I am taking another quickie trip to Europe following my husband's business trip for a food show in Paris. I get to plan 3 days in Provence. My husband is mostly interested in food and wine. I like markets. Any suggestions out there?
Pont du Gard and Uzes are close together; Ilse sur la Sorgue is a day trip with a good market if you hit the right day (look at the market days for the towns you'll hit) and is on the way to the Fontaine de Vaucluse which is beautiful if the weather has been wet and the water is running high. Les Baux is spectaular and there's a Michelin-starred restaurant in the valley below. St. Remy is a beautiful town with another good market.
We stayed in St. Remy and loved it. Lots of good restaurants. We stayed at Hotel Sous Les Figuiers, a small, romantic hotel that feels like a B & B. Only 1 or 2 blocks from center of town, but feels far enough away. Wonderful Wednesday market.
Do you think that St. Remy is a good place to stay in overnight? Or would it be better to use Arles as a base for 3 nights?
We spent 2 weeks in Provence in May/June and I'd recommend St. Remy as a base for Provence. We stayed in a farm house near Maussane with a group of friends but we all agreed that if we return, our base would be St. Remy or nearby. This trip, Arles seemed more touristy than I remembered from my visit there 12 years ago. I agree that Ile sur la Sorgue is a great market if you're there on a Sunday. All of the villages have markets so you can find one on any day of the week. Rick's Provence book has some excellent recommendations and a list of the market schedules. It sounds like an excellent trip!
If you are a market fan, you may want to decide where to stay based on which days of the week you'll be in Provence. Here are some options: You could stay in Vaison la Romaine (Tuesday market) which is close to the vineyards in Seguret, Rasteau, and Chateauneuf du Pape. See Rick's Provence book for driving tour of the Cotes du Rhone villages. I highly recommend visiting Mourchon in Seguret. Lovely people, excellent wine, spectacular views (you can even stay there). I agree that St Remy makes a good base (Wednesday market). Mas de la Dame, outside Les Baux, is a nice wine stop. Another option is Lourmarin (Friday market and my favorite) and you can make day trips to Aix (Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday markets), other Luberon hill towns, and Cassis. Check out Le Chai Cassidian wine bar in Cassis.
Cassis might be a little farther than you want to travel but they DO have a great Friday market. Cassis is a beautiful town on the coast!!