Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur, France

Apr 3, 2016 - Avignon

After breakfast at the hotel, we headed to the train station for our bullet train ride south to Avignon. Our luggage was on the bus, which would meet us about 8 hours later. Luckily, the train got us there in about 3 hours. Our first stop was Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct. We were able to walk through the aqueduct which crossed the river. It’s amazing that this stone bridge has survived so well for so long. It was a very rainy day, but we enjoyed the history and interesting views. Then we were on to Avignon. Do you know the...

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Dec 26, 2015 - Roman Glanum and St-Remy-de-Provence

It was time for a hill fix so we headed in land to St-Remy-de-Provence in the Alpilles hills. After enjoying the drive through hills we stopped on the outside of St-Remy-de-Provence to visit the ruins of the ancient city of Glanum. The first inhabitants settled in the area in the 6th and 7th centuries BC protected by a rampart blocking the road to the Alpilles. Subsequent relations with the Greek world brought wealth to the inhabitants of Glanum which saw an expansion of the town in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC. The town became a Roman...

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Dec 24, 2015 - Eastern Camargue

Today we drove to the eastern side of the Camargue it was a bit of a grey day. We visited the site where the Camargue Regional Nature Park manage flamingo’s reproduction in France and then walked to the La Gacholle lighthouse on a dyke. Are final stop for the day was a view point over the Girauld salt works near the mouth of the Grand Rhone.

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Dec 22, 2015 - Walk along the coast

We all decided we needed a good walk despite walking around the walls of Aigues-Mortes the day before. We headed off along the coast from the campground into the Camargue National Park. The path was good and although it started out cloudy by the time we stopped for lunch the sun was shining. By the time we returned to the campground we realised we had walked five to six miles.

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Dec 20, 2015 - Arles

We had a full day in Arles. The city has an extensive Roman history. Roman Arles provided grain for most of the western empire and was one of the major ports for trade and shipbuilding. Under Emperor Constantine it became the capital of Gaul reaching its heights in the 5th century. Our first stop was the amphitheatre known as Les Arenas. This had been built at the end of the 1st century AD. When it was complete it measured 136 x 107 metres and could hold 21,000 spectators who came to see fights and games. During the middle ages the arena...

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Dec 18, 2015 - First Day in the Carmargue

We arrived yesterday in the Carmargue region of Provence. Our campground was at the small town of Les Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer and we were surprised how many motorhomes were in the campground considering the time of year. The Carmargue is completely different to the rest of Provence. It is in fact the River Rhone delta and a landscape of lagoons, marshes and dunes- a mosquito heaven during the summer months when it is hot and humid. On our first day we explored the town Les Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer in the morning visiting the local market and in...

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Dec 15, 2015 - Calanques and Route des Cretes

Our destination today was the small town of Cassis 23km east of Marseille. The reason for our visit was to visit the calanques, the fjord-like inlets that cut deep into the limestone cliffs on this part of the coast. Our journey to Cassis was easy but finding our way through Cassis to find the start of the walk to the calanques was a little trying at times. We had clear signs for a start and then they disappeared. We eventually found the start of the walk and enjoyed our walk along the coast. After our walk we decided we would drive into...

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Dec 13, 2015 - Disappointing St Tropez

It was Sunday so a good time to visit St Tropez. The weather was a bit disappointing and so was St Tropez. It was easy getting into the old town and harbour and we quickly found a place to park. We then walked around the harbour but unlike some other ports further up the coast there was very few super yachts and the buildings were typically French, shabby and needing a lick of paint. We then walked through the narrow streets of the town up to the citadelle (fort) which had good views of the surrounding coastline and a good maritime museum...

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Dec 12, 2015 - Haut-Var Villages and Abbaye du Thoronet

Today we drove into central Provence to visit the Abbaye du Thoronet and a number of the little villages in the area. We went to the abbey first but discovered that they were closing for lunch in half an hour so we headed to the village of Cotignac. Contignac had quite a nice central square but the unusual feature of the village is the huge overshadowing rock cliff behind the village with old houses built into the rock. We then went a few kms further to the village of Sillans-la Cascade with the intention of walking to the waterfall from...

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Dec 10, 2015 - The Massif des Maures and La Chartreuse de la Verne

Today we drove through the Massif des Maures a range of hills which sits behind the coast. There are very few roads across these hills as they are a succession of ridges, sudden drops and views. The roads are narrow and twisty so concentration is a must. It was a great drive with great views. We took a side road from the village of Collobrieres to visit La Chartreuse de la Verne a 12th century Carthusian monastery which has now been restored. It is hidden in the forest 12km from nowhere. Although still occupied in part by the monastic...

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Dec 9, 2015 - Walk from Cap Camarat

Weather gorgeous once again. Today we did a coastal walk from Cap Camarat towards the Plage de l’Escalet. From our starting point at the lighthouse, the second highest in France, we had great views over the gulf of Saint Tropez. This part of the coast was very rugged and beautiful. In the evening we went to a free Christmas classical concert in La Garda just east of Toulon which we thoroughly enjoyed.

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Dec 8, 2015 - Grimauld and Port Grimaud

At last the grey clouds and rain had disappeared leaving us with blue skies and sunshine. We have discovered that this part of the coast has over 3,000 sunshine hours a year-better than the UK’s cold and wet! We headed out to the small village Grimaud which according to our guide book is a film set of a village perché. We explored this pretty village and headed up to the castle ruins which had superb views over the surrounding countryside and the coastline. Compared too many of the French villages this was quite neat and tidy and felt cared...

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