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Visiting South of France in early July

Toronto, Canada
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Visiting South of France in early July

Hi there

I am flying to Paris and after few days want to go to south of france. Is it advisable to rent a car or take a train to Avignon or Provence and rent a car there. Also where should I keep my base so I can make all day trips to small towns. I will have a week to spend in South of France. Is it enough? I'd appreciate any assistance....Sunny/Toronto

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Visiting South of France in early July

Take the TGV from Paris to Avignon....pick up your car at the TGV station there. A nice base is in the Luberon....check out Bonnieux or L'Isle sur la Sorgue.

Edited: 19 January 2013, 20:50
California
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2. Re: Visiting South of France in early July

Avignon is actually IN Provence, the western part of that huge region.

I wouldn't recommend a base in the Lubéron (villages such as Bonnieux) because of the need to drive a fair amount in order to visit other sights and sites. Many people love Isle sur la Sorgue; others prefer Uzès or St-Rémy. It depends somewhat on what you want to see while in Provence.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Visiting South of France in early July

You can't see all towns from one base (unless you want to do nothing but drive). Either start narrowing down the cluster of places you want to visit and then pick a base then or pick 2 bases.

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4. Re: Visiting South of France in early July

Virtually ALL of Provence is easily explored via a seriesof daytrips from a well-centered base, as Catullus pointed out, and there are more than enough sights to keep you busy for a one-week stay. However,if you also want to visit sights in that part of the South of France that is frequently referred to as the Riviera / Cote d'Azur, then you should absolutely think about establishing a second well-centered base in that area as well. Unfortunately, a week will not enable you to really get much out of both regions, however, you will be able to say that you have been there

I urge tou to pick up the Michelin Green Guide for Provence, if that is going to be the area that you will explore this trip. if you decide that you are going to spend time on the Riviera / Cote d'Azur, then you should pick up the Michelin Green Guide for that region as well.

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5. Re: Visiting South of France in early July

Early July is lavender time in Provence, so a base in the Luberon would be good. If you will stay the entire week in/about Western Provence, then you could divide your time between the Luberon and another region for the ease of "day tripping" but, IMO, region is beautiful enough to enjoy the drives. You are fine with the week's time for that purpose. If you also want to include the Riviera, then something may need to give.

I second the suggestion that you get a Michelin Green Guide for Provence and Cote d'Azur, if you are planning to visit this region. A good idea is to also pick up a Michelin map so that you can get a better perspective of the distances involved and of the area you intend to explore.

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6. Re: Visiting South of France in early July

Obviously I disagree that you can cover ALL of Provence from one base.

I guess it is "possible".

I wouldn't do it--nor advise it.

My husband and i stayed in 3 bases in Provence and also Nice (4th) last time. Aix, Cassis and Bonnieux. We would rather pack and unpack in new hotels and have to do less driving. We also like to visit wineries and drink wine with dinner and prefer short distances back to the hotel.

Up to you but map out how long it will take you. When we saw that many places we wanted to visit were over 1h45m-2 hours (factor traffic and windy roads) we picked 3 bases and it worked for us.

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7. Re: Visiting South of France in early July

You said some magic words there, Doby: "it worked for us." However, I doubt that you picked those three or four bases in the span of one week which the OP has delegated to Provence.

And ALL of Provence is kind of an overkill for a one week trip anyway, wouldn't you agree? Provence is a large area. So, the OP will likely choose one or two max regions which appeal to him/her/spouse, leaving us in the dust to argue what worked for us.

Case on point: we spent two weeks in a gite in Bedoin in late June of 2011. Did day trips into Luberon; down to St. Remy and shopped till we dropped two Sundays in a row in L'Isle sur la Sorgue; West to the Dentelles, visited my cousins in Orange and in Hyeres, etc. All using one base and loving the drives. Here they come those magic words again, Doby: it worked for us, famously.

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8. Re: Visiting South of France in early July

Annarose-- you are reading out of context. I was responding to #4 which states "you can explore nearly ALL of Provence from one base".... I'm not sure what you are talking about but I don't agree with one base. And I disagree with trying to see all in one week

And what we did was 2 days Aix, 3 in Bonnieux (explored the Luberon ) 2 in cassis and 2 in Nice. So week 1 was 3 basis.

Edited: 23 January 2013, 04:05
New York City, New...
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9. Re: Visiting South of France in early July

Annarose-- you are reading out of context. I was responding to #4 which states "you can explore nearly ALL of Provence from one base".... I'm not sure what you are talking about but I don't agree with one base. And I disagree with trying to see all in one week

And what we did was 2 days Aix, 3 in Bonnieux (explored the Luberon ) 2 in cassis and 2 in Nice. So week 1 was 3 basis.

Edited: 23 January 2013, 04:05
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10. Re: Visiting South of France in early July

I agree wiith Doby, you can't do All of Provence from one spot. The avignon Region is the best for inland provence (Luberon, Alpilles, Camargues, Pont du Gard, arles etc). Then you have the sea side of the Var with its rosé wine and then the Riviera.

From Avignon to Nice using the motorway it's a good 3 hours, if no traffic, so a bit difficult for a day trip.

However, it's a question of how much "indepth" you want to visit part of a region, there is so much to see and visit..