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Provence & Cote d'Azur in late September...and the planning begins!

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It's that time of the year again to start planning for my annual trip to France!

I would greatly appreciate some expertise on putting together a skeleton for a trip to Provence / Cote d’Azur in late September.

Here is some background info:
1. Want one “city” (thinking Lyon as the first stop from Paris – my friend really wants to be in a city on this trip rather than all country-side)
2. Want to combine a few days on the coast for some sun (maybe Cassis as base? Does Cassis qualify as Cote d'azur?)
3. Spend remaining time in Provence (Lourmarin as base?)
4. My friend and I have 11 days together (Day 1 would be arrival in CDG and taking the TGV to our first destination). On day 11, my friend would need to depart from Marseilles or Montpellier to fly back to Canada.
5. I will then have a few more days alone before heading to London and I’m thinking of spending those few days in St. Remy or that vicinity to see Nimes and etc.

A very draft itinerary for your comments please:

1. Day 1 – Arrival in CDG and training to Lyon to spend 3 nights.
2. Day 2-4 – Lyon. Picking up car on Day 4 to head to coast (or take a train?)
3. Day 4-7 – Cassis (?) as base. Spend 3 nights on the coast.
4. Day 7-11: Head to Lourmarin for 4 nights and my friend flies out from Marseilles or Montepellier on Day 11
5. Day 11-14 – St Remy or vicinity as base.

A few other questions:
1. Is it “crowded” in Provence or the coast in late September?
2. What’s the weather like in September? Hopefully it’s still warm enough for a dip in the ocean.

How does this itinerary sound? If you have other suggestions for a better base, please share your thoughts!

Many thanks in advance.

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