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Recommendations for a 10 day vacation with an almost 4 year old in France

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Hi:

We are trying to put together a plan for a 10 or 14 day vacation in France between Sept 7th to 21st. (we may have to travel to London for 3-4 days to meet my younger brother and his family; i.e. if they can't come over to France during this time).

We just blocked the tickets, but haven't applied for the visa yet ..so we are a long way from there. But I do want to start planning (and in any case, we need to show hotel reservations in order to apply for the visa).

Would love to have your recommendations on what you think is a good itinerary. Here are the constraints:
- Ideally, my wife doesnt want us to drive. We'll want to use public transport most or all of the time
- Paris looks very expensive. Much as I want to see Paris, we probably dont want to spend more than 2-3 days there.
- Want to stay in places with kitchen/kitchenette (my son often has a hard time with richer restaurant food)
- Ideally, we want to spend at least 3-4 days in a place and explore sights in and around.

Just to give you an idea of the lines along which we have been thinking; the following locations looked interesting to us as places to explore from. But really, we are open to anything ...

Rennes (Brittany): Will it be cold in Sept? I believe we can do day trips to Mont St Michel, St Malo, Chatres from there; Does it makes sense as a base for a couple of days?

- Sarlat: Does it have enough in and around (using public transport) as a base for 3-4 days? Will it hold the interests of a toddler? Can we do a day trip to Carcassonne from there?

- The other options we thought about:
-Stay longer in Paris and to travel to a place like Avignon or Nice and explore the South instead of Central France
- Do -> Loire -> Dordogne -> take train to Barcelona -> back to Paris to fly back

There are simply too many choices (I looked at Ghent, Belgium, and immediately thought ..I wanna see that!)

We do try not to be too greedy :-) We want to make sure there is time for an afternoon nap for the little one and that we are not exhausting him. But we also want to absorb as much France as possible while doing that.

Would love to have some suggestions and recommendations.

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