Provence with seven women; two cars

Old Jan 10th, 2023, 05:40 PM
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Provence with seven women; two cars

We are walking just 100km of the Camino de Santiago and then extending our vacation into Provence for six days. I think a base in Avignon might work, but how best to organize our time. I think we will skip the Riviera , but I am tempted to take a tour of the Camargue. I have looked at various suggested itineraries, but would appreciate any suggestions anyone might have. Our group does not have to stay together all the time since we have two cars. I am interested in art, history, culture, architecture , markets and natural beauty.
Thanks to anyone who can help!
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Old Jan 10th, 2023, 09:49 PM
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Have a look online at Aix-en-Provence. I thought the food market there was fantastic. It's also large enough to have plenty of cafes, restaurants, shops etc but small enough to be walkable. We also stayed at St Remy and they had a good market too but it was more touristy with handbags, clothes etc. We visited a few of the villages on the market day and really enjoyed it, didn't buy much but the markets were great to wander around and take photos. I found a website that listed which day of the week that each village/town held their market. L'Isle sur la Sorgue's market was also very picturesque.

It's a good idea to all pack as lightly as possible - to fit luggage for 3 or 4 people into the boot/trunk and also have room for shopping!
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Old Jan 11th, 2023, 05:19 AM
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Presuming the 100 km walk means you’ll be minimizing your baggage? I am visualizing for you a nice country gîte with a washing machine and a patio with views. Zoom into the Bouches du Rhone département on Gîtes de France and choose a place that strikes your fancy.

You don’t say what time of year, but know that Avignon’s music festival makes accommodation expensive in July. I’d be tempted to stay in a smaller place with those two cars, anyway, otherwise parking costs and the delays of getting in and out of a city would add up.

Aix is indeed a good alternative; its market and the one in Arles are fantastic eye candy. With your interests, and if you’d prefer city time, consider Marseille itself — after ditching the cars.

Good art museums in Marseille, Aix, Arles that I can think of; others may remember more. The quarry in Baux-de-Provence (Les Carrières) has an immersive art show with projections on to the walls. There is the Museum of Mediterranean Civilization (MUCEM) in Marseille and museum of antiquity in Arles.
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Old Jan 11th, 2023, 07:02 AM
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My wife & I have vacationed for 23 weeks in Provence. I developed a 35 page itinerary that describes our favorite things to do there. I have sent it to over 3,000 people on Fodors. Unfortunately, Fodors will not let me attach it to this post like I have done in the past. And Fodors suspends my post when I proved you with my e-mail so that you can request the itinerary by e-mail. So e-mail me at my Fodors name, and AOL and I will attach it to the reply e-mail.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 11th, 2023, 12:01 PM
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Avignon could work as a base, as could Arles, given your interest. Arles is a bit less central, however, although it is closer to the Camargue. St. Remy is indeed smaller and more touristy but Glanum and Les Baux are right near by and it is more equidistant, especially if you are going to Aix and the Luberon.

I generally don't recommend Aix as a base with cars because it can be tough to drive in/out of center as the peripheral traffic can be quite high.
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Old Jan 12th, 2023, 10:04 AM
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Not a fan of St Remy but I've stayed in Aix with a car and it was a great location for my itinerary (which did not include the Camargue). I didn't say in the center though, there are other places to stay. I was right on a main road to the NW (DN7 or route d'Avignon) in a very nice place within an easy drive into Aix center but also elsewhere as my main goal was not to spend time in Aix every day. But I've been there several times.

If you want to be closer to the Camargue, Avignon, Arles or Nimes are you best bets, I think.
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Old Jan 12th, 2023, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by StuDudley
My wife & I have vacationed for 23 weeks in Provence. I developed a 35 page itinerary that describes our favorite things to do there. I have sent it to over 3,000 people on Fodors. Unfortunately, Fodors will not let me attach it to this post like I have done in the past. And Fodors suspends my post when I proved you with my e-mail so that you can request the itinerary by e-mail. So e-mail me at my Fodors name, and AOL and I will attach it to the reply e-mail.

Stu Dudley
Have you considered the private message function? That should work without having to publish your email address.
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Old Jan 12th, 2023, 10:34 AM
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Dear me, why did I read “Camargue” and think “calanques”? Of course you should seriously consider staying in or near Arles. All that lovely Roman architecture, photography and art exhibits, handy to the Camargue and to a personal favourite, Aigues Mortes, excellent market, fine restaurants and small enough that it’s easy to get in and out by car.
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Old Jan 12th, 2023, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by StuDudley
My wife & I have vacationed for 23 weeks in Provence. I developed a 35 page itinerary that describes our favorite things to do there. I have sent it to over 3,000 people on Fodors. Unfortunately, Fodors will not let me attach it to this post like I have done in the past. And Fodors suspends my post when I proved you with my e-mail so that you can request the itinerary by e-mail. So e-mail me at my Fodors name, and AOL and I will attach it to the reply e-mail.

