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France - Paris and Provence - with a family

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Hi there

We will be arriving in Paris in March and driving to Madrid over 33 days....with our three children; 2 x almost 5 year old twins and 1 x almost 2 year old. Yes, we're quite possibly crazy!

We arrive in Paris on a Wednesday and are then looking to head down to the South of France and then on to Spain and Portugal. Our plan is to utilise the Peugeut / Citreon / Renault car lease back scheme and stay in self catered apartments. It's a last minute holiday, so we're only just starting to book things now, having just secured our flights last week. We like to balance museums, art galleries, markets, castles, ruins etc with kid friendly visits to parks, beaches, farms etc. Perhaps even a kid friendly cooking or art class. Basically we need space to run around each day! Plus the same dinner, bath, bed routine each night for at least 3-4 nights in a row. Our kids are great in the car, but wouldn't want to drive for more than 2 hours at a stretch.

If you could indulge me a few questions please:

* We would like to spend 4 nights of so in Paris and then head down to Provence on the Sunday (which is actually Easter Sunday). We were looking at a few AirBnB apartments in Paris. Does anyone have any recommendations on best websites to find family friendly apartments. We don't want to spend a fortune and are happy to stay further out if that reduces the cost.

* We planned to take the TGV to Nice / Avignon and then pick up the car.

* We would like to stay in a Gite in Provence. We had planned to spend 4-5 nights in one town of Provence, like Antibes and then 4-5 nights in a second area like Avignon. However, we understand that most Gites are usually Saturday to Saturday bookings. Do you have any suggestions on this? Is there a more central location, where we could stay for a week and explore the whole area with day trips? Or should we look for an alternative form of accommodation? We really do need to self cater. I'm really struggling with our itinerary here.

* How do we find a list of local markets, kid friendly activities / parks etc? I can find great suggestions for Paris, but not so many for this part of France.

* Any other suggestions for our itinerary? Given we're there over Easter, are there any local customs that we should watch out for / detour for, especially anything the kids might love?

* Where can we find a list of parking options?

Our rough plan so far was something like:

Paris - 4 nights (Ideas: 1. Champs de Mar Park / Eiffle Tower; 2. Versailles, 3. Lourve, Pompidou Centre, 4. Jardin du Luxemberg / Musee de Orsay/ Notre Dame Cathedral, 5. Montmartre and Parc des Buttes-Chaumont / Sacre Coeur / Musée de l’Orangerie)

Antibes / Nice - 4 nights (Ideas: 1. Eze / St Tropez / Monaco. 2. Villefranche Sur Mer, Nice, Antibes. 3. Grasse, 4. Stop at Aix en Provence on way to Avignon)

Avignon - 4 nights (Ideas: 1. Avignon. 2. Arles. 3. Luberon. 4. Orange, Pont du Gard, Uzes, Castillon du Gard)

Perhaps stop in St-Rémy-de-Provence, Camargue on way down to Barcelona.

Thanks so much
The Wombats

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