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New York to Provence Area Best Flights?

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Hello husband and I had planned a trip that we had to cancel to to St. Remy and the surrounding area last year. We are trying to do it next June. Ror that trip, we had planned to fly in and out of Paris and then take the train to Avignon where we would pick up a car. This time we will skip Paris because we are going to Paris in October for our anniversary. Just wondering what makes most sense in terms of flying as close as possible to that area (south of France) on a direct flight. Should we fly into Nice and are there direct flights from New York? Is it easy to get from Nice to Avignon or near St. Remy. We had pretty much decided on St. Remy as our home base in order to travel around to Arles and Aix. Does that make sense? Do we train it from Nice or drive? We will be renting a car so whatever is easest.If we go in June, does it get crazy crowded by the end of June? Would like to see the sunflowers and lavendar, if possible. Any reasonably priced places to stay would also be appreciated. I should define reasonably priced, which I would say no more than maybe $300 a night??? Again, we thought St. Remy was a good central location but are open to suggestions. Many of you gave me suggestions for our last cancelled trip, which I will revisit but always interested in hearing new feed back for Fodorites!

Thanks in advance.

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