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suggestion for a 4-day trip outside Paris in mid-Sep

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We are a family of 4 who would like to visit some nice places/villages outside of Paris in mid-Sep for 3 nights. We are not into wine or champagne but would be happy to make a trip to such areas if the town or village is quaint and easy to move around. We are prepared to rent a car if necessary though this will be the first time we will be driving in France. My only reservation is we do not understand a word of French and wondered if this will be a problem. I am hoping we can pick up a car from one of these places we will visit and return it before we take the train back to Paris.

Our first choice was Avignon/Provence but decided it may not be worth the hassle travelling so far out if we can only spend 3 nights there.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

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