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Honeymoon plans - where should we stay in Provence?

Pittsburgh...
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Honeymoon plans - where should we stay in Provence?

Hi seasoned travellers! I am hoping you can help with our first trip to France!

My soon-to-be husband and I are making plans for our honeymoon in France in October. This is what we know so far: we are staying in Paris Oct. 17- Oct. 21 and taking the train to Provence on the 21st. From there, we have until the early morning of the 27th when we fly out of Marseille. We are imagining a nice mix of markets, ruins, art, exploring villages, etc.

So, with 5 days (6 nights), where would you recommend we stay? Is it best to have one home base and explore from there? Would you recommend renting a car? Should we leave any time for Marseille?

Thanks so much for any input!

Finland
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1. Re: Honeymoon plans - where should we stay in Provence?

What is your budget for accommodation for the 6 nights? There are choices from say EUR 50 to EUR X.000 a night ...

For that amount of days, I would say max two bases. Maybe something east of Avignon, Luberon area? I would perhaps choose Aix-en-Provence for the night(s) before the flight.

In October, I see no reason to stay by the coast. I would choose one or two inland towns.

Renting a car is almost necessary in order to be able to explore.

Here are some sites for you to browse to find places to meet your style & budget:

luxuryexplorer.com/hotel/luxuryhotelsProvenc…

greatsmallhotels.com/france/…list

www.i-escape.com/provence/boutique-hotels

tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g187208-Provence-Hote… (Ranked best to worst by reviews at TA)

I would try to read a lot of reviews before choosing a hotel. It seems that many of those hotels get some "Poor" or "Horrible" reviews, luckily not all of them, though.

Pittsburgh...
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2. Re: Honeymoon plans - where should we stay in Provence?

Thanks. We are aiming for about $200 USD per night. I will check out these sites!

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Honeymoon plans - where should we stay in Provence?

I'd try a small Luberon village like Bonnieux or Goult. Very romantic for a honeymoon. You would certainly have lots of options for accomodations in your price range at that time of year.

One other way to go would be a vacation rental ( a gite, an apartment or a small villa). In high season, these are typically for a 7 day rental period only but off-season you can often find a vacation rental owner who will be willing to work with you on your dates.

You will need to rent a car.....

Los Angeles...
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for Venice, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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4. Re: Honeymoon plans - where should we stay in Provence?

My only reservation is the end of October. Weather will definitely be turning wintery and I am not sure whether a small village would feel too empty and abandoned; whether dining and shopping options would still be there.. I have never visited this time of year, so am not sure. dat, since you lived the Provence life? What say thee?

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Honeymoon plans - where should we stay in Provence?

Hey Anna! :)

There is a little of the "closed shutter" effect coming in October there. But there is still lots of activity to keep one occupied. I love Provence in September / October....anytime actually. : )

The really small villages will be staring to get quieter....the super "touristy" (Gordes, Roussillon, St Remy etc.) ones will be returning to some normalcy. No more busloads of daytrippers in Oct.

The real winter "hibernation" is still a ways off.....

All that being said, the weather can be very unpredictable. It can be absolutely lovely or rainy and chilly. It's a crap shoot. September is pretty predictably wonderful. October...not so much.

Edited: 06 August 2013, 04:28
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6. Re: Honeymoon plans - where should we stay in Provence?

While it has been about 20 years since we have been in Provence in October, my recollection is that while the weather was somewhat cool, and we appreciated our long-sleeved shirts and light-weight jackets, it was never really cold.

If you were from Florida, I would suggest that you consider taking a jacket and a heavy cotton sweater or two, but, since you're from Pittsburgh, I'm confident that you'll be able to just handle it - trust me, it will be warmer than Pittsburgh unless you decide to venture up into the really elevated regions.

I have been in Provence in Winter, and, trust me, even late October isn't even close to being Winter - you need to wait for late November through early March if you want to enjoy / experience Winter " en Provence."

The one thing that you do need to keep in mind is that the frequency and intensity of precipitation does begin to increase in late October

You will absolutely need a car to enjoy and explore Western Provence. Some of the places that you may want to consider as a base include:

St. Remy

Arles

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Honeymoon plans - where should we stay in Provence?

As usual..."bang on" advice from A-Gal. Not even Provence in October will typically force me into long pants...if so, it wil be lightweight Lululemons or some the linen slacks that I keep as my secondary "Provencal wardrobe".

If it rains...it will typically be a deluge and then be gone.

Edited: 06 August 2013, 05:13
Provence
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8. Re: Honeymoon plans - where should we stay in Provence?

St Remy will still be busy and everything will still be opened when you are around. This would be a good option to my taste and you'll have plenty of goog option for a "honeymoon hotel"....

Brisbane, Australia
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9. Re: Honeymoon plans - where should we stay in Provence?

We stayed in L'Isle sur la Sorge in July and it was a beautiful little town built on the Sorge river with watermills, and a lively Sunday market famous for its antique furnitures. I would also recommend hiring a car as it is the best way to enjoy Provence's scenery along small country roads and little hill-top towns like Gordes, Bonnieux, Sault etc. One base would be enough to explore the Provence region in my opinion, especially if you have your own car. We drove everywhere to the lavender fields, and the Roman sites like Pont du Gard, Orange, Avignon, Arles and the Camargue.

We spent a few hours in Marseille before driving to Provence, and really loved the atmosphere around the old port, with the stalls selling fresh fish by the port, and also enjoyed visiting the Notre Dame de la Garde cathedral. So perhaps you can consider staying overnight in Marseille before your flight home?

Enjoy your time in Provence!

New York, NY
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10. Re: Honeymoon plans - where should we stay in Provence?

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage. About 5 years ago, my wife and I spent a two week honeymoon in France. We spent some time on the coast, and a couple of days in Arles (fantastic, artsy, romantic, shabby-chic), and the leg in the countryside we spent in Vaison-la-Romaine. This was a little further north in the Vaulcuse and a little less touristy, which is what we were aiming for. The village sits amongst some dramatic settings, and is surrounded by some fantastic little villages, vineyards, and mountains. It is a good homebase because it is large enough to spend time in and have restaurants at night. The villages around it are also amazing and great for a romatinc honeymoon setting - Gigondas, Suzette, Puymeras, Sablet, and a little bit further Brantes and Sault. Wine, markets, scenic drives, pleasant walks, and exploring old towns is how we spent our time there, and the memory of that time has left an indelible and special mark.

Edited: 06 August 2013, 15:57