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Would like your comments on our Provence Itinerary for May 2009

Would like your comments on our Provence Itinerary for May 2009

Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 12:20 PM
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Would like your comments on our Provence Itinerary for May 2009

Hi friends,

Louisa and I have been working on part of our itinerary for May, specifically the Provence portion. This is what we have come up based on lots of reading here on Fodors and other resources. We'd appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Tues:
Train to Avignon from Paris; pick up rental car; drive to St. Remy (3 nights)
Afternoon St. Remy & Roman ruins of Glanum; dinner in town

Wed:
St. Remy Mkt Day
Les Baux late afternoon to see the village at sunset

Thu:
Early start to visit:
Uzes (4 hours)
Pont du Gard (1.5 hrs)
Tarascon (3 hrs)

Fri:
We'll be moving to the Luberon area in the afternoon, so thought we visit the smaller towns near St. Remy in the morning:

Eygaliers Mkt Day
Rognonas Mkt Day
Verquieres
Mailane
Graveson
Afternoon pick up luggage and drive to B&B (Kevin's B&B)
Visit Saint Saturnin & dinner

Sat:
Aix Mkt Day and city sightseeing

Apt's market day is also on Saturday - maybe a short visit to Apt before heading to Aix?

Sun:
L’Isle la Sorgue Mkt Day (in by 8, out by 10:30am)
Gordes
Abbay de Senaque
Joucas
Roussillon for late afternoon/sunset

Mon:
Goult Mkt Day
Oppede
Menerbes
Bonneaux
Lacoste

Tue:
Cucron Mkt Day
Mkt day St. Saturnin (maybe start at the market before heading out for the day?)
Lourmarin
Ansious
Saignon
Cadenet

Wed:
Wine country:
Pernes les Fontaines
Chateau Mazan
Caromb
Crestet
Vaison la Romaine
Seguret
Sablet
Gigondas

Thurs:
Train back to Paris

Thanks in advance!

Monica
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 01:02 PM
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>>Tues:
Train to Avignon from Paris; pick up rental car; drive to St. Remy (3 nights)
Afternoon St. Remy & Roman ruins of Glanum; dinner in town

Wed:
St. Remy Mkt Day
Les Baux late afternoon to see the village at sunset<<

You have many markets lined up later in the trip. I would not plan to spend too much time at the St Remy market (it's your first - so you'll be tempted). Perhaps squeeze in Arles today instead.

>>Thu:
Early start to visit:
Uzes (4 hours)
Pont du Gard (1.5 hrs)
Tarascon (3 hrs)<<

I don't think Tarascon will take 3 hrs if Uzes takes 4 - unless you plan to spend a lot of time in the Souleiado museum/shop in addition to the chateau. It's at the end of your day, so you have the option to shorten the trip if you spend to much time in the Uzes/Pont area.

>>Fri:
We'll be moving to the Luberon area in the afternoon, so thought we visit the smaller towns near St. Remy in the morning:

Eygaliers Mkt Day
Rognonas Mkt Day
Verquieres
Mailane
Graveson
Afternoon pick up luggage and drive to B&B (Kevin's B&B)
Visit Saint Saturnin & dinner<<

fine

>>Sat:
Aix Mkt Day and city sightseeing

Apt's market day is also on Saturday - maybe a short visit to Apt before heading to Aix?<<

nope - head to Aix ASAP. The Aix & Apt markets are similar (more food stuff in Aix). If you get to Aix too late, parking will be impossible instead of just difficult.

>>Sun:
L’Isle la Sorgue Mkt Day (in by 8, out by 10:30am)<<

Good plan if you've hit the prior markets & are not that interested in the serious antiques. You must have my itinerary that I've sent to lots of people.

However, I'm not sure even I would want to visit the St Remy, Aix, l'Isle sur la Sorgue, Goult, and Cucuron market (never visited the latter 2) in 7 days. I think I would just do a walk through & "crowd watch" at St Remy, then do some serious market stuff in Aix & l'Isle sur la Sorgue. OR visit the St Remy market, & crowd watch in Aix, lunch on the Cours, and then spend time in l'Isle sur la Sorgue & visit the permanent antique shops after 10:30 to get away from the center market crowds.

>>Gordes
Abbay de Senaque
Joucas
Roussillon for late afternoon/sunset<,

Skip Joucas if you are running short of time.

>Mon:
Goult Mkt Day<,

see above


>Oppede
Menerbes
Bonneaux
Lacoste<<

great

>Tue:
Cucron Mkt Day
Mkt day St. Saturnin (maybe start at the market before heading out for the day?)<

Too many markets, IMO - but you can decide Tues am. I assume you meant Cucuron. Make sure you climb up to the Donjon.


>Lourmarin
Ansious (Ansouis?)
Saignon
Cadenet<,

Lots of villages (I hope you like small cute villages as much as we do). I might skip Cadenet or work it in last. You might have trouble getting to Saignon if you visit a market & also Cadenet. Try to fit Saignon in somewhere else when you find the time. I would rathar visit Saigon than Cadenet. Grambois is cute too, along with Lauris - but you already have lots of villages on your agenda.

