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France - 1st draft itinerary

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I'm planning a June visit to France this year with a focus on the Dordogne and points south. I'll be going stag this year and coming from Florida. No flights or anything else have been booked at this time. Trip length will be 12-14 nights, so I've outlined 13 nights below as a best guess.

Fly into Paris - 2 nights. This would be my 4th visit to Paris and I was there for a week last year, so I'm not hitting it hard this time.

Dordogne - 5 nights. I'd like this to be the centerpiece of the trip. I'll take a train from Paris to Sarlat (6 hours) and pick up a car. Per Stu Dudley's excellent guides and other sources, I'll likely stay in Beynac, La Roque, or Domme.

Provence - 3 nights. I'll likely stay in Arles or Avignon. Main quests here are van Gogh and Picasso exhibits, Roman stuff, and with luck catch a bull fight.

Nice - 3 nights. I'll fly home from here, and may break it into 2 nights for St. Tropez and 1 for Nice. I'd be fine with cutting a day here and adding it to Paris.

Main questions:
1 - How long is the drive from Sarlat to Arles or Avignon? Train transit times are about 8 hours with multiple connections, so it seems like a car is the better option. Should I break up the drive by spending a night at an interesting place in between, and what would that place be?

2 - For a June visit how critical is advance booking for hotels for the Dordogne and Provence towns I listed? My main focus this trip is the Dordogne, a handful of sights there, and then outdoor activities such as biking and canoeing. If the weather is bad, I would like the flexibility of adding or subtracting days as needed. So except for my flight cities, Paris and Nice, I'd rather not book hotels in advance unless the consensus is good ones will be hard to come by. 2-stars or chambre d'hotes are fine for me. I don't cook much so I think a gite is wasted on me, but if someone has a blockbuster recommendation for the Dordogne area, I might be persuaded to shave a couple days from other towns to make it a full week.

Many thanks for your advice and insights!

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