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What time of year to visit?

by Sunsparkjr Online Now Feb 5, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Hello all! I'm planning a 10 day trip to the region for next year. We like to travel the shoulders - late April to May or September to October - to avoid the crush and cost of high season. So, which would anyone suggest, Spring or Fall? In general we'll be in a 1 to 2 hour radius of Avignon, probably based in L'Isle-sur-la Sorgue. I'm guessing in and out of Nice from the US east coast, unless I can find a deal somewhere else. Thanks!
Pete

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: What time of year to visit?

    by gwened Online Now Feb 5, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    any time is good there except in mistral season and cold like now. By April it will be good.September too. Spring will be better if I need to choose. However, I have been in all seasons and its great.
    Avignon is a good base for transport, and L'isle-sur-la-Sorgue is nice with a famous now touristic market. The whole of Luberon is nice and the area around Ménerbes the home of Peter Mayle who wrote the essential books on Provence.
    Nice is a good spot too as very good hub with public transport.

    All looks good to me, any more details? THe destinations above right in VT will key in those towns and get more tips from posters like us, and look here
    provence.guideweb.com/indexa...

    hope it helps

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Re: What time of year to visit?

    by Dabs Online Now Feb 5, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    We flew into Toulouse and out of Marseille from Chicago, Toulouse would be a little too far west for what you are looking for (we wanted to see Carcassonne)but Marseille is closer to Avignon than Nice. Note that Marseille is the European capital of culture in 2013 but it appears you are talking 2014. We were in the area in late May and early June and it was HOT, much more than I expected but it wasn't overcrowded so I don't imagine late April would be any busier

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  • shrimp56's Profile Photo

    Re: What time of year to visit?

    by shrimp56 Online Now Feb 5, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    For me I would take the fall, especially if you are late in the shoulder season. I've been there twice in early December also, based in Avignon. The first time was in the 60s all the time, sitting outside at cafes. The second time the mistral blew in and it was just a bit less pleasant. [That was an understatement]

    I love Avignon as a base if you don;t have a car as so many interesting places are an easy train ride away.

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  • xymmot's Profile Photo

    Re: What time of year to visit?

    by xymmot Online Now Feb 5, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    Fall time is always good when the weather cools and the summer high season is over. Everything that you want to do in the summer will be better in the fall. You get better deals on flight and hotel rooms too. traffic less congestion, still sunny.

    cheers tommy x

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  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo

    Re: What time of year to visit?

    by Maryimelda Online Now Feb 5, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    I based myself in L'Isle sur la Sorgue for the last two weeks of September 2011. It is a fabulous hub and is connected by bus and train to many other towns in the area. It would be even better with a car although you may find that you have to park the car in the designated carparks rather than in front of your apartment. It doesn't seem to be a big deal however.

    The weather was still very warm and sunny when I was there though I would think that maybe you would see the lavender fields in April but certainly not in September. I was disappointed about that.

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  • Re: What time of year to visit?

    by Sunsparkjr Online Now Feb 6, 2013 at 6:36 AM

    Thanks! Yes, we'll have a car and intend to explore the area as much as we can. I like to plan in half-day increments so that we can adjust on the fly if we come across something interesting - or not! I'm not fully committed to our base however it meets most of our criteria: central to an area of interest; rather small with access to larger metros; a bit out of the way with more local flavor than tourist interest. Of the 10 days I would expect that we'd be in the area at least 7 and am still deciding if we'll even break that up to 2 stays in 2 seperate towns. This trip plan is in it's infancy so we have a number of decisions to make. If fact, I'm still in "negotiations" with my wife who wants to head more towards Poland ... I'm not so sure ...
    Pete

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: What time of year to visit?

    by gwened Online Now Feb 6, 2013 at 6:45 AM

    if you have a car ,it will be inmense, no contest with Poland unless relatives there....
    cheers

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  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Re: What time of year to visit?

    by Beausoleil Online Now Feb 6, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    In spring you have longer days which is good for sightseeing. In fall days are starting to shorten a bit. May and September are both nice and very different. In spring things are starting to flower, and in fall they're getting ready for winter. You may see fields of sunflowers in May but in September they will be dried and brown. Weather is more changeable in shoulder seasons so take an umbrella. We've run into good and bad weather in both spring and fall. The nice thing is that area is wonderful in any weather. We visited Les Baux in the Mistral once and it was a real adventure. We usually stay in the country north of Saint-Remy-de-Provence but you would need a car there.

    Enjoy a gorgeous part of France.

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