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Trip report- Provence, Langeudoc, and Dordogne

Trip report- Provence, Langeudoc, and Dordogne

Old Jul 29th, 2006, 05:21 PM
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Trip report- Provence, Langeudoc, and Dordogne

Hi everyone. I am in the process of writing a more detailed and intimate trip report using slowtrav. At the rate I'm going, it's going to be awhile.

So, anyway.....I want to say thank you to everyone for every question you answered and all the reports you wrote beforehand that I greedily devoured.

We travelled from July 2- July 17. We had a great time and are planning to go back to France for 3 weeks next year.

So, here is the beginning of a bare bones report to help others who might be in the stages of planning. If you want to live vicariously through my report, wait for the slowtrav one...

Provence- Domain Le Vallon- near Aubignan/Carpentras. (3 nights- room- Les Roses 150eu/night,, breakfast incl.)

- a return visit. Excellent. It felt like coming home. Fred and Michelle are so gracious and wonderful!
We know that we will go back again and again. This place is very dear to our heart. An excellent base for exploring Provence if you plan to rent a car.
They finished the self-catering apartment that will be available for rental next season during our stay (it's gorgeous). Reservations are only through the internet. A bargain of a splurge. (3 rooms and apartment). Michelle does a wonderful table d'hotes on Friday nights. We weren't able to enjoy it this year because of our itinerary. Romantic, exquisitly decorated rooms and house, beautiful grounds. Pool and view of Mount Ventoux.

Cevennes (langeudoc)- Mas Lou Albeihs (46eu/night- breakfast incl- table des hotes (recommended!)- near St. Germaine de Calberte
- first time. Nervous before arriving. Had reservations for 1 night. Stayed three. The drive up is not for the faint of heart. However, we already know we want to return again next year and stay longer. Excellent base for hiking, exploring the National Park des Cevennes, the Tarn. Rustic and tranquil. Wonderful hosts- Julien and Clothilde. (4 rooms and gite d'etape)

interim night- Gite La Naxe- St. Laurent d'Olt. around 42eu/night. breakfast incl.

Very clean gite. They have a full kitchen if you want to cook your own meals. Very rural. Jean-Claude enjoys the company! This was a random stop for us, as I wanted to do the drive along the Lot river the next day to our next B&B.

Lot region- first time(good base for exploring dordogne east) Jardin de Segala- Lacam d'ourcet (near Figeac). (55eu/night, breakfast incl)

Charming and clean B&B run by a really nice british couple - Richard and Alex(alexandra). Extremely attentive and knowleadgable hosts. Very good table d'hote. They specialize in walking tours of the area. If visiting in the hot summer months- no pool, but Lac de Toulerme is only 10 minutes away by car. (3 rooms).

Dordogne- first time -Les Granges Hautes- St Crepin de Carculet- room les Reves (69 eu/night- breakfast 7 eu pp)

Beautiful grounds, charming rooms. Excellent base for the Dordogne. Salt water pool for hot July visits! Very nice hosts, Beatrice and Jean-Yves. Table d'hotes was very good, but we felt it was a bit expensive compared to others we have experienced of similar quality. We were there during very high season, and so each couple was seated at a different table. To us, this was a bit of a disappointment since we really like getting to know the other guests (sitting at one huge table). However, I completely understand why it was set up this way and don't mean to insult our hosts. We truly enjoyed our stay and hope to return. (7 rooms and self catering studio).

All of the above places were wonderful and worth return visits. For us, the area around the Lot wasn't as intersting to us, but for other travellers it might be. If we were to return to the Lot area, we would definitely stay at Jardin de Segala again.

Every single place we stayed had great hosts who advised us on our daily excursions, recommended restaurants, driving routes, helped us make reservations and just generally made our trip more enjoyable. This is why I prefer B&Bs over hotels. I get a chance to know the people a bit better.
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 05:36 PM
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one more accomadation- (paris/montparnasse)Hotel Delambre (105eu/night)- good. we chose it because it was near the Montparnasse train station. Clean. Air conditioned room. We had a little balcony-ish outside out window. Helpful concierge.
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 05:44 PM
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Getting there and around-

Flight- air tahiti nui (JFK to CDG)
--hmmm. Hopefully not again. No lost luggage though. Cheapest flight we found for our travel dates.

