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Visiting Provence for first time - few questions

Visiting Provence for first time - few questions

Dec 23rd, 2013, 10:43 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,620
Piggybacking: on our 3 visits to the area, we've only missed Sault, Gorges de la Nesque, and Marseilles/Calanques on Stu's list. Could you expand on the latter two?
tomboy is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2013, 12:49 PM
  #22  
 
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The Gorges de la Nesque is a scenic gorge that runs southwest from Sault.

Les Calanques is an extremely scenic coastline between Cassis & Cap Croisette, which is just south of Marseille. A Calanque is a small "inlet/bay" along this section of coast. You can catch a boat from Cassis that visits 3, 4, 5, or 6 of these various Calanques. They have names like Calenque d'En-Vau, Calanque de Morgiou. You can also walk along the area above these Calanques - but it is quite dry & sometimes closed in the Summer. We've take the boat trip, but never walked above the Calanques.

The places I listed above are just the well known sites in Provence that a first-timer might want to visit. There are many other equally interesting places that are lesser known - like Brantes, Grignan, Gorges de l'Ardeche, Aven d'Orgnac cave, Vivers, Nyons, Le Poet Laval, Dieulefit, St Montant, Venasque, Castillon du Gard, Tarascon, Forcalquier, Manosque, Orpierre, Oppedette (gorge), Balazuc, Vogue, Labeaume, Ruoms, Rochers (rocks) des Mees. Farther east is Reiz, lavender in Valensole plane, Moustiers Ste Marie, & Grand Canyon du Verdon.

Stu Dudley
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Dec 24th, 2013, 06:15 PM
  #23  
 
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Thanks. Now I must do some more research. (not)groan

How was the boat trip, Stu? Did it seem the same after the first 2 calanques, or was each one unique?
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Dec 24th, 2013, 09:00 PM
  #24  
 
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I've lived near or on the California coast all my life - so I've seen a lot of coastline. We did a "mid-range" tour of the Calanques, and I enjoyed it. Not too repetitious.

Stu Dudley
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Dec 30th, 2013, 03:08 AM
  #25  
THR
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Hi again all,

Apologies for my lack of response.

As it happens, we have changed for them to stay in Saint Remy. They will stay the entire seven nights there, and they're quite happy to do so (rather than changing accommodation). That way, it can be relatively peaceful/relaxing, with the various day trips (noting that this trip also encompasses London, Paris, Florence, Rome, so plenty of activities).

I really appreciate all of your help and guidance. And while we did have to forfeit the deposit at the other accommodation, I'd rather do that and have them stay in the ideal location.
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Dec 30th, 2013, 03:08 AM
  #26  
THR
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Also, I am reading / researching all of the other wonderful feedback you have all provided now.
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Dec 30th, 2013, 03:10 AM
  #27  
THR
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Hi Julie,

We settled on this place in Saint Remy: http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Hotel_..._Provence.html
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Dec 30th, 2013, 04:53 AM
  #28  
 
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We did a total of 20 nights on 2 visits. You can find our reports (referencing larger captioned photo albums) at

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...n-provence.cfm

and

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...azur-again.cfm
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Jan 4th, 2014, 11:40 AM
  #29  
 
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Bookmarking
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Jan 7th, 2014, 07:03 AM
  #30  
 
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We will be porting in Marseilles (9-5 in port so safely say 9:30-4 to tour) in late May. Can you recommend a few small charming villages that would be great to visit or any other ideas. Can you also recommend a guide.
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Jan 7th, 2014, 08:32 AM
  #31  
 
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This is why I don't do cruises or organized tours.

There are not many "small charming villages" immediately around Marseille (that I know about) - except for Cassis. Perhaps the closest charming village to Marseille is Lourmarin. I would drive there and explore it and some of the other villages nearby. However, if you are "ready to take off" at 9:30, you'll get to Lourmarin and "read to go" around 11. Most shops close for lunch around 12 to 12:30 and don't open again until 2 or 3PM. Not much time for shopping for you - since you'll have to leave the area around 2:30.

Considering this, I would go to Cassis (45 mins away), shop around a bit (not much shopping, according to my wife), have lunch at the port, then return to Marseille and explore that large city until you have to leave. You could, of course, spend all your time in Marseille - but it's not a "small charming village".

I would not go to Cassis unless you'll be there during the summer - May through mid-October.

Stu Dudley
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