Stay in Avignon or Aix?

Nov 27th, 2011, 07:50 AM
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Stay in Avignon or Aix?

We will be passing through Provence and are planning a 2 night stay there. Any suggestions on whether it's better to stay in Aix-en-Provence or Avignon as a base for a short stay?

Have found B&Bs in both cities, but are wondering which location is the best base. Thanks for any suggestions.
Kindraven is offline  
Nov 27th, 2011, 08:17 AM
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Avignon IMHO.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 27th, 2011, 08:28 AM
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Passing through from where to where? Aix is farther East than Avignon. Depends what you want to see.

We've stayed in both. Both have their own charm. I think I preferred Aix.
TPAYT is offline  
Nov 27th, 2011, 08:45 AM
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Aix is more intimate and confidential - Avignon in my opinion has too many tourists.
SHANNON00 is offline  
Nov 27th, 2011, 09:27 AM
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We are driving from Languedoc (Carcassonne) on the way to Villefranche-sur-mer for a week stay. Wanted to get a taste of Provence in between. Not sure we have any particular things we want to see in Provence (Arles amphitheater, pont du gard, or les baux seem like good choices). We're open to suggestions.

Thank you Bob, TPAYT, and Shannon for your advice.
Kindraven is offline  
Nov 27th, 2011, 10:14 AM
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Avignon is not our favorite Provence location. For the sites you have named, you might consider locations near Avignon but not in that big (and traffic plagued ) city. Consider Arles or St Remy or Maussane. With only two nights--get close to your targets.
macanimals is offline  
Nov 27th, 2011, 01:10 PM
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I prefer Avignon to Aix but Avignon is a pain with a car. It's easy to get lost/on the wrong road in the sprawl that surrounds the old town. I think Avignon makes a great base in that region for those traveling without a car but if I had a car I would only visit as a day trip. If I were doing this I would pick a smaller town/village and not a city for a stopover but if you like the idea of having lots of restaurants and things to do then Aix is fine.
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
Nov 27th, 2011, 01:47 PM
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Hotel in the grounds of an old Cloister so very peaceful compared with the ... left again onto Rue Saint Charles. ...

my fav pretty close to the train station nice price point.

Great for walking around close to Pope's Palace go for that.

Have fun!
qwovadis is offline  
Nov 27th, 2011, 01:53 PM
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I would say Avignon.
kerouac is offline  
Nov 27th, 2011, 04:39 PM
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Neither is superior, that question has no real answer. They are both popular with tourists, both have universities and tons of young people and are both about the same size. I think Avignon can be more convenient for public transportation for day trips, but if you are only there 2 days that may not matter much. Except the fact that your main interest is as a "base", then I think Avignon probably. I think it has a better transportation hub and if you don't intend to use that, it is probably more central to other things you might want to see, anyway, by any method.
Christina is offline  
Nov 28th, 2011, 04:28 AM
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I agree with Christina with the added proviso that much more closes up in Avignon after the season ends, whenever that might be. Aix is much more lively in the winter, perhaps too lively in the summer.

So I would make my decision on when I was planning to be there. And I don't think two days is adequate for either, especially if you are planning to use them as a base for touring.
Ackislander is offline  
Nov 28th, 2011, 12:00 PM
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We spent time at La Bastide de Boulbon last fall and found it very convenient. It is about 20 minutes south of Avignon and there was no hassle with traffic or parking. Arles, Pont du Gard, Avignon, Uzes were all just a short ride, the hosts were fantastic and provided great directions to get us to the various sites. There are many small towns that would work for the areas you want to see and the area is an easy drive back to Villefranche.
Jo_Ron is offline  
Nov 28th, 2011, 12:21 PM
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Avignon is a much much better base for the interests of the average first-time Provencal traveler - within a few miles of Avignon you have Les Baux-de-Provence, St-Remy-de-Provence (and the asylum where Van Gogh, after slicing off his ear in Arles, went and painted local scenes onto canvasses - the Pont du Gard, one of the best Roman relics outside of Italy - Uzes - really neat medieval looking town - Nimes with some of the finest Roman relics outside of Italy too and Arles - lovely Arles, where Cezanne and Van Gogh and other Impressionist painters found many neat scenes to transfer to canvas - scenes that remain about the same in many cases.

I like Aix too but though there are many day trips possible IMO not nearly the magnitude as Avignon or Arles offers - some prefer smaller Arles to Avignon.
PalenQ is online now  
Nov 28th, 2011, 05:16 PM
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Thanks to all for your input and help. Lots to think about. I think based on the traffic concerns, we will choose a base outside of Arles.

I agree that two days isn't enough time to sample Provence, but then time is something I rarely have a surplus of for any endeavor.

Thanks again for your kind advice and wisdom.
Kindraven is offline  

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