Provence Itinerary: Is it Realistic?

We plan to take the TGV from Paris to Avignon, pick up a car there. We have 5 nights (Tues to Sun), and need to be in Marseilles by Sun afternoon to fly out to Italy for the last leg of our trip. So, we'll have 4 full days in Provence (and 1/2 day or so on the day we arrive). We want to see: Arles, Les Baux, Orange, some Cote du Rhone villages, visit some wineries, Pont du Gard, Nimes. We pack light...carry on and a backpack, and don't mind moving once, but we don't want to bounce around too much. So here's what we're thinking: Tues: arrive Avignon midday, pick up car, drive north, perhaps see Orange if time, stay in Vaison la Romaine Wed: Cote du Rhone Drive, wineries, return to place we're staying at Vaison la Romaine Thurs: Chateauneuf du Pape, Orange if we didn't visit on Wed, relocate to Arles Fri: Pont du Gard and Nimes, return to our Arles hotel Sat: Arles Les Baux, return car that night, return to our Arles hotel
Sun: take train from Arles to Marseilles Does this make good sense, or should we re-order things? Are we biting off too much?

Posted by JerryG
winston salem, nc, usa
655 posts

Susan, you are looking good! the only thing I would ask you to make sure you visit is the cooperative in Nimes, if only to buy their super olive oil soap.
However, rather than staying in Arles, suggest you look at Karen Browns' guide and consider the B & B she reccomends in Utz as a second base--it's a little off the grid, but a neat village.

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
2612 posts

Take a look at staying in St. Remy... a centrally located favorite place of mine. It is close to Arles, but a little smaller and parking and driving can be a bit easier than in Arles. I always try to leave enough flexibility for those wonderful places that you drive through and just decide you have to stop. There is a place just near St. Remy that has an audio visual show in a
cave (they changed the name and I can't remember it) If you have time its an experience.

Posted by Lee
Dallas
898 posts

I would put less city and more countryside and village in the itinerary. The Luberon is the best place in Provence imo. I can't tell you what to take out, but it would be a shame to miss Gordes, Bonnieux, Roussillon, the vineyards, etc.

Posted by Lin
Victoria B.C., Canada
46 posts

The show in the cave is in Les Baux (close to St Remy). It is renamed Carrieres des Lumieres. Google it...it looks wonderful. We are going in May.
We are staying at Residence Les Sources in St Remy (has wonderful reviews, a pool, washer, dryer, kitchen, parking reasonable price, close to a grocery store and walking distance to town). Check it out. We opted for the smaller places to see rather than the larger ones...(clifftop towns with amazing views...Gordes, Oppede le Vieux, Menerbes, Lacoste, Bonnieux, Rousillon). A day trip circle Uzes, Pont de Gard and Arles. Another day (Wed for St Remy market), Glanum ruins, Les Baux (and the Lumieres show). We have 7 days so are also going to other places but these are the main ones that I think you might enjoy. When are you going?

Posted by christine
TAVEL, Provence, France
7 posts

Hi As a owner of a bed and breakfast near Avignon I am quite used to itinerary I will suggest Avignon midday pick up a car and visit Avignon and stay around there the first day and for the 5 nights. Vaison, Orange Chateauneuf du Pape can be 1 day Pont du Gard, Nimes, Uzes another day (saturday is a great market in uzes) arles, St remy, les baux, (wedn is a great market in St Remy) luberon for a day the maximum driving form Avignon or around is 45 minutes is not that long and it become quite an asset to know the place where you are staying, the owner, and if is in a Bed and Breakfast you alsways get then personnal tip, nice conversations etc... I am at your disposal if needed
Christine