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itenerary help please

Monticello, Illinois
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itenerary help please

My sister and I are traveling to Provence September 18 - 25. We will fly in and out of Marseille and rent a car. Our thoughts are this. 2 nights Cassis, 2 nights in the Luberan (maybe Saint Saturnin Les Apt), 3 nights Arles. The last three nights in Arles we have tentatively booked at L'aubergine Rouge new location. Is this too much moving? I figure on the days you move you sightsee along the way, but you always lose time packing up etc. Our interests are eating well, driving around to small towns, markets, goat cheese, wine, maybe an easy bike ride. What do you all think? My thought is to maybe cut one day off Arles and stay 3 in the Luberan...or to make Cassis a day trip and stay further south in the Luberan. Ideas???

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: itenerary help please

I'm a big fan of one base, because it opens up your options. In staying one week, you could stay in a vacation rental (house, apartment or villa.) You can pick up food at the outdoor markets and have some of your meals at "home." And you only have to unpack and pack once.

Saint Saturnin les Apt is a lovely little place, but there is not much there....a couple of restaurants and an alimentation. I would base forther west at L'isle sur la Sorgue or maybe St. Remy.

Edited: 09 April 2013, 21:21
UK
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2. Re: itenerary help please

I have twice travelled around like this (in my case by public transport) and I love doing it. You get to see places from dawn till dusk, which is great. I'd stick with your original plan, which sounds good to me.

Instead of St Saturnin you might consider staying in Apt, which is less out and out touristy than some places and puts you at one end of the Luberon, near many of the lovely villages.

Monticello, Illinois
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3. Re: itenerary help please

I like the idea of Apt. Then maybe make Cassis a day trip?

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: itenerary help please

Apt is quite a large town with a great market on Saturday. It's charm lies in the old town...try and find accomodations there if you do elect to stay in Apt.

Cassis is an easy day trip. It's about 100 kms each way.

Destination Expert
for Provence
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5. Re: itenerary help please

I totally agree with datthecoast that you should establish a single well-centered base instead of constantly moving about, because you will waste alot of time by constantly relocating, since you only have 7 nights.

We have been basing ourselves for our annual month "en Provence, in a lovely village near St. Remy. We find it to be a wonderful base for exploring the region via a series of day-trips, that, best of all, allow us to easily explore virtually the entire region via a series of day-trips. September is a wonderful time to explore the region because the hordes of Summer tourists are gone, AND there is still lots of wonderful Summer produce that is still at its' peak.

Edited: 10 April 2013, 02:15
UK
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6. Re: itenerary help please

For me the charm of Apt is that it's a smallish town (12K inhabitants) that has not allowed itself to be overrun by tourism. The market's one of the best (Saturdays) but it feels like a local market. There are quite a lot of good restaurants and you can get in a nice evening stroll going round the streets and looking at the buildings. If you stay there, you might want to look at one of the less well-known Roman sites, the pont Julien which is 5 miles from Apt, near the end of one of the roads up to Roussillon.

Monticello, Illinois
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7. Re: itenerary help please

We are rethinking and have now found a b and b in Bonnieux that seem nice for the entire week. What does everyone think????

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: itenerary help please

Bonnieux is a wonderful little village....you'll love it!

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9. Re: itenerary help please

While we love visiting Bonnieux, if you look at the Michelin Map, you will see that it is not really well-centered, and does not have good, quick access to the major roads that will provide access to the really important sites in places such as Arles, Nimes, Avignon - so, it ( Bonnieux ) is not really a good, well centered base for exploring Western Provence, .

Edited: 14 April 2013, 03:31
Monticello, Illinois
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10. Re: itenerary help please

As a destination expert, what do you think would be a good, well centered base for exploring Western Provence ????

Also, what is "quick access" and is it important? Our plan would be to drive the back roads....if it takes an hour and we drive by a vineyard, an olive grove, a goat farm so be it. Would Bonnieux than be good for that. How long to antiques at Iles Sur La Sourge? How long to Avignon?