Provence July for 28 days.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by suavecarve, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. suavecarve

    suavecarve Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    172
    Location:
    Surrey/Hants
    Looking for any information, tips, hints, places etc.
    We did the Dordogne last year and got down to the Pyrennees in April but off to the Provence area just north of Cannes, Monaco and Nice but have no inclination to hit the Med. (Cannes has the world cup of fireworks though !)
    We have the Wild swimming in France book as a reference for spots to stop at during the day and we leave early 15/7 and heading to Besancon (or just slightly north as le tour is going to Oyannax later that day) (and No I couldnt get the day off beforehand for a Bastille bash)
    I have succumbed to a sat nav and marked aires on a map as well. (and the beauty spots)
    There are limited amounts of aires where we are off to so is wild camping by some of the lakes ok there ? if so where ? Any particularly pretty villages ? and anything else from your experiences would be really appreciated.
     
  2. REKERLY

    REKERLY Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2012
    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    321
    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    Spend some time at Vaison la Romaine several campsites nearby and an Aire.
    We have stayed at the camping du Theatre Romaine. Try to be there for a the market on Tuesday . Book ahead to be sure of a place.
    We have taken our Motorhome to the top of mount Ventoux. Long drive up but be very carefully on the way down! Allow for several stops to allow the brakes to cool. Plenty of other vehicles will be doing the same. Great day out!!
    The area has lots of Roman remains super towns and villages and other points of interest.
    Wish we were there now

    Rex
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. suavecarve

    suavecarve Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    172
    Location:
    Surrey/Hants
    Exactly the sort of info I am after. Cheers ever so
    Jon
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    8,569
    Likes Received:
    11,547
    Location:
    Plympton, Devon
    It will be Hot with a capital H at the time you are planning to go but you can find cooler temperatures if you stay high - so to speak.
     
  5. suavecarve

    suavecarve Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    172
    Location:
    Surrey/Hants
    The intention is to be up in the mountains/gorges and going from lake to cascade to river to wine stop for refuelling.
    PS Can you look after my bees while i m gone. 5 Nationals on my roof.
    Cheers
     
  6. Sidney

    Sidney Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    1,082
    Likes Received:
    688
    Location:
    Stamford
    Any more ideas Funsters?

    I'm heading down here in May and a recommendation is better than any guide book :Blush:
     
  7. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    8,569
    Likes Received:
    11,547
    Location:
    Plympton, Devon
    Bit far from here but I think they should be fine left alone at that time of the year - and if they swarm the neighbours wont mind - too much. Put a bait hive out perhaps?
     
  8. suavecarve

    suavecarve Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    172
    Location:
    Surrey/Hants
    3 of the hives will be swarm caught as soon as the weather improves (next week?) one of those will be an amalgamation with a weak hive. The 4th has been moved already this year into a skep and then 3 miles away for a week then 20 yards from original spot and the 5th has no QCs after 19 days down south of France so I am sincerely hoping that mine dont swarm this year and i get a decent amount.
    Good luck with yours
     
  9. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,491
    Likes Received:
    8,231
    Location:
    NW England
    Cycling through the Camargue salt marshes from Saintes Maries de la Mer in August was one one of the hottest driest most dehydrating experiences I've ever had, but hey, it was different. Didn't rate the town that much apart from walking on the apex of the church roof but it was interesting to see the surroundings. There's an aire on a beach not far up the coast from there. You park on sand and hope it's not too stormy in the Med overnight.

    The town we really liked down that way was Aigues Morte - walled and quaint, and hot. Two aires just outside the walls, one by a marina, the other in a car park.

    We visited Arles by bus and had pretty much done it in a day.

    We liked Avignon, and stopped in Camping Bagatelle just off the Pont Edouard Daladier. The nearby aire under the Pont looked a real dump. The Papal Palace is impressive, and you have to visit the bridge and dance on it by law.

    Just outside Provence is the Pont du Gard, which is worth a trip.

