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Appreciate critique Provence and Paris itinerary!

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My wife and I plus another couple are heading to France next year. We use frequent flyer miles (and want to get our first choice of hotels) so we make reservations early. We usually stay at 3/4 star "country unique inns". We are foodies and appreciate fine (and house for that matter) wines. Enjoy scenery, antiques, markets, castles, history, etc. The other wife is an acclaimed artist. She will take 500-1000 photographs during the trip. With this brief background, would appreciate your thoughts about:

Currently thinking:
a. Three nights Riviera after landing Nice from USA.
b. Visit Cannes, Nice and Monte Carlo (Eze area?).
c. One night Aix and stay Hotel Le Pigonnet.
d. Drive to Isle Sur La Sorgue on a Sunday for the market.
e. Continue to St. Remy and stay Chateau des Alpilles.
f. Four nights St. Remy
g. Visit Avignon, Pont du Gard, Les Baux, Gordes, Chateauneuf du Pape.
h. Market Wednesday in St. Remy
I. Don't really have list of "must eat" restaurants (Alain Assaud in St. Remy)
J. Avignon TGV train to Paris.
K. Three nights Paris and stay at the Hotel Relais Bosquet.
L. 11 nights totall actually in country plus travel days. Return to USA from CDG.


1. July v. October. Lavender blooming in July. I generally prefer early Oct. for so many obvious reasons. Is the Lavender bloom spectacular?
2. Prefer to not rent car until ready to depart the Riviera for Provence.
3. Use public transportation/taxi to visit Nice, Cannes and Monte Carlo.
4. Generally, where am I weak on itinerary, hotels, etc.
5. Restaurant suggestions?

Thanks.

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