After a week in Paris in early September, we will travel to Provence to spend another week. We are interested in architecture, quaint villages, easy cycling, people-watching, beautiful scenery, cafes and culture. We would like to see Gordes, Roussillon, St Remy, L'Isle sur la Sorgue, Arles, and perhaps Aix. I am having a very hard time deciding where to stay - we don't want a big city full of tourists, nor do we want a tiny village with limited services. Any favorites? (We will have a car). Thank you.
In the general area -- Vaison La Romaine...Stay in 'the city medevial" on top of the mountain. Authentic old world. Market in the city below every Tuesday as it has been for 1000+- years. Roman ruins there as well. One of my favorite and off the completely beaten tourist path, but still found by knowledgeable tourists.
While I love every town I have ever been to in Provence, my favorite 'home base' is St. Remy. It is the most beautiful drive into town and I like that it is an easy drive to most of the places you want to visit. I also love the great market, (I think Wed. and Sat) as well as the great restaurants, galleries and beautiful shops. It is such a great town to wander around in the evening after dinner. Of all the towns you listed Aix is probably my least favorite... it was very busy when I was there, parking was tough, and it was bigger than I thought. I tend to prefer the smaller towns and villages. There is an incredible chocolate shoppe in St. Remy and it's like Costco... they give samples :) One of my favorite was the lavender chocolate...yum.
we stayed in Tarascon and Vaison la Romaine, B&B's in both and were more than content. We visited Arles en route. VLR has ruins and is much smaller village than Tarascon.