The ideal way to plan this trip is to get a multiple leg flight, if that is doable. Fly into Nice Cote d'Azur airport and fly out of Bordeaux. Alternately, you can fly into Nice and return to Nice.
This itinerary also makes a great add-on to a vacation that starts and ends in Paris. If you are flying into Paris and using a rail pass, you can simply take the train to Nice (a pretty short ride considering the distance it spans) and return to Paris from the last stop, Bordeaux.
You can also customize this itinerary to fit your schedule. The easiest way is to simply skip a couple of stops.
Getting around to the various stops is pretty easy, since all are at least a small city. Renting a car will give you the most flexibility of schedule, but you could certainly use a French rail pass to do this itinerary tour.
If you follow this South of France tour itinerary, you will encounter some of the best stops and sights in all of Europe. We begin in Nice, next.