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France PortsCannes, Corsica, Marseille, Nice, Sete, St. Tropez, Toulon, Villefranche
I am interested in going to Arles, Les Baux and St. Remy on a Saturday when we dock in Marseille. I'd like to go to Les Baux first since it can get crowded, but I want time at the market in Arles, plus time to go to do other things. We were originally thinking of renting a car and doing it ourselves; however, can anyone recommend a good tour company? There are a lot of us, so getting so many cars just seems kind of silly. But, we would like a tour company that is flexible - if we see pretty flowers on the side of the road and want to take a picture - let's stop! I found a few online, but no one seems to recommend one over the other.
I am going to toss out an issue regarding the Arles market. Most of the markets (and Arles is one of the best) start to close-up by 1 pm. Although some vender might stay later into the afternoon, many of the stands simply pack-up and leave. We are not sure how this would apply to Arles (we have only done that market in the morning when we were living in St Remy) but you might want to do a little research. This could change your plan since the best strategy might be to stop at the Arles market as your first stop. As to Les Baux, if you hire a car/driver you can go anytime since you do not have to be concerned with parking. If you drive yourself, the parking situation can be somewhat of an issue....That being said, we have driven over to Les Baux many times and always found a parking spot...although at times, it does try one's patience.
In April 2008, on our Celebrity Solstice transatlantic we stopped in Marseille. We used Tania of Provence Tours, www.provencetours-marseille.com. Our group wanted to go to Arles, Les Baux and Aix-en-Provence. We did go to Arles first as there was a market. Then on to an olive orchard and factory. Tania gave us a choice of the olive orchard or a winery and we chose the former. We continued to Les Baux, where we had lunch and then to Aix. We had some time at the end so she took us up to the Cathedral in Marseille, where we had beautiful views of the port and the city. She was very congenial and very informative. If you give her suggestions, she will let you know if it is possible to fit everything in. Just a tip. Arles is so much more than the market.