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Provence: Thoughts and ideas to add?

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May 27th, 2014, 09:09 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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Provence: Thoughts and ideas to add?

We will be staying in a B&B in Velleron for 2 nights and 2 nights in another BB near Aix. We will arrive by train to Avignon and pick up our car there. When near Velleron, we plan to explore to the east , west and south to about half way to Aix and around. From Velleron, by the end of our stay, we will drive to the next BB near Aix and explore to the east and west from there.

Velleron 17 to 19 ( 2 nights)
Aix 19 to 21 ( 2 nights)

Here are some of the thoughts I have while traveling about the region:
1. Cooking class
2. Truffle hunting tour with appetizers and hor devours
3. Visit Markets
4. Wine tour
5. Walk around aimlessly
6. Possible bike or Vespa ride/tour. Does anyone have any recommendations for a tour of this type?
7. On the drive from the 1st BB to the next, this is she we plan to incorporate a drive to and around the lavender fields, visiting hilltop villages such as Monieux and Saignon. We would like to visit a lavender farm with the possibility of a tour. If there is not one we can do on our own, we will opt out for booking a tour on Viator or a. Similar site. I found one for $77 per person.

What other ideas, tours or drives may you have? Any restaurant or cafe recommendations are also appreciated. Along these drives, what small towns are good stops for an hour or 2?

On July 21 we will depart for Nice via train, leaving our car in Aix. We planned on driving to Nice, but it is 170km. I feel that May be too far and a waste of time. If you think otherwise, please let me know why and where you would stop along the way.

***We don't plan to do all that is listed above, but those are our interests. Hopefully listing these can provide a good basis for the type of interests we have.

I understand that many on this forum may say that this is note enough to explore the region, but please be cognizant of the fact that we will be in France for only 2 weeks and don't have the luxury of spending our time here months at a time as others let alone live here. Based on this limited time, I am trying to plan the trip as best as I can with the time I have.

Thank you!
IzabellaBella is offline  
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May 28th, 2014, 04:12 AM
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I would bag the cooking class and the truffle tour.

Are you experienced on scooters? If not, this is not a good place to learn.

bicycle tour? Do you have iron thighs? Much of this is a very hilly part of France, and you should be regular and frequent cyclists or you will find it taxing.

The rest of your trip sounds great.
Ackislander is offline  
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May 28th, 2014, 05:30 AM
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We had a Vespa tour in Tuscany that lasted 8 hrs - 6 hr driving time. I had no issues and found it very fun and relaxing hence the thought of it doing it again. Is anyone aware of any Vespa tours? If not in theProvence region then in Paris or Nice?
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May 28th, 2014, 08:07 AM
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170km is only 105 miles, a drive you can do in less than 1.5 hours. I don't know that I'd go through the bother of a train ride to save that small an amount of time, but you know your own endurance for driving.
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May 28th, 2014, 09:50 AM
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artsnletters, that's a point I did think of, and maybe you are right. We can use the time spent on a train exploring. We will have 4 full days in Nice anyway, plus the half day we arrive in Nice from Aix. We would just drop our train off in Nice.
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May 28th, 2014, 10:11 AM
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I've stayed around Velleron and like the area. Some of your ideas don't make sense in terms of the season. Lavender, okay, but you can't hunt truffles in July. Truffle season is the winter.

I have never seen a Vespa tour in the countryside. I'm sure some people scoot around on one in a small village, but they are not for road trips. Biking is much nicer and more considerate of other people as it doesn't create such horrible noise. Vespas are very noisy and unpleasant. I think they do have such a thing in Paris, not sure, but you have to have the proper French driving license, I believe.

I don't know of any lavender farm tours, but the one you found sounds about what I'd expect to pay. You should be able to do that on your own if you have a car. This local tourism website has details on some farms
http://www.theluberon.com/activities/lavender-provence

It's good you have reservations as Aix has a big performaning arts festival in June-July and it can get booked. I thin it's mainly opera and classical music, but you should be aware what that means as it coincides with your dates
http://www.festival-aix.com/fr/calendrier

I've enjoyed driving around the Grignan and Nyons area north of Velleron in the Drome. Very pretty, lots of lavender, pleasant small towns, not so many tourists.
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