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Provence 24 nights in Provence in October

dayhiker

10+ Posts
Many thanks to those of you who provided advice when I asked about traveling to Provence and the Luberon area, and to others who posted about their travels in France. We didn’t take the vacation I had originally envisioned, but the one we did take turned out to be just right for us.

We flew into and out of Nice via JFK, so just one plane change for us. Usually we spend only two nights in our flight destination city, but Nice looked so interesting we stayed 4 nights. We chose a small boutique hotel just half a block off Rue Massena, very convenient for restaurants and walking everywhere. We visited the marvelous Chagal museum, but the Matisse museum was closed during our stay.

VIew of Nice from Colline du Chateau. We took the old elevator up and down.
Nice.jpg


We picked up our rental car at the train station on our last day in Nice and drove to Aix-en-Provence where we had rented an apartment for 9 nights (parking space included!). We chose Aix for its proximity to Marseilles which we had always wanted to visit, but because of the situation in Israel/Gaza that started the day we arrived in Aix and Dept. of State warnings, we reluctantly decided not to visit Marseilles. Since our main interest was hiking/walking, we took numerous day trips to nearby small towns. We also had a lovely day in Cassis, where we walked above the nearest Calanque accessible from the main part of town, then took a boat trip to see the Calanques from the water. We enjoyed the variety of restaurants in Aix. The apartment kitchen was only for breakfast and some lunches!

Hiking near Puyloubier, beneath the Saint Antoine Massif
Hiking near Aix.jpg


Cassis - View from Senier du Petit Prince Calanque Port Miou
Cassis View from Senier du Petit Prince Calanque Port Miou.jpg


Then on to St Remy de Provence for another 9 nights in an apartment. We chose St Remy because of a comment from one Slow Europe traveler who said they planned to stay there on a future trip. It was a perfect central location for our day trips to Arles, Avignon, Pont-du-Gard, Roussillon (finally the Luberon) and the Carmargue National Park. In the Camargue we spent time at the Parc Ornithologique of Pont de Gau where hundreds of flamingoes hang out. Rousillon and Pont-du-Gard provided very good hiking opportunities. We also did some hiking closer to St. Remy. Another highlight was the Carrieres de Lumieres in Le-Baux-de-Provence. St. Remy is a small town, but we had some of our best dinners in the local restaurants.

Pont du Gard
Pont du Gard.jpg

Rousillon hiking
Roussillon Ochre Trail.jpg

Camargue - Parc Ornithologique of Pont de Gau
Camargue.jpg

Carrieres de Lumieres in Le-Baux-de-Provence
Carrieres de Lumieres exterior.jpg
Carrieres de Lumieres interior.jpg


We finished up with 2 nights in Antibes, chosen because it was easy driving distance to the Nice airport. While there, we walked through a pretty fancy residential neighborhood along the Mediterranean and enjoyed looking at the mega-yachts in the huge harbor.
Antibes yachts.jpg


All in all, a successful trip. Marvelous food and wine, friendly people, good hiking and walking. We lucked out with the weather with almost no rain, but a bit warmer than we had wanted. We used the AllTrails app to find hiking trails, referenced Rick Steves for practical information, and used Google Translate extensively.

Already planning next year’s slow travel!
 

Attachments

  • Cassis View from Senier du Petit Prince Calanque Port Miou.jpg
    Cassis View from Senier du Petit Prince Calanque Port Miou.jpg
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Sounds like a great trip. There is so much to see in Provence. We have been to Provence three times, but have not been to Aix. I enjoyed your photos, especially the flamingos.
Where to next time?
 
Aix itself isn't really a tourist destination. It does have a large "old town" with some history, but is mostly a university and business center. The location is very convenient for day trips to large cities and small towns, and offers a variety of places to stay as well as many, many good restaurants.

Planning our next European vacation to Switzerland next September. We have been to Switzerland twice before, and really appreciate the public transportation system (no need for a car), scenery and hiking.
 
