A Good Year: A reason for a road trip

In En-Route, Europe, France, Inspiration, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, World Travel by GaryLeave a Comment

How a movie sparked our interest…

We’ve racked our brains, and we don’t know why we settled down to watch Ridley Scott’s ‘A Good Year‘.

The Olive groves of Provence, France

The movie, for those that haven’t seen it, is the tale of a City trader, Max (played by Russell Crowe), who inherits his uncle’s tired chateaux in Provence.

Initially, he just plans to sell it, as life is in London. However … well, I won’t give too much away, but he is charmed by that little pocket of France, and maybe Fanny Chenal (played by Marion Cotillard) had something to do with it.

A reference guide

If you love Provence as much as we do, you'll want to start planning your visit now. I so enjoy using the DK Eyewitness books, as they are extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.

We used a previous version of this book to plan our Provencal road trip, now you can grab the revised copy.

Available in Kindle & Paperback editions.


So we planned our adventure

We aimed to head towards the Vaucluse region, and we picked the fine city of Avignon as our first stop in the area. However, the journey from Calais to Avignon was over 600 miles or nearly 1,000kms, so we decided to pick a stopover mid-wayish at Beaune just 370miles/600km from Calais.

 Place Carnot, Beaune, France

Our planned route for the whole trip was a mix two night stopovers at the following locations;
Beaune (from Calais 378miles/609km)
Avignon (from Beaune 238miles/384km)
Arles (from Avignon 27miles/43km)
Grasse (from Arles 191miles/308km)
Gap (from Grasse 127miles/205km)
Lyon (from Gap 146miles/235km)
Auxerre (from Lyon 188miles/302km, to Calais 296miles/476km)

I’ll cover details of the whole trip in a later post, but here we’re focusing on ‘A Good Year’

Our favourite travel reads

Our Gateway to France

This journey, like so many of ours, starts with the Eurotunnel. I always plan my travels from the moment I arrive in Calais because I consider the shuttle part of the trip so easy. It pays to book well in advance as the prices increase as you get closer to your departure date.

Our chariot of choice

With a heavy heart, I had to discount my Audi TT Roadster. Sure it would have been great to have cruised through France with the wind in our hair, but alas, the boot (or trunk – whatever you want to call it) was a challenge to get sufficient clothes in for the break. We had yet to learn the art of careful packing. (Not sure we have yet to be honest!)

The silver Audi S3 in the south of France

So we had to ‘make-do’ with her sister, Janis’s Audi S3. As you’d expect, the car was fabulous, and Janis has shoes for all occasions.

Heading for ‘A Good Year’

So after a couple of nights in Beaune, we’d head on to our next destination of Avignon. With the towns & villages of the region being our ‘A Good Year’ backdrop.

The Pont dAvignon at dusk, Provence, France

Avignon as a destination was splendid. Granted the sun shone, the food was fabulous & we were introduced to the wine of Lirac. It’s also worth noting the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape is just over 10miles/17kms away.

From here we headed towards Gordes & Bonnieux, the key filming locations, all set within the Luberon Natural Regional Park.

The town of Gordes, Provence, France

Driving through the countryside with the heavy scent of Provence, it was like walking into L’Occiatane. It’s also the reason why their products feature in our bathroom to this day!

The view from Bonnieux, Provence, France

We also discovered a little further afield – heading just 15miles/24kms from Avignon to the splendid Pont du Gard.

A fine view of the Pont du Gard, France

Something to make your travels easier?

A little dated?

As with so many movies, it dates a little. However, not the beautiful locations of Provence. When Max taunts the French cyclists at the roadside, he chooses "Lance Armstrong" as his weapon of choice, oh how the mighty have fallen.

Sticking with Provence

After two short nights in Avignon, we moved onto Arles. A beautiful city, with its fantastic amphitheatre and blessed with a golden light that made it Vincent van Gogh’s home for a little over a year.

The Roman Amphitheatre in Arles, Provence, France

It also typified the lifestyle that lured Max to up sticks from his City job.

The quiet streets of Arles, Provence, France
A window in Arles, Provence, France

We loved this phase of our road trip, but we had further adventures planned, so after two short nights we were on the road again and headed up the Côte d’Azur

The Conriche d'Or. France

Your own adventure

As you can see we drove from the UK. However, why not fly into Marseille or Nice (Our choice would be British Airways or easyJet), pick up your SIXT hire car and start exploring?

But the story doesn’t end there

So the movie still got watched, and we still had an itch. So in 2012, we went south again.

The Audi S5 at the roadside in Provence, France

I had upgraded the Audi TT, and now I had an Audi S5 Convertible. We had a proper amount of space for luggage (Nope, still not learnt to cut back on the packing!). The 2012 road trip needed planning…

Have You

Toured through Provence, surely you've headed up the coast along Côte d'Azur. What were the highlights of your adventure?

Something for the Traveller

Inspired to visit Provence?

Our inspiration was a movie – hopefully this post might have inspired you? Treat yourself, you know you deserve it.

Why not check out the latest deals on Booking.Com?

Booking.com

(Why not Pin It for Later?)

About the Author

Gary

Gary, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born and raised in London. An IT guy who likes to takes snaps. Along with Janis his partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, over a Sherry in Seville, they decided that enough was enough with suits. The decision was made to take their knowledge and experience to create a blog to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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