I need to decide where to spend 2 free days in the souther half of France in mid-September. I'm starting in Lyon and need to travel toward San Sebastian and would like to pick one town/city to spend 2 nights in in between. Money is a concern so I would avoid any areas that are over-touristed or small, expensive and boutique-y in Provence or on the Riviera. Like museums, cheese shops, markets and people-watching. Any ideas?
Not sure how central or cheap but you may want to do some research on line about Bayonne, France.
Logistically, Riviera and Provence don't really work in such an itinerary--Nice is farther (in hours) from San Sebastian that Lyon.
That equation changes if you will fly or take a night train, but if you are driving, do not underestimate the time it will take you to drive across the northern foothills of the Pyrenees.
Perpignan is charming, but a bit off your route. Narbonne is supposed to be nice. Pau?