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Provence--how much time required for sights?

usa
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Provence--how much time required for sights?

Hello,

We will be in Provence for 4 nights. That's about 3.5 days. Need to know how long it takes to tour each of the areas we want to visit, so we know how much time to allocate to each. These are what we want to see:

Arles

Les Baux

Avignon

Pont du Gard

Cotes du Rhone villages

Luberon villages

I know 3.5 days may not be enough, but we are trying our best to budget our time. Questions:

1. Should I devote one whole day to Cotes du Rhone and another whole day to the Luberon, or can they be combined in one day?

2. Can I combine Arles and Les Baux in one day, or does Arles require a whole day to itself?

3. Can I combine Avignon and Pont du Gard in one day, or does Avignon require a whole day?

We don't want to tire outselves out with a hectic, whirlwind trip, but we want to see as much as we can as well. Thank you for your input.

Annie

California
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1. Re: Provence--how much time required for sights?

I'd give Arles at least half a day, more if possible. For Les Baux, 2 to 3 hours, depending on the crowds; don't miss going up to see the ruins of the citadel. For the Pont du Gard, 2 hours; take a picnic lunch; finish up in Avignon..

You can't really combine the Lubéron villages (at least a full day to see most of them) with the Côte du Rhone villages. You need to look at the Michelin map of Provence to get an idea of the distances, and use the viamichelin.com web site to calculate driving times; the ones given tend to be on the optimistic side.

usa
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2. Re: Provence--how much time required for sights?

Thank you for your helpful time range suggestions! What do you think of this?

Day 1: Morning, flight arrives in Marseille, rent car, drive an hour to inn (near St. Remy) to check-in, probably around noon. Visit Arles in the afternoon (& Les Baux or too much?).

Day 2: Visit Pont du Gard and Avignon

Day 3: Visit Luberon

Day 4: Visit Cotes du Rhone.

Day 5: Check-out, return rental car, and take train to Paris. (Visit Les Baux before check-out or too much?)

Trying to figure out where to squeeze in Les Baux. Day of arrival with Arles or too much? Day we check-out and return car and take train--but too hectic?

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Provence--how much time required for sights?

Annie....you are taking the "Disneyland" approach to one of the most slow moving areas in the world. You want to get in the park and get on all of the rides in one day.

You may see some places and tick some boxes, but you won't come close to seeing, or more importantly, experiencing Provence.

Even your revised itinerary is a "hectic whirlwind trip".

wgr
Vancouver, BC
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4. Re: Provence--how much time required for sights?

I second dat's comments at 3. Enjoy Provence rather than ticking off lists. Remember that unless you take a picnic lunch, lunch is still usually 2 hours or thereabouts. Attractions close at 6 pm, maybe 7. What do you want to see in each town and do you want time to wander and get the flavour fo the place.

Les Baux and Pont du Gard are fairly specific sites but Arles and Avignon are cities with more to offer than the Palais des Papes or the Arena.

In some respects, your "Visit Luberon villages" is the best travel direction because it does not set out a set itinerary or how long to spend in each place. Some villages you may want to spend more time in and you may not make it to all the villages and that is fine.

Also, you do not say when you are coming and where in the US you are from. However if coming in the summer, it will be hot and that is a factor in how much you may want to do if your visit is not going to resemble a forced march.

California
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5. Re: Provence--how much time required for sights?

Les Baux is magical at twilight. If you're determined you could visit on your return from Arles.

provence
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6. Re: Provence--how much time required for sights?

I think the revised itinerary is possible (its the sort of tour Mrs B & I do in other parts of the world).

Day I - it can take time actually picking up the car ar Marseille airport if several flights have arrived around the same time.

I agree with Catullus about Les Baux.

All that said I agree with the other posts in that although you will see a lot of Provence you will not get the full experience of allowing yourself time just to sit and soak up the atmosphere.

7. Re: Provence--how much time required for sights?

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Removed on: 08 July 2013, 12:45
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8. Re: Provence--how much time required for sights?

My view- too much in a short time.

9. Re: Provence--how much time required for sights?

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10. Re: Provence--how much time required for sights?

This is of course just an advice site and I agree with datthecoast's advice that the theme park approach doesn't fit well with 'Provence' which after all is a place that doesn't exist geographically but is just a state of mind. However I am sure anneofavonlea will get a taster and return for a prolonged experience. Personally I think it would be possible to spend a decade just visiting the villages of the Luberon before moving on to wine tasting along the Rhone.

Ed