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4 days in France — Provence or Lyon

Planning a last minute trip to France in September. We are spending a total of 10 days in France, 6 of which would be in Paris. For the remaining 4 days, we are thinking about visiting another place in France.

Saw recs for Lyon and Provence region (Avignon, Gordes, Roussillon, Aix-en-Provence). Which one would you recommend for a 4 day trip and why? If there's another region you recommend, please let me know as well!

For reference, we love visiting new places, open to unique experiences, but also museums, historical sites. We love beautiful scenery, enjoyed the Tuscany region during last visit to Italy. Big foodie as well! We can rent car and drive around area, so not limited by transportation. We do not like too overpriced and touristy places, eg we did not enjoy Positano.

We are interested to learn more about reasons for recommending a place and itinerary you would recommend. We saw many suggestions for Lyon, but few actually talk about why that is special (other than being Michelin capital). So super curious to hear what you all have to say!

Posted by
1570 posts

Greetings Sushicorg,

After spending 6 days in Paris, I would highly recommend Lyon. Let me tell you why. Distance wise, Paris to Lyon is shorter than Paris to Provence. Lyon has some of the best Roman ruins in France if you are into history and it's a great gastronomical city. From Lyon, you can do a wine tour and visit a winery because you will be near the Beaujolais wine route which is a splendid area. You can do Lyon to Chamonix on a day trip and go up the French alps to the top of the summit Aiguille du Midi. Chamonix is a beautiful mountain side village with great restaurants. Chateau De La Roche is less than 2 hour from Lyon. It's a beautiful castle that was restored. Lyon to Dijon France under 2 hours is a must do. Dijon is known for its architectures, fine wine, and great food. So there you go, you will have many fun options if you opt in to go to Lyon. One of the Hotels in Lyon I stayed during my last trip there is this hotel in the link. It's well located in the city center and close to many attractions.

Hôtel Mercure Lyon Centre Beaux Arts

Posted by
9339 posts

I prefer Provence. It’s stunningly beautiful, serene and relaxing. We love staying in St Rémy-de-Provence, at Hotel du Soleil. We drive all over visiting other towns and cities. Not a fan of the cities, we much prefer the towns and villages. We also enjoy just hanging out in St Rémy, a super charming, relaxing town. The hotel has a wonderful pool and outdoor area which is very enjoyable. Their breakfast is really good, and pkng is free, easy walk to the center of town.

Roussillon was also one of our favorites.

Check out YouTube and watch travel videos of Provence and Lyon. That’s how we decide where to go. If you don’t like a particular host or the style of the video, stop and find another one, there are tons.

My favorite for Provence YouTube videos are the ones by Aselya Fortin (French Vibes). In particular, watch her video of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.

Posted by
26441 posts

I liked Lyon a lot, but for a trip with two French destinations, one of them Paris, I'd choose Provence unless there were logistical complications. Provence + Paris will give you more variety.

Posted by
6741 posts

I would also lean towards Provence for more variety! Lyon is "another city", Provence has more diverse sights.
Also I think that 4 days is a bit too long in Lyon, whereas it is perfect for a taster of Provence.