There is a reason I travel at this time, and I have had a number of pleasant trips to Mediterranean areas (Andalucía, Sicily, etc.), but I would like to do something different, and I would like to see more of France. A French acquaintance has suggested the "Arrière Pays" as a "possible" destination. He says he is talking about "the low mountains.(Manosque,Castellane, Apt, Avignon"). Without any guarantees of good weather :-), can anyone comment on the wisdom of giving this a try? Many thanks in advance to a most helpful community. --Spencer
It is sort of the luck of the draw. We've run into the Mistral and freezing weather even as low as St. Remy-de-Provence in the 2nd week of November. If you run into bad weather, just move down to the coast and it should be much nicer. I remember walking along the shore near Golfe Juan and looking up past the palm trees to snow in the Alps. It was beautiful . . . and we were comfortable. We even had lunch outside that day.
Here is a web site that has touring information including the Train of the Pines. provencehousestay.com/arrier...
If you have good weather and can get up into the mountains, try to visit the Mercantour National Park. It is wonderful. http://www.mercantour.eu/
I'm not familiar with the term arrière pays except in its meaning as the hinterlands so this would be the hinterlands of Provence. It's a favorite vacation spot of ours and I highly recommend it but in November try to be flexible in case you do get some bad weather. The countryside is magnificent if you haven't visited it.
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Don't let the possible threat of poor weather turn you from the trip. We had some freezing temps in the mornings but by afternoon, the sun was out and it was fine. The Mistral was something else (if you're not familiar, its a famous wind), but I had always wanted to experience it so had a grand time. There was not one day we couldn't get out and sightsee and we had a wonderful time. It's completely different at that time of year.
Visiting places like Arles and Avignon, expect many of the tourist shops to be closed but the regular shops are all open as are the cafes and restaurants. We also discovered some of the tourist shops were open, they just didn't have displays on the street in front of the store . . . for good reason. It's a quieter time of year, but still a wonderful experience. Highly recommended.
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