Trip Report Provence and Chamonix, Episode 83

Categories: Lyon Area, Provence

Let's go to Provence and Chamonix with Matt, his wife and two daughters. Matt tells you what it takes to have a grand time in France with your children and shares what their greatest day in France was and why.  Let me warn you: it is NOT on any of the top 10 lists you may have read, this is one of those places that turns out to be a wonderful surprise.

French Tip of the Week

Hopefully this is not a travel French phrase you'll need, but this is not to say that we don't have attractions made just for suckers in France!

  • "attrape-couillon" = something that catches suckers.

Provence and Chamonix Episode Highlights

  • 4:35' They had to drive through Toulouse, why didn't they stop?
  • 5:30' If you park your car somewhere in France loaded with luggage, will you get robbed? How can you avoid that?
  • 7:10' Why is the speed limit around cities so low?
  • 9:45' The Rest Stop Matt mentions near Carcassonne is called Port-Lauragais.
  • 11:30' Tarrascon, not a touristy city, but a central location.
  • 13:10' Provence Markets, Six kinds of tapenade and Brandade de Morue.
  • 15:00' Beaucaire, its market, differences between life in Provence and the South West of France. Cicadas are loud indeed!
  • 17:10' Carrières de Lumière at Baux de Provence.
  • 21:10 Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. You could also get on a Tiki boat to see the Camargue from the marsh. The church is a must-see if you go!
  • 24:20' Vaison-la-Romaine, that one was a bust for them because the kids had seen enough Roman Ruins! They weren't impressed with French pizza either.
  • 25:30' Côte du Rhone wine driving tour and the town of Suzette. Rosé Côte du Rhone. How wine is priced in France and what wines get exported.
  • 28:00' Arles and the Bull Games. Those are no-kill bull races where men run around trying to get ribbons off the horns of the bull. Family-friendly atmosphere.
  • 31:00' Parking in France is a lot easier when you know how to parallel park!
  • 32:15' French Tip of the Week: "attrape-couillon" = something that catches suckers.
  • 33:00' Lubéron. They intended to see Gordes, Joucas and Roussillon, but Gordes was too crowded, there was nowhere to park at Abbeye de Sénanque so they just saw it from the road. Parking can be a problem in those super popular areas. They stopped at Joucas and enjoyed it, there is a nice playground there.
  • 36:09' Le Sentier des Ocres in Roussillon, this is a ocre cliff hike, 45mn, fairly easy.
  • 38:35' Pont du Gard and Haribo Museum Kids weren't impressed with the bridge, we discuss some ways to make it better.
  • 42:00' They rented an apartment right in the middle of Annecy and loved it!
  • 44:00' Tartiflette and Reblochon and many other cheeses such as Gruyère, Tome de Savoie, Beaufort, Cantal. What were the kid's favorite foods on this trip? Saucisse de Toulouse, Merguez.
  • 48:00' Luge, cows and bells. How you buy local cheese or wine  from locals in France.
  • 49:20' How 4th of July and Bastille Day events compare. Hint: Bastille Day isn't much to write home about!
  • 52:00' Chamonix, Aiguille du Midi and Mer de Glace, magical activities. The other side is Le Brévent and Flégère, this was probably their favorite day in the whole trip!
Learn More: Family Travel in France


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Discussed in this Episode

  • Places: Provence and Chamonix
  • Toulouse
  • Port-Lauragais Rest Stop
  • Tarrascon
  • Beaucaire
  • Carrières de Lumière
  • Château des Baux de Provence
  • Côtes du Rhone Wine Driving Tour
  • Saintes Maries de la Mer
  • Tiki in Camargue
  • Vaison-la-Romaine
  • Suzette
  • Arles
  • Bull Games in Arles
  • Van Gogh Easles
  • Lubéron
  • Abbey de Sénanques
  • Joucas
  • Le Sentier des Ocres in Roussillon
  • Le Pont du Gard
  • Musée Haribo (Uzès)
  • Annecy
  • Alpine Slide
  • Chamonix
  • Aiguille du Midi
  • Mer de Glace
  • Le Brévent
  • La Flégère — Foods: Tapenade
  • Brandade de Morue
  • Bergerac Wine
  • Tartiflette
  • Reblochon Cheese
  • Gruyère
  • Beaufort
  • Tome de Savoie
  • Cantal
  • Merguez
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Matt in front of the Pont du Gard: Provence and Chamonix episode
Read more about this episode
Guest Notes 

Categories: Lyon Area, Provence

2 Replies to “Trip Report Provence and Chamonix, Episode 83”

  1. I really liked Les Beaux…yes it was crowded, but I think historically its very significant.

    Bastille has great fireworks in Paris, but super crowded.

    This is getting me excited to visit france again!

  2. Thanks for these two helpful episodes. This is very similar to the trip I have been planning for 2017. Perfect information! So glad for your time and effort, Matt and Annie. Even the kids’ allergy issues and the cooking in gites and bringing picnic lunches–everything is helpful!

  3. Thank you for this very helpful information! Very much enjoyed the podcast. If you enjoyed the apartments you stayed in, could you provide the contact information? We are planning a similar route. Thank you! Merci!

  4. Hi Michelle – here you go:

    Beynac: – highly recommended

    Annecy: – highly recommended

    Amboise area: – highly recommended

    I don’t recommend the place we stayed in Provence, nor do I recommend staying in Tarascon as we did, so I won’t post the place here. Also note that we returned this summer to both the Beynac and Amboise places and the return visit was as lovely as the first in 2015.

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