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Driving through France to Spain

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My husband and I are going to do a road trip through France to be in Marbella for 1st October 2013
We are thinking of flying to Paris hire a car and visiting Omaha beach,gardens at girveny and then driving towards the west coast to return the hire car in France before we pick up another hire car in Spain. Do the hire cars include all the compulsory items now required ie breathalyser,fluorescent jacket etc? When we get to Marbella we will return the hire car as we have other transport sorted for our return.
We would appreciate any advice anyone has on routes and possibly the shortest train journey across the France Spanish border, so we can deposit our hire car in France and pick up a different one in Spain to cut down the cost. We are thinking about visiting Bilbao(Guggenheim) and Santiago de Compostela and then travelling down through Extramadura with possibly a stay in one of the Paradors. My husband loves gardens and is currently watching Monty Dons gardens in France so any suggestions about gardens in France would also be welcome. We would also appreciate suggestions for accommodation as well. We have plenty of time as we haven't confirmed any flights yet from Belfast. He has just recovered from major surgery so we would be keen the find the least stressful route!

Thanks

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