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Itinerary Questions (Nice, Provence, Bordeaux and Paris

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We are going to France in July. Here is a plan I have devised. We have not booked any hotels yet so changes can be made.

We will fly into Nice stay around the area for a few days visiting villages and cities in the French Riviera. In Nice we will rent a car to then move forward and drive to the Provence region. We plan to stay in Aix en Provence and plan to visit St Remy and Eygaliers and the surrounding areas for a few days. We will have a car - or so we plan. From the Provence area, we plan to leave the car or drive to Marseilles and leave the car there. From Marseilles, we will head directly to Bordeaux by train where we will stay for a few days. From Bordeaux we will make our way to Paris. When in Paris, we will take a few day trips to the Loire Valley and Versailles.

A few questions:

Is it difficult to drive from Nice to the Provence region?
Is it difficult to drive around the Provence region?
Should we stay elsewhere than in Aix en Provence.
We do not plan to visit Avington. Should we?
I new suggestions on renting a car and having the option to drop it off in Marseilles.
We would like to visit lavender fields, farms and vineyards in the Provence region. Any suggestions?
What can we do in and around Bordeaux?

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