We will be in Saint-Remy de Provence, with car, for five days in late July and would appreciate suggestions for a couple of daytrips from there, and also for worthwhile sights and activities in the immediate area.

 

Jetlag should not be an issue; we'll have been in Marseille for a couple of days beforehand. Our interests focus on culture, history, architecture and food (not necessarily in that order, and not that they can be so easily separated!) Of course, if there's still lavender to be seen then, that would be high on the list.

 

Thanks for your help and suggestions!

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Original Post

Nearest St-Remy:

- Don't miss Les Baux.  The village is touristy but the castle complex on top is fantastic and the views are to die for - you don't need to be a fan of scenery to appreciate them.

- Roman ruins of Glanum, walking distance from St-Remy

- Arles for more Roman ruins (but I think you've been already?)

 

Farther away:

- Day-trip to the Luberon for unmatched scenery and charming little villages full of vernacular architecture - what people build themselves, without an architect.  See my fave, Oppede-le-Vieux (NOT to be confused with Oppede-les-Poulivets down the hill).  Gordes and Roussillon are the most famous and thus the most touristed of the villages.  I stayed in Joucas, positively tiny, all the charm, none of the tourists.

- For some really old architecture, visit the bories at Gordes - little buildings made with dry stone, no mortar, standing for 1000 years or more.  There's a little village of them a couple km outside of town.

- Day-trip to Vaison-la-Romaine, Roman ruins, charming old town, massive market on Tuesdays.

- Don't miss the Sunday farmers-cum-antiques market at L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.  Great for foodies.  The roast chickens with potatoes and onions are to die for, taste even better than they smell.  Bring your own utensils or do as I did, eat with your fingers and clean up afterwards.  I imagine the paella is pretty great too, and they certainly serve up a single portion big enough for two.

- Pont du Gard, goes without saying.

- If you haven't already been, visit Aix-en-Provence, most charming of small cities.  A great cafe city with a wonderful pedestrianized core.  My favorite small city in the world.

- Aigues Mortes for a walled crusader town, standing since the 1100s.  Also consider the nearby Camargue, around Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer, mostly for scenery and birds (especially flamingos), also white horses and black bulls.  Caution:  I spent three days in this area and did not have a decent meal, although the area is famous for sea salt and rice which is sold everywhere.

 

I have not been there in lavender season (yet) but understand that the area around Sault and the Abbaye de Senanque near Gordes are two places to find it in abundance.

 

Enjoy, it's a gorgeous area!

Thanks for the comprehensive thoughts!

 

We have been in Arles and Aix...not for as long as I'd have liked, but I think we'll have to include Avignon this time (nearby, and only got an hour of our time before). I'm leaning to the idea of one day for the Luberon, one for Avignon and the rest closer to "home"--although the roast chicken is calling me!

 

We're arriving in St-Remy around 9ish on Wednesday, with an apartment just behind the main part of the market (hope we can get through to the apartment!). We're hoping the market will provide most of our needs for the kitchen...

 

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Unless your accommodations have private parking, I'd arrive really early on Wednesday.  The market starts at 9am.  If you're there by 8 or 8:30, you should be able to snag parking reasonably close.

 

I haven't been to the market in St-Remy, but given its size, I bet the roast chicken truck will be there too.

Good point, and sent me scurrying back to the Airbnb details page—and fortunately, there's on-premise parking. That's good, because we're picking up the car at Avignon TGV at about 8:40. An earlier train would be more expensive and less pleasant...

 

We're staying at a hotel in Marseille that's just at Gare St-Charles, and considered picking the car up there...but decided that leaving central Marseille in the rush hour might not be our favorite thing...and also adds about 54€ to the rental for a one-way dropping the car off at Avignon on our way to Paris.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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