Stu Dudley

Stu -- You've made that claim before. Fodors doesn't suspend you or your posts. If a post goes into moderation, it was caught in the spam filter and no one 'did' anything to you. It happens to all of us at one time or another. And . . . IF someone wants to contact you (or you them) it is very simple via Private Messages.
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Old Jan 12th, 2023, 12:47 PM
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""Fodors doesn't suspend you or your posts. If a post goes into moderation, it was caught in the spam filter and no one 'did' anything to you""

Didn't Foders write the spam filter???

Six of my posts (where I've entered my e-mail) were "caught" by the filter, and 2 never came out. One of the 4 that finally made it out arrived many hours later. I tried to add an attachment to a post today, and Fodors still doesn't let me do it.

If I private message a person - only that person knows how to obtain my itinerary. If I attach the itinerary to the post or add my e-mail to the post - then anyone reading the post knows how to obtain it. Many, many, many people search history on Fodors and find out about my itineraries, or read about my itineraries on Tripadvisor or Rick Steves and then e-mail me to obtain the itinerary (search my name on Tripadvisor & Steves to verify this). When Fodors was more active, I received about 3-5 requests daily for 1 or more of my 8-10 itineraries. That's over 1,200 a year. I've been offering the itineraries for more than 10 years. You do the math. I do not allow private messages on Fodors because I fear getting bombarded by them.

Does private messaging allow me to attach multiple itineraries to the reply??

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 12th, 2023, 01:07 PM
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<<Does private messaging allow me to attach multiple itineraries to the reply??>>

I've no idea Stu. I appreciate the service you provide with all your itineraries, and indeed I have benefitted from some of them myself, but I was only trying to be helpful.
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Old Jan 12th, 2023, 01:46 PM
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"Didn't Foders write the spam filter??? "

No, not according to several posts by various Fodors tech staff when this has been brought going back ages. Like I said -- it happens to almost all of us . . . maybe you should address this with moderators and/or IB staff using PMs instead of all this kvetching on the forums.
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Old Jan 12th, 2023, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj
"Didn't Foders write the spam filter??? "

No, not according to several posts by various Fodors tech staff when this has been brought going back ages. Like I said -- it happens to almost all of us . . . maybe you should address this with moderators and/or IB staff using PMs instead of all this kvetching on the forums.
I should have said "Isn't Fodors responsible for the spam filter??".

Have you tried to make an attachment to a post recently?

I've had a couple of encounters with the Fodors moderators. No comment!!

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 13th, 2023, 05:12 AM
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With cars you don't need to limit to the bigger cities.

We stayed last summer in Maussane-les-Alpilles and loved it. It was big enough to have a variety of restaurants, food shops, and everything else you need within walking distance once we parked the car at the end of each day.

There are other smaller towns similar around the area.

Driving was easy to get to all of Aix, Arles, Avignon, Nimes, the Luberon and other smaller historical and cultural sites. We rented bikes one day. We had cooking class. We had wine tasting. It was fabulous!

We flew to Marseille (which has flights to many cities in Europe) rented our car there and was an easy drive to MLA ).

Enjoy the planning!
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Old Jan 14th, 2023, 01:35 PM
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On a perhaps more humerous note, I am wondering if the 7 women will all be on speaking terms after the first part of the trip. If so, it would be close to a world record.
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Old Jan 14th, 2023, 08:25 PM
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Livelight, we did a TR here titled 'Provencal Echo'. It may have some useful ideas for your posse.
I am done. the end
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 05:55 AM
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I absolutely adore Aix. It is so pretty and charming, bright and colorful with over flowing flower boxes, fantastic Moroccan food, a lovely market and shops and cafes and wonderful bread.
However, it is not the most convenient base for most sightseeing.

The Saturday market in Arles is amazing, great for stocking up if you will be there for a few days.
Arles is interesting, convenient for day trips and there are things to see there.

Now for your interest in The Camargue. I loved that place! It is not dramatic like mountains or vast sea views. It is kind of hazy, soft, salt flats, marsh, water and canals, underbrush, etc., with the appearance of not much happening, but it has a muted beauty that made me want to never leave. There are birds, including flamingos, horses and working farms with cowboys and cowgirls. We took one tour that was mostly by boats from Aigues Mortes.

There is also Aigues Mortes, my favorite small walled city. It is a mess of tourists during the day, but when we were there, hardly anyone walked the walls, which was fine by me. We enjoyed the solitude and views. The best part of the city is evening and dinner in darkness and total quiet. St Louis Sq is exquisite at night. Really, if you go, stay very, very late for dinner, or overnight within the walls for the best experience. There are other good restaurants, not in the Square.


If you have not settled on a base, there is another poster who posted a large house they were considering renting. I will look for it and post the thread.
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 06:03 AM
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Look for this thread.
A month in Provence - Near St Remy. By Safa1.
She shows two houses. One is large with a pool. It might work for your group,
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Old Jan 29th, 2023, 03:51 PM
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I just happened upon your droll and engaging report. Perhaps you could lead our tour which at present has numerous CEOs planning our routes!
To be continued....
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Old Jan 29th, 2023, 04:26 PM
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Dear Sassafrass:
Thanks for the idea about the home rental, but I can't find the thread. Any suggestions?
Everyone is so generous with their ideas and time!
Merci!
LL
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