France supposedly is the number 1 tourist destination in the world, and certainly it is one of my personal favourites! Besides the pleasure of speaking French, we had the opportunity to eat a lot of good food, and visit really pretty coastal areas, medieval towns, castles and ancient Roman remains.
Our itinerary looked roughly like this:
Marseilles -> Aix En Provence -> Avignon -> Nimes -> Arles -> Tarascon -> (Italy) -> Nice -> Antibes -> (Monaco)
In terms of hotels, it was very much 'get what you pay for'. We tended to stay in two star places around 40-50 euros per night. Our first hotel in Marseilles was only 37E per night, and it convinced us that the extra 10E or so was really worth it! Hotels were fairly easy to find (well sign posted), though often not too close to transport.
We tried the random approach to finding good restaurants to start with, but this led to a number of disappointments. The solution was to ask our hoteliers for their favourite restaurants - this led to some really great meals 🙂
We had planned to rent a car for some parts of the trip.. however, make sure you learn to drive a manual before attempting this! Autos in France are horribly expensive to rent, so we ended up doing everything by public transport - bit tricky in winter time especially, but we managed. Tourist offices were generally very helpful.