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Please critique 8-night/7-day Nice & Provence itinerary

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After reading few trip reports and numerous posts and sifting through valuable ideas and suggestions from faithful Fodorites who have visited Southern France countless times, I have put together my first stab at our itinerary. We have never been to France, and we are not seasoned travelers- but with your help last year, our 15-day trip to Venice-Varenna-Wengen-Montreux this past summer was a great success. Our plane barely touched down on the day we came home, and I was hatching out a plan to take another trip to Europe next summer!

Day 1 Arrive Nice in the evening. We plan on staying in Nice for just a day.
Day 2 Nice - walk around town - do I dare say follow RS guide (LOL)?
Day 3 Pick up car early, drive to Saturnin-les-Apt (planning to stay at Mas Perreal for 3 nights if available) via Grasse, Gorges du Verdon, Valensole (best lavender fields?)
Day 4 Drive to Aix-en-Provence for the day, drive back via Apt, Bonnieux, Lourmarin.
Day 5 Drive to L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (if day 5 does not fall on market day, is it still worth visiting this town?) Rousillion, Gordes
Day 6 Drive to St. Remy (base for the next 3 nights) - quick stop at Chateauneaf du Pape on way.
Day 7 Drive to La Beaux, Arles
Day 8 Drive to Avignon, Pont du Gard
Day 9 Return car in Avignon, take train to Paris - unless we can return car in St. Remy. Is there a train from St. Remy to Paris?

Is this itinerary realistic? Is it too much driving, and not enough looking & appreciating? Topping my must-see list is the lavender fields - from what I've read, they are in full bloom in July. We like historical sites and buildings, a little bit of art, local cuisines and wine, and we enjoy walking through quaint little towns, etc. We'd like to fit in a little hike somewhere if possible. Are there towns or villages I should add or remove from the list? Is there time for the Calanques in Cassis?
I eagerly await your feedback. Thank you!

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