Many thanks to those of you who provided advice when I asked about traveling to Provence and the Luberon area, and to others who posted about their travels in France. We didn’t take the vacation I had originally envisioned, but the one we did take turned out to be just right for us.

We flew into and out of Nice via JFK, so just one plane change for us. Usually we spend only two nights in our flight destination city, but Nice looked so interesting we stayed 4 nights. We chose a small boutique hotel just half a block off Rue Massena, very convenient for restaurants and walking everywhere. We visited the marvelous Chagal museum, but the Matisse museum was closed during our stay.

VIew of Nice from Colline du Chateau. We took the old elevator up and down.
View attachment 43458

We picked up our rental car at the train station on our last day in Nice and drove to Aix-en-Provence where we had rented an apartment for 9 nights (parking space included!). We chose Aix for its proximity to Marseilles which we had always wanted to visit, but because of the situation in Israel/Gaza that started the day we arrived in Aix and Dept. of State warnings, we reluctantly decided not to visit Marseilles. Since our main interest was hiking/walking, we took numerous day trips to nearby small towns. We also had a lovely day in Cassis, where we walked above the nearest Calanque accessible from the main part of town, then took a boat trip to see the Calanques from the water. We enjoyed the variety of restaurants in Aix. The apartment kitchen was only for breakfast and some lunches!

Hiking near Puyloubier, beneath the Saint Antoine Massif
View attachment 43459

Cassis - View from Senier du Petit Prince Calanque Port Miou
View attachment 43461

Then on to St Remy de Provence for another 9 nights in an apartment. We chose St Remy because of a comment from one Slow Europe traveler who said they planned to stay there on a future trip. It was a perfect central location for our day trips to Arles, Avignon, Pont-du-Gard, Roussillon (finally the Luberon) and the Carmargue National Park. In the Camargue we spent time at the Parc Ornithologique of Pont de Gau where hundreds of flamingoes hang out. Rousillon and Pont-du-Gard provided very good hiking opportunities. We also did some hiking closer to St. Remy. Another highlight was the Carrieres de Lumieres in Le-Baux-de-Provence. St. Remy is a small town, but we had some of our best dinners in the local restaurants.

Pont du Gard
View attachment 43462
Rousillon hiking
View attachment 43463
Camargue - Parc Ornithologique of Pont de Gau
View attachment 43464
Carrieres de Lumieres in Le-Baux-de-Provence
View attachment 43465 View attachment 43466

We finished up with 2 nights in Antibes, chosen because it was easy driving distance to the Nice airport. While there, we walked through a pretty fancy residential neighborhood along the Mediterranean and enjoyed looking at the mega-yachts in the huge harbor.
View attachment 43467

All in all, a successful trip. Marvelous food and wine, friendly people, good hiking and walking. We lucked out with the weather with almost no rain, but a bit warmer than we had wanted. We used the AllTrails app to find hiking trails, referenced Rick Steves for practical information, and used Google Translate extensively.

Already planning next year’s slow travel!
We are taking a similar trip next October. Are there any restaurants in Aix and Provence that you especially enjoyed and would recommend?
 
Several restaurants we recommend in Aix:
Le Petite Ferme - best meal during our 3 weeks in Provence. Reservation a must.
Le Petit Verdot - Reservation a must. There is another similar restaurant next door, also seemed very good but we couldn't get a reservation. On a narrow side street.
La Menara - Moroccan - order tagine! We ate here twice. Large, but you should make reservation.
L'Incontournable - impossible to pronounce, hidden at the end of a small street. Reservation a must

Saint Remy:
Restaurant La Table D'Yvan - wonderful, we ate here twice. In a hotel a bit out of town, but walkable. Reservation required. Pre-fixe dinner, changes daily - check website for daily menu (either meat or chicken or seafood)
Restaurant Maison Marshall - Fairly new restaurant, used to be just a bakery. delicious food, friendly, helpful service

Nice (both on the same side street, small restaurants, make a reservation):
Le Terre del Sud - Italian with very good seafood
La Vague - excellent seafood

Enjoy your trip!
 

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