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SW France - Itinerary and Tips

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My girlfriend and I are in our late 20s and planned to travel for several weeks in Europe this coming September, but our work schedules have shifted our plan to be about 10 days in early/mid August instead. We had originally been thinking of spending time in either Western Germany or Croatia but recently have been leaning toward the SW of France.

I understand that August in France, particularly in the Riviera (as compared to Paris), can be uncomfortably hot and crowded. To what extent is that true for Carcasonne, Avignon, the Pyrenees, Bordeaux, and/or the non-seaside towns? We are looking to spend time in the outdoors (whether hiking or sightseeing), see the Gallic and Roman history in the area, and enjoy the fine food and wine, but we have near-complete flexibility in our ultimate choice of destination.

Can we have a leisurely vacation in those areas of France without being overwhelmed by other tourists? Or should we wait to visit France during a better time in the future, and if so, any recommendations for an August trip elsewhere in Europe considering our options and preferences?

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