We plan to travel to Provence and Rivera this September for two weeks. We will have car and want to visit countrysides. The idea is to fly to Paris, rent a car and drive true Burgundy region then Provence , to Rivera and fly out from Nice. We are at the planning stage, no tickets so we are open for suggestions.
There is much to see and do along your route. To decide what fits your own interests, get a good guidebook or or two. Michelin Green Guides are excellent. I also like Eyewitness Guides like Provence and Côte d'Azur. To find picturesque villages along or near your route check out http://www.les-plus-beaux-villages-de-france.org/en/the-most-beautiful-villages-of-france which is organized by region. Be sure to include The Luberon--Gordes, Bonnieux, Roussillion--for at least a couple of nights. It's our personal favorite in Provence. Happy planning!
I agree with Tex, we love the Luberon area. You can also visit Avignon, Arles, the Camargue and all the other little towns along the way. We also really like Nice. We purchased a big map of France at Barnes and Noble. Our goal is to drive on as many back roads as possible. We also enjoy getting "lost". Some people don't get into that because they like to have plans. One year, we went to France for a month and used the Meteo to decide where we would go first. It just depends on what you want to see...churches, museums, small towns, the country side. You can often see little museums, for example, the Lavender Museum in one of the small Luberon towns. No, the building is not pale purple. Get a RS book about Provence and start reading. Think of what you want to do. Go to some of the little markets. Don't plan on seeing everything in two weeks. Hopefully, we will be able to go back to Nice and Provence in April/May. It will be our fifth trip to the Luberon area and there is never enough time. In terms of hotels, we have used the Logis hotels. They are individually owned and offer a variety of services. They always have breakfasts and many but not all have dinners. They are reasonably priced and each usually has its own charm. We usually don't make advance reservations because we like to see what is available. We picked up a Logis book on our last trip so it gives us a starting point from which to check out the hotels. Sometimes, we have had to drive more than we planned but that is also part of what we like about travelling. We have also used the Mercure hotels (part of the Accor brand.) They have special rates for those over 55 or 60 years of age. Accor also has Four Seasons and Ibis hotels. We don't go below Ibis. I don't remember the specials that Four Seasons or Ibis would have. Of course, they are cheaper than the Mercures. Just have fun!