Where to go first time in Provence?

Oct 6th, 2001, 06:22 PM
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Where to go first time in Provence?

My husband and I went to Paris a year ago and loved it, and thought we would like to see some of the countryside. Our driver to the Paris airport recommended Nice. I have started reading and searching, and did not realize the area was so large. A few places keep appearing - Aix, Arles, St-Remy, Avignon, and L'Isle Sur-La-Sorgue.

We like some activity around us - shops, restaurants, and an easily-walkable location. Someone also mentioned Vence.

We would be spending a week, most likely in May. Would love to hear favorite places or pros and cons of places (not hotels, just the general area) where people have been.

Oct 6th, 2001, 06:26 PM
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type in provence in thetext search and posts should come up.
Oct 6th, 2001, 06:40 PM
mimi taylor
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Hi debbie, Nice is not the true Provence but the coted'azure. Most provencals consider the cut off point haute provence. St Remy is a good base, the little venice of provence is one big flea market on Sundays and alot of true antique shops. For activity, I suggest you keep in mind Avignon, great restaurants there. Not so in beautiful Aix and it has a large student population. There are too many wonderful places to list but any good bookstore will have alot of books on this lovely part of France. There are bull fights in Arles. You would have to search the web for dates or write the office of tourism. Wish I were going back soon .I returned early September.
Oct 6th, 2001, 07:38 PM
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Ditto Mimi's comments. I would suggest Avignon or Arles as a base. We chose Arles and found it just big enough to have the activity you seek and small enough to not seem crowded. The musts for us were Les Baux, Remy, the Luberon region, and I recommend going north to see the aquaduct at Pont du Gard. You know, there really is very little NOT to see in Provence.
For a great change of pace and to work in a bit of variety, go to Marseille, stay at the Sofitel at the Old Harbor (Vieux Port) and walk to the hourly cruise out to the Chateau d'If (Count of Monte Cristo fame) and eat bouillebaisse in one of the portside cafe-restaurants. Another very excellent stop is to head a bit west and visit the launching point of the First Crusade, Aigues Morts. It's a medieval castle/fort on a lonely plain by the sea that evokes a terrific sense of world history!
Oct 6th, 2001, 07:53 PM
mimi taylor
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If you go to Arles, I recommend eating at Affenage and in Aigue Mort, I recommend The Camargue(you'll be entertained by some wanna be gypsi kings.
Oct 7th, 2001, 12:25 AM
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Nice is a great walking city with a real
mix of Mediterranean life; good restaurants and a divine Matisse Museum.

www.beyond the french riviera is a
terrific website for all the hilltowns
and villages in Provence - some off the
beaten track and some v touristy.

We'll be there at the same time - May
is perfect in Provence!
Oct 7th, 2001, 02:59 PM
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