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6 Days in Provence

New York
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6 Days in Provence

Hello TA,

My wife and I are travelling to Bordeaux for a wedding in early July. We are flying into Paris and driving to Bordeaux. We will be in Bordeaux Thursday through Sunday. Our plan is to drive from Bordeax Sunday morning and head to Provence for the following week.

I have picked up the Michelin Green Guide as well as a few other books to help the planning. At this point, with only 6 full days in Provence, I do not want to bump around too much and would prefer to have one or two home bases.

My initial thought is to first head to some area around St. Remy / Louberon / Aix (would prefer a smaller village feel) for the first 3 or 4 days. The last two days I would like to find a smaller/quieter (I know this may be difficult in July) town on the coast towards Nice (we will be flying out of Nice on Sunday afternoon).

We love good food and wine, although do not feel the need to see too many wineries (my wife is from just south of Napa/Sonoma so we do a lot of wine tasting in CA, and will be doing some in Bordeaux for the first part of this trip). More interested in art/culture/exploring small towns and not rushing too much.

Any advice on "home bases" for the time around Aix/Luberon/Avignon and then a base for a few relaxing beach days before departing Nice would be greatly appreciated.

I am still in early planning, and have found it hard to narrow down options (even with the Green Guide), but think that by choosing our home bases it will help us formulate the rest of our itinerary.

Thanks in advance,

AK

Destination Expert
for Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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1. Re: 6 Days in Provence

Hi AK,

You may want to check out Maussane-les-Alpilles as your first base. It is in a super-scenic area, and is well centered for exploring a number of important historic sites (both Roman and Medieval) via a series of day-trips to places such as Arles, Avignon, Les Baux-de-Provence, Aigues-Mortes etc.

It is a lovely village, with a beautiful town square, a number of very good restaurants, both on the square, or relatively nearby

You may want to pick up Michelin map # 340 (Bouches-du-Rhone, Var) and # 332 (Drome, Vaucleuse) - both are in the Local series, and will provide you with a better sense of distances between sites than the Road Atlas, IMHO. Also, the maps are easy to use in conjunction with the Green Guide.

AG

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: 6 Days in Provence

Both areas are going to be quite busy at the time that you are travelling. If you like exploring small villages, the Luberon would be a good fit for you. I would stay in Bonnieux, or in the smaller, quieter Goult.

On the Cote d'Azur...I think Villefranche would suit you. The Hotel Darse is great there..so is the (more expensive) Hotel Welcome.

www.hoteldeladarse.com/alpes-maritimes/

http://www.welcomehotel.com/index.php?lang=en

New York
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3. Re: 6 Days in Provence

Thank you, I will look into those suggestions.

Provence
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4. Re: 6 Days in Provence

July will be busy in the Alpilles (St Remy Maussanne) and Luberon Region but you'll still be able to get a nice feeling.

I am a bit more concerned about the coastal resort where you might find a LOT of people... Unless you stay inland.

New York
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5. Re: 6 Days in Provence

Thank you all for the advice.

Here is what I have been thinking thus far in terms of a rough itinerary.

We would leave Bordeaux on Sunday morning (wedding is on Saturday).

We would drive to L'Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue and stay there for 3 nights. My though was to use that as a home base to see Avignon and possibly St. Remy or another area. (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday nights)

Following Sur-La-Sorgue, we would spend 2 nights at a B&B in Cheval Blanc, and one day visit to Senanque Abbey. (Wednesday and Thursday nights).

Friday morning we would depart for the coast (looking either Villefranche or Sainte-Maxime) for two nights (Friday, Saturday) before departing Nice on Sunday afternoon.

Thoughts?

Edited: 22 February 2013, 16:17
Paris, France
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6. Re: 6 Days in Provence

My first concern was your drive to Bordeaux after a long overnight flight. Have you considered taking the TGV? It's faster, and will probably be less expensive than driving a car.

Then the drive to Provence - have you mapped this on www.viamichelin.com ?

This will be a long 600km drive and take 6.5 hours without any stops.

Once you are in Provence I would limit yourself to 2 bases. If you stay near the coast - Nice, Antbes, Villefranche a car will not be necessary.

New York
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7. Re: 6 Days in Provence

Thank you. Yes, I think that we are going to TGV to Bordeaux, and pick up a car there for the wedding (in Pauillac, also staying there). I agree, that drive from Paris to Bordeaux did not look as appealing as initially thought.

Thank you for your input!

Montreal
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8. Re: 6 Days in Provence

I'm not sure you will be in good shape Sunday morning after a wedding.

The weddings in France I've been to, tend to finish quite late... or should I say early morning. The ones I went to had this soup thing tradition that they do late towards the end. One time the sun was almost up. And the next day, sometimes, they meet up again for lunch and the opening of the gifts. Depending on how they celebrate and how you wish to celebrate with them.

And it's a long drive from Bordeaux to L'Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue. If you're tired of your wedding and leave a bit later. You might want to stop overnight on the way. Lots of lovely towns, you'll be passing by.

Antibes, France
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9. Re: 6 Days in Provence

On the Cote you will find Villefranche more attractive than Ste Maxime. Ste M is a 'resort and not very well placed for sightseeing. VF is the most beautiiful village on the Riviera and very strategically placed.

Ed

10. Re: 6 Days in Provence

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