We are planning 6 weeks in France. End of March thru mid May. One week in Paris, at least one in Colmar(not sure if one is enough there as I am smitten with the half timber homes and delightful colors) and the month…..!!! I am not sure if we should find a home base in Provence, loire, Brittany… or should I stay in Colmar! Would love some help on this! I love villages, countryside, festivals, food and wine.. I am an artist and love color! Not sure if we will have a car, we would see more but that can be expensive and stressful too! Any advice is appreciated!
If you want to take it all in, you could stay a bit longer in Colmar, but given the choice between 1 month in Colmar and 1 month in Provence, Provence wins 100% of the time. There is so much more variety there, IMO.
Brittany is difficult to visit from a single home base, and the Loire doesn't warrant longer than 2 weeks in my opinion.
About the specifics of Provence: a car there is very helpful, but to keep costs down you don't need to have one the whole time. You could spend, say, 3 weeks with a car and 1 week without, or 2 and 2.
For an extended stay, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue could work well. There is decent rail and bus service for those days without a car, and good road access for the time with a car. Avignon has better public transport but worse driving.
Re: car rental for Provence
You should scope out where you want to stay and what you want to do. There is no denying that while having a car raises a number of issues, it can be very convenient. If you do decide on driving, check on leasing vs renting. It’s very easy to do on sites such as Kemwel or AutoEurope. 3 weeks is usually considered the break even point, so the price of leasing for 4 or 5 weeks might be equal to or less than renting for 3. Don’t forget that the price of leasing includes insurance.
In my opinion, if weighing an additional 4 weeks in Colmar against 4 in Provence, the latter is the better plan. Provence is a large area, chock full of attractive towns and villages and amazing sights. It will tick all your boxes.
Sonia, you'll be spoiled for choice when looking into Provencal rentals. We can recommend a few beauties: one in Aix, another in Lourmarin, plus a third in Uzes, actually in the Gard.
One could read about that trio in detail on our TR here from a few years back titled 'Provencal Echo.' The Aix property is also shown in our separate photo essay about that same trip.
Colmar and that wine route has its charms too but probably Provencal is more conducive to artists who love color.
I am done. the end
PS our other photo essay from that trip is called 'Cuckoo for Cucuron' over on the Fodors forum, where I go by 'zebec'.
gregglamarsh, good to see you back. Shine on Brother, shine on! 😉