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A Working Holiday
Chapter 1: We Leave for France
Chapter 10: Looking for Mr. Goodstone
Chapter 11: A mission to la Clape
Chapter 12: Dinner at Château de Lignan
Chapter 13: Antiques and plunder
Chapter 14: The vintner next door
Chapter 15: The rooftops of Nézignan-l'Évêque
Chapter 2: Comes the crusade
Chapter 3: The 13 colonies
Chapter 4: Our curtains are dreadful
Chapter 5: Naked beaches
Chapter 6: A visit to Château des Estanilles
Chapter 7: A pilgrimage to Toulouse
Chapter 8: Remembering Collioure
Chapter 9: The priest and the mayor
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A Day Trip Itinerary...print this out   print the content item
A day in Provence: Les Baux & St. Rémy

Guidebooks make much of Les Baux's ruined medieval majesty atop a scoured rocky plateau. But visitors are equally impressed by the numerous shops and restaurants on the narrow streets below.
From the guidebooks you might conclude that Les Baux-de-Provence is a ghost town, the sad ruins of a once-mighty feudal court. Not quite. The site is one of France's favorite tourist destinations and its lower streets are crowded with shops and restaurants. Upscale resorts and expensive homes surround the Les Baux plateau. Just 15 minutes up the road from Les Baux is chic St. Rémy-de-Provence, which one guidebook dubs "the epitome of a Provençal town." St. Rémy is famous in France as the chosen home of the "caviar left" (leftists with lots of money; poorer fellow-travelers are termed the "joint left," as in marijuana joint). A delightful store filled with fascinating costume jewelry and gifts: des journées entières dans les arbres, 13 rue de la Commune, phone 04 32 60 08 49Time to destination: 2 hours.
From the house in Valros, head toward St. Thibéry. Look for blue signs directing you to the A9, the Autoroute. Take the A9 toward Montpellier. Stay on the A9, through Montpellier toward Nîmes. (Side-trippers can turn toward Aigues-Mortes from the A9, about one hour from Valros. Also: stay alert for highway rest stops that feature Roman ruins. The landscape here is littered with Imperial Roman remains.)Take the A54/E80 exit for Arles/Aix en Provence. You are crossing the Rhône delta. The stinky-cheese odor you might smell emanates from the Camargue marshes. Cross the Rhône through Arles. Take the turn for Tarascon/Avignon. You'll pick up the N570. Soon you'll right onto the D17 (Les Baux/Fontvieille). Fontvieille is very cute town with lots of restaurants, if you're in the mood for lunch.Turn left onto the D78f. This becomes the D27 as you enter the outskirts of Les Baux de Provence. There are parking lots around every turn as you drive up to the village, with attendants who collect when you arrive.
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