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What do I give up - 4 day itinerary in Provence

Fort Lauderdale...
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What do I give up - 4 day itinerary in Provence

Hi

I have read so many of your posts and want to thank you for all the information I have gained from them.

I will be traveling to Provence in Sept. 09 and have decided to base in Isle sur la Sorgue as it gives me access to the northern wineries as well as Avignon, Gordes, Rousillon, etc.

My itinerary is as follows:

Thurs. - Arrive Avignon via TGV from Paris. Pick up rental car and spend afternoon in Avignon seeing Popes du Palais, the bridge and wandering the town before driving to our B & B.

Friday - tour Gordes, Rousillon and possibly Bonnieux

Sat - Wineries near Chateaneuf du Pap and small towns in that area

Sun - Market at Isle de la Sorgue, leasurely lunch and then.....

Monday - depart via car to Nice.

Here are my questions:

I really want to see St Remy and Les Beaux - do i have time for them in the afternoon on Sunday or should i leave it for Monday and spend the morning/lunch there before driving the 3 hours to Nice? If so ... will anything be open on the Monday in St Remy? or Les Beaux?

Any suggestions for the afternoon after the market at la Sorgue?

I realize that so much is closed on Sundays and Mondays. I may be able to change my dates to arrive Weds./ depart Sunday - would that be a better option as i could go to the market at la Sorgue, have lunch then drive to Nice on Sunday afternoon???

Special note: This will be Labor day weekend - am I crazy to attempt this over a holiday weekend???

Thank you all so much!

Katie

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TGV
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1. Re: What do I give up - 4 day itinerary in Provence

Labor Day in France is 1 May.

Throughout Provence, almost everything is open in Sunday and closed on Monday. Tourist traps are open every day.

Your itinerary looks "doable". L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue will make a good base: we stayed there for a week last year.

When visiting Gordes, continue on to Abbaye de Senanque, which is a loveky church in beautiful valley setting, then continue through Murs to Roussillon. If you get to Bonnieux, on the way home try to make a brief visit to Abbaye St Hilaire, which is on the road between Bonnieux and Menerbes. Now in private ownership, it has been well restored and has a calm and serene feel.

You will need a good road map. The Michelin maps at 1:200 000 (1 cm = 2 km) are excellent. If you can't find them in a local bookshop, try www.mapsworldwide.com

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2. Re: What do I give up - 4 day itinerary in Provence

Hi Katiedblaze -

The good news is that you are arriving in Provence after the hoards and multitudes have returned home at the very end of August, so mamny of the places that you want to visit should be considerably less crowded. I am however, a bit concerned that you seem to be considering leaving your belongings in your car on your first day while you explore Avignon. If your B&B isn't too far from Avignon you might want to consider dropping off your bags at the B&B and then returning to Avignon for the remainder of the day. A possible alternative might be leaving your bags at the Avignon train station and picking them up after you have explored the city and after you have picked up your car.

With regard to visiting St. Remy and Les Baux following the Sunday Market in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, I really don't think that you will have enough time that afternoon if you enjoy the normal slow-paced and relaxing French mid-day meal. You could do a drive-by, but I am virtually certain that all sites will be closed. So, visiting one, or perhaps both places on Monday, prior to your departure for Nice seems like a better idea. Of course how much you will be able to see will depend entirely on when you have to be in Nice on Monday.

In order to best advise you as to what you might do on Sunday afternoon it would be helpful if you could state the location of your B&B.

AlpillesGal

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3. Re: What do I give up - 4 day itinerary in Provence

OOPS!

Make that hordes, although they may have stashed alot of Provencal goodies in their luggage prior to going home

AG

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4. Re: What do I give up - 4 day itinerary in Provence

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5. Re: What do I give up - 4 day itinerary in Provence

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Fort Lauderdale...
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6. Re: What do I give up - 4 day itinerary in Provence

Hi all,

Thanks for the information.

AlpillesGal - i am concerned about our luggage in the car. If we drop them at the B &B - which is just outside of L'isle sur la Sorgue, we would still have time to go to Avignon in the pm. But when we leave on Monday, we will have the bags in the car when we go to St Remy and Les Baux. Is this going to be asking for trouble? Maybe we should leave our bags at the B & B and double back after touring- an option that is not appealing.

Diz - thanks for the website links. The Chateau of Baux is what i really want to see and it is open on Monday.

SydneyNick - thanks for the suggestions. Do you think that Apt is worth a drive by (from my map i think i can head south from Roussillon to Bonneaux)?

Also, since you spent time in L'isle sur la Sorgue i just wanted to check if you had any memorable meals near by?

Thanks again,

Katie

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7. Re: What do I give up - 4 day itinerary in Provence

When we were in Provence last year, leaving luggage in the car was avoided. Many of the rental cars are hatchbacks, so its easy pickings to see belongings and break in. I imagine, a rental with a trunk to lock luggage in might work.

Parking is also a major issue in Avignon, unless you pay for garage parking. I think it is possible to store luggage at the train station; perhaps you can visit Avignon and then return to the station and pick up your rental car then.

T

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8. Re: What do I give up - 4 day itinerary in Provence

Would suggest you try to squeeze in a short visit to Apt on the Friday. I haven't been to Bonnieux, but a visit to Gordes doesn't take long. In Roussillon (wonderful place) you are only a few miles from Apt. It's quiet and untouristy and there's a very nice resto called l'Intramuros there.

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9. Re: What do I give up - 4 day itinerary in Provence

Our travel insurance only covers luggage NOT visible from outside the car. Insist on a car with a lockable trunk or if a hatch, with a cover for the luggage. All the ones we have had in Europe have had the cover. (In America it didn't and we ended up driving a two door black Mustang instead. Whee!!)

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10. Re: What do I give up - 4 day itinerary in Provence

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