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Voyage to France!! Logical itinerary?

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Hello! After MUCH debate, my friends and I have decided to go to Paris, Avignon, and Nice for 12 days. Since the first day/night will be a red-eye, this leaves 10 nights.

I've done way too much research and cannot decide what order we should do our trip in! Will it be significantly cheaper to stay in Nice if we start our trip there, in the end of June, versus ending there in July? Is it worth making Avignon our final stop to see the arts festival there that begins July 5th (even though only one of us speaks French)? Or should we end with relaxing on the beach in Nice after all that sightseeing? Or escape the July heat by ending in Paris?? So many decisions! 2 of us have been to Paris before, so we don't want to spend more than 3 nights there, but we've never been elsewhere in France.

Obviously I've listed more "day trips" than there are days haha, but do you have any specific recommendations of places that we would regret if we missed? Anything that's very difficult without a car, as we plan to use only trains and buses? We are 23 year old women looking for a mix of french culture, art, and a touch of beachy relaxation and fun.

Specific dates will change based on flights, but here are my thoughts:

Friday, June 28th -> NYC - Paris (3 days/nights in Paris)
Tues July 2nd --> 5.5 hour train to Nice
3 days/nights in Nice (trips to Monaco, Ventimiglia, Grasse, Eze, Antibes, Saint Paul de Vence)
Friday July 5th --> 2.5 hour train ride to Avignon, divided in half by spending day in Marseille enroute
4 nights(3 days) in Avignon (trips to Nimes, Orange, Aix, Arles, Isle sur la Sorgue market, Cassis, and somewhere to see poppies and lavender!)
Tuesday, July 9th --> Fly home to NYC from Marseilles

Thanks so much for your feedback!

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