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4 Precious Days in Provence - Need help with driving/base info

Thank you for helping!! We are driving from Carcasonne and have 4 days in the Provence area before heading to the French Rivera and then onto the French Alps. First thing we love being on the road and have RS books but this area overwhelms me with choices. We would like to stay in a small town. Coming from Carcasonne and then not sure of how to maximize our time. We could stay in one place or split 2 nights in Provence and 2 in Luberon? So in this time frame we would like to see the Nimes arena, Pont du gard, Orange, Arles - night time bull game in area, isle - sur - la sorgue etc. We were thinking of basing in Roussillon or St. Remy ?? I don't know why Michelin gave St. Remy only 1 star. We don't care for larger places and like the off beaten path but with a town square and places to eat. We are going in June/July during lavender season. I am stuck with this leg of the trip because it is the area I really care about and need assistance. Thank you in advance for taking time out to answer this.

Posted by
3696 posts

St. Remy is tthe perfect choice as a base town. If Michelin only gave it 1 star they could not have visited the same town I have stayed in:)) It is centrally located, has the most amazing market, wonderful restaurants and shops and is the greatest little place for hanging out and wandering. The drive into town with the tree lined streets is the quintessential french landscape. I have been to all the towns you talk about and love them for a day trip, but my favorite, by far, is St. Remy. I have been there numerous times and would return again tomorrow. Lavendar in front of the Abbey near Gordes is beautiful.

Posted by
4125 posts

St. Remy is a good base from which to see the Rhone Valley sights. I'd be tempted to recommend it as a base for all four days, but I also think it is reasonable to be up in the hills if you'd like to spend some time there too. Be warned, though, there is PLENTY to see in just 4 days from St. Remy. Michelin has its own personality (and so does Rick) that is worth understanding when applying their reviews. Michelin is never going to give more than one star to a slow little place like St. Remy, no matter how charming. Still, "only" one star on the Michelin scale is not too shabby--they are stingy with those things. I also think there are plenty of great small towns in the Rhone area that would suit you well. I just haven't stayed in in any of them (but have in St Remy).

Posted by
2916 posts

A second St. Remy. We did something we rarely do in France -- we returned there and stayed for a week again at the exact same gite, without a car.

Posted by
2023 posts

Another vote for St Remy as a base for four days. Restaurants, laundry, and market day are all pluses. We added a day in Vaison Romaine and Gigondas to explore other areas. Isle Sur LaSorgue would be another good choice. Arles was fine for a day trip but would not base there-parking was really tough.