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Dilemma - how much time to spend in Provence.

Option 1: Land in Marseille on Wed Oct 25 at 10.00. Bus to Aix
Aix 2N bus to Avignon
Avignon 5N bus or train to ??
Undecided 1-2N TGV to
Barcelona 3-4N
Monday morning Nov 6 fly home

Option 2: First week as above Aix + Avignon
8 days open
Barcelona 4N
Monday Nov 13 fly home

The first week is at the recommendation of a good friend with the same travel style and tastes. If I can fill another week between Avignon and Barcelona, I'm more than willing. I plan to take the train in any event. The last stop in France is Perpignon. I would go straight to Barcelona from there or possibly on to Zaragoza since I haven't been there yet. I've been to Marseille and points east. I'm flying home from Barcelona partly because I couldn't find a more convenient flight home and partly because I love the city.

Posted by
744 posts

Are eight more days in Provence worth it? I’m inclined to say yes, of course. I would add another night or two to Aix. Five nights in Avignon is a lot honestly. I did not care for the city, and there’s not much to see there. If you’re using it as a base for Arles, Nimes, or L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue then ok, but I found Arles a lot more interesting. You might consider splitting/adding nights in Arles.

I would readily suggest Vaison-La-Romaine for a few nights. Great little town, with very good and sizable Roman ruins and characteristic stony old town. A stop at the Roman theater in Orange is a must.

Look out for market days wherever you are and plan around them. Personally, a good market is almost a day of sightseeing, and they all have their own personalities.

Is that an extra eight days worth? I’m not 100% sure. Perhaps a few nights in Carcasonne or Albi would be a nice addition, and easy enough by train.

P.S. - You’re always offering terrific advice on this forum, so I hope this was mildly helpful!

Posted by
25623 posts

Montpellier? Narbonne? The Yellow Train from Villefranche-de-Conflent to La Seu d'Urgell (a detour from the main rail line)?

I really liked Toulouse with a side trip to Albi, but that's also a detour.

I do like Zaragoza.

Posted by
15477 posts

Thanks to you both for taking the time to advise me. After looking into your suggestions and doing more research, I've decided to postpone the visit until next year. It's a combination of feeling too much pressure to arrange this in the short time available to me and concern that November may be a suboptimal time for Provence. I have filed everything away and will pull it out in a couple months to plan a much better trip.

Posted by
6412 posts

It is true that November weather is not always the best. Unpredictable but intense rain spells can be rather frequent, especially later in the month.
April's great, in my opinion.