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7 days in Provence

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Taupo, New Zealand
Level Contributor
8 posts
37 reviews
7 days in Provence

Your advice please. We are a couple in our 60s. We fly into Marseille from Marakech on 16 Sept, arrive 21.30. Been told not to stay in Marseille (crime) but at that time will need to spend the night somewhere close to the airport. We then have free time till we fly out of Lyon back to NZ on the morning of the 25th Sept. Where should we base ourselves to see the highlights of Provence? Stayed in Villefranche sur Mer and near St Paul de Vence last year to see the Riviera. Loved both places for the local art and the markets. So - do we got to Aix, Arles, Avignon or Villeneuve les Avignon as a base. We will likely have a rail pass with two travel days left (one to get to Lyon) and get rental cars as we need them. Looking forward to your help.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
3,075 posts
220 reviews
1. Re: 7 days in Provence

From your choices I can only speak to Aix bc I have not been to the others.

Absolutely recommend it.

It's a city, but to me its a large village. Great old town, lively squares, outdoor cafes etc. convenient to cassis on the coast or Lourmarin and other towns in the Luberon.

Level Contributor
278 posts
13 reviews
2. Re: 7 days in Provence

I have just spent 2 weeks in Provence, I very briefly visited Villeneuve and it looked very pretty. Can't speak about Aix or Avignon as haven't done either (yet) but I really liked Arles, spent 3 days there this week. It's a beautiful town with lots of buzz and restaurants and galleries not to mention a beautiful Roman amphitheatre.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1 post
4 reviews
3. Re: 7 days in Provence

Hello - I am interested in your trip ideas as I will be going to Morocco and Provence/Nice area in Sept. Any suggestions welcome! Hope you had a wonderful trip. Merci!

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
9,367 posts
56 reviews
4. Re: 7 days in Provence

Tim.....Arles is quite a bit smaller than Avignon and Aix, but it is packed with lots to see and do. PLease be aware that your rail passes won't likely work on the TGV's.

Having a car to explore Provence is a big benefit. Provence is served by public transport but is geared to get the local citizenry to work and school and back. So.....not practical for touristic travel.

You needn't worry about crime in Marseille. There is a lot going on there as it is the European Capital of Culture this year. So, plenty of festivals and the like.

Level Contributor
2 posts
8 reviews
5. Re: 7 days in Provence

We too are a couple in our 50/60s & have just returned from Provence. A suggestion for a base; Vaison la Romaine is picturesque, has both a medieval center and a town square filled w/ local French villagers, separated by an easy 10 min. walk. A lively market takes place on Tuesdays. Gigondas, Sablet, Seguret, Vascueryras are all worth a visit, are at most 15 min. by car and do not attract the tour buses we encountered at the more well known villages of Roussillon or Gordes in the Luberon. Hotel possibilities;

la Bastide Bleue, la Fete en Provence. You're in for a wonderful time.

Sheffield, United...
Level Contributor
73 posts
17 reviews
6. Re: 7 days in Provence

For exploring Provence the best place to stay would be Avignon as from there it is easy to visit the villages in the Luberon region (Gordes etc), Arles, Orange, Nimes, Pont du Gard by public transport or cars and of course you can walk around the lovely city of Avignon in the evening. Arles is also a pretty good location although not quite as good as Avignon but places such as Aix and Vaison are probably a bit far away from many of the major places to visit.

Pittsburgh, PA
Level Contributor
1,593 posts
32 reviews
7. Re: 7 days in Provence

I'd choose Villeneuve-les-Avignon because of relative ease of getting in/out of this village with a car as opposed to traffic in much larger Avignon. Just my opinion.

Northridge, CA
Level Contributor
21 posts
11 reviews
8. Re: 7 days in Provence

Hello I thought I would jump into this forum my husband and I are in a similar planning phase. My question is how practical is it to spend two days touring the Luberon while staying in Avignon. I see it is about an hour each way. Would it be wiser to move hotels maybe 2 night in Avignon, 2 nights in the Luberon and the either back to Avignon or to another destination. We could also extend our Luberon stay for another night. Or do 3 and 3 nights in Avignon and then Luberon areas so there is sufficient time for relaxing and taking in the scenery as well. We don't want to be out in the car every day. Any suggestions?

Level Contributor
754 posts
13 reviews
9. Re: 7 days in Provence

When in Avignon, the Luberon is a short drive so I would stay in Avignon unless you want to stay in the country side as opposed to the city.

when in Avignon, St Remy, Arles and Pont du Gard as well as Chateauneuf will be easier to reach.

Hope this help

Northridge, CA
Level Contributor
21 posts
11 reviews
10. Re: 7 days in Provence

Yes it does. I think we are going to just stay in Avignon. Not only does it look charming but it is the major transportation hub and will be more affordable not to have to rent a car for some of the day trips. I think it will give us more time to actually enjoy the area and relax rather then running around. I imagine it will be easy to catch a bus or train to most of our destinations with exception to the day in the Luberon villages.

Thank you. Our current plan is:

Day1: check in, freshen up walk through Avignon, Popes Palace, Dinner, Window Shopping, etc.

Day 2: Pont Du Gard in the AM, then to Les Baux for lunch and the Chateau Fortress and Carrieres de Lumieres.

Day 3: Arles Day, Evening back in Avignon.

Day 4: Luberon Villages either with a private tour or rental car.

Day 5: Local winery, market etc. Bike riding.

Day 6: Possibly Nimes or ......open to suggestion.

We will be there the week of September 6th. Any idea of the weather in Farenheit? Not sure how much to pack....Also do you know if there are any laundry facilities in Avignon just in case?

Thanks again for all the information.