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Must see places between aix-en-provence and st rémy?

Shepparton...
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Must see places between aix-en-provence and st rémy?

We will be staying 5 nights in St Rémy in July this year, with a hire car. I'd like to do a day trip to Aix-en-Provence, and am just wondering if there are any 'must see' locations en route, or is it better to just drive directly there and spend more time in Aix?

We are not big on museums or wine, but enjoy the medieval towns, cafes and people watching.

Thanks in advance

California
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1. Re: Must see places between aix-en-provence and st rémy?

From St-Rémy, visit the amazing Les Baux de Provence, and don't miss the ruins of the medieval fortress at the back of the bauxite hill behind and above the village.

Another don't-miss is the Roman aqueduct at the Pont du Gard. Avignon and Arles would be the other major sights.

I don't think you need more than a day in Aix.

2. Re: Must see places between aix-en-provence and st rémy?

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Paris, France
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3. Re: Must see places between aix-en-provence and st rémy?

The Pont du Gard is definitely worth a visit but it is not in the way to Aix from St. Remy.

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4. Re: Must see places between aix-en-provence and st rémy?

The direct route from Saint-Rémy to Aix will put you on the D99 to the A7 autoroute and the drive should take about an hour if you hit no traffic. I would say there are no great "must see" stops along the way so I would head straight to Aix. Depending on how long you stay in Aix then after your visit there you may decide to wander on some of the small country roads around there and pass through any number of small and quaint but relatively unknown villages.

In order to wander the small roads and find scenic drives you need a good map and I like the Michelin maps of the scale 1:200,000 or 1:150,000. The Michelin maps have icons for all kinds of interesting things to see but a great feature is that they highlight designated scenic roads in green. You'll notice a number of them near Aix and you could possibly do some scenic drives just to the east of Aix near Montagne Sainte-Victoire or pick some of the scenic roads west of Aix to drive on for your trip back to Saint-Rémy. I assure you that you'll find at least a few quaint villages during your travels if you attempt this.

If you only spend a few hours in Aix I suppose you could get back on the autoroute and head about 45 minutes east of Aix to visit Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume, which is a pretty town noted for its basilica. Here is the tourist office website for that town but it's in French:

http://ot-stmaximin.provenceverte.fr/

The drive back to Saint-Rémy from Saint-Maximin should take less than 2 hours.

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Must see places between aix-en-provence and st rémy?

Kylie.....I'd start out with a good guide book...The Michelin Green Guide is a good one.

…michelin.com/web/destination/France-Provence

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6. Re: Must see places between aix-en-provence and st rémy?

Since you will be based in St Remy, you'll be really well centered for exploring virtually all of Western Provence IMHO, Nearby Medieval sites include:

- Les Baux

- Avignon

If you want to check out a really special Medieval site, you may want to go down into the Camargue, and check out the departure site of the French Crusaders - Aigues-Mortes.

However, since you only have 5 nights in Provence, personalIy, I wouldn't consider spending even 1/2 day in Aix., - but, to each his/her own.

Like daathecoast, I urge you to get a copy of the Michelin Green Guide for Provence.

Also, since you will be based in St. Remy, you should also get Michelin Maps:

#340 - Bouches-du-Rhone, Var

# 332 - Drome, Vaucluse

St. Saturnin d'Apt...
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7. Re: Must see places between aix-en-provence and st rémy?

Just head directly to Aix. Try to go on a day when the market is going (Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday). Enjoy the market in the morning, some shopping and see the sights in the afternoon. A great dinner, and then a stroll around Aix in the evening when everything is lit up and all the little squares are magical.

I lived in Aix for 2 years. In a day, you'll just scratch the surface, but it will be a great scratch !

- Kevin

p.s.: don't go on Monday as many of the shops are closed and it's not quite the same ambiance.

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8. Re: Must see places between aix-en-provence and st rémy?

Drive up to Vaison and then along the D40 along mount Ventoux to Brantes and down to Sault. This is a long day's driving but like nothing else you've ever seen.

Provence
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9. Re: Must see places between aix-en-provence and st rémy?

There is not a lot to see between St Remy and Aix to my taste.

If that was me I would go direct and if you have some spare time I would take a little drive in the moutain Ste Victoire (Cezanne).

the quickest way is to take the A7 motorway from Cavaillon or Senas

The nicest way (lovely road with plane trees on both side of the road quite often) is to to follow the D99 from st Remy, and then D7 (green sign showing Aix). Slightly longer but not so much.

Hope this will help.

While in St Remy, you'll have so much to do around that you may extend your stay...

Hope this will help.

Shepparton...
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10. Re: Must see places between aix-en-provence and st rémy?

Thank you everyone for the great replies!

I have the michelin maps 526 and 527. I have to say, I didn't expect them to be so big! But they do seem detailed. I didn't realise the scenic routes were marked in green, so thank you for that tip.

I also have Rick Steve's Provence and Riviera (I know, some seem to love him and some hate him!) and a Fodor's travel guide - as well as this forum! I wasn't sure if I needed the Michelin green guide as well? I've heard conflicting reports about it. Some say it's great, some say it's too limiting without any description.

Les Baux, Pond du Gard and Avignon are definitely on our list. The theatre festival is on in Avignon while we are there. I'd also like to see some Luberon villages. But... I want to make sure we have time to stop and smell the roses... or the lavender :) so our itinerary will have a few 'must sees' as well as some 'would be nice to see' and we'll take it slowly and see what we see. I hadn't found anything specific that I wanted to see between Avignon and Aix, and your replies have confirmed that for me, but the scenic drive suggestions are great.

phidou, we have train tickets to Paris after the 5 days, as well as the problem of accommodation at the last minute in July, so unfortunately I doubt our stay will be extended. Our trip originally didn't include Provence, though, but through circumstances out of our control, the plans were changed and I'm so pleased that we can now see this beautiful region.