    Also, we've driven between Grenoble and Montgenevre a couple of times via Briancon and that's pretty breathtaking, not to mention brake wearing.

    Our first overseas trip in the MH went along the Route Napoleon and that was interesting. We haven't been near any of the big coastal towns in the area though.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  10. pneumatician

    pneumatician Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Burntwood Staffs
    From our limited experience July = Heat, crowds and added expense. Thats why we go in May, June and September. If this is impossible for you then I can empathise.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Mathilde

    Mathilde Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Australia
    We travelled this area in July 2012. Here is part of my blog on the area. Gorge du Verdon an absolute must. We camped alongside lac de saint croix. Castellane another lovely village.
    We mostly use France Passion sites as we enjoy staying on farms and seeing the locals at work.
    Browsed Beziers before leaving on the A75 motorway (free) to the Millau Bridge which is on our list to see.


    Drove North across the bridge and stopped at the Observatory on the other side with an excellent exhibition on its construction.
    Completed in 2004 this suspension bridge spans the gorge created by the Tarn River over a distance of 2.5km. A beautiful bridge, the tallest pier is 340 metres…higher than the Eiffel Tower.
    Designed by British architect Lord Norman Foster who described the ultimate experience of crossing the viaduct as "flying by car" – a very apt description. Cost 14 Euros one way.


    From here up the Gorges du Tarn to Espagnac. Incredible scenery and the Tarn River lined with campsites and thousands of people enjoying the river in hired canoes and kayaks. Canoe tours drive clients up stream with canoes stacked on trailers and drop off at different points, to paddle or float back downstream. Very hot. 35deg!!

    South-east on the N106 through Florac, Arles
    to the Pont du Gard,near the town of Remoulin also on our list to see. The tallest aqueduct in the Roman world. This 2,000 year old structure supplied the city of Nimes with running water throughout 5 centuries. It has remained perfectly preserved and is an incredible sight. 360 metres long, 50 metres high and on three levels. Engineered with precision and built with huge blocks of stone hauled into place by slaves using pulleys and wheels. A fascinating museum documenting the building of the aqueduct - not to be missed.


    France Passion overnight very close by …, Domaine de Valseniere.
    Cotes du Rhone wine..ranging from 3 Euros a bottle up to 4.70 for 2006.


    Avignon lovely city. Papal palace worth visiting.


    Past Avignon to the small village of Chateauneuf-du-Pape to check out another of our favourite wine labels from the Cotes du Rhone region. There are 33 Chateauneuf-du-Pape domains and the village is full of cellars and restaurants selling the wines.

    Quite a few France Passion sites in this area.

    At the top of the village are the ruins of the Chateau des Papes with views of Avignon and the vineyard lined clay fields where smooth stones from the Rhone River surround the vines.


    Across to Carpentras then to Malaucene the start of Mont Ventoux – famous stage of previous Tours de France. My brother Rob has cycled over Mont Ventoux – me, much happier in a 6 speed diesel van thank you!!

    The road started through heavily wooded pines, oak & beech, winding hairpins and eventually emerged into a white limestone rocky scree at the summit 2000 metres which from a distance looks like snow.


    Britain cyclist Tommy Simpson suffered a fatal heart attack here in 1967 in the Tour de France – a sobering memorial for the hundreds of cyclists on the mountain.


    More hairpins down the other side to Sault for a very pleasant France Passion stay on a Lavender Farm.
    France Passion Ferme La Maguette

    Fri 27th July
    Driving with the windows open through the lavender fields is amazing. The fragrance can be almost overpowering.

    On to Sisteron (the gateway to Provence) a heavily fortified town on the Durance River surrounded by olive groves followed by Dignes-Les-Bains, a Spa town.


    Finally to Lac de Ste-Croix – Gorges du Verdon where we free camped on the edge of the lake with other vans.

