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12 nightTrip from Paris to Florence. Advice and suggestions welcome!

We've never been to France before and we're looking for good routes to be able to explore while not feeling too rushed. So far we have 2 nights in Paris, one night in Versailles, an unknown night (suggestions please!), then 2 nights in Lyon. This is followed by 3 nights in Annecy and then the last 4 days in Florence, Italy.

I would love some suggestions for this trip. I know we'll figure out a lot while we're there, but I'm open to ideas. We'll have a day to do some wine tasting so I'm thinking we'll rent bikes somewhere in the Burgundy region, but not sure where to stay yet.

I'm thinking we'll rent a car in Lyon so for the rest of the trip we'll have the ability to drive to Chamonix and other day trip areas, and then return the car in Genoa. Is that an easy thing to do if dropping off a vehicle that was rented in one country and leaving it in another?

Posted by
20802 posts

Renting a car in Country A and dropping it off in Country B usually incurs an extremely high international drop fee--hundreds of euros at the least. Most people find it not cost-justifiable. You could drop the car in Nice or perhaps even closer to the Italian border (Menton?).

There's quite a lot to see in Lyon, which is both large and very attractive. Annecy, by comparison, is quite small and attractive.

It sounds as if you plan to travel to your undefined overnight stop by train. One thing to keep in mind is that rail lines in France tend to fan out from Paris. You will probably want to avoid choosing a destination that doesn't have direct rail service to Lyon. During my trip to eastern France in 2017, I ended up going through Paris three times, just to change trains. It wastes a good bit of time, which can significantly affect a short trip, and sometimes you need to change train stations as well as trains. That's not hard, but it adds to the travel time.

The good news is that there is direct rail service to Lyon from both Dijon and Beaune.

Posted by
3140 posts

If you've never been to Paris, you should add your unknown night to Paris, for a total of 4 nights. Moving to a hotel near Versailles would be a big waste of time and energy when you can easily reach it from Paris.

Posted by
7080 posts

Yeah not worth changing hotels for one night in Versailles when you would have to go back to Paris to catch a train to Lyon