Next week my wife, our toddler and I will be going to France for a week. We've already booked 5 nights in Toulon, but we want to also spend 3 more nights somewhere else. We only booked in Toulon because we couldn't find anything affordable anywhere else, but the city and the beaches seem nice enough. For the other 3 days I hope someone can offer some suggestions on where to go.

First of all, we thought of just going to some place (Sainte-Maxime for example) and looking for a place to stay by just asking some passersby or at the tourist information if there is one. And by a place to stay I mean a private room/apartment similar to what you can find on AirBnB. On AirBnB itself there isn't anything in our price range (about 50-60 Euro per night). Is this idea feasible or is there no chance of it working? I'm going by my experience in Bulgaria, where in most cities and villages near the coast there are plenty of people who advertise their rooms to let by just placing signs on their property. And you can just ask people on the street if they have a room to offer.

As to our preferences - the most important one is that there is a nice beach with sand and at least somewhat clear seawater and some amenities like a rescue watch and toilets and a place to sit in the shade and buy something to eat, like a restaurant or a street vendor. We also prefer smaller cities, like the aforementioned Sainte-Maxime or even smaller, where there are some tourists, but also plenty of local people going on about their daily lives. That's not a must, though. If someone says "Marseilles/Nice/Cannes/etc. has fantastic beaches and is a great city to visit overall", then we could do that as well, provided we can find affordable accommodation either via the above method of basically knocking on people's doors or some other one (?). We'd also prefer something directly on the coast, but we could go 10-15km inland if push comes to shove or there is a particularly nice city/village there.

We'll be coming from southern Germany and will go either via Switzerland and Italy or only Germany -> France. We have over 1000km to travel so we'll either travel overnight or stop somewhere on the way and spend a day to rest and maybe visit some other interesting place, like some nice city/village in Alsace or Burgundy or maybe something in Italy. Any suggestions about that?

If someone says "Toulon is a bad idea, go to X instead", we could do that as well - we can cancel the booking in the next 4-5 days and get a full refund. I'd rather not wait to that until the last moment though, as it would be unfair to the host.

I'm be interested in hearing from both French citizens and foreigners who were there on vacation - I think both can offer interesting but different viewpoints.


And yeah, we'll of course be practicing social distancing, even if apparently not all (tourists