It's been awhile since I've posted here but I do enjoy reading and storing
the great info everyone hands out here.
Re: places to visit and stay in around Provence. I don't know what conditions you are traveling in (train? car? dressy dress? shabby chic?), but I thought I might mention the campgrounds that abound throughout the South of France. I was there last May and stayed in several 4-star campgrounds with clean, downright luxurious amenities. Certainly like no camping I have ever done in the States. My one requirement: hot showers. No problem. A bonus: On-site restaurants and bars with fresh, local food and wine-by-the-liter for bargain prices. Plus, friendly staff who point you in the right direction.
Of the three campgrounds we stayed in, the best was in Aix-en-Provence. There are two there but we stayed at Chanteclers right outside the Old Town. The campground gave us one of the most memorable meals of our trip at their small restaurant with its open fireplace/ grill and after-hours wine bar.Reservations were not needed in May, but it was midweek. You don't necessarily need a tent (we made a makeshift lean-to with a tarp and our rental car), and it does get chilly in May eveneings. Then again, for two people and a car we spent under $20 a night in the heart of Provence. We stayed in St.Tropez for a little more at another campsite (the name escapes me) and at a camp site in the lofty village of Eze between Nice and Monaco. Glorious views looking down on birds and airplanes hovering above Villefranche-sur-mer below us.
It's not for everybody, but it might be for some of you. Good luck! Jen.