Where else to go in Provence

May 27th, 2014, 06:54 PM
  #1  
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Where else to go in Provence

My husband and I will be in Provence for 5 days in late June, after a whirlwind 4 days in Paris. We are then moving onto Nice for another 5 days. We will be based just outside of St. Remy and will have a car. We have one extra day that I don't know what to do with. I would love to see Lavender but that may not be in bloom by the 3rd week in June? I was thinking of visiting a smaller, picturesque village(s). My guess is that the villages of the Luberon are too far away for a day trip? Or maybe l'Isle-sur-la Sorgue and someplace else? My husband is very interested in wine so maybe Chateauneuf de Pape? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Our itinerary thus far is as follows (and please suggest if there is any reason to change the day of the week we visit each place; I just randomly slotted in the days):

Wednesday- TGV arrives in Avignon around noon. Will drive straight to our B&B, relax and visit St. Remy (I realize that we will miss the am market).

Thursday- Arles and Les Baux

Friday- Pont de Gard and Nimes (worth it to stop by Uzes?)

Saturday- Avignon

Sunday- ???????

We depart at noon on Monday so will also have the morning to relax or maybe pop into St. Remy again.
chasebella is offline  
May 27th, 2014, 08:03 PM
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L'isle-sur -la Sorgue is a nice market town. Try to make it to one of the hill towns. not that far. I'd recommend Roussillon. Personally I'd visit other towns (Vaison-la-Romaine)as opposed to spending a day in Avignon. Lots of fun just driving around and stopping in various towns.
leuk2 is offline  
May 27th, 2014, 09:20 PM
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Here is part if a post I just posted:

We will be staying in a B&B in Velleron for 2 nights and 2 nights in another BB near Aix. We will arrive by train to Avignon and pick up our car there. When near Velleron, we plan to explore to the east , west and south to about half way to Aix and around. From Velleron, by the end of our stay, we will drive to the next BB near Aix and explore to the east and west from there.

Velleron 17 to 19 ( 2 nights)
Aix 19 to 21 ( 2 nights)

Here are some of the thoughts I have while traveling about the region:
1. Cooking class
2. Truffle hunting tour with appetizers and hor devours
3. Visit Markets
4. Wine tour
5. Walk around aimlessly
6. Possible bike or Vespa ride/tour. Does anyone have any recommendations for a tour of this type?
7. On the drive from the 1st BB to the next, this is she we plan to incorporate a drive to and around the lavender fields, visiting hilltop villages such as Monieux and Saignon. We would like to visit a lavender farm with the possibility of a tour. If there is not one we can do on our own, we will opt out for booking a tour on Viator or a. Similar site. I found one for $77 per person.

On July 21 we will depart for Nice via train, leaving our car in Aix. We planned on driving to Nice, but it is 170km. I feel that May be too far and a waste of time. If you think otherwise, please let me know why and where you would stop along the way.

***We don't plan to do all that is listed above, but those are our interests. Hopefully listing these can provide a good basis for the type of interests we have.

Do you think it would be ok for me to reach back out yo you after you return from your trip. I would love to hear how you spent your time and if you think you were able to fit more than planned( or less). We visited Napa Valley in California from early morning before heading back to San Francisco. We only spent 1 full day there and found that since we had a car we were able to visit much more that planned. I believe that this will be the same with Provence - and to make it better we have multiple days.
IzabellaBella is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 06:49 PM
  #4  
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Thanks for the replies. I think we will look into Rousillon. IzabellaBella- yes feel free to contact me in July when we get back. Although for some reason I don't seem to get notifications when things are posted in this thread....
chasebella is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 07:53 PM
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I would break things up and do this - - and you may retrace your route minimally, but it gives you the most for the least:

1) a day to Les Baux (in the monring) and then way down to Aix (for the afternoon). Two major major great things in this one day.

2) a day to Arles, but also possibly further down into the Camargue to St. Marie de la Mere - - if you are really moving, then after St. Marie maybe also as far as Aigue Mortes (and if you are really, really on the move, a little stop in St. Gilles to the church up the top at the east of the town, and to the market if it is open that day). If it is market day in Arles, though, you might find yourself spending the whole day there.

