Planning a trip to Provence starting in mid June. Will have about nine nights. Looking at staying in Rousillon in a Rick Steves recommended accommodation.Will have a car. Planning on day trips from there. Trying to keep distances to about one hour away. We are the type who like to see historic sites and pretty scenic views. Any opinions on our choice of base? Open to suggestions. Thanks
having a car should allow you to visit lots of excellent places in the area. we used St Remy as a base ( which was ideal for us- with a car) and we visited Rousillon as part of one of our day trips.
we did visit ( for the market) and consider isle sur la sorgue as an option, it is a very nice looking town.
do your self a favour and do a search in the tab, at the top of the screen, for previous posts on what to see and do in the area. so much to see, such a great place to visit. in mid june it can be warm.
We were in the Dordogne last June and the weather was great. We will have air conditioning and a pool. Very excited. Flying into Barcelona and travel by train to Nîmes. There we will rent car. Reading the RS Provence book right now.
I'm not familiar with Roussillon but it seems to be about an hour East of many of the places I have been or still want to see. St. Remy is a popular recommendation on this site and with good reason. The Pont du Gard is a must see. The locals treat it like a beach so bring a swimsuit and towel if you like.
We visited Rousillon one morning while using L'Isle sur la Sorgue as a base for a week. My recollection is that Rousillon is pretty tiny. You might find that one of the somewhat larger villages will offer more lodging and dining choices. Sorgue worked well for us (and the Thursday/Sunday markets are alot of fun). St. Remy would be on our short list if we return. We can recommend a VRBO 1BR apartment in Sorgue that we thought was a great value, if you're interested.
Roussillon is pretty tiny and very sleepy once things close - but with a car, you can be in other spots, so don't need to spend sleepy evenings there unless you want to. It is a gorgeous spot, but not sure I'd want to spend 8 nights there - we did a trip this year in early July and split our time between Salon (4 nts) so we could do points west and north and Manosque, so we could concentrate on spots to the east/lavender trail.
Regarding Roussillon - we've been twice, and this year we ended up there in the early evening - it was like a ghost town (maybe good) - everything was closed except maybe one or two small restaurants - we walked around for an hour then off we went. If you want a little more excitement/choice at night, maybe look into Aix. With 8-9 nights, personally, I'd split those up between maybe a bigger city and a smaller town.
Roussillon is a must see village, but I would probably stay closer to Avignon.(Ideally, a tiny bit south of Avignon)
From there, within an hour, a hour 15, you can do major natural or historical sites, great scities or small must see villages such as:
Nimes(roman coliseum and nice city), and north is a nice village called Uzès
Arles, same(roman coliseum) plus a lot more
Pont du guard, a 2000 year old aqueduc
Gorges de l'ardeche and Aven d'Orgnac, a fantastic cave if this is the tyoe of activities you like
Orange and it's 2000 year old theater
Mont Ventoux, a 6000 feet mount with amazing vies all around and a classic, mythical part of Le Tour de France
Les Baux de Provence, spectacular small village just south in a region called "Les Alpilles", which is full of olive trees. It's gorgeous
Avignon of course and it's famous Palace of the Popes
Close to Roussillon, you also have Gordes, and Senanque Abbey
An hour and 30 minutes south is Cassis, nice village on the Coast and the drive between Cassis and La Ciotat is spectacular. The road is D141.
You also have the creeks between Cassis and Marseille that you can either hike or go by boat. Again, spectacular sceneries
If you are into wine, the Chateauneuf-du-pape region is just north of Avignon.
So there's more there to do than 8 nights, a lot to do in this magnificent region. Been there 3 times. These would be my top ones for a first time.
Thanks for all the great input. The place we are staying at is actually 10 minutes away from Roussillon. Has a pool and stunning views. The bed and breakfast is named Le Mas Jorel. Plus one night in Nîmes before catching train to Barcelona.
Seems to be a fantastic place.
You might be a bit early for that but you'll be about an hour away from amazing lavander fields. Some of most impressive are around Valensole, east of Roussillon, on your way to Moustiers Ste-Marie, certainly one of the prettiest villages in all of France. Also close to Moustiers is les Gorges du Verdon if you want spectacular sceneries. You can boat, kayak in turquoise water, you can also take your car and see the gorges from above by going on the spectaculare tiny road.
I based in Roussillon when I was there (5 nights). It's small and touristy (during the day) but that didn't matter because I spent the days out driving around the area to see the other towns/villages and lots of lavender. I really enjoyed the small village atmosphere in the evening after the bulk of the tourists left and with the late daylight I was able to explore late into the evening. I found it a very convenient area to stay in and easy to get to many of the popular towns/sights in Provence.
Of all the little villages we saw this year - Moustiers was my fav - can't say why - just very pretty.