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First time to France, looking for trip advice

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My wife and I are planning an eleven night trip to France, May 24 to June 4. Flights booked to/from Paris. We are planning a train ride to Nice on the 24th as we arrive around 9am. We have hotels (apartment) booked in Nice for 4 nights. Tickets to Scorpions and practice day at the Monaco GP both on the 26th.
We are sure to end our trip in Paris, but havent booked a hotel yet. We are looking at the Eiffel tower area for that. And hoping for 3-4 nights in Paris. That leaves us 3 nights in between to decide on where else to see.
1. I was hoping for a view of Carcasonne, is the logistics to get from Nice to Carcasonne very difficult or time costly?
2. Would the Loire valley be acceptable for 3 nights, and which city should we base from?
3. Or wondering if there are day trips from Paris that reach Normandy as I would like to see WWII history.
Thanks for any advice for 2 new travelers!
Joe and Angie

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