Provence Vacation

Old May 19th, 2002, 09:44 AM
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Provence Vacation

I am planning a trip to Provence. Any suggestions on when to go, October or May? What shouldn't we miss?
Old May 19th, 2002, 10:20 AM
Uncle Sam
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Bobbi,<BR><BR>There are others on this board that could provide more detailed information than I can provide. However we spent 10 days in Provence last September.<BR><BR>IMHO, Provence is the best place we have ever visited. <BR><BR>The scenery, the history, the food, the wine, and the people make it an absolutely magnificent place to visit. <BR><BR>We stayed in Avignon for 10 nights. We took day trips to Arles, Orange, Chateauneuf du Pape, St Remy, Le Baux, Gordes, Rousillon, Pont du Neuf, Aix en Provence and some others that we passed along the way.<BR><BR>We often bought a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape (the true nectar of the gods), a baguette, some cheese, olive oil, olives and some ham and had picnics while driving through the Luberons. Amazingly relaxing and the views are magnificent! <BR><BR>Arles was one of our favorites and many make it their base while in Provence. We saw only the Norhtern part of Provence and did not get to Nice, Marseilles or the coast. What we saw was what we wanted to see, Roman ruins, beautiful scenery, history and more history and a great number of wineries and restaurants.<BR><BR>I cannot recommend it highly enough!<BR><BR>US
Old May 31st, 2002, 08:16 AM
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Uncle Sam:<BR>Can you give me some suggestions for the sights or things to do in Aix and Arles ?<BR>And, how much time is recommended for each city ?<BR>Thank you.
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 11:33 AM
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Definately plan to spend a Sunday morning visiting the market in Isle sur la Sorgue - one of the areas best!<BR>We enjoyed visiting and exploring some of the smaller villages such as, Venasque, Gordes, St. Didier, Fountaine de Valcluse (sp??),. We visited a lot of the villages out of the book Most Beautiful Villages of Provence - and they were indeed amazing! Have a great trip!
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 02:39 PM
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Provence is a feast, so you have to pick your plates wisely, but don't miss spending some time in Aix-la-Provence and see St.Paul and Vence, if you can. Last two are closer to the Riviera than Provence, but lovely old medieval towns.
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 07:45 PM
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Just got back last night from Aix and Avignon and Cannes. The coast area was certainly my favorite but really enjoyed Aix as it seemed to be more what I expected of the countryside. The small streets and shops were charming.<BR>I stayed inside the old city in Avignon, but was not all that taken with it although the history there was interested the city itself was not all that great.
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 09:03 PM
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St. Paul de Vence is lovely, especially early in the morning before the tour buses arrive. I took at least 100 photos there.
Old Jun 7th, 2002, 01:14 PM
John burkus
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My wife and I have gone to Provence for two weeks for the each of the past seven years. We can never get enough of a way of life that most North Americans are not remotely aware of.<BR>If you are interested, check out my Provence site and diary from last year at:<BR>[email protected]<BR>John B
Old Jun 7th, 2002, 03:06 PM
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Is it possible to see all these wonderful little towns using public transportation? Do you really need a car and, if so, how is driving there. Where do you fly into and how do you get to Provence from there, car, train?
Old Jun 7th, 2002, 06:23 PM
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I, too, want to go to Provence on my next trip to France, and possibly the Cote d'Azur, and have been trying to gather information. I will be solo, so don't want to rent a car and drive alone. I just read a book called "Daytrips France" by Earl Steinbicker, and he gives info about basing in one or two towns, and daytripping to others on trains and bus.<BR>Also, Rick Steves books on France tell you how to do same, with good basic information in his Provence chapter. I'm sure getting a car would probably be better for seeing more out of the way towns, but the other way certainly sounds doable, and you can't go everywhere anyway! I will look forward to any more input on this that anyone has to offer.
Old Jun 8th, 2002, 08:39 PM
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My husband and I were in Provence a few weeks ago (latter part of May) and it was delightful, with poppies and cherry trees blooming. I did miss the lavender and sunflowers, though, that you might catch. We prefer small towns, so kept to them. We stayed in St. Paul de Vence and that made it great for catching it in the early morning without all the tourists. It's so tiny that all the people dominate it. We also enjoyed Cassis, which is a fishing town that isn't talked about much in the guide books I had. A friend recommended it. We enjoyed the natural beauty of the calanques, limestone cliffs that jut out into the sea, with coves and beaches in between. Another favorite natural wonder was Fontaine de Vaucluse. As for the villages, we stayed at St. Remy at L'Amadiere and would recommend it. We were only there a few days, but found it centrally located. And my husband, a builder, really enjoyed seeing the Pont du Gard. We tried to see the amphitheatre in Nimes and it was closed due to a concert that night. That was disappointing. We had rented a car in Chartres and drove there, turning it in in Avignon and catching the TGV back to Paris. My husband drove and did fine. It's a bit hectic, as some really like to go fast and you're often surprised to look in your rear view mirror and see someone on your tail all of a sudden. The roads are narrow. We found the website very helpful. Have fun. I want to return, for sure.
Old Jun 10th, 2002, 07:39 AM
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Just returned from a 2-week trip to Provence. It was wonderful & relaxing. If I were to go again, I would do the 2-weeks in the middle of June to see the blooming lavender-it was still green when we were there. It was great to stay in Arles & visit towns like Les Baux, St. Remy, the Camargue, some of the smaller towns in between. Pont du Garde was truly an amazing site. We also loved the southern Rhone wine country: Chateauneuf du Pape, Vaison la Romaine, Seguret, Gigondas, etc. The most relaxing area was the Luberon. The markets in Isle sur la Sorgue & Apt were great. Gordes & Rousillon were very touristy--we prefered Bonnieux & Lourmarin. Aix was also a nice city. One tip--never eat a meal (including breakfast) at the touristy outdoor cafes in the main squares or on Cours Mirabeau in Aix--the food and service is lousy. If you must get the atmosphere, go in the afternoon & have expresso. Driving was a must for some small towns & made the trip more flexible--we took turns driving, but I could see it being daunting by yourself. Have fun!
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