3) for the due west day, I think Uzes is nicer than Nimes; personally I would prioritize that, and it makes an easy connect to the Pont Du Gard (there is even a canoe rental that runs down the river from north of Nimes down under the Pont du Gard if you want some very casual adventure for a couple hours!). Uzes is all about dappling color, soaring trees, calm lanes, and nice little shops. Nimes is more city, with a couple main central sights, but not as soul-enriching as Uzes, at least for me. Though if you can do it all, you have the best of all worlds!
dfourh is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 08:09 PM
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I was also going to say that we found Uzes much easier to get around and more appealing than Nimes. Rousillon is very pretty and unique in the area. Don't worry about planning everything down to the hour. You will enjoy Provence for it's relaxed pace. Don't hurry through it!
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May 28th, 2014, 08:47 PM
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joannyc is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 08:56 PM
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Gordes is really not that far from St. Remy ... 37 km or 46 minutes driving per Google. Seven years ago we stayed in St. Remy and did day trips to Gordes, Rousillon and further east (thank you Stu Dudley!). A day trip to Gordes and Abbaye de Senanque would be great for your extra day, and Rousillon's ocher cliffs are also beautiful if you have time.

On a mid-June trip we saw pretty good lavender fields at the Abbaye, though not as good as later I'm sure. There's also a nice lavender museum on the way to Gordes that's worth a stop, but you're starting to get too many things to do in one day .

This year we're going in late July, with 3 nights in St. Remy and 4 in Gordes, but you can for sure do day trips to Gordes etc from St. Remy.
Bill_H is offline  
May 29th, 2014, 04:19 AM
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Hi we stayed at St Remy and went to a charming little town/ village called Fontaine De Vauclause. It was so pretty and had a water wheel and we saw some people kayaking down the river which ran right through the centre of the village.
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May 29th, 2014, 04:32 AM
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willowjane is offline  
May 29th, 2014, 05:17 AM
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The Luberon is not too far away for a day trip. For us , Provence is more about the smaller places rather than places such as Arles and Avignon. We really enjoy the villages in the Mont Ventoux region. Places such as Bedoin, Seguret, Vacqueyras, Rasteau, Gigondas. If your husband likes wine, there is plenty from these places and lovely countryside and villages.

Chateauneuf will not take a day unless you want to visit lots of wine producers. You could easily continue over to the above mentioned region.

Bon voyage.
rhon is online now  
May 29th, 2014, 09:51 PM
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You really can't go wrong with any of the suggestions above. Sunday at Isle sur la Sorgue, there is the mother of all open air markets....but just until 1 or so. Rousillon is wonderful; there's nothing like running your toes through the beautifully colored ocre..In the Luberon, there is the charming town of Loumarin, we're going there for the second time in July. I went to school in Aix, so that town holds a special place in my heart; the Cours Mirabeau is one of the most spectacular streets in all of France....bon voyage!
sarabeth is offline  
May 30th, 2014, 04:30 AM
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Here's my trip report from last summer. We were there just a week or so after when you plan to be there and there was plenty of lavender. We based in St Remy and the day trip to the Luberon Hill towns was one of the highlights.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...swiss-alps.cfm

Here are my photos - the lavender shots were July 5th so in a normal year you would most likely get pretty good lavender. www.pbase.com/annforcier/france_-_provence

I went on to Nice after Provence as well.
isabel is offline  
May 30th, 2014, 08:58 AM
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Wow, thanks for all the great suggestions. I will look further into everything and figure out what we are going to do. Isabel- thanks for the trip report! I have printed it off to look at tonight (when I'm not at work!) We will also be in Paris prior to Provence so it will come in helpful for that too. And your photos are amazing!
chasebella is offline  
May 30th, 2014, 10:07 AM
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I think you may need to check a map, because you don't seem to know distances if you think the Luberon is too far from St Remy, but you plan to visit Uzes. Roussillon is about the same distance from St Remy as Uzes, for example, and Gordes is even closer. I really lke Roussillon, Gordes was okay. I just like driving around and seeing places.

I wasn't crazy about Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, myself. It is too crowded during the market and seemed unremarkable otherwise.
Christina is offline  
May 30th, 2014, 12:58 PM
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A day in the Camargue would be nice and there are lots of good restaurants. The Chateauneuf has a lovely restaurant
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