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Ideas of where to visit after ending Eastern France Tour in Aix-en-Provence.

I would like to extend my vacation for 3 days after our tour ends in Aix-en-Provence. I have never been to France. Love the small villages and wine. Any suggestions and where to go?

Posted by
2129 posts

"Small villages and wine" made me think of Bandol. Although I have not been there, it's my impression that it would fill the bill. Also, it's on the train line. Other possibilities: Lourmarin and L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Cassis is a nice spot, though not quite as easy to get to. There are several larger towns that are easily accessible: Marseille, Arles, Avignon, Nimes.

Posted by
4132 posts

I suspect you will have many ideas about where to go after taking this tour. The itineraries are artfully put together but hardly exhaust all that there is to see.

A logistical consideration: from where will you fly home?

Posted by
17 posts

Hi Adam

Maybe Marseille but I'm very flexible, depends on what we plan after tour.

Posted by
3387 posts

If you head west you'll have your fill of beautiful villages and wine! If you start in Montpellier and work your way west through Pezenas, Agde, Narbonne, Beziers, Coullioure, etc. you'll get exactly what you want. Best winery in the area IMHO is the Abbaye de Valmagne...an old abby that's been converted to a stunning winery. There is so much to do in that whole area.

Posted by
869 posts

Just got home yesterday from Provence and Paris. It was WONDERFUL. We stayed 4 nights in Gordes and 5 nights in St. Remy de Provence. We took the days to drive around the villages of Louramin, Menerbes, Roussillon and Les Baux de Provence. We heard about the MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES IN FRANCE list of small villages all over that country that have certain characteristics that merit them being on this list. I bought a book of the villages on EBay......and there are a bunch.......and we made a point as we drove around Provence ( which was super easy) to stop and see any town on the list that we were close to......AND......yes, their being set apart by that listing does make them special. It made our trip......and we googled the list of markets and made a point to see those as we drove around.....and they were delightful too! The Saturday market is Aix was such fun. Hope you are there to enjoy it.....and there is a super big market in L’Isle Sur la Sorgue on Sunday that we loved.
We stayed at Le Jas de Gordes while there and it was lovely......beautiful place on the road into Gordes with a pastoral setting to enjoy (fountain, gardens, lounge chairs) and a delicious breakfast included every morning. Gordes is probably our favorite village on the list. Their market was the best. If you stay there make sure to see the Abbey right down the road where the lavender fields are full every July. We stopped there....blooms are not ready yet but a wonderful relaxing setting out in the country.
Hope this helps. Message me if you need any more help!

Posted by
4132 posts

If you fly home from Marseilles, just stay in Provence someplace in the Rhone valley. 3 days is not a ton of time so to get the most out of that keep it logistically simple--also for the same reason consider reserving a car for that time, it will greatly extend your reach.

The alternative that makes the most sense would be Paris, with a flight home from paris. But that's not what you say you are seeking and you mist have considered it.

Other possibilities, e.g. looping back to Burgundy with its lovely villages and wine, just entail too much logistical headway, in my opinion. Love the wonderful part of France you're with.

Posted by
55 posts

Gordes. That's a good idea, already mentioned above. Stay there, fly home from Marseille.

Posted by
1 posts

Jane, can you tell us what the name of the book is that you mentioned? This would be helpful. What you did on your trip sounds much like what we are hoping to do!

Posted by
650 posts

It also depends on where your tour is headed -- more than likely they will not spend enough time to adequately explore things. You can rent a car (public transit not an option) and head north to Lourmarin and into the Luberon (through Bonnieux, Menerbes, Rousillion, Gordes, etc). You can easily fill a wonderful three days there. As an alternative, continue northwest and head into the Southern Rhone, and hit wine regions like Chateauneuf du Pape and Gigondas. (You can return your car in Avignon and take the train to the appropriate airport).

Posted by
2129 posts

It's not true that public transportation is "not an option." Buses go to all these places. Scheduling may be difficult and trips may be slow, but it is definitely an option.

Posted by
650 posts

Yes, there is public transport. But to hit all those places in three days, staying in a village like Gordes and to visit wineries and small villages like the OP wanted, it's just not going to be an option or be as enjoyable. It's a lot of infrequent bus service (sometimes just twice a day) and a lot of connections in Apt.

(Oh and I know realize the OP meant the RS tour, of course, so the Luberon or the area around St. Remy makes sense, given that itinerary).