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First village after leaving Menton

Lake Macquarie...
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First village after leaving Menton

Hello,

I have been researching gite accommodation for our first week in France in the Luberon area (Gordes, Roussillon, Bonnieux or similar) but this area is approx. a 5 - 6 hour drive from Menton. Even the area around Manosque is approx. 5 hours drive away.

After researching thought that the above regions were central for exploring villages and countryside of Provence. Is this so?

I would appreciate advice on where to stay after we collect our rental car at noon, either on the way for one night or another possibility for the entire week, considering our preferences to villages and countryside.

Thank you in advance,

Chris

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France
France
Europe
Luberon
Luberon
Vaucluse, France
Gordes
Gordes
Luberon, France
Roussillon
Roussillon
Gordes, France
Menton
Menton
French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: First village after leaving Menton

The places you mention are suited to exploring the "tourist Provence" area to the east of Avignon, but Menton is on the Italian border and, as you say, several hours' drive away.

Why not stay a night (or two) in Menton? It is a nice town, with an attractive historic centre.

Otherwise, a look at a map may suggest other places. I don't think there is anywhere that should be avoided.

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Menton
Menton
French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
Imperia, Italy
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2. Re: First village after leaving Menton

Recalculate your journey times on http://www.viamichelin.com

They're too long unless you are intending to avoid the autoroute or are including lengthy stops along the way.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: First village after leaving Menton

Not sure where you are getting your driving times...Menton to Gordes is less than 300 kms.

I would stay at the Western end of the are you are describing...like in St. Remy or in L'Isle sur la Sorgue. That way you will have easier access to places like Arles and NImes as well as the Luberon.

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Menton
Menton
French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
Gordes
Gordes
Luberon, France
L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
Vaucluse, France
Arles
Arles
Bouches-du-Rhone, France
Nimes
Nimes
Gard, France
Luberon
Luberon
Vaucluse, France
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4. Re: First village after leaving Menton

Menton to Gordes would be around 3 hours if you stick to the boring toll motorways.

If you go along Route Napoleon (via Digne), which is far more interesting, it would be about 5 hours.

I know which of these I would choose, and it's not the motorway.

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Menton
Menton
French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
Gordes
Gordes
Luberon, France
Lake Macquarie...
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5. Re: First village after leaving Menton

Thank you all - wow such quick replies.

I calculated the kilometres from www.viamichelin.com but must admit that I did type in "avoid toll roads".

I had thought about staying one night in Menton and this would probably turn out okay as most Gites (we are planning to do at least 3) are Saturday to Saturday and the nights' stay in Menton would be the Friday.

Will spend the afternoon sourcing out areas and alternatives suggested.

Thank you, Chris

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Menton
Menton
French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
Lake Macquarie...
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6. Re: First village after leaving Menton

Me again!!

Have been researching and as Sydneynick suggested, we want to do the scenic drive. If in Provence, would rather drive the longer distance and take our time, seeing lovely villages etc.

So my thoughts are to possibly stay half way from Menton to LÍsle sur la Sorgue (or similar) in a town called Le Muy.

Any thoughts out there on staying in Le Muy would be appreciated.

Thank you, Chris

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Menton
Menton
French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
Antibes, France
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7. Re: First village after leaving Menton

Obviously you are researching travelling along the A8 motorway from Menton to Provence. In reality this is the blandest, most boring route you can take and all you will see is the rear end of international trucks. If you feel you have to take this route push on to Lorgues rather than Le Muy ( a little north of the A8 which is a beautiful village) - the Chateau de Berne is a good place to stay there.

The scenic routes are :

(a) avoid the motorway and hug the coast all the way including beyond Cannes the incomparable Esterel - the Golden Corniche ( which is different to the neighbouring 'Riviera' which runs from Menton to Cannes ). Continue along the Maure coast. This is obviously much slower than the A8 but a world class drive - the one bottleneck you will encounter is around St Tropez. Rejoin the motorway system (A7) between Hyeres and Toulon.

(b) take the equally scenic but inland mountaineous Route Napoleon from Grasse towards Manosque and Provence. This will allow you to visit the Grand Canyon du Verdon.

Just as an aside don't forget there are tremendous perched villages within a short drive of Menton - many far less touristed than those in Provence - St Agnes, Peille, Saorge etc

Ed

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Menton
Menton
French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
Cannes
Cannes
French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
Saint-Tropez
Saint-Tropez
French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
Hyeres
Hyeres
French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
Toulon
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Var, France
Grasse
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French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, France
Toowoomba, Australia
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8. Re: First village after leaving Menton

Is this for a one night stay after you pick up the car, or is this for a longer stay?. I cannot comment on this area [ Le Muy ] as we have not but visited it. But I would go with (b) from W.B. because we love the rural areas. Sounds as though you could do an overnight stay after collecting the car before reaching the western part of Provence.

And, yes, W,B., the perched villages you mentioned are wonderful. In fact, DH changes the photo on our computer weekly and we have Saorge at the moment. We spent a week in La Brigue in 2010 and visited St Agnes, Peille, Peillon , Saorge, Tende, Sospel, Luceram. Such a gorgeous area but not one I see mentioned often.

Good luck with your planning.

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9. Re: First village after leaving Menton

Hi all,

This is for a one night stay before we book a gite for a week.

I feel that I have been contradicting myself, however we just love the countryside, so the slow option is a must (no motorways as I mentioned before). Perched villages are just the thing we want to experience.

I am still thinking LÍsle sur la Sorgue for our weeks' stay in a gite.

Route Napolean really appeals. Does the Route Napolean take us to the west of Provence in areas I have mentioned above?

I am managing with a small map out of Eyewitness Travel (from local library) and this does not show small towns mentioned.

I really do appreciate advice given to me by all TA's!!

Edited: 27 November 2012, 00:44
Antibes, France
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10. Re: First village after leaving Menton

Re phiron's comment :I have put this link up before but it is worth doing again - fabulous photos of perched villages. All a short distance from Nice ( only one Rouisilon is actually in Provence !) .....

fotopedia.com/magazine/stories/_hvFwP3dLK8/T…

warners - the Route Napoleon will land you in Provence ( evetually) - leading to Manosque on the A51 whence you can go west into the Luberon or south to Aix en Provence.

Ed

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Luberon
Luberon
Vaucluse, France
Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence
Bouches-du-Rhone, France
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