We were planning to spend 3-4 four weeks in Paris in a rented apartment purely because this offers a great discounted price and staying in one place generally means less transport costs, etc. However, so many people have said we're mad to travel all the way from Australia and not visit Provence. Maybe... but we are on a budget and having to hire a car in Provence would prove costly.
Perhaps we could base ourselves in a larger village, town or city from which to explore the countryside, preferably via public transport. Or is there somewhere so absolutely incredible that we should reconsider and stay there while hiring a car?
Is there somewhere that is quintessentially 'Provence" and must be seen? We're not as keen on the area surrounding Nice and Canne, preferring green countryside or villages to beaches. Avignon, Arles, or Aix-en-Provence seem to appear frequently but they're larger towns? Having come from Paris would they seem very similar?
Any advice from those who have travelled with two young children (aged 7 and 5) in this region would be very much appreciated! Especially those who did it on public transport.