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Base City in Southern France

Spent too much time in Southern Germany and northern Italy (plus some days in Hungary, Slovenia and Austria) so have to reduce time in southern France before our 90 days are up. Last stop in Italy before driving to France is Milan.

We are thinking of spending seven nights in Aix-en-Provence or Avignon or maybe somewhere someone else suggests.

Where ever we stay it has to be no more than 2.5 hrs from Chauvet Caves (a day trip during our stay in Southern France). We will either drive to The Camargue for three nights/two days before or after our seven night stop in Southern France. After France we will drive to Barcelona for about a week, leave our 4Runner at the airport and fly home to the USA for the holidays.

We are two Americans in out late 60's driving the world since May 2016. We enjoy the outdoors and birding. We never pass up seeing a church in Europe or a temple in India, etc. We enjoy the architecture of buildings (retired construction). Make as many art or historical or archaeological museums/sites as humanly possible. Explored a lot of UNESCO world heritage sites. Enjoy parks -- part of the reason we spent 5.5 months driving Australia. And a liter or bottle of wine should never be missed in our opinion.

Final note -- we have decided to do Monaco/Nice, France at a later date so please don't recommend this as a stop.

Where should we stop for seven nights?

Posted by
5697 posts

Very fond of St-Remy de Provence as a base -- did a Saturday to Saturday rental at reasonable price.

Posted by
12154 posts

I was happy with Arles, a lot to see but still small enough to get in and out of town easily.

Posted by
18 posts

Thanks for the responses. We decided to spend the next week in Avignon. It is smaller than Aix-en-Provence or Nimes, centrally located for day trips including Chauvet Caves and a 20 min train trip to Arles, and we were able to secure an Airbnb apartment with parking inside the old city. Again, thanks for the recommendations.

Posted by
9863 posts

FYI due to some controversy about the name, Caverne du Pont d'Arc is the wonderful recreation. Chauvet does not figure in the name.
The Grotte Chauvet Pont d'Arc is the original that is open only one week a year and only to scientists.
The road signs direct you to the Caverne.

It's a wonderful area worth a few days visit. Also, it's probably colder than Provence now, so check the temperature.

Posted by
18 posts

Thank you. You are correct about the Cave and I am wrong. You may visit the replica of the original cave but not the original cave with its original art. Again, thank you for bring this to my attention.