My partner & I are planning a first trip to France in september 2008-and the more I read the more I want to see! However we are time & money limited so- we want to do Paris a few days, definitely Provence a few days, possibly a bit of the french riviera, possibly Luberon area, but we'd also love to see a tiny bit of Italy-maybe Cinque Terra and/or Florence and/or Venice? can anyone help out with suggestions ?so far we're opting for train travel...what would a good itinerary be? We have 18-21 days for this trip (not counting two days for arrival & departure) Colette
How long do you have? For everything you want to see I'd recommend at least 15 days. For a first time to France, I'd recommend 4-5 days in Paris, a few days in the Loire, 3-4 in Provence/South of France, and then give Italy 4-5 days to make it worth your time/money of getting there.
4-5 days Paris
3 days Provence (stay in Arles)
Night train to Venice
2 days Venice
3 days Florence
2 days Sienna
4-5 days Rome
This itinerary, with the addition of a day and night in San Gimegnano (also wonderful), was our first trip to Europe and honeymoon in October years ago. It was demanding, but doable, all by rail and bus, and very rewarding.
Have a wonderful time!