    Sat
    28th July

    Spectacular day driving the Gorges du Verdon from Moustiers-Ste-Marie to Castellone. The gorge reaches a depth of 700 metres, with the dark green river flowing through amazing rocks. Mark had white knuckles and even more grey hair as he sat in the passenger’s seat looking down the ravine with no railing as I negotiated hair pin bends and traffic on the narrow road!!! Today, he wishes he'd driven.

    Arrived in Castellane on market day…always a great atmosphere.

    Lovely quiet campsite La Ferme de Castellane 2.5km out of the town where we will stay several days.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. suavecarve

    suavecarve Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    172
    Location:
    Surrey/Hants
    Superb last 2 posts. Really interested in that Napolean route as the very slow route back. Loads of those towns were already on the hit list.

    Great blog, helps immensely, that Mount Ventoux has been recommended elsewhere and as Tommy Simpson died near the top (not that I remember him but I follow le tour on telly) then that is now a high priority. Love the "wild" camping hints too

    Cheers to the pair of you
     
  13. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    854
    Likes Received:
    367
    Location:
    Lausanne
    Well it's a wine region…..

    Gigondas (for the wine) and le Dentelles for a post lunch walk, amazing butterflies and if you go to "Le Téte Noir vineyard just before Gigondas village (Vacqueyras) then say hello to the Belgium brothers that took it over around 10yrs ago, prices are quite a bit lower as it's outside the Gigondas AOC.

    One of our most visited towns in that region is L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Quaint town based on the river (that I love fishing) with super restaurants and antiques shops and markets. Nice campsite that I can dig out if you need ? Source of the Sorgue is also worth a visit with some nice walks.

    Arles as mentioned is very nice and St Marie DLM is a must place to visit although the Aire in the town is slightly sterile although convenient. Loads of things to do around SMDLM, Flamingo watching, the famous Camargue horses and of coarse the bulls
     
  14. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    8,569
    Likes Received:
    11,547
    Location:
    Plympton, Devon
    I cycled up Mt Ventoux on a Sunday in October and it was very busy at the summit. I think mid-week would be better although in high season it may perhaps not make much difference. The main factor is the weather. It often has its own little private cloud on the summit.

    An account of our little trip can be found here. https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=1&page_id=264152&v=4x
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2014
  15. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,491
    Likes Received:
    8,231
    Location:
    NW England
    Saintes Maries de la Mer has 3 aires - a long sardine tin aire on the seafront and a couple of car parky type aires a bit further back in the town - all hot. As an alternative there's a MH compound/aire attached to the entrance of Camping de la Brise which you pay less for than a standard pitch, but when we visited in summer we decided to go for a standard pitch for 3 nights just to get a bit of shade, parched grass, and sitting space. There's also a long straight strip of dusty road to the east of the town behind the beach where overnight parking is tolerated and a long line of MHs can usually be found.

    If you go to see the pool where the wild flamingoes congregate stay upwind of them - they don't half pong.

    As I mentioned earlier you can go up on the apex of the church roof in Saintes-Marie, sit on the ridge tiles and admire the view, which makes a change from the tower. Unusual experience.

    Bikes are handy round there but don't cycle on the prom - we got told off for that.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2014
  16. suavecarve

    suavecarve Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    172
    Location:
    Surrey/Hants
    Flamingoes, Camargue horses and Bulls !!! I had no idea. I was shocked last month to see vultures up in a gorge between Rodez and Millau (on a back road). This is sounding very interesting now.
    No need for the campsite info as we havent had to go in one yet and managed with aires but thank you for the offer.
    Bikes arent going on this trip. The powers that be have made a unilateral decision that i am off my rocker to take bikes in July.
    L'isle sur la sogue certainly looks like a cert.
    Great blog, I ll let you know if i hear the magical sound of a pine marten taking a dump !
    Saintes Maries de la Mer is probably too far west for us on this occasion but i m a bit gutted as we went past Montpellier couple of weeks ago.

    Cheers guys
     
Loading...

Share This Page