Itinerary in France - help!

Hi everyone, My husband and I are traveling to France in September for our 10th anniversary. We land in Paris on 9/7 and fly out of Nice on 9/22. So far, I've got the following high level itinerary, but need some additional guidance on towns/villages to operate from and whether the regions/days shown seem reasonable. 9/7 - 9/11 Paris (check out Paris on 9/11) 9/11, 9/12 - either Lyon or Burgundy (check out 9/13 morning) 9/13, 9/14 - French Alps (check out 9/15) 9/15 - 9/19 - Provence and Cote du Rhone region (check out 9/20)
9/20 - 9/21 - Nice (fly out of Nice 9/22 in morning) Any insights/thoughts/input would be helpful. We're looking to spend time enjoying the French culture, food, wine - not as interested in spending a ton of time in churches/museums, though we will do a bit of that in Paris. I've been to Paris before (15 years ago), but my husband hasn't. Thanks in advance!

Posted by Adam
Boston
2627 posts

Kathi, might you be happier seeing more with less? It's not that your itinerary isn't feasible (it certainly is), but you spend an awful lot of your two weeks traveling when you could be sightseeing. Also, what if the weather is bad your one day in the Alps? Logistically the greatest outlier on your plan is the Alps. Arles is an 8-hour train ride from Chamonix (though only 5 from Annecy). So if you are truly indifferent among these destinations and want to slow things down and smell the cappuccino just a little, you might redistribute those 3 days to your other wonderful destinations. (If the alps are a priority you should absolutely see them because what's a few extra hours in transit.) Whatever you do, have a wonderful time.

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6696 posts

I would suggest for your consideration, to take the high-speed train to Dijon and rent a car right in the Dijon train station. There are 3 car rental counters in there. Then, drive to a ed place to stay in Beaune or elsewhere in Burgundy. Tour Burgundy with the time you have available. 2) Drive to Chamonix-Mt.Blanc. We've been there in late September and the weather was spectacular. Stay at L'Oustalet. Then, walk two blocks in the morning and take the gondola up to Auiguille du Midi. One of the best views on the planet IMHO. Have dinner at Atmosphere or Le Caleche. 3) Drive down through Annecy and Lyon and then down to Avignon. Stay at Le Colbert. Very reasonable. You can park your car at the large Jean Jaures underground parking garage. 20Euro to park for 24hours but your car is safe. No parking tickets. Have dinner at Piedoie which is 2 blocks away. Fantastic French provincial. Then, spend a couple of days touring the great areas of Provence. It's really best by car. Don't miss the Luberon region and Lourmarin. 4) Drive to the Avignon TGV train station and turn in your rental car. Then, take the train to Nice. Hope you don't mind my specific suggestions. We've done this and it was great. Nice trip.

Posted by Kathi
Sterling Heights
5 posts

Larry & Adam - thanks for the input...and I do appreciate the specifics! I need to do some more reading to get up to speed on the suggested villages and towns, but I will definitely take your advice into consideration. Based on the info you've provided along with another person who contacted me, I'm thinking we'll likely forego seeing the Alps on this trip and try to spend more time in Burgundy and possibly Paris.

Posted by John
Whitesboro, NY, USA
115 posts

I would choose between the Alps and Provence. We really enjoyed the Swiss Alps staying in Geneva and Interlaken. Geneva is French but everybody speaks English. It's a very international city on a beautiful lake with beautiful mountain views. If you like train rides, Switzerland is not to be missed although SOME of the routes are quite expensive. But if Provence is what you really want to explore, go there and save the Alps for another time. I have been to Europe 7 or 8 times now and I ALWAYS try to see too much in too many different places. Paris itself can keep giving you delight after delight for a week or more. So, think about Paris and one other area. Just my 2 cents.