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South of france

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Nov 6th, 2013, 07:21 AM
  #1
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South of france

Me and my two sons ages 7 and 10 will be traveling to france this summer
We have gone before, but this trip we are spending one month.
The first week in the Dordogne region then the next two week we are
headed to one week near St Remy and one week in Luberon Saignon.
We are the type of people who are out and about all day exploring not sitting by a pool- we love small villages , quaint is what I love. And the boys love castles and the outdoors We have one last week and I wasn't sure where to spend it. I figured that from my St Remy gite location I could do everything west and north like Arles and Avignon Nimes etc ... and from my Luberon local I could do all the small villages... am I wrong in this planning?And what would you suggest I do with my last week . I was considering the Uzes area or then again I could head to along the coast. I dont thing my kids would love the glitz of the Riviera so I wasnt sure... We will have a car ...Any suggestions I would be very grateful for
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Nov 6th, 2013, 10:57 AM
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You could stay on the Tarn, a lovely river with good walking and even hire a donkey to walk with. Lots of canoeing in the local campsites or book a gites.
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Nov 6th, 2013, 11:19 AM
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Go up into the Cévennes and do something truly adventurous.
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Nov 6th, 2013, 02:19 PM
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From Uzès you could visit the amazing Pont du Gard and the dual castles, on opposite sides of the Rhône river, at Tarascon and Beaucaire. Provence isn't full of castles the way the Loire Valley is, but there are fascinating Roman ruins in Arles--a Roman theater,a huge arena, and a long avenue of sarcaphogi. Plenty of perched medieval villages in the area as well.
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Nov 6th, 2013, 02:20 PM
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Here's an article I wrote for the bonjourparis.com web site.

PROVENCE’S TWIN CITIES


Visitors to Provence might not realize that the region, like the American Midwest, has its own set of “twin cities”: Beaucaire and Tarascon, facing each other from opposite sides of the Rhône river about 10 miles north of Arles. Both towns boast feudal castles, and Tarascon has as well the church of Ste. Marthe, who was reputed to have been the sister of Ste. Mary Magdelene.

The ruined castle of Beaucaire lies on the west side of the Rhône and is a good spot from which to look across at the splendid medieval fortress of Tarascon, beautifully reflected in the river. The Tarascon castle is open to visitors and makes for a cool refuge on a hot Provençal day; on view are the king’s and queen’s apartments, the guardrooms, the chapels, the courtyard and more. The roof terrace--from which supporters of Robespierre were hurled to their deaths after he fell from power in 1794--offers an excellent view of the Rhône and the plain beyond. The castle held many prisoners over the years—until 1926, in fact—including a number of Englishmen, whose graffiti can be seen scratched on the walls of the cells.

The Collegial church of Ste. Marthe is just across a convenient parking lot from the castle. Stairs lead downward from the church’s entrance toward the crypt, and in a side niche on the left is an exquisite tomb effigy of the saint that was commissioned from an Italian sculptor in the 17th century by a bishop of Avignon. The saint’s relics lie below in a fifth-century sarcophagus. Also in the church are some fine works of art, including a 15th-century triptych.

It was Ste. Marthe herself who saved the town of Tarascon from a fierce creature known as La Tarasque, an amphibious monstor who terrorized the citizens for many years. This fearsome beast would venture forth from his lair in the Rhône to devour children, cattle, and just about anyone or anything else at hand. Luckily, Ste. Marthe arrived from Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer, down in the Camargue, and was able to tame the tarasque by making the sign of the cross at him. The chastened beast thereupon returned to the Rhône and ceased his wicked ways.

In 1474 Good King René, who spent the last ten years of his life in Tarascon, commemorated Ste. Marthe’s triumph by organizing a great fête. The celebration survives to this day in the form of a procession through the streets of the town in late June. Prominent in the pageant is a mobile figure of the tarasque, his great tail whipping about like the dragon in a Chinese New Year parade.

Tarascon is also home to the Souleiado fabric museum, visits to which must be arranged well in advance. The museum holds some 40,000 18th-century wood blocks. Anyone who has spent time in Provençe has no doubt seen the beautiful Indienne fabrics produced by this firm, and visiting the collection is an admirable introduction to the wide variety of historic patterns.
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Nov 6th, 2013, 03:34 PM
  #6
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Thank you everyone for these great ideas.. do you think that after staying in st remy
and Saignon that the Uzes area will have enough to do for a week? o can many of the things you suggest be done in a two week itinerary from my other locations? Does it require a move
of a gite? or just another week?
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Nov 6th, 2013, 04:36 PM
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You can easily visit Uzes & the Pont from St Remy.

You'll see plenty of Provence in 2 weeks by staying in St Remy & Saignon. Go somewhere else that is completely different. I suggested Annecy/Alps in your other thread.

Stu Dudley
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Nov 6th, 2013, 06:41 PM
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Head for the Cote d'Azure but don't stay in a glittzy resort, rather stay in the smaller inland hilltowns such as Vence (not St Paul - although visiting there is great if early in the day (like before 9am).
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Nov 6th, 2013, 11:29 PM
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The Cote d'Azur is not all glitzy. After Dordogne and Luberon, you may enjoy being on the coast. For example in Antibes, it's a nice old town, with good rail connections to other places along the coast.
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Nov 7th, 2013, 04:21 AM
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Just to add, inland Provence can get very hot in summer. Being near the sea will be a change, and you have a month.
Plenty of small villages to explore (Gourdon, Haute Cagnes, St Paul de Vence, Mougins, Tourettes, Eze...), and easy enough to do if you have a car. You can drive along the Corniche and stop in Eze. Or go on to Monaco, and see the Palace on the rock, and the Oceanographic Museum.
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Nov 8th, 2013, 06:14 AM
  #11
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thank you everyone for their great ideas I am looking into
Annecy - or the Drome - or the Grasse/ de Vence all super idea
many thanks
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Nov 8th, 2013, 08:20 AM
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Annecy and the Alps would also be nice. Chamonix, Megeve.
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Nov 15th, 2013, 05:43 PM
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When you leave the fabulous Dordogne area (my wife and I did lots there and absolutely loved it. We based ourselves in Beynac et Cazeneau), you must visit Rocamadour. I hope my spelling is correct.
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Nov 15th, 2013, 09:15 PM
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It's not Cazeneau but Cazenac. Rocamadour is a big bore, IMO.
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