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Need trip planning help…How to narrow down

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It's incredible, but my husband and I actually got reservations on BA using a companion ticket! We had hoped to fly into Amsterdam for a workshop with plans to train down to Paris for a few days and after that, spend almost 2 weeks in France flying out of Nice.

BA was kind enough to let us use our companion ticket, but we had to do it their way which was not to fly into Amsterdam. Now, we are flying into Paris (never a bad thing in my opinion) and will be there 3 nights. From there, we will take a train to Amsterdam for the workshop which lasts 5 days, but we are cutting out after 3 and leaving….the question is where in France?

We have 14 days with day 15, flying out of Nice that morning back to Austin. We've been to Burgundy which was wonderful, but now want to explore someplace different. We like history (or at least my husband really likes history), wine (especially me), good food, markets, beautiful scenery. We will have a car at some point.

Here are some of my thoughts: Fly from Amsterdam to Bordeaux for a couple of nights and do a wine tour. Then rent a car and either go to the Loire Valley or the Dordogne. After that, drive to Provence for a couple of days (we were there last year) before driving and leaving the car in Nice.

I've read numerous reports of trips to the Loire Valley and the Dordogne and everything sounds wonderful. The Dordogne seems a bit rustic to me, but the pictures of the river and caves is very intriguing. In the Loire, the gardens and Chateaus are full of history and look so inviting plus the ease of biking. So, what to do?

I haven't been to Nice in 25 years and wasn't that wowed at the time. My husband has never been to the coast, loves the water, so we will go. I have no idea how much time to spend there and maybe day trips to get away from the city or before we get to Nice and turn the car in. Any suggestions? Our dates are May 10-June 2, 2016. I want to nail down our itinerary so that the research can begin in ernest, which is part of the fun!

Thanks for suggestions and help.

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