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Best base for a short stay in Provence: Aix vs rural location?

We have 3 days in late June/early July between our arrival in Marseille and beginning a river cruise in Arles. I'd like to see the lavender fields and spend some time in Aix-en-Provence. Any opinions on whether it would be better to sleep in Aix and do a day trip to the lavender fields in the Valensole area (would rent a car for just this day) ? Or the other way around -- sleep in a more rural setting and spend a day in Aix?

Any recommendations for a Chambres d'Hote in the Valensole area would be appreciated -- I'd like somewhere with a tables d'hote or restaurant so that I don't need to drive after dinner (so I can enjoy the wine!).

We've already enjoyed Arles, Avignon, Orange, etc. on a previous trip so would like to explore the area further east during these few days.

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We stayed in Gordes and St. Remy de Provence with a rental car and drove during the day to markets, etc and looking for lavender fields….it was delightful!