A little background: In 2017 I spent a month in Nice exploring the city itself as well as surrounding towns. Especially loved the perched villages and hiking the Med coastline of Saint Jean Cap Ferrat and Beausoleil. For me, Nice was a little too large and busy of a city.
Last fall (2019) I spent 3 weeks exploring some of Provence. My favorite town was Annecy due to the friendly people, lovely lake and old town area. I plan to spend one of the weeks there again (just need to find a different place to rent!). I also spent time in Aix en Provence (nice!), Cassis (crazy hot and crowded), drove the Calenaques (beautiful), Aix les Bains (nice but didn't like how built up and restricted the lake shore was), La Ciot (like it) and some smaller towns along the way.
My interests are avoiding crowds, walking, people watching, easy hiking, shopping for unique handcrafted items, farm produce markets and scenic drives.
This fall I have a little over 5 weeks in Provence and wish to explore further. Here are the details so far:
• I fly in and out of the Geneva Switzerland airport.
• Looking for 3-4 possible home base towns worth exploring in and of themselves as well as offering day trips by car.
• Would like to limit the driving between home bases to a max of three hours or so. I've encountered too many traffic backups that turned a simple 2-hour drive into six-eight hours.
• I'll be renting VRBO, HomeAway or Airbnbs primarily.
I'm looking for suggestions of new towns to explore. I plan to have a car rental for about 3-4 weeks of my trip this year.
Thank you all in advance for your help, comments and suggestions.