My mother and I are planning a trip to France next year in April or May, and we have scheduled 7 days to cover the Dordogne and Provence (3.5 days in Dordogne, 3.5 days in Provence). We will have a car. I am struggling to narrow down the best sights and choose our home bases. Our main goal is to see picturesque villages/architecture/nature and learn about local history. What are your favorite "back door" scenic & historic destinations in these regions and what draws you to them?
We are also considering adding a day or two in the French Riviera in addition to the 7 days. We are looking to avoid large crowds on this trip, so the Riviera does not seem very appealing with that in mind. Are there any secluded and scenic areas of the riviera that are easily accessible with a car?