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Itinerary help: Two potential routes

Hi, I'll be travelling to France in mid-June with my SO. After flying in and spending a night in Paris, we have 5 nights until we need to be in Marseille for an anchor of our trip (visiting friends). We are considering two potential routes (via train) to hit some cities/towns that we have not been to before, or wish we'd spent more time in. The first option is train down to Bordeaux, stay two nights, train to Carcassonne, stay a night, and then train to Aix en Provence, stay two nights. Second option is train to Dijon, stay two nights, train to Aneccy, stay two(?) nights, train to Aix for the last night.

Obviously there are some different things we could do in either version, but this was my first pass (ie potential sub in Grenoble instead of Annecy). Hoping to get some advice and opinions on making a decision between which overall route. We generally enjoy walking around cities (love old cities) and sight seeing and finding a great cafe or restaurant. We've done a few different wine regions and do enjoy doing tasting and seeing different vineyards. Biking is also something we like to do. We are not big on museums.

We have travelled in France quite a bit (my SO has lived there before also) - so here's a quick list of nearby places we've been to and thus aren't considering for this trip: Paris, Strasbourg, Colmar, Lyon, Avignon, Nice.

Thanks in advance!

Posted by
3797 posts


How long are you spending in Marseille afterwards? A day trip to Aix is very easy from there, and with 5 nights I'd rather stay in 2 locations than in 3.
If you are able to have a day trip to Aix afterwards, I would stay in Dijon for 3 nights (this allows time to visit Beaune too), then in Annecy for 2. Geographically speaking, it makes more sense than going the long way round via Bordeaux and Carcassonne.

Posted by
3 posts

We are not staying in Marseille so a visit to Aix won't be possible afterwards. I didn't want to complicate the post further, but we are actually meeting up with friends and going to Corsica for a few days, and flying back to Paris for a night direct from Corsica to catch our return flight home.

You're right that geographically speaking the Dijon route is simpler, though TBH I was not too put off by the Bordeaux to Marseille train times. Carcassonne is a big draw for me and my SO loved her very short visit to Aix years ago, but your suggestion is a good one because instead of flying to Corsica from MRS we could fly from Lyon after the 5 nights between Dijon and Annecy for a more relaxed start to our trip. Something to consider. Thanks again.

Posted by
8387 posts

FYI, day trips between Aix and Marseille are easy with a car.

However, a friend who is in Marseille this year for work tells me it takes her 1.5 hours by bus to get to Aix for her weekly meetings

Posted by
88 posts


I've been fortunate enough to visit all of the cities you've mentioned, except Aneccy, and you can't go wrong with either choice. However, if it were me, I'd choose Bordeaux/Carcassone. Bordeaux is larger than