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Advice several days in southern France.

We will be in France September 12 -28th. Our Plan fly into Toulouse stay 2 nights, Carcassonne 2 nights, Sarlat 6 nights
? next 2 nights
3 nights in Aix en Provence.

Our interests are local culture and history.

We have been to Nice, Cannes and Monaco on a previous trip.

Posted by JS
Bay Area
3032 posts

I would stay in Arles over Aix, to see more of Provence. Also if u have never seen the Calanques, it is beautiful. Boats leave Cassis town for the trip in and out of them. They are from Marseille to Cassis and are quite unique.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
9073 posts

I assume you will have a car. If so, look into staying in one of the smaller towns in Provence. I definitely feel Arles is better than Aix (both nicer and more central), but with a car, you will probably want a smaller place with less difficult driving.

Without a car I'm not sure how you will do in the area around Sarlat for 6 nights; however, if you will not have a car, you should definitely stay in Arles or Avignon, for the transit links.

Are you seeing places around Carcassonne, or only the city itself? If just Carcassonne, one night is sufficient.

Posted by apadc OP
15 posts

We will have a car. Thank you I am definitely rethinking staying in Aix. Thanks for the input. Do you know about St Remy

Posted by Nicole P
Truro, NS, Canada
3032 posts

We stayed 2 nights in Carcassonne, but we didn't arrive until after supper the first night so that was a wash. The next day we spent exploring the fortifications (3-4 hrs) and exploring the town proper. If you are only going for Carcassonne itself and not surrounding areas, I do agree (depending on arrival time) that one night would probably suffice. If you arrive early afternoon, you can probably see much of what you want, then pop off the next day in the afternoon for your next stop.

And there is so much to see in Provence, you could prob spend 5 nights in whichever town you decide to stay in. We used Salon en Provence as a base for 4 nights and day tripped from there - and we certainly could have stayed a whole week as there were some other places we'd like to have seen.

Carcassonne is only an hour or so drive from Toulouse - maybe you could stay 3 nights in Toulouse then daytrip to Carca since you would be backtracking to Sarlat...

Posted by Adam
Boston
3679 posts

St Remy is a great base, if you have a car. Can be a bit quiet at night.

Consider Toulouse > Dordogne > Carcassonne > Provence. You can spend those 2 night enroute (Provence seems especially impoverished). Consider a night in St Cirq la Popie, and a visit to the Grotte du Peche Merle.

Posted by Bets
Deep in the heart of Indiana
5193 posts

Toulouse deserves more than two jet-lagged nights. How about three and one for Caarcassonne.

Posted by apadc OP
15 posts

What would you suggest as highlights in Toulouse? I am open to change.

Posted by mike
shingle springs, CA, USA
597 posts

I hardly think that Provence is impoverished,I spent seven nights there in May and for one there are great Roman ruins showing the heritage.Avignon has the Palace of the Popes where the Popes ruled for 100 years.There are beautiful hill towns, wineries,vinyards and the colors the Lavender Fields as well as The Camagrue with its white horses and Flamingo's on the Meditteranean Coast.
I stayed in Arles with a view of the Rhone River at the medevil wall,beautiful town with great restaurants.
Mike

Posted by Adam
Boston
3679 posts

@Mike: That is exactly why I think that staying only 3 nights (2 days, really) would impoverish a visit to Provence!

Posted by Lee
Napa, CA, USA
15 posts

Wednesday market in San Remy. Get there early. Closes at 1/1:30. Also in San Remy is the hospital where Van Gogh lived after he "cut off his ear" in Arles. Lovely to visit and there are copies of his paintings next to the sights he painted. Also, extensive Roman ruins in Glanum, practically next door. Les Baux is not far away, along with the town of Egalyieres (spelling?). You could easily spend a day and a half there.

Posted by apadc OP
15 posts

I changed plans to Saint Remy as a base and only 1 night in Aix. We were there for a short time many years ago and I enjoyed it so didn't want to miss it this trip. Thanks for all the advice.