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8 Days in France- Where should I go?

I have the opportunity to go to France in early September and it’s very much short notice. I’ve been to Paris once before about 10 yrs ago and loved it but haven’t been anywhere else in the country. I will only have 8 days and will fly into and out of Paris. I’d like to spend a day or 2 in Paris and then try to explore other parts of country. I’m looking for some itinerary suggestions. As for what I like to do, I like a little of everything (hikes, history, eating, art, religious sites etc) so I’m not too picky about that. Where should I go? Also am looking for accommodation recommendations since I don’t have a lot of time to research.
Thanks for the suggestions!

Posted by
7016 posts

Lots of places to see in France.
1)Normandy is west of Paris and relatively close. You can tour the D-Day beaches, historical places like Bayeux, with the 900 year old Bayeux Tapestry that tells the story of the Norman conquest of England (it is amazing), and Mt. Saint Michel, as well as other places.
2) Loire Valley, south of Paris for Chateaux. We stayed in Blois.
3) Alsace, on the Germany border, the wonderful city of Strasbourg and other places like Colmar,
4) The Saone and Rhone river valley on down to Provence and the French Riveria would take your entire 8 days.

You can do 1 and 2 in eight days or 4 alone.

Posted by
3948 posts

Where should you go? Since you are already on this website, go the Explore Europe menu top left of the page, make your way to the France pages, and start researching for yourself. Not only will you be able to ask more specific questions, you will have better context for understanding the answers.

Posted by
14 posts

Will you be traveling by train or are you interested in renting a car? For ww2 sites - Normandy is lovely. You could train to Caen, pick up a car and spend a couple days exploring sites - point du hoc, Omaha beach, Bayeux, and the ww2 museum in Caen. You could meander from Normandy to the Loire valley, base yourself in amboise and spend 2-3 nights there. Love Chambord, Chenonceau, Azay-le Rideau...

Alternatively, if you are interested in cro-magnon cave art and gorgeous countryside, I love the Dordogne river valley. Train to sarlat and hire a guide/small group to take you to area caves (or you could rent a car in Limoges or Bordeaux), if driving, drive south to Carcassone and then end up in Avignon or Arles where you can catch a train back to Paris.

Without a car, head to the south of France/Provence - Avignon Or Arles, then Nice or any other town along the coast that suits you. :). Have a wonderful time!

Posted by
6791 posts

I second the final paragraph above. While there’s much to see in France, September’s a great time to visit Provence, cooler than when it’s so hot in July or August. Avignon’s a great base, with Arles a day trip to the south, anime’s and the Pont du Gard to the east, Luberon villages to the west, and Nice, Villefranche, Saint Paul de Vence and Antibes farther west.

In Avignon, get a hotel in the old town, not far from the Les Halles indoor market. In Nice, get a place close to the old Port (Le Port) part of town, or the Cimiez neighborhood.

Posted by
14037 posts

I suggest staying in Paris and splitting up the days and going to Alsace-Lorraine where one can easily spend 2 full weeks tracking down the sights. From Paris Est you can take the TGV to Metz and Strasbourg. direct.

Posted by
183 posts

Chartre and Giverny are each worth a day trip from Paris and are easily done by train. I also concur on Avignon and Arles, but would recommend getting a hotel close by the Avignon Central Train Station (not the Avignon TGV station which is outside of town) if your using Avignon itself as a base for exploring the region and relying upon train or bus as opposed to having a car. It's just outside the walls of the old city.

Posted by
4129 posts

I'd choose Provence (fly home form Marseilles) if I'd never been elsewhere in France. But Alsace and Burgundy, and Normandy and Brittany, are two pairs pf places that you could reasonably hope to visit in 4 days.

Other options: north to Brugges and Amsterdam. But I feel that Provence, with a car, gives you the most bang for your buck.