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Itinerary

San Diego...
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Itinerary

I must apologize in advance that my questions are not directly to Paris. I post these questions to the appropriate forums but got pretty much "zero" responses. Please help if you have any info. I don't have much time left. Many thanks in advance. My questions are as follow:

I was in Aix last year and love it. This year I will be taking my sister and a few friends to Aix. We will have about 8-9 days in South of France and we would like to see/do the following: Abbey Senanque to see the lavender field, Marseille (and around) and St Tropez/ Cannes. I am wondering where will be a good base to do all this? i was thinking of staying in Marseille for the duration and do day trips from there. From what I have read so far, it seems that getting from Marseille to St Tropez can take a bit of time. In addition, one of the female travelers recently posted that she had an experience with robbery in Marseille. I usually don't generalized or get scarred easily. With the difficult of getting to St Tropez and that recent post, I thought I might want to skip Marseille altogether.

Also, I understand that the Lavender field at Abbey Senanque lasts only a few days in June. I am wondering if there is a website where it publishes info when the Lavender blooms. Please help me if you have any suggestions. I am kind of desperate as I don't know where to start planning for this part of my trip and it is coming up very soon. Last year I had lots of time and therefore did not care to plan. This year, it is not so. Please give any suggestions you may have. Many thanks in advance.

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nashville
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1. Re: Itinerary

I would not base in a big city like Marseilles -- I would rent a cottage or apartment in a village where it will be easy to park and to get out of town -- and then day trip from there

we visited the Abbey when it was not in bloom and I really think you are smart to try to get a good estimate of the bloom time

Get a good guide book and map of the area and pick a well situated central village and see what is available on VRBO or other rental sites --

Tampa, Florida
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2. Re: Itinerary

SDWanderlust, there's a problem with your computer or with your internet provider somewhere along the line.

Your questions about the Dordogne were posted on the Paris forum, even though there wasn't a single post from you on the Dordogne forum.

your question today about Aix that "went unanswered" was posted at about 9:30 am paris time...and by 4 pm you'd decided that you were being ignored.

Double-check all your settings...because some of your posts aren't appearing at all...and some are being delayed to a point that they're not being posted for a day or so.

It usually takes at least 12 hours for responses because of the time differences...doubly so on Sundays when people tend to not be at their computer at the times that they're at the computer during the week.

patience...you'll get an answer.

San Diego...
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3. Re: Itinerary

Sunshine, I do understand what you said. I also saw plenty of questions from others went unanswered...therefore, my panic!

Metro Vancouver
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4. Re: Itinerary

You badly need to buy guidebooks and maps to get an idea of where everything is located in relation to other places. You aren't telling us if you will be traveling by train or car and this males a big difference in the planning.

Roughly speaking you could divide your vacations in 2:

so many days in Aix, including a day trip to the Senanque abbey and nearby hillside town of Gordes, and so many days in and around ARLES, with day trips to the Camargue, Nimes and Avignon.

I know that you want to see Cannes and St Tropez but are you really really sure?? Cannes and St Tropez are artificial playgrounds for the jaded rich, while the towns I suggest have an extraordinary long history and great architecture.

The Senanque abbey importance comes mainly from its very long history and great architecture. The lavender fields are an afterthought and not the main reason why you should visit it. After all there are lavender fields in other places, from the USA to Japan.. http://www.lavenderfestival.com/

As for the safety in Marseille...it is much safer than many US cities..as few people in Europe carry loaded guns, unlike so many average Americans, or so we are told outside the USA.

San Diego...
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5. Re: Itinerary

Hi 3Con,

Thank you for your response. I feel safer in France than in LA. As for St Tropez and Cannes, it's my sister's idea. She went through alots lately so I like to appease to her request. Last year I passed by Antibes, Cannes etc various times when I take day trips from Nice and did not care too much for it. I am not a really beach person.

I can drive or take the train. I know that the more specific the questions, the easier to get help. I have read guide books, maps. I am just not quite sure where to stay as a base. I thought about staying in some small cute village and rent an apt or self catered lodging and do day trips. Though I like the idea of staying in a small quiet village, I am a bit wary that it might be just too quiet. I thought Aix or Nice would be a good place to use as a base but I was there for 9 days last year. I will not be having the luxury of traveling alots like I used to do and therefore I like to stay somewhere different and maximize my opportunity to see France. I hope you understand my constrains.

If I just have a clue where good be a good place to use as a base, I will be good to go with regard to transportation and lodging. I was in South of France by myself last year and therefore did care too much about planning. This time there will quite a few of us and therefore I like everything to go smoothly. Again, many thanks for taking the time to respond to my post.

Metro Vancouver
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6. Re: Itinerary

According to a site about Senanque Abbey the lavender fields bloom in JULY and August. sacred-destinations.com/france/senanque-abbey

Another site says:

Lavender fields bloom from LATE JUNE to mid October, depending on the area and the seasonal weather. Best is from the last week in June through July. Lavender is harvested from July to September.

http://www.beyond.fr/themes/lavender_th.html

Avignon would be a great place to stay if you want to have a look at Senanque, as Senanque is not far from Avignon, by the village of Gordes (a rather expensive village)

I guess that you could go there by TGV from Paris (the cheapest tickets start selling 90 days before departure) then rent a car in Avignon. It is a small town but very historical and very lively.

From Avignon you could drive towards St Tropez and Cannes. Frejus is a town 1/2 way between the 2 and might be a place to stay. Others towns nearby are Ste Maxime and St Raphael.

Are you going this summer? then you better hurry renting places and a car. This is a very popular area..I am not keen on renting apartments myself, as you have to pay in advance, pay a hefty security deposit etc. but you could have look.

San Diego...
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7. Re: Itinerary

3CON,

Thanks again for helping. Your suggestion about breaking the trip into two legs saves me lots of trouble. Makes so much sense. I did not plan to go to South of France until very recently. I was there last year for a bit. I actually want to go to Dordogne instead. I want to please my sister a bit this time.

I know that summer can be crazy in South of France. I have been to Avignon before. I think we will stay in Marseille for a few days to do the more "in-land" day trips and Nice for a few days to do the "beach" thing!

8. Re: Itinerary

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