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How to spend 4 nights near the Luberon/Provence?

We have 4 nights with nothing planned in early May after we visit Nice. We definitely want to explore the Luberon and spend at least 2 of the nights in Aix-en-provence (unless people advise against that...), but other than that we're not too picky about where we stay! We enjoy quieter vibes (so not Marseille), nature, wine and food, history, and aesthetics (my wife is a photographer).

Would 2 nights in Avignon after 2 nights in Aix-en-provence be worthwhile? Any other cities/towns worth looking into? Thanks!

Posted by
755 posts

There are several wonderful towns to visit in the Luberon area and it’s a lot easier to see this area with a car. You didn’t mention how you are planning to get around. In the area of southern France that you mentioned, I would definitely stay in Arles instead of Avignon. Cassis is nice, as is Antibes.

Posted by
35 posts

Ah yes, transportation! We are open to renting a car or being car-free. Either is fine.

What makes you learn toward Arles over Avignon?

Posted by
127 posts

We spent 5 days in Roussillon and loved the charming village. We day tripped to neighboring towns and always enjoyed coming back to Roussillon after exploring.

Posted by
10284 posts

If you want to visit the Luberon, why not stay in the Luberon rather than a city? Spring is a beautiful time to be there. You are already visiting two cities, Nice and Aix, so try a hill town in the Luberon.

Posted by
21 posts

We are visiting Provence for the first time this year in October and planning to stay in Nice for the first part and in St.Remy for the second part, each about a week. No direct experience yet, but through recommendations it made sense for us to stay in St. Remy (just outside the main town), which is very central, not a big city, but not a very small village. That way we have enough choices for restaurants and other conveniences but still get a feel of living in a quieter place. We plan to rent a car during our stay in St.-Remy and plan to visit Arles, Avignon, Nimes, Pont du gard and one or two villages in the Luberon area. St. Remy itself has some nice sites.

Posted by
35 posts

Thanks for the replies everyone! After discussing it more, I think we're going to opt for skipping Arles and spending 2 nights in the Luberon - likely Roussillon. Thanks!

Posted by
6 posts

We stayed at the wonderful (and very affordable) L'Hermitage near Pernes-Les-Fontaine. Our longest drive was about an hour to Arles. L'Isle-Sur-la-Sourge is 20 minutes, which is about the same distance between the other Luberon sites. We rented a car at Marseilles airport and found driving easy once we figured out how to get Google maps to work through the radio. Be sure to read up on French road rules. We hit a few markets, enjoyed the beautiful architecture and cobbled streets, ate very well (including at the hotel). Aix for 2 nights is good (you can take the train from Nice). Very walkable. Caumont Museum was wonderful.

Posted by
884 posts

We traveled to Provence a few springs ago and based our 6 days in Gordes and St. Remy……it was delightful….the Gordes market on Tuesday and the incredible Wednesday market in St. Remy are so worth seeing….we loved visiting the mental hospital where Van Gogh lived, an olive oil farm near St. Remy, the Chateau des Alpilles for lunch in St. Remy, Menerbes, Loumarin (so charming!!!) and Rousillon……..also the abbey near Gordes where the lavender fields bloom every July……it is a great area with so much to see…..also the weekend market in Aix.