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Saint-Remy or Fontaine-de-Vaucluse?

san diego
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Saint-Remy or Fontaine-de-Vaucluse?

We will be in Provence for six days in August, and can book a room at either Hotel du Poete in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse or in Saint-Remy at Chateau des Alpilles. Is anyone familiar with both properties or towns? I am leaning toward Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, as it looks much smaller and easier to get into the countryside for walks. But we are also looking for a good base to explore Provence from.

California
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1. Re: Saint-Remy or Fontaine-de-Vaucluse?

There's not a whole lot to do in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse; I think that St-Rémy would be a better choice. The Fontaine itself will very likely be dry in August, adding to the lack of interest.

san diego
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2. Re: Saint-Remy or Fontaine-de-Vaucluse?

Thanks much. It seems from past hotel reviews that there is plenty of water in Fontaine in August, but good to know that there isn't much to do there (although we primarily will want to sleep there and do some hiking--we aren't big shoppers or anything like that).

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3. Re: Saint-Remy or Fontaine-de-Vaucluse?

Hi onebackwardglance,

I'm in total agreement with Catullus. While there may be water in the Fontaine-de-Vaucluse in August, it is traditionally at its' best in the mid to late Spring, when the melting snow ensures that there is enough water pressure to create a fabulous display as the water emerges from the rocky mountainside. Aside from that there really isn't much to see except for a museum devoted to undergroung exploration, a pretty neat water powered paper mill, a glass factory where they blow glass that is very similar to glass from Biot, and a museum dedicated to the WW II ere in France, especially in Provence. All of these sites could be visited in a day.

All in all I'd vote for St. Remy since it is especially well situated for exploring virtually all of Western Provence. But whatever you decide, keep in mind that some trails will probably be closed in August because of the possibility of forest fires.

AlpillesGal

san diego
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4. Re: Saint-Remy or Fontaine-de-Vaucluse?

Thank you; these are both very helpful.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Saint-Remy or Fontaine-de-Vaucluse?

While I recommend a visit to Fontaine de Vaucluse for the sheer power of the spring, which is amazing, I think it a very small town for a week. I don't know St Remy but Alpilles Gal recommends it often. I recommend L'Isle sur la Sorgue because we had a superb week there and found it a great base for exploring Provence. To each their own.

A few pictures here, including the Fontaine

www.nickbooth.id.au/France08/LIsle.html

provence
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6. Re: Saint-Remy or Fontaine-de-Vaucluse?

August is peak season for European holiday makers. Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, St Remy and la Isle sur la Sorques will be heaving with tourists. We avoid all three towns from late July until early September when they revert to their true character.

All three are obviously worth a visit but early in the morning to get ahead of the crowds!

Reading your post and replies I would suggest you rent a Gite near one of the many delightful less touristy Provencial villages for easy access straight into the countryside. Plus you can get away from the crowds.

This also gives you the advantage of deciding to eat out or try your hand at cooking the local produce that you have bought at the market that morning, visiting a cafe for breakfast with the locals or just sitting under a tree with a chilled glass of you chosen drink (the local pink wine for me please)...

Somewhere in the Alpilles close to St Remy would be a nice base or a personal favorite, the village of Bedion at the foot of Mont Ventoux to the north of Avignon - the latter has lots of places to eat.

If the budget runs to it try for one with a pool - worth it in the height of summer.

Try cheznous.com for a large selection of Gites where you deal directly with the owners.

Have a good trip.

UK
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7. Re: Saint-Remy or Fontaine-de-Vaucluse?

I agree with Boucheboy (and everyone else). Fontaine is tiny and packed with tourists in summer, whereas with St Remy you have a small town to explore but within ten minutes on foot you are out in the country. And there's tons of places within easy travelling distance.

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8. Re: Saint-Remy or Fontaine-de-Vaucluse?

Hi again,

Boucheboy has a point about the crowds of August - it's the primary reason that we go in September.

Places near to St. Remy but far enough to not have to deal with the hordes would certainly include some of the smaller towns/villages in the Alpilles - Maussane-les-ALpilles is only about a 15 minute drive from St. Remy and has a bunch of very nice restaurants and bistrots, many with outside seating. We frequently enjoy a glass or two of the wonderful local pink stuff in the park located in the middle of town as we wend our way back to the house in the late afternoon.

AlpillesGal

9. Re: Saint-Remy or Fontaine-de-Vaucluse?

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10. Re: Saint-Remy or Fontaine-de-Vaucluse?

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