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2 1/2 days to get husband to fall in love with Provence

Los Angeles
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2 1/2 days to get husband to fall in love with Provence

Hi experts! My husband and I were supposed to be in London for 12 days but managed to move some things around and squeeze in a side trip to Provence. I've been to Arles a long long long time ago and LOVE IT so I want to give my husband a taste so that he'll want to come back. Unfortunately, we are only there for 2 1/2 days. I know this isn't a lot of time and I don't want to overwhelm him so any suggestions on an itinerary would be very very helpful.

Saturday - Late afternoon arrival in Marseille. Rent car, Overnight at L'Isle sur la Sorgue

Sunday - L'Isle sur la Sorgue Market; Pont du Gard ; Overnight at St. Remy

Monday - St. Remy; Le Baux; Overnight at Aix-en-Provence

Tuesday - Aix-en-Provence; Flight leaves at 3:30pm from Marseille

Feel free to tell me this is nuts. We are going for interesting but not overwhelming.

Alternative places of interest would be Cassis and Arles.

Thanks so much!

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: 2 1/2 days to get husband to fall in love with Provence

If you want him to get hooked, spend time in small villages. The Luberon is good for that. I'd spend 2 nights in L'Isle sur la Sorgue and then move to St Remy and do your your St Remy and les Baux etc.

Stay here when in L'Isle sur la Sorgue:

http://www.lamaisonpoynder.com/

After the market, I’d recommend Café la Longchamps for lunch…. The village and the market are divided by the river. 95% of the market is on one side of the river and a bit spills over the bridge. Leave the main part of the market crossing the bridge with the big yellow bank building on your left and turn right when you get over the bridge....the sidewalk brasserie is about a block down. Typical Provencal menu....check out the blackboard for the daily specials. Café la Longchamps is more of a local's spot. The tourists eat at the riverside restaurants where the market starts. Good value and typically good food.

I'd tour through the Luberon for the balance of Sunday and Monday. HIt Gordes, Roussillon, Goult, Bonnieux, Lacoste, Menerbes....

Los Angeles
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2. Re: 2 1/2 days to get husband to fall in love with Provence

Hi Dat - Thanks for the recommendations. I'm looking into the B&B you recommended and crossing my fingers that they have space. We will definitely try Cafe la Longchamps! For Luberon, are there specific villages you had in mind or can we do all the ones you listed? Thanks!!

Edited: 12 May 2013, 04:34
California
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for Grasse
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3. Re: 2 1/2 days to get husband to fall in love with Provence

The previous poster has given you the principal (and pretty much most of) the Lubéron villages. One other would be Oppède-le-Vieux. But consider that you don't to overwhelm your husband by dashing from one village to the next--take time to sit and savor the atmosphere.

provence
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4. Re: 2 1/2 days to get husband to fall in love with Provence

While I like Isle sur la Sorgue I hate it on the Sunday market day - far to packed and touristy.

More years ago than I will admit my wife talked me into a trip to Provence for the same reasons you want to go. Loved it and we now live there for parts of the year but had I spent 20% of my visit at the Sunday market I suspect things would have been different.

For me the essence of Provence is getting away from the crowds, finding a small village, sitting at a cafe watching the world go by and slow lunches.

I would opt for Arles (you have been there so its a good starting place). I would then look at slow drives through the Alpilles National Park which though starting to attract more tourists is still fairly unspoilt.

Los Angeles
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5. Re: 2 1/2 days to get husband to fall in love with Provence

Great suggestions everyone. I've changed plans to spend more time in Luberon. Cannot wait. Just two questions:

1) My husband is prone to getting heat rashes and has a hard time sleeping at night if it is warm. Most of the B&B's and hotels do not have air conditioning and the ones that that are very expensive. Is the weather hot enough that I should look for air conditioning.

2) I believe our rental car is a hatchback where you can see into the trunk. Is it dangerous if we have luggage in there as we visit villages in Luberon as we make our way to our B&B?

Thanks everyone!

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: 2 1/2 days to get husband to fall in love with Provence

It is likely to be warm when you are there, but not smokin' hot like it will be in later July and August. And yes, A/C is not a common feature. You should be fine. A lot of the buldings are made of stone / masonary and make sure that you close the shutters on your room when you are out for the day so it keeps the room as cool as possible.

You are not guaranteed to get any specific vehicle when you rent a car, rather a car in a particular "class." Most hatchbacks have a "secure" area where luggage cannot be seen from outside the vehicle. All that being said....pack light. :-)

California
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7. Re: 2 1/2 days to get husband to fall in love with Provence

And definitely do not leave luggage or anything else visible when parked. When you can, back the car into a parking place.

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8. Re: 2 1/2 days to get husband to fall in love with Provence

I hope that you can get him hooked on Provence, but I urge you to re-think constantly re-locating during just a 2 1/2 day stay. Instead, please consider establishing a single, well centered base, and using it to explore the sites that you have mentioned.

Our base, every September since '95 (only another 110 days 'til we're back) , is the lovely village of Maussane-les-Alpilles , which is situated just below Les Baux, and is only about a 15 minute drive to St. Remy. From our base in Maussane, we are able to explore virtually ALL of Western Provence via a series of day-trips, with each one having a primary destination, a wonderful place to enjoy our mid-day meal, followed by a leisurely drive back via the most scenic routes ( highlighted in green on the Michelin maps ). Personally, I would forget about Aix, since, IMHO, it isn't going to expose him to the true Provencale ambiance that will hopefully get him "hooked."

If you really want him to come to love Provence, you have to allow him time to fall in love with the region, as opposed to coming home and just being able to say that he's been there.

California
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9. Re: 2 1/2 days to get husband to fall in love with Provence

La Ferme de la Huppe, a charming small inn below the Lubéron village of Gordes (quick to get to the main road for day trips) has some rooms with a/c. Check it out--we really enjoyed our stay there, and the restaurant is quite good.

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: 2 1/2 days to get husband to fall in love with Provence

Catullus..sent the same suggestion to the OP in a PM. Love the Ferme de la Huppe...great spot. :-)

I would rate the restaurant as very good. Last time we were there they had a vintage marc from Chateauneuf du Pape from the late 80's that was stunning. Always excellent service.

I've always wanted to take the old vintage Citroen truck in the garage for a spin. :-)