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Itinerary Help: 12 nights in Paris/Provence

Hi there. I'll be traveling to France for 12 nights with my family (two adults, two teenagers, experienced and adventurous travelers all) in mid-March 2023 and we're having some trouble sorting our itinerary given that everywhere looks great. We'd like to spend three nights in Paris at trip's end, leaving us nine for Provence. We'll TGV from CDG to Avignon to pick up a car. We'd like not to drive more than an hour to any day trip to maximize our time in each place, thus the shifting of hotels (also, the kids LOVE hotels and exploring new grounds and settings, so it's not just about efficiency.) Right now, here's what I'm thinking:

Night 1-TGV to Avignon (we'll have arrived from NYC that morning in Paris , so everyone will be exhausted)
2-3-4: Luberon in countryside to explore Gordes, Bonnieux, Menerbes
5-6: Aix closer to town for a village stay
7-8-9: St Remy/Arles area to do some outdoor stuff in Camargue, Baux de Provence, and of course, St Remy/Arles
10-11-12: Paris

Is it silly to stay overnight in Avignon? Am I missing a zone of Provence that has a different vibe worth exploring? Any insight would be so appreciated.
-Lisa.

Posted by
2003 posts

Staying overnight in Avignon would be an important safety precaution, so that you’re not driving jetlagged, so no, not silly at all.

Posted by
4831 posts

I wouldn't drive from Avignon TGV to the Luberon after such a long journey, so the overnight stay is a good idea if you keep your suggested order.
However, St Rémy de Provence is a 20 minute drive from Avignon TGV on flat roads, which feels safe enough to me, so if you don't want to stay in Avignon, maybe you can flip your route around and stay in St Rémy first?

Posted by
4 posts

@balso, that's a great idea. Would you then spend 4 nights in St Remy to visit Arles, the Camargue, Baux de Provence, and a day visit to Avignon instead of 1 Avignon and 3 St Remy? I don't have great sense from what I've read (and it's a lot) which part of Provence would benefit from extra time to explore...

thanks so much.