Subject: Re: Two weeks in Provence
Hello Nancy,

I think it's a good idea to spend one week each with a fixed base. That way you get to know a town or village from the inside out and feel part of it, but are still free (with the rental car) to explore the surroundings as you wish.

I've lived in Provence for 11 years now and in my opinion, weatherwise, May and September are the best months. In your case I would go as close to end of April as you can. The days get longer and the temperatures more comfortable. Tourist traffic is still manageable.

It's a good idea to rent a gite or a small apartment for a week, and then chambres d'hote (B& B) or a hotel such as the ones marked Logis de France where the quality is assured.

As far as the region is concerned that you indicated, you can divide the two weeks between a stay near the coast and one more inland (Les Alpilles: Arles, St-Remy, Les Baux), Lubreon (Peter Mayle country), Avignon, Vaison, Isle-sur-la Sorgue, etc. The coastline you indicated (from St. Tropez to Marseille) is not infested with resorts, but with moderate to posh hotels, camp sites, and many, many villas. There are no high-rises as near Cannes, because of building regulations. You could, for instance rent or stay in a village such La Garde-Freinet (where I live) or Grimaud where you are 10-15 minutes from the coast (20 from St. Tropez) and 25-45 minutes from a dozen of typical Provencal villages, such as Ramatuelle, Gassin, Lorgues, Cotignac and many more. So you have sea, St. Trop (always worth while) but also inland quiet.

I would also recommend a stay of a few days in Les Alpilles, a dramatic landscape and charming villages, with nearby Arles and even Avignon.

Even though many people think that Provence = Luberon (because of Mayle's books) I personally find the Luberon a less attractive region of Provence. There is less variety than what you find in other areas of Provence where the landscape seems to change every few miles. Oh my, when the mistral blows in the Luberon!

You can find more information on two web sites I maintain:

Regards, Frieda Lekkerkerker