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Base Camps

Here are some suggested towns for a base for a few days. Each of these has a plentiful supply of hotels, restaurants, shops and transportation. We've picked these towns because each is in a different area of Beyond and each has ready access to a wide variety of villages and other interesting sites.

Aix-en-Provence Itineraries
Avignon Itineraries
Arles - Camargue Itineraries
Murs Itineraries
Nice Cote d'Azur Itineraries
Riez Itineraries
Vaugines Itineraries

Suggested Itineraries

Lavender Itinerary, Apt-Gordes
Lavender Itinerary, Apt-Vaison
Nostradamus Itinerary
Gorges-de-Verdon, from Aix-en-Provence
Camargue, from Aix-en-Provence
UNESCO World Heritage Itineraries
Most Beautiful Villages of France (Plus Beaux Villages)
Most Beautiful Detours of France (Plus Beaux Detours)
Loire Valley Itinerary

Trip Reports
Moss Family 2002
Beyond Trip 1998

Book Hotels for your Trip

We have directly-bookable hotels for ProvenceBeyond, Paris and the rest of France.

An itinerary is very personal; depends completely on your personality, tastes, etc. Get a Michelin map and follow the roads is a method that works pretty well. Driving a car is by far the best way to get around, but if you need to use public transportation, you should base yourself in a large town (such as Avigion, Arles, Aix-en-Provence, Nice) where you can make day-trips by train or bus.

Distances across Provence and the Cote d'Azur are rather short (Avignon-Nice is under three hours) so a single base allows a lot of day-trip possibilities. Since smaller roads are slow going (summertime traffic and a lot of stops to see the sites), you should consider a few days at one base, then move on for a few days somewhere else. For example, start with a few days in Avignon, move to Aix for two or three days, then across to Nice for a few days visiting the perched villages of the Alpes-Maritimes.

Driving across Provence and the Cote d'Azur, stopping in towns and villages for a night or two along the way, is also feasible. We've never had a serious problem finding hotels. If you phone during the morning you have an excellent chance of getting a room easily for that night. We've occasionally, accidentally, arrived at a town on a holiday or fête day and found "no space at the inn". Then it's just the nuisance of going to some different town (an hour at the most) to a place to stay. If you don't want to plan ahead too much, take a list of the Office de Tourisme phone numbers for all the towns (listed in Beyond) so you can contact them as you travel.


Arles Camargue
Nice Cote d'Azur 
Apt Lavender 
World Heritage Sites 
Moss Family 2002
Beyond Trip 1998