Train- TGV (CDG/Paris to Avginon, (Poitiers to montparnasse/Paris)

Love the TGV. We (husband) chose Poitiers over Bordeaux or Libourne b/c drive time was about the same but train time was much shorter.

Car- Europacar (Argus)- can't remember what kind of car, except that it was a Peugot. Return of car in Poitiers was a little nerve-wracking. We had a Sunday return, arrangements supposedly had been made. Rental office was closed. Eventually discovered key-drop.

Maps- Michelin 337 Lot, Tarn-et-Garonne, 338 Averyon, Tarn, 113 zoom Provence/Camargue, 329 Correze, Dordogne
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 05:55 PM
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lp nyc, please let us all know when you post your more detailed report on slowtrav. We were in the Dordogne in June and I'd love to read about your experiences there.
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 06:00 PM
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Moolyn- I'll definitely let you know. I loved your trip report.

It's so hard not to get into details right now...
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 06:16 PM
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Places we visited (the cliff notes version)-

Day 1- Chateneauf des Papes

We had travelled nearly 24 hours straight from NYC to Avignon. Missed Chateneauf on our last visit. Had a few hours before check-in. Had a great wine tasting at Caves des Vergers.

Day 2- Cassis, Les Calanques and Aix.

Almost skipped Les Calanques because of the time we were visiting. So glad we didn't! Cassis is a sweet little town. Relaxed and swam on the beach. Did the 45 minute tour of Les Calanques. Wish we had done a longer tour where they drop you off and pick you up later. I am in love with Les Calanques.

Aix- ehh? OK. We were there for just a few hours. Did a little shopping and had dinner.

Day 3- Luberon

Day-Abbaye le Senanque, Villages des Bories, Gordes, Rousillon, Bonnieux.

Beautiful villages, lots of lavender. Our favorite was Roussillon. We had a much more extensive list of villages to visit, but Fred of le Vallon helped us edit it down.

Evening- Vaison La Romaine

dinner- Bistro du'O

excellent! No details now, but mmmmmm so good. We had the 25 eu prix fixe and a bottle of Vin Blanc from Sablet.

After dinner- watched France beat Portugal in the World Cup and joined in the celebration afterwards. A highlight of our trip. A once in a lifetime experience!

Day 3- Provence to the Cevennes

stopped in Avignon. The Festival d'Avignon had recently begin, and I wished we didn't have reservations further on so we could stay the night and enjoy.

Brief stop in Uzes.

We've visited both places before....

Arrive in Cevennes after 700 heart attacks (the drive) and decide we love it. Dinner- host's table.

Day 4- Cevennes- 4 hour hike.

Visit Florac.

Return to Mas Lou Albeihs and and an amazing 4 hour meal. Another highlight of our trip.

Day 5- Cevennes through the Tarn

Wow! Next year we want to spend a week in this area. The Gorges du Tarn is amazing. We stopped at St Chely du Tarn for a swim in the river and had a late lunch. Did I die and land in heaven...? I cried leaving the Tarn.

Day 6- From the edge of the Tarn to Lacam d'Ourcet.

A slow (the roads don't make it easy if you want to drive faster) drive along the Lot river. We stopped off in Espalion, Estaing and Entraygues. The towns are medieval and charming. The drive is nice, though not nearly as exciting as the Tarn. We had hoped to kayak or swim but never found the right time or opportunity.

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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 06:41 PM
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Day 7- relaxation and recuperation at Lac de Toulerme. Read, nap, swim.

Dinner- Jardin de Segala. Host's table. They moved it to an earlier time so we could get to St Cere in order to watch France vs. Italy in the World Cup final match. car

Okay- We watched the game in a square in St Cere (pretty town) with the patrons of a caribbean restaurant. France lost. We cried.
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