St. Remy de Provence or Les Baux . .

Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 06:05 AM
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St. Remy de Provence or Les Baux . .

I have decided to included three days in Provence in a trip to Paris. We are taking the train from CDG to Avignon and want to spend a few days exploring the area. We have never been to Provence before, but loved Tuscany and are excited to see how they compare. We like to try not to move too quickly and cram too much into our days (we like three hour lunches). Does St. Remy or Les Baux sound like good home bases to make day trips from? We do plan on having a rental car. Also, I would like to be able to eat dinner at good restuarnts that do not require long drives at night. All help is appreciated.
Ward
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 07:18 AM
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St Remy would make a great base. It is a lovely town, great for strolling and window shopping, and has several nice restaurants and relaxing cafes. Les Baux is interesting for its hilltop site and medieval cobbled streets, but is a bit more geared to day visitors, so it may not be the best base, especially in summer, when parking and access can be more difficult (unless you are at a nearby hotel like Oustau de Beaumaniere which has its own grounds). If you use St Remy as your base, you can buzz over to les Baux for a morning or afternoon (it's only about 5 miles down the road), stopping at Glanum and/or St Paul de Mausole en route. Take a look at the St Remy webiste at www.saintremy-de-provence.com for info on restaurants, things to do, and hotel accomodations. If you like markets, try to arrange to be in St Remy for their weekly market, which is fabulous. Also check out www.franceweb.org/lamaisonjaune/ which is the web page for La Maison Jaune, one of St Remy's loveliest restaurants. Driving in the area is easy and enjoyable, and you can arrange to pick up your rental car right at the Avignon TGV station, and then it is a pleasant drive down to St Remy. Have a great trip.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 07:20 AM
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Les Baux is an awesome sight and has some first rate restaurants and inns nearby. That said, St. Remy (which is less than 10 minutes away by car), has much more to offer in the way of hotels, restaurants, shopping, etc.

If you want more peace and solitude at the end of the day, stay near Les Baux. If you want access to a little more activity, stay in St. Remy.

JoeG
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 07:35 AM
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Joe,
Thanks for the reply. They both sound great. Have you stayed at a particular hotel that you recommend. Thanks
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 07:41 AM
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Visit Les Baux, but stay in St-Rémy. The advice you've gotten is spot-on. The market in St-Rémy is on Wednesday, by the way. Thursday is in nearby Maussane.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 07:46 AM
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We stayed in St Remy on our honeymoon and visited Les Baux - both are wonderful! I agree with the other replies that recommend that you stay in St Remy. It will be much easier to get to other towns from there. We stayed at Hostellerie du Vallon de Valruges http://www.hotelprestige-provence.com/ It was wonderful and a 3 min drive out of the center of St Remy, so it was nice and quiet. We ate at the most wonderful restaurant in Les Baux - Oustau de Beaumaniere (be prepared to spend some money though). We walked around the town before our dinner. It was quieting down since it was the end of the day which was great. The view is amazing. You are going to love Provence! Have fun!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 08:01 AM
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Thanks to all for the replys. It sounds like St. Remy is exactly what we are looking for. Is the town large enough that it makes a difference whether we stay in town or on the outskirts. In my previous travels in Tuscany, we usually stayed in hill towns, as they are so small that finding your way out each day was easy. Thanks again
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 08:11 AM
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St-Rémy is not large. Just stay in town so you can walk around and enjoy the shops and cafés, etc.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 09:00 AM
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We stayed at a very charming place outside the walls of Les Baux,
"La Riboto de Taven."
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 09:23 AM
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Another vote for dinner at Ousteau de Beaumaniere...it's magical and worth every euro.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 09:34 AM
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We haven't stayed at Ousteau but had a wonderful lunch there on the terrace by the pool.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 10:38 AM
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Two good hotels not far from St-Rémy are the Domaine de Valmouriane (fairly modern country-style) and the Château de Roussan (an 18th-century château). Of the two the first is the more costly; the second is what some call shabby chic. We liked both. They're owned by the same English-French family and offer good service, pleasant rooms, and good food. The Château has lovely grounds, complete with a small canal and swans and geese. The Domaine has a gorgeous pool and a parking lot that's locked at night. We usually just flip a coin.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 11:16 AM
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I echo the comments of others suggesting that St. Remy is the preferred base location. A wonderful place to stay just outside of St. Remy (actually on a side road on the way to Les Baux) is Domaine de Valmouriane (http://www.valmouriane.com/). It is a beautiful converted farm property in an idyllic setting, with a fabulous restaurant for three hour lunches.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 02:06 PM
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If you stay at the Domaine de Valmouriane, you might want to ask for a ground-floor room with your own small patio: very nice for picnic lunches.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 02:46 PM
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Another vote to stay in St. Remy and visit Les Baux. It's easy to get in/out of St. Remy as from town center there is a road going in each direction. The town itself is small enough to walk around, and most accommodations on the outer circle roads are close enough to actually walk into St. Remy (don't bother with the car as you'll have to look for parking).

Les Baux is the busiest tourist town in that part of Provence, so it's best to enjoy it very early or after the tourists have left. Dinner or lunch at Oustau de Beaumanier should be on your list. Expensive, but worth it - do make reservations a day or two ahead.

In St. Remy there are quite a number of restaurants to choose from so you'll be set there. It's a lovely town and I'm sure you'll enjoy your days in the area.
 
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