>Wed:
Wine country:
Pernes les Fontaines
Chateau Mazan
Caromb
Crestet
Vaison la Romaine
Seguret
Sablet
Gigondas<<

Mazan is perhaps skipable if you are running out of time. Sablet too. Remember, shops (Vaison) close for lunch.


Good itinerary !!!

Stu Dudley
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 01:20 PM
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I also say: Too many markets!

FWIW:
- Don't skip Joucas if you can help it.
- At Les Baux, it's the Citadel you want to visit. Be sure to allot enough time for that.
- It's Oppède-le-Vieux (not the village of Oppède).
- You left out one of my favs: Venasque.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 01:29 PM
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And I say there is no such thing as too many markets. That's what Provence is all about. Looks to me like you're working from the Long, Markets of Provence book. This is ambitious, but very good and you can always cut back a little as you go. The suggestions are a good place to look out for where cutting will be ok if necessary. Enjoy.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 02:05 PM
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Stu, yes, you can tell we did use your itinerary in our planning and we appreciate your thoughtful critique of our plans.
Tuck, and Julie, thanks also for your useful comments.
Julie, we're with you! I don't think you can ever have too many markets. Actually, we haven't been working from the Markets of Provence book. Is it worth getting?
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 02:44 PM
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Thanks Stu, we do have a lot of markets, but know also to let things slide or skip depending on how our days are going.

Louisa isn't interested in Arles or any of the other big cities (except Aix).

Louisa, I have the Markets of Provence book; however, no, I did not select the markets from the book but a web site that listed the markets by days.

I'll read up on Venasque.

Thanks everyone!!

Monica
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 03:13 PM
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Venasque is a very nice village, and the drive from Senanque Abbey to Venasque is quite scenic.

Stu Dudley
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 03:15 PM
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too bad about Arles, The Museum started by Mistral that shows what Provencal life was like is a must for Provence lovers and lunching in the Place de Forums is fun and the Amphetheater is wonderful.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 03:17 PM
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The Uzes market on Saturday is one of the best!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 03:28 PM
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Stu, thanks, that's good to know.
Has anyone seen any of the Cathedrale D'Images shows at Les Baux? They feature different artists and this year there is an homage to Picasso.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 03:34 PM
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Cigale, we've got a certain amount of flexibility in our schedule so we can reconsider Arles, especially based on your comments, thank you. I knew about the Uzes market on Saturday but we'll be staying in the Luberon at that point so I don't think that's as feasible.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 03:35 PM
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Ditto - good to know about the scenic drive.

Arles: I was there in 2002. Louisa and I are working on places we both want to visit.

Cigalechanta, we won't be able to visit the Uzes market. We'll just have to plan another trip!

Monica
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 03:47 PM
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if you visit the catheral D'Images, bring a sweater. It is chilly in the cave.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 03:51 PM
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Thanks for the 'sweater' suggestions.

Monica
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 09:39 PM
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We are visiting Provence in October and wishing to visit many of the mentioned villages and markets.

Great advice that I will save too

Thank you
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Old Mar 4th, 2009, 04:31 AM
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We spent 6 days last April in Provence. On the whole, we absolutely loved and adored it. Two things we were looking forward to after having heard so much about it were the St. Remy Wednesday market and the cathedral d'Images. Both were utterly disappointing. The market because it was terribly crowded, overpriced and full of true junk IMHO. And the cathedral because it really was not anything special and cost a lot to get it. I kept waiting for it to be amazing, it just was not. Waste of time.

On the other hand, St. Remy, when NOT market day was charming and elegant, Uzes was one of our favorite little towns, the Luberon and wine-producing areas, all are gorgeous and each different. And Les Baux - very special.
Enjoy!!
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Old Mar 4th, 2009, 05:49 AM
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Flame, thanks for your comments. Since we'll be staying in St. Remy for the first part of our Provence trip, we'll also have the opportunity to see the town without the market. Interesting thoughts about the Cathedral d'Images as I wondered if it would be worth the cost, especially for this year's show since Picasso is not my favorite artist.
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Old Mar 4th, 2009, 07:23 AM
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I always urge people to skip the St Remy market if they are also using that time for their only visit to St Remy. The market actually distracts from the enjoyment of the village because it draws your attention away from the village itself. Same for most other markets in France.

Aix is an exception - but Apt, Uzes, & Carpentras are not, IMO. l'Isle sur la Sorgue is in the "middle"

Stu Dudley
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Old Mar 4th, 2009, 07:38 AM
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Following this with interest since I am drafting them in July! Monica, can I take a peek at the markets book again?
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Old Mar 4th, 2009, 07:44 AM
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The Cathedral d'Images was certainly not one of the highlights of our trip. I suggest you pass on it and spend that time climbing around the Citadel. (That was a genuine highlight for us!)

As for Saint-Rémy, I guess I missed the point. Why does this town enjoy the mystique that it does? What's all the fuss about?
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