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Help with our Provence Itinerary

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We (my husband and I, in our late 60's) are flying into Nice on 9/14 and will spend our first night there; we've spent time there before. On the 15th we'll either train or drive towards Avignon. My thought is the train would be quicker and make more sense but please give me your input. If we take the train, we will rent a car in Avignon and have 5-6 nights in the area. The places we are interested in seeing are: Arles, St. Remy , Isle sur la Sorgue, Lourmarin, Roussillon, Les Baux, perhaps Pont du Gard and perhaps Vaison la Romaine. I am just beginning my research but I'm getting paranoid about making hotel reservations.

Do you think we should pick one base or two? We prefer smaller towns and I was thinking of St. Remy and Roussillon but are they too close together? Also, any places you have stayed in the area that you recommend? Again, smaller inns or bed and breakfast places, in the $125-$175 range would be preferred.

When we leave the area, we will be going to the Loire Valley, and again I think taking the train there and then renting a car makes more sense than driving all the way. We will have probably 2 or 3 nights in this area before turning in the car and taking the train to Paris for our final 4 nights. I'll come back to ask questions about the Loire once I get the Provence part done.

Thank you for your input and please let me know if you have any questions.

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