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The Villages of Provence - Suggested Self Drive

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Discover this picturesque region that is drenched in sunshine 300 days of the year. Its diverse landscape and pretty wee hilltop villages are so enticing, you will simply want to explore more

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Aix-en-Provence
Old town of Aix is home to Cézanne, the tree-lined Cours Mirabeau and a farmers market where you can enjoy a coffee and savour the ambience.

Day 2: Aix-en-Provence – Lourmarin – Bonnieux – Roussillon (65km)
As you enter the Luberon valley marvel at the vineyards and cherry orchards dotting the hillsides, the terraced fields, the shady squares in the town centres and the patches of ochre clad countryside. Roussillon sits impressively in the heart of one of these large ochre deposits.

Day 3: Roussillon – Lacoste – Ménerbes – Oppede-le-Vieux – Roussillon (42km)
Meander around the small stone villages on the hilltops and stop at a few to explore the Roman alleys, archways and the views across the valley.

Day 4: Roussillon – Gordes – L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue – Avignon (57km)
The riverside market town of L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, is known as the ‘Venice of Provence’. Just out of town is the famous spring, Fountain de Vaucluse.

Day 5: Avignon – Les Baux-de-Provence – Arles (54km)
Explore the Pont d’Avignon and the old town. It’s small and compact with ancient ramparts surrounding the historical town and the magnificent Papal Palace. Van Gogh lived in Arles in 1888 and you’ll recognise many scenes from his paintings here.

Day 6: Arles – Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer – Aigues-Mortes (67km)
Travel through the peaceful Camargue to the 13th century walled town set in the salt marshes, home to flamingo, white horses and black bulls.

villages of provence map

Highlights worth seeing along the way
Walk the Ochre Trail – From Roussillon there are a couple of short walks through this unique landscape.

Explore Oppede-le-Vieux – This tiny hill town has been bought back from ruins, admire the views from the rock church and dine at the charming Le Petit Café.

St-Remy-de-Provence – Explore this trendy village. Wednesday is market day and is renowned for its authentic ranges of colourful linens.

Carrieres de Lumieres – A visual art show inside an abandoned quarry.

Lavender Fields – These are absolutely breath-taking in colours of mauve, lilac and provençal blue. They are at their best in July. Valensole, Sault and Abbaye Senanque have the best fields.

Lunch in Lacoste – Café de France, on a suspended terrace has lovely views over the valley and provençal cuisine.

Aix-en-Provence – Grab a pamphlet from the Tourist Office and follow the tiled trail of Cézanne through the town. Impossible to get lost but very easy to get side tracked.

Wine Lovers – Enjoy a wine tasting in the cavern under Lourmarin’s Renaissance castle.

Visit historic Abbey de Senanque – You can take a tour of this 11th century abbey on the outskirts of Gordes.

Our favourite places to stay 
• Aquabella, Aix-en-Provence
• Hotel Les Ambres, Roussillon
• Boutique Hotel des Remparts, Aigues-Mortes

Choosing your Rental Car
Take into consideration the size of the vehicle you require. We strongly recommend a compact size car for two adults. If the vehicle is to be used for day touring from a central base and not for transporting your luggage, a smaller vehicle may be adequate. We suggest you book your car before leaving home as this will save money and ensure you get the car of your choice.

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