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A 17 day circuit with a car, France and Italy (maybe a brief visit to Switzerland)

We arrive in Lyon and pick up our car at St Exupry airport. We plan to spend 2 days in Beaujolais/southern Burgundy. From there we will drive to Evian with a possible brief jaunt into Switzerland. Then we head to Cinque Terre and Genoa. After Genoa we will follow the coast to Provence, where we will stay for 4-5 days. Finally, up the Rhone River to Lyon for 2 nights before heading home. It's an ambitious plan and probably unrealistic.
My husband is very eager to "wing it" and make it up spontaneously as we go along. We have 2 days booked at the start (Beaujolais) and 2 days at the end (Lyon)of the trip, 1 night in Evian booked, and 1 night in Genoa. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated, but try not to rain on our parade! The night in Evian was an impulse move, and the hotel is nonrefundable, so that cannot change. I will feel very sad if I don't get to at least 1 Provence Market.

Posted by
6412 posts

great. you are doing what you want to do. we all have made ambitious plans and it may happen that you will not go to all the places you planned based on weather or fatigue; that's all.

Posted by
393 posts

What time of year are you going? That may dictate your route and your activities. And what are your interests? Wine, markets, architecture, hiking? Depending on the time of year, advance reservations may be better.

From Evian, you can easily head to the Chamonix area and take the cable car/lifts up to the Aiguille du Midi. It's a spectacular, must do on this route. I used to live right across from Evian in Lausanne. You can take the ferry across for a day trip into Lausanne (from the port at Ouchy you can take the metro up to the Flon and the old town). Or you can hit Montreux. An alternative to the route via the Mont Blanc tunnels btw way is the mountain pass route down into Italy. This is really only suitable in the summer months. From this area it is a straight shot down to the Cinque Terre is possible, but you can also diverge into the Barolo wine region.

After that leg, you should break up the trip up the coast with a stop in the Cote d'Azur. Eze, Villefranche, Nice or Antibes. Then head up to where you will base yourself in Provence (the Luberon or Arles or Avignon, etc).

Posted by
11154 posts

Remember that if you drive on any Swiss highways, you have to buy a vignette (pronounced veen-YETT-uh). It's only available for a year (not shorter) and costs 40 CHF - so a day trip to Switzerland in a car is expensive.

From Evian you can take a boat to Switzerland, which would be easier - just remember your passport.