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Suggest an itinerary for Languedoc/Roussillon/Provence

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We arrive Toulouse on a Saturday afternoon and depart the next Sunday afternoon from Lyon. We have never been to the area. Our flight into Toulouse arrives around 4:30 so will probably stay there the first night since we will have had a long day of travelling. So we have 7 nights after that to plan. Seeing the rhone/Lyon is not a priority for this trip so we plan on driving up to Lyon on the Sunday we leave.

Want to see some of the standard highlights of L/R - some Cathar castles, Toulouse-Lautrec museum. Carcassone, Pont du Gard, Aigues Mortes, Roman ruins in Nimes. Food and wine is important, so we plan on visiting some wineries as well, esp some in the area near Perpignan. Also food stops like Castelnaudry for Cassoulet, Marseille for Bouillabaisse, etc are an option. In Provence want to spend a little time in Avignon and Aix, and just wandering among the other towns (Arles, etc).

The big question I am trying to figure out for planning is whether to stay in 2-3 places for 2-3 nights each (say near Perpignan, Beziers, and Avignon), or if it's silly to waste the time driving back every day and instead do a more road trippy itinerary where we stay in a different place most nights so we don't need to double back every day. The distances all seem short but I imagine they might take a while given the terrain.

If anyone has thoughts on a decent way to do this itinerary, towns to stay in, etc, please let me know. Thanks in advance.

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