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3-week intinerary in France: your opinion is appreciated!

Hi everyone - we are off to France in June/July for three weeks. The flights are booked and we have a basic itinerary in mind. We're wondering if we should take a day out of Paris in the schedule below and add a day to Provence or leave it as-is. Your travel expertise is greatly appreciated. Here's our itinerary: - Fly to Paris: 5.5 days (half day is the day we arrive at 9:30 am) including one day for Versailles. (Sunday through Friday). - Two days/two nights Loire: Take train to Tours early from Paris, pick up rental car and see the chateaux we're interested in. (Sat/Sun). - Drive to Dordogne: Three nights, two full days (canoe the river, see the caves.) (Mon, Tues, Wed.). - Drive to Provence (full day for drive): 4 nights/3 days to sight-see (Thurs thru Sunday) drop off car at end of stay here. - Train to Cote D'Azur: 3.5 days/ 4 nights (Mon - Thurs). Nice, Monaco, Cap d'Antibes, hill towns. Fly home early next morning from Nice. What do you think? Thank you!

Posted by
4062 posts

It is a big city versus countryside question which depends entirely on your personal tastes. The plan is workable and not too rushed. You might consider driving from Provence to Nice so you can see some of the area in between at your own pace rather than the train's, although it is pleasant by train too.

Posted by
4 posts

You're absolutely right! That's our problem -we love it all city and country! Good idea about driving to Nice. That way we could see the Calonques near Cassis. We love hiking (and we're avid cyclists) and are looking for a semi-remote dip in the Med. Thanks for your thoughts.

Posted by
2916 posts

Very reasonable itinerary. Not too rushed, leaving time to get from place to place and time to visit each area. But I do agree about driving from Provence to Nice. It's not too far, and there's plenty to see.

Posted by
4132 posts

Bay, talk about can't go wrong either way. Actually, if I were to change anything it would be to add a day to the Dordogne, not Provence. But I'm not sure I'd change anything.

Posted by
3696 posts

If it were my trip I would take a day from Paris and add to Provence... but I get a bit weary of big cities in the heat of the summer with hordes of tourists. I would also suggest driving to Nice. It's really not that far and a lovely way to stop along the coast whenever you like. Provence and the coast will be busy as well, but nothing like Paris.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks everyone. Great consensus on the drive to Nice. I've had a few people tell me this is rushed but it pales in comparison to our crazy Italian adventure. It was fun but we learned a few lessons!