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Suggestions for base in the Var

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Hi,

We are a couple in their late sixties who have visited Provence numerous times, but always basing ourselves in the Luberon (early on) and in the Haut Vaucluse around Vaison more recently. As much as we love those areas, especially Vaison, we're thinking of trying a new part of the region for our trip next year. I've been looking around Moustiers, but my concern is that to get to any of the interesting villages like Callian , Mons,and Seillans to the SE of Moustiers you must brave the Verdon Gorge or drive miles out of the way to skirt it. Driving it once is reasonable; I don't think we want to make a habit of it.

I've been doing my homework on possible alternatives, such as Castellane, but haven't found any town or village that seems all that appealing. We like--surprise--beauty, both natural and architectural, and all that Provence has to offer.We're not interested in hiking or sports--just drives to lovely places, markets, walks through lovely villages,and a great lunch. Our budget is comfortable but not unlimited--the Bastide de Moustiers would be doable for a night or two but not more. We don't particularly want to revisit the traditional Luberon area--Gordes et al.-- again--been there many times and are ready to try a new place.

So can anyone suggest a village or town to use as a base and, even better, specific hotels or b&bs? We prefer a town or village rather than a rural setting, but we'll have a car and are very comfortable driving. We've always rented houses in Provence and might do that again--depends on how long we'll be in places, which isn't decided yet--may spend a week in the Var and a week around Aix, or maybe longer in the Var and three or four days around Aix. We could also do a trip up to three weeks total. Everything is subject to revision.

Thanks for your help.

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