I purchased a ticket last night (Icelandair to Paris) for a trip arriving midday June 1 in Paris and flying home June 19 (both ways from Orly). I've done three of my planned four loops: NW (Normandy, Brittany, Loire), NE (Burgundy, Alsace, Champagne) and SE (Lyon, Annecy and Chamonix followed by Provence and Riviera). So this is the fourth and I'm planning a SW loop. This time I generally want to see Bordeaux, Dordogne and Languedoc areas. More than likely traveling alone.
So far I've booked my first two nights at the Mije (hostel) in Paris. The plan would be to then train or fly south, pick up a car, tour the areas, then drop the car and train or fly back to Paris for a couple more nights before flying home.
For those of you who have visited these areas. Any recommendations on places to see, things to do, places to eat, places to stay would be welcome. I'd also like suggestions on a good jumping off point to get to and pick up a rental car, as well as a good ending point to drop the car and get back to Paris. I could either start south and work north or opposite, it really doesn't matter unless there is a festival or some draw to put me at one end first or last.
To give you an idea of the things I consider ideal. I absolutely loved the medieval stone towns in Burgundy (and Ardeche). I love history, but much prefer 15th century or earlier. Show me a 12th century castle, hospital or church, rather than the WWII French underground secret headquarters. I like ocean and water related activities (a kayak on the Dordogne for example). I like decent food and modest amounts of wine, beer or cider but not in a high end establishment. I prefer good local food, where locals gather, to fine dining. For lodging, I'm happy at hostels, Airbnbs, small hotels. I prefer economy lodging that is clean and quiet. Luxury is lost on me. I'm used to paying under 100 euro per night for lodging (often half that).
My French is horrible but it seems to please the locals that I understand most of what I read or hear and make feeble attempts to communicate in the local tongue and be pleasant and polite. I'm not daunted by areas where no one speaks English.
I'll read Rick Steves and other travel guides, for the area, before the trip and may have more specific questions regarding their advice.
Thanks for your help and experience,