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The south of France: Riviera, Provence, Rhone Valley and/or Burgundy?

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Hi there,

My husband and I have about a week or so to spend in the south of France this summer (as part of a larger trip, which is why the duration is flexible).

I'm just wondering where we should focus the majority of our time. We'll be arriving in France by train or rental car from Italy, and we're interested in seeing potentially Nice, Marseilles (I've been told not to bother with Monaco - do you agree?), then over to Aix-en-Provence, then potentially up to the Rhone Valley and/or Burgundy area.

In terms of what we like doing, we like good food, good wine (which I know is anywhere in France!), hiking/views, seeing architecture, some museums, and would love spending some time visiting vineyards/wine tasting. We're likely going to rent a car, so small towns/countryside are an option.

In terms of the Riviera, we spent a week lazing on the Amalfi coast in Italy a couple of years ago for our honeymoon and LOVED it, but I get the impression that the French Riviera is rather more "posh", while the Amalfi coast was more relaxed (we had a room in a small villa right on the ocean below the coast road with private ocean access - it was quiet and lovely). We love seeing "the sights" but we don't want a crazy pace - we'd rather relax. Perhaps two-ish main bases in the week would be alright and then do day trips from there?

In which areas do you think we should concentrate our time? Any areas you'd suggest to give a miss in favour of somewhere else?

We need to decide this aspect of our trip rather quickly, because we have to decide which airport to fly out of on our way home (our flights need to be booked quickly for work reasons, and then we can fill in the details later). If we stay around Provence, it would make sense to fly from Marseilles. If we go up to Burgundy/Rhone Valley, perhaps Lyon or Geneva instead.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to help me with this - it is greatly appreciated!

(FYI - this is a clarification from a previous post - realized I needed to decide exactly what I'm DOING in the south of France before I can decide where to fly from, and I thought posting a France-only question might help instead of complicating it with the rest of my trip!)

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