We are visiting southern France from Feb 27 to March 7. We are staying outside Limoux for Feb 27 - March 2. We would like to stay in Avignon from March 2 - 4. We enjoy historic villages, architecture, art, markets, great food, wine and getting a better understanding of local cultures. Locations to visit include Carcassonne, Mardi Gras celebration while in Limoux. Any recommendations for sites to see around Avignon? Nimes is on the list. Thank you for any guidance or information you can provide.
Of all the Cathar sites, the one at Montségur was the most interesting and moving - it's an easy drive from Limoux, with a strange, variable flow spring (Fontestorbes) to stop and see on the way. The hilltop village of Rennes-le-Château was also worth a visit (couple of hours), even if just to imagine what all that mystery/fuss around the Abbé Saunière's "treasure" and Holy Grail rumors was about... Carcassonne is a quick drive from Limoux. We spent several days in Esperaza (just south of Limoux) and quite liked that area.
There's lots to see in and around Avignon as well. I'd look closely at Carpentras, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, etc..
One loop that you should consider doing out of Avignon: Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, Abbaye de Sénanque (although the lavender will not be in bloom), Gordes and Roussillon.