargues from St. Remy?

www.viamichelin.com would give you the answer.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 07:08 PM
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http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...hp.CuGC5IF-7rc

It might be a good idea to print out a Google map based on the direction you are coming from.
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Old May 8th, 2013, 06:17 AM
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Stu - I was just re-reading your Luberon villages tour notes. It looks like you have the following as one day: Gordes, Oppede le Vieux, Menerbes, Lacoste, Bonnieux, Saignon, Roussillon, and Goult. Is that all possible in one day? If we need to skip some of those which ones would you skip?

Michael, thanks for that map with parking link. I have several maps, some with parking noted, but hadn't though to actually google 'with parking'. I'll do that for all the larger towns now.
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Old May 8th, 2013, 06:48 AM
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Perhaps skip Saignon - it consumes a little more time "getting there" than the rest of the villages.

Below is an estimated time schedule for visiting the Luberon & it's villages. It's an "all day" event. If you don't want to spend all day doing this - just get as far as you can & then head home.


Luberon - Time schedule

8:00 or 8:30 - Get to Gordes, pull the car over at the view "spot" & take a picture. Park the car in the lot, and visit Gordes. Have a cafe creme & croissants for breakfast at one of the outdoor cafes. Walk down to the Lavoire & back. Explore Gordes.

10:00 leave Gordes.
10:30 arrive in Oppede le Vieux & explore a bit
11:30 leave Oppede, drive to Menerbes
11:45 arrive in Menerbes & explore. Grab a sandwich for lunch & sit on a bench with a view & have lunch.
12:45 leave Menerbes
1:00 arrive in Lacoste, drive up towards the village & view Bonnieux across the valley. No visit of Lacoste. Drive to Bonnieux.
1:45 Visit Bonnieux (sandwich, if you didn't have one in Menerbes)
3:15 leave Bonnieux & head to Roussillon.
3:45 arrive in Roussillon, park the car, and explore Roussillon. Visit the Ocre fields. Have an afternoon coffee at a cafe.
5:45 Leave Roussillon. If you still have some energy left, visit Goult - otherwise, call it a day.

Stu Dudley
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Old May 8th, 2013, 08:25 AM
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Isabel, for planning purposes there's also a market on Wednesday in Uzes (as well as Saturday).
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Old May 8th, 2013, 09:56 AM
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I saw all the villages that Stu mentions in one day, and that also included Lourmarin and an outdoor lunch at a goat farm. I visited the village only at Roussillon - didn't have time for Ocre Fields. The town itself is worth a meander. My favorite of these towns is not on Stu's list above: Lourmarin. I liked it so well that I've often thought one day I'll rent an apartment there.
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Old May 8th, 2013, 11:12 AM
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The Wednesday Uzes market is smaller than their Saturday market. The Place aux Herbes (where the market is held) is a very lovely square with arcades, cafes, interesting shops, etc. Personally, I think the market obscures the enjoyment of the square. It will take them a while to clean up after the market, so the Place aux Herbes with all the cafes & shops won't get "going" again till around 3PM or so. I would visit it after 3PM.

Lourmarin certainly is a lovely village. When I first put that Luberon drive together & posted it on the aol travel forum about 12 years ago, many people said that the "drive/visit" could not be accomplished in one day - so I revised it and tried to slow down the pace & I excluded Saignon & Lourmarin.

Stu Dudley
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Old May 8th, 2013, 11:37 AM
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Susan
Lourmarin is geographically separated from the other towns and is usually toured in conjunction with the towns of Vaugines, Cucuron, and Ansouis.Stu's one day itinerary just did not go that far south.No offense to Lourmarin.
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Old May 8th, 2013, 11:54 AM
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I really liked Saignon. I had a great light lunch at Chez Christine, in the Place de l'Eglise.We did Saignon as a side trip of a shopping day in Apt, not as part of a day if its 10AM it must be Memerbes.
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Old May 8th, 2013, 06:41 PM
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