Itinerary for 10 days in France

My thought is to spend one night in Paris, rent a car and drive to Aix en Provence and stay there the second night. Then on to Cassis or another smaller, quiet costal village and rent a house or condo for 6 nights. Back to Paris, one final overnight and leave the next day. Is the trip down and back too much for a day?
David

Posted by Dina
Fontainebleau, France
893 posts

The trip would be much easier if you cut out Paris and just flew in/out of Nice or Marseilles. If you must fly in/out of Paris, then I'd suggest taking a train to/from Aix. Especially if you are jet-lagged after flying. It's a long drive. Depending on time of year/day of the week, could be an even longer drive.

Posted by Darren
Boulder, CO, USA
647 posts

Seems like your cutting Paris way short, but I'm not sure what you are looking for in your trip. If you want to stay in the Riviera, I would fly to there directly, as Dina said. The drive from Paris to Aix is needlessly long, so at least a train is in order for that leg.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2815 posts

Just to pile on to the other replies. If you want to see the south of France, you shouldn't fly to Paris, but to a closer airport. Nice and Marseille get flights from all over Europe; Marseille airport is quite close to Aix. And, if you do want to see Paris for one or two days at the beginning or end, take the train from Paris to Aix rather than driving (train is twice as fast). So, instead of your proposed itinerary, I'd either: 1. Fly round trip to Marseille. Spend one night in Aix, then pick up rental car for Cassis and environs. Return car at Marseille airport and fly home.
2. Fly into Marseille. Spend one night in Aix, then pick up rental car for Cassis and environs. Return rental car to Aix TGV station, then take train to Paris (about 3 hours). Stay in Paris one night, then fly home from Paris. To find an "open jaw" ticket (using different cities, for instance into Marseille and out of Paris), use the "Multi City" option on Kayak, Expedia, etc.

Posted by David
Chicago
42 posts

Thanks for the input so far! I may be cutting Paris quite short but we have been there 4 times and are only going back there due to decent flight arrangements (using miles), and of course since it is the most beautiful City on earth. We thought about flying to and from Barcelona, another great city but the flights using miles are not great; nothing direct from Chicago. Primary goals of trip is to tour Provence and relax on the beach.
I welcome additional thoughts.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2815 posts

Are you SURE you can't get to Marseille with your miles? In my opinion, taking a shorter flight only to have drive 7+ hours or more to get to where you really want to be (and then have to drive back another 7+ hours), just to avoid a flight connection, on a short trip, is a false economy - of time, and possibly money as well. Unless the only flight connection you're offered is via, say, Istanbul (and I had that situation once, and it really would have taken too long), I'd connect and get right to where you want to be, whether it's Barcelona, Marseille, or somewhere else. I just put in Paris to Aix on www.viamichelin.com. They estimate: Costs 140.04 € With a Petrol vehicle Toll 57.10 € | Petrol 82.94 € Time 07h24 with 07h00 on motorways Distance
473 mi with 466 mi on motorways You see what I mean about how you don't necessarily save time or money by flying the "easy nonstop route." This also helps answer your initial question - only you can decide if that's too much driving for a single day.

Posted by Kim
Paris
537 posts

If you have to fly to Paris, take the train rather than driving. It's not a fun drive and it would be a waste of a day (two days for down and back).

Posted by Adam
Boston
2627 posts

I think you'll find rentals are for 7 days onlyanother argument for getting to Provence as quickly as possible. Of course you don't need to stay the full 7 days, but it should factor into your cost calculus that driving will cost you an extra night's lodging someplace. If you are interested in coastal you might think about the cote d'azure. Its farther from Paris but has beaches, and if you can't get a flight to Marseilles maybe you can to Nice.

Posted by Darren
Boulder, CO, USA
647 posts

I'm headed to France in a few weeks for 3 weeks, and my longest stay is Paris for 6 days. So, you can find quite a few places for less than a week, if you need to do so.

Posted by Sarah
Stuttgart, Germany
2012 posts

It would be SO much faster and easier to take the train to Aix and then pick up the rental car. And if you book tickets well in advance it will be a lot cheaper as well.

Posted by David
Chicago
42 posts

Thanks to all for the great advice! I think we are going to fly into Marseille and save